Rise-n-Shine Relaxer: A great face mask for pregnant women

As you may have noticed, being pregnant isn't all about you. Although you have your unborn child to consider, pregnancy is one of the few times when you're actually encouraged to indulge. So it's good to know that when you pamper yourself, you're actually creating a stress-free environment for your growing baby. Start a relaxing day by treating yourself to this incredibly soothing facial mask designed to help dry skin feel baby-soft.

1 cup of rolled oatmeal
2 tablespoons of powdered milk
1 tablespoon of water
2 or 3 gauze squares
1 rubber band

Blend the oatmeal in a food processor until it becomes a fine powder. Put it in a bowl and add powdered milk. Gradually stir in the water until the mask reaches a creamy consistency. Unfold the gauze squares and position them on your face so that your eyes, nose and mouth are exposed. Generously apply the oatmeal mask on top, taking care to overlap the edges of the gauze so that the mask sticks to your face. While you can apply this mask directly to your face, the gauze makes for more even coverage.

Draw a hot bath while you're waiting; the steam will enhance the effects of the mask. After 15 minutes, remove the mask by lifting up and removing the squares of gauze. Fold them so that the oatmeal is contained, seal with a rubber band, and drop into the bath for an all-over skin-softening effect.

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Stacy Denney is the author of Spa Mama (Chronicle Books) and the owner of Barefoot & Pregnant, a maternity day spa in Marin County, California.

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