Last year I started experimenting with making my own mineral makeup, lip glosses and bath fizzies and a few months ago we made soap with new friends! Since all of these experiments went so well and I was not only able to use everything I made, but it all turned out really nice and in some cases even better than I expected, I started experimenting with face masks! There are a zillion recipes online for masks and cleansers and potions, but some of them have either hard to find ingredients or unnecessarily expensive ingredients. So after wading through about 100 recipes, I read up on the most common ingredients and what properties they have that are so good for skin and of course I tried out a bunch of these myself!
Watermelon is one of the ingredients that comes up again and again in facial mask recipes. Mostly because just like when you eat it, applying it to your face really hydrates your skin, regardless of whatever else you add to it, so when you add it to anything else that hydrates on contact (like cucumbers) you can quickly and safely moisturize a dry face. Win! The Watermelon and cucumber combo also has skin lightening and soothing properties, so the next time you’re nursing a sunburn, mash half a cup each of watermelon pulp and cucumber and spread over where ever you are red!
So, why? Well, I mentioned that watermelon pulp hydrates your skin like crazy and it’s also an amazing anti-inflammatory. It’s also full of vitamins C, A, potassium, and magnesium, which I generally only think of in terms of eating it but there’s a lot of research swirling around that since your skin is your biggest organ you’re absorbing (and therefore ingesting) whatever you use topically.
Watermelon Yogurt Mask
1 teaspoon watermelon juice
1 teaspoon plain Greek yogurt
Yogurt & Oatmeal
There are a lot of yogurt based masks out there. After reading about all of yogurt’s superpowers for skin, I get why. It it chock full of lactic acid, which apparently is beyond department store creams in refining pores, scrubbing out the dead skin cells and get this, stimulating collagen production. Any bottle that says that in a spa will instantly be twice as expensive as anything around it, so getting that for next to nothing from yogurt? Sign me up!
Another reason yogurt seems to dominate the recipes for DIY facial masks is it’s consistency is perfect for making a paste out of so many other ingredients that are good for your skin (like oatmeal and honey).
Oatmeal is extremely beneficial to your skin and since we have already covered what yogurt can do, I’d happily rate yogurt/oatmeal combos as serious winners! Apparently, humans have been using oatmeal on their skin since 2000 BC (don’t ask me how ‘they’ know that, but they do)! Oatmeal contains polysaccharides and these little babies get all gooey in the water and leave a (good) film on your skin that protects against flaking! It does a good job of moisturizing as well since oats are full of good fats, and natural cleansers that pull out dirt and oil from pores!
|Yogurt & Oatmeal Moisturizing Mask
2 tablespoons plain (full fat) yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoons cooked & cooled oatmeal
|Yogurt & Honey Cleansing Scrub
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
2 tablespoons Aloe Vera gel or juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 peeled cucumber
3 drops of chamomile oil
|Old School Oat & Honey Mask
2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 tablespoon honey
|Smoothing Apricot Mask
2 pitted apricots
2 teaspoons greek yogurt
Baking Soda Scrub
I have been using a 3:1 mixture of baking soda and water for about 5 months, every other day on my face, elbows and knees because I have read in various cheesy magazines *cough*Seventeen*cough that using a baking soda paste safely brightens your skin, or at least takes the dull film off the top! I have noticed an honest improvement in the brightness of my skin and there has not been any irritation. There is a version of this that uses orange juice instead of water (here)and it is supposedly crazy amazing at getting rid of oil and blackheads. I’ll test this out and report back!
Ever since I first started skipping sleep about 12 years ago, I’ve been using cucumber slices on my eyes when I wake up looking like I need another 3 or 4 hours in bed! While I know that everyone already knows this one, I’m crediting my mom because she was the first one to magically make me not look like a zombie at 6:30am after being up with a baby all night. (Thanks Mom!)
Egg White Masks
My aunt got me into egg white face masks even before I needed the cucumbers. She and my mom and I would spend nights putting egg white masks on each other’s faces and hands. Why hands? Both my mom and my aunt always rocked manicures so I guess it’s no surprise they made sure their hands were soft and smooth! These masks were fun for me as a kid because, aside from the gross fun of spreading egg whites with a pastry brush, there is the strange sensation of the eggs drying on your face and your feeling the pull. You can rinse it off in the sink or shower, but peeling it off was always more fun. I had forgotten about these masks until I thought about writing this post so I did one just to see how my skin felt immediately after and woah. Way, way smoother than pre-mask! All it takes is one egg white. I’ve read a lot of people use the yolk in their hair to make it shinier, but I have not tried that one myself yet!
In all the reading I did about DIY face masks I found so many amazing recipes I want to try out! Here are a few more!
|Green Tea Face Mask
green tea (just enough to make a paste)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
|Banana Face Mask
1 teaspoon honey
|Blueberry Lemon Mask
4 tablespoons mashed blueberries
3 teaspoons ground oats
1 teaspoon finely ground almonds
2 teaspoons distilled water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 drop lemon essential oil
2 tablespoons mashed papaya
1/2 teaspoon pineapple juice
1 teaspoon powdered green algae
2 teaspoon pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
|Nutmeg Honey Cinnamon Facial
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon