With the fast pace and constant stress of life surrounding us all, our skin is often the first place to show the impact of everything going on in our lives.
Couple that with abundant sun exposure, increasing air pollution, and poorly crafted cosmetics, the result on your beautiful face can over time be visible, uncomfortable, and potentially permanent.
But there is a solution – one that may be as close as your refrigerator door… Quark!
As you know, Quark is a cheese, much like cottage cheese or yogurt but with a creamier, silkier texture, that originated from Central Europe around the 15thcentury.
The difference, however, is that it is created with different strains of beneficial bacteria (Mesophilic Lactococcus) which can aid the body in a variety of ways. Protein rich and low in fat, Quark is one of the lesser-known superfoods.
Aside from the obvious benefits to internal health, Quark also features a wide variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals, many of which may come to the rescue to dry, strained facial skin.
Elevated protein content means that it may be able to assist in healing and strengthening your skin cells, adding flexibility, suppleness, and moisture that can be seen as well as be felt.
Essential vitamins like B2, B6, and B12, along with elevated calcium and phosphorus also may help to enrichen and enliven stress-worn skin and make up for the rigors of a busy day.
That glow you see from your best friends smile? She may have just enjoyed a Quark mask!
A Quark facial? Yes, please!
While people around the world have been eating it straight as well as using it in recipes of all kinds for generations, not many people are likely aware of another hidden, mysterious property – as a natural skincare solution.
Now, Quark is all the rage as a base ingredient in natural beauty treatments like masks, rubs, and compresses – each featuring their own styles, benefits, and flavors (not that we would advocate that you eat your facial mask after a treatment – please, no.)
To start, a super simple recipe for a Quark-based facial mask contains only two ingredients, both of which can be found in nearly all grocery stores – honey and Quark:
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of Quark
Warm the honey, just a bit, and then mix the Quark into it. Using a brush or soft cloth, dab the mixture over your face, then lay back and relax for 30 minutes (or more!) Rinse with warm water and feel the refreshing vibes.
(Note: for those with mixed or oily skin, you could also add a few drops of orange or grapefruit juice to add some astringency to the mix – the more acidic nature will gently cleanse some of the oils away like magic!)
Have that old, slightly squishy avocado still laying on the counter? For more sensitive skin, the wonders of this fruit can be applied (literally!) to the subject. For this you need:
- Half a ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons of Quark
Mix the two ingredients together (I would warm the avocado slightly in the microwave to make it warm and creamy when you put it on) and like the previous recipe, lie back and relax for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Have spots of extra dry skin? Add a few drops of olive oil to the mix to boost the richness of the paste, and let the rich, natural oils go to work!
I love the aroma of lavender, so adding that to a facial mix is soothing just thinking about it! Try:
- 3 drops of lavender oil
- 2 tablespoons of Quark
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of crushed lavender flowers
Spread across your face (careful to avoid your eyes with this one) and enjoy for 15 minutes or so. Rinse away and feel the smooth and buttery texture your face just revealed!
Of course, for a full-face treatment, any of these could be combined with a pair of cucumber rounds (slice the cucumber cross-ways in round about a millimeter thick or so.)
Simply slather on your mask mix of choice, then lie back with a cucumber round over each eye – enjoying the cool, refreshing pressure on your eyes, while the clean aroma surrounds your entire face.
Other beauty and health applications
Aside from just a facial treatment, Quark can be used for other minor skin ailments as well.
Sunburn for one (which we all will get to some degree when bikini season hits!) The cooling effect of Quark is one of the most soothing aspects of applying it to sunburned skin.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory benefits of Quark may help reduce some of the swelling caused by sun exposure as well.
Bee stings are another potential use for Quark relief, as the inflammation from them may be reduced with a Quark pack, also called a poultice by some.
To make one, simply pack some thick Quark on the wound, and cover with a large band-aid or wrap with a compress. Be aware, however, that Quark will do nothing if you are allergic to bees. If that’s the case, seek professional medical attention immediately!
As a general moisturizer, it’s easy to make a Quark-coction!
Mix with a little aloe vera (I just break off a tip of my plant, squeeze out some aloe, and mix with a tablespoon of Quark) to add a potent one-two punch to your weekly moisturizing treatment.
So while Quark is widely known around the world as a tasty, nutritious, and widely available ingredient in a variety of dishes, it can also perform double duty by helping to keep your skin vibrant and healthy at the same time.
It just doesn’t get any more delicious than that!