Growing up in South Texas, cactus and mesquite are a part of almost every picture, painting, and memory. I remember breaking the thorns off mesquite trees so I could climb them without puncture wounds, feeding the beans to horses as a sweet treat, and watching the thick sap pooling up on the bark. I also remember being so surprised to find out that my common, not very pretty tree with the tiny, boring leaves and beans that I thought were only good for making horses salivate, makes a unique and ultra durable wood floor. Then I was surprised to know the beans make an especially tasty jelly. Recently I discovered the dried, powdered beans also make a great sweetener with a low glycemic index number (25). This piqued my interest and I dug into some research. Turns out, that sugary little legume is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. A few of my favorite things to include in face masks are protein, lysine, and potassium – all of which are found in mesquite powder.
Because of the high amount of potassium in mesquite powder and how great it is for your skin, that’s what I want to talk about today. One teaspoon of mesquite powder contains three times the potassium as a teaspoon of mashed banana - and I am a big fan of banana (read my brightening, banana based mask recipe on Reader’s Digest for a fun, kitchen made mask), but this is an easier way to reap the benefits! Why do I love potassium in skincare?
You may know that potassium is vital in maintaining the electrolyte balance in your body, but you may not realize the effect it has outwardly on your skin (please note that people who have kidney disease should avoid potassium because their body likely retains too much). If you suffer from chronic dry skin, you may just need to eat a banana more often. If you’re not sure topically applied potassium has any benefit compared to consumption of potassium, try it. You’ll see the effects immediately.
Here are some great mask add ins that are packed with potassium:
- mesquite powder
- bananas and banana flour (warning - this will make for a gelatinous mask)
- coconut water
- orange juice
Have you tried any of these add ins? I hope you do!