Since we’re at home, trying to only go out for essentials, looking to save money and wanting to be more sustainable I’ve started creating DIY face masks using items we already have in the kitchen. I say this as if I don’t have a bathroom draw full of face masks but this is great for if you have spare time on your hands (which we all do right now – thanks Covid-19).
Perhaps you’re on the opposite end of the scale to me and you don’t have hoards of face masks but you still want to look after you skin and give yourself a little pamper (that doesn’t include a foot spa). You’ll be happy to know that there are a few everyday essentials in your pantry that can double up as skincare. *runs to the pantry to check stock levels*
I’ll share a few masks that I’ve created at home while also suggesting a few ingredients that will assist with specific skin concerns and you can do some more research from there. So before we dive head first into the deep end – I have dry/normal skin that’s sometimes sensitive (mostly on my body not my face), so I always go for the soothing, nourishing, hydrating, exfoliating masks.
Note: you are making these masks with fresh ingredients, ie, no preservatives so the have a short shelf life and most can only be kept refrigerated for a week. Please be sure to patch test all the mask a few hours before to check for allergic reactions.
PAPAYA, HONEY & MILK MASK
This is the one I used in my recent Instagram live with Aurora Sustainability. The combination of papaya (exfoliant), honey (nourishing) & milk (soothing) ticks all the boxes for me. Although it looks like baby puree it’s super quick to whip up and easy to apply. You don’t need to lie on your back while it’s drying you can just go about your regular activities while it works. This makes enough for you & a partner and I would use it twice a week.
Half a papaya
2 Tbs raw honey
2 Tsp whole milk
Start by blending the papaya till there are no chunks then transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the milk & honey until well combined. Apply to your face, neck & chest for 15 minutes and remove with warm water or a wet muslin cloth. Any leftover mask can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. If it smells bad it’s gone off and you shouldn’t use it.
TURMERIC & YOGURT MASK
This is a great mask if you have acne or are trying to reduce acne scarring. The turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory & skin brightener that helps to heal wounds (acne) and the lactic acid in the yogurt helps to nourish your skin. It’s a very common misconception that you get acne if your skin is too oily so you don’t want to add moisture to your skin but a lot of the time that’s what your skin needs. If your skin is dehydrated it tends to overproduce oil. This mask can be used up to 3 times a week.
1 big Tbs greek yogurt
1 Tbs turmeric
1 Tbs honey (optional)
Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a creamy paste. Apply an even layer to your face (skipping the eye area) for 15-20 minutes or until it’s dried down. Remove with warm water. Don’t be worried if your skin is slightly stained, simply cleanse as you usually would and your skin will be back to it’s regular tone. That’s why I prefer to do this at night and follow up with my regular evening skincare routine. Who cares if Sean sees me with a yellow face – he’ll just think I’m a beautiful minion!
NUTMEG, CINNAMON & HONEY MASK
I this mask honey is used as the nourishing and moisturising element, cinnamon increases cell turnover (good for anti-aging) and prevents acne, and nutmeg acts as an anti-inflammatory. The combination of these three ingredients makes them a perfect mask for acne.
1 Tbs raw honey
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp nutmeg
In a small bowl stir all the ingredients together and apply to you face & neck (if needed). Leave the mask on for 10 minutes or if your face starts to burn. The cinnamon will create a tingling feeling because it brings the blood to the surface of the skin. Remove using warm water & circular motions. The honey means this won’t keep in the fridge so just make a new batch for each application.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR & BENTONITE CLAY MASK
If you’ve recently developed breakouts on the lower half of your face from wearing a cloth face mask (thanks Covid-19) and have no idea what to do about them, I’ve got you covered. Wearing cloth masks for an extended period of time (It’s worth it though) will leave your skin congested and this mask will help to clarify that area. Apple cider vinegar has many benefits including helping to clear up acne, brightening dark spots & soothes while the bentonite clay draws out toxins and oils. I use the Aztec Secret clay but there are more affordable options out there so just shop around. You can use this mask 2-3 times a week or as needed for hormonal spots.
