Do you smell that? That’s the mouthwatering, chocolaty aroma of my face. With February practically morphing into Valentine’s Month, everyone is talking about CHOCOLATE. Last night, I gave into temptation and hopped on the chocolaty bandwagon. What resulted was the glamorous masterpiece you see above and will see more of, below. I created my very own chocolate facial mask based upon some ideas I found online. My variation contains these skin-perfecting super foods: cocoa powder, sour cream, oatmeal and honey. Before I take you on my Willy Wonka/Bill Nye the Science Guy journey, here is a quick explanation of why these four foods are great for your skin: Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants (even higher than green tea, black tea or red wine) that help prevent and repair skin cell damage. Cocoa also increases blood flow to the top layer of the skin increasing hydration and decreasing skin roughness. Chocolate contains copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc for the promotion of cell growth, the repair of tissue and the absorption of nutrients. Sour Cream will leave your skin feeling soft because it is rich in lactic acid (a type of alpha-hydroxy acid), which helps remove dead skin cells and build up from the top layer of your skin to promote new skin cell generation. Honey is an anti-bacterial and a humectant that can help heal blemishes and repel bacteria while drawing moisture to the area. Oatmeal has anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. It makes for a great moisturizer for both dry and acne prone skin. Now that you know the method (and science) behind the madness, here is a step-by-step pictorial of my chocolate facial mask recipe: What you’ll need: Cocoa powder, oatmeal, sour cream, honey, a mixing bowl and measuring cups Step 1: Scoop 1/3 cup cocoa Step 2: Dump cocoa into mixing bowl Step 3: Scoop one cup of sour cream Step 4: Dump sour cream into mixing bowl Step 5: Scoop 1/3 cup oatmeal Step 6: Dump oatmeal into mixing bowl Step 7: Measure 1/4 cup honey Step 8: Pour honey into mixing bowl Step 9: Mix ingredients with a spoon until the mixture is the consistency of pudding Here’s the before picture: Step 10: Apply mixture to face Step 11: Leave mask on for 10 minutes (and take lots of silly pictures to pass the time) …up close This is when I really started to feel the mask working. It was cool and refreshing. Plus, I was very surprised to feel a mild discomfort from the sour cream’s lactic acid (this means it was actually removing my dead skin cells). This mask really works! The feeling vaguely reminded me of my chocolate Smart Peel at Exhale Spa last Spa Week (even though that experience was much more luxurious), because they both share lactic acid as an active ingredient. Step 12: Wash off with warm water After I washed the mask off (with a little help from some paper towels), my skin felt instantly smooth. I noticed a definite glow on my cheeks and forehead. However, a slight skin reaction did develop in the form of marbleized light-pink blotches, seen below. It went away after about five minutes. I am pretty positive this was from the high lactic acid content in the sour cream (as I have no food allergies). Afterwards, I went to sleep. This morning my face felt supple and not tight at all (which is usually how my dry skin feels in the morning). I’m very pleasantly surprised at the results of this mask, even though it looks ridiculous when applied. I WILL be doing this mask again. I mean, if this photo doesn’t score me a date for Valentine’s Day, I don’t know what will!