Pore-Tightening Açai Berry Facial
Adapted from the Hydrating Açai Facial at the Spa at Omni La Costa, in Carlsbad, California.
What you need: ⅔ cup sugar; 2 teaspoons açai powder or ¼ cup açai slush (a pulverized form of the berry; both sold at health-food stores); 10 fresh, whole berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mix); and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
How it works: Berries are rich sources of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that, besides being used as wrinkle fighters, have another talent. They’re a strong astringent, so they tighten the skin and minimize pores, says Soheil Simzar, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, California. Fatty acids in high doses, like the ones found in açai berries, seem to combat hyperpigmentation, according to a 2010 paper published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. The sugar and the olive oil form a gentle scrub, which also assists in removing debris trapped in pores.
Do it yourself: With a potato masher, mash the sugar and açai powder or slush with the berries, then slowly add the olive oil; combine coarsely with a whisk. Massage into the face. Leave on for about 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Didi’s take: “I opted for açai powder, which, when blended with the sugar, oil, and berries, produced a paste that smelled vaguely like a health-food store: sweet in a not altogether good way. But it provided stellar exfoliation and revealed clear, smooth skin, albeit slightly purple-tinged from the açai powder; nothing that a makeup wipe couldn’t fix. My pores were indeed undetectable, yet my face didn’t feel the slightest bit tight.”