2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs Bentonite Clay
Using anything other than metal, mix together equal parts clay and apple cider vinegar (you could also use water). Apply quite a thick layer and leave it on for roughly 10 minutes. Don’t let it dry completely – the sweet spot is when the top layer is hard but just below that it feels kind of like playdough. Remove the mask with a warm muslin cloth or konjac sponge and be prepared to clean your basin after. This is a one use mask so just mix it up as you need it.
AVO, YOGURT & COCONUT OIL
This beauty is one for my dry skinned girls. All three of the ingredients are great for hydrating and nourishing the skin so if your skin is feeling particularly dry going into winter and you’re willing to sacrifice bit of avo, give this a try. Avocado has a host of minerals, vitamins and unsaturated fats that help to treat dry, sensitive or acne prone skin as well as increasing elasticity which helps with ageing. The lactic acid in yogurt helps to moisturise and increase collagen production while the coconut oil acts as a natural anti-fungal & antibacterial agent. I’d do this 3 times a week depending on what I think my skin needs.
1 half of avocado
1 Tbs greek yogurt
2 Tsp coconut oil
Throw all the ingredients in a blender, or use a handheld blender to combine everything. Apply the creamy mask to your skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse using warm water or wet muslin cloth. Coconut can clog the pores so make sure to follow up with your regular cleansing routine. Since avocado tends to look sad once you’ve cut into it, I’d say this is a one use mask.
BANANA,HONEY & YOGURT
These are ingredients we always have in our house for smoothies and now, face masks! Banana is a great source of moisture and will leave your skin feeling soft & supple. Honey helps to retain the moisture and yogurt stimulates collagen production & skin renewal. So together these three ingredients deliver a powerful dose of moisture and hydration for your skin. Use as needed but I could use this at least 3-4 times a week in winter.
Half a banana
1 Tbs yogurt
1 Tsp honey
Mash the banana, add the rest of the ingredients & mix well. Leave on your skin for 10-15 minutes and remove with a warm water or a wet muslin cloth. Once again, banana tends to look sad in the fridge or once it’s opened so just make this as you need it. This is a great mask to whip up with excess smoothie ingredients – you could make yourself a smoothie and face mask at the same time!
OATS, YOGURT, HONEY & CINNAMON
This mask could double up as your breakfast so two in one really! The oats are a natural cleanser that removes dirt & oils that clog the pores. As with the previous masks, yogurt contains lactic acid which moisturises, honey helps to retain moisture and cinnamon increases cell turnover and reduces acne. So although I’ve put this in the hydrating mask category this is a great all round mask for most skin types.
Quarter cup cooked oats
2 Tbs yogurt
1 Tsp honey
1 Tsp cinnamon
Bring half a cup of water to the boil in a small saucepan, add a quarter cup oats and reduce heat to medium and cook. Stir occasionally (for about 5 minutes), cover and let it stand for 2-3 minutes. Allow oats to cool completely before adding the rest of the ingredients and applying a thick layer to the face. Leave on for 10 minutes, remove with warm water and follow up with a soothing serum. This is a one time use mask, so just eat the rest, if you like oats.
CUCUMBER & COCONUT OIL
When I think the most calming ingredient for your skin my mind instinctively goes to cucumber, and aloe, but for now we’re talking about cucumber because lets be honest, you always have cucumber in your fridge! At least I do! Cucumber has an incredibly high water content, with the ability to sooth irritated skin as well as reduce puffiness and swelling. I think of cucumber as the hyaluronic acid of natural ingredients – it’s a great base for hydration which allows the coconut oil to moisturise.
1 Tsp coconut oil
You can choose to leave the skin on or peel it and you can either grate the cucumber or just throw both ingredients in the blender and be done with it. If you choose to grate the cucumber, remember to use the fine side of the grater – you don’t want large chunks but rather a very gel-like, mushy texture (doesn’t gel-like just sound so much better than mushy!). Apply to your face and let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove using warm water and follow up with your regular cleanser and skincare routine.
And just like that you have 8 face masks that can be made using the everyday ingredients you have in your pantry. These are great if you have a tight budget (no shade, we’ve all been there), you’re trying to be more sustainable or you just want to get a little crafty without having to scrapbook!
Please do let me know in the comments if you try any of these and what you think of them. Also, if you have any other homemade masks that you swear by, pop them in the comments so we can all benefit.
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