I feel as though I should invest in a regular supply of plain yogurt. It seems to be in everything all-natural-eco-awesome (that isn’t vegan, anyway), from face masks to smoothies to a replacement ingredient to create more healthful recipes.
The problem is that every time I buy yogurt, plain or otherwise, it goes bad. My brain thinks it’s a good idea, but my body is totally uninterested. Oops.
If you’re like me, you have a similar problem: the “best” DIY skincare recipes, which are supposed to use “things you already have at home” aren’t actually made with things you have at home. (Who has fresh pumpkin pulp just lying around?) So instead of feeling like an unhealthy bag of bones, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive list of recipes, separated by skin type, that contain lots of different ingredients. There’s got to be one recipe we can each make with things in our kitchen…right?
Homemade Face Mask Recipes by Skin Type
All Skin Types
Homemade Cat Litter Mask: Hear me out. You know those special clay masks you can get at beauty salons? Well, apparently, cat litter is made from the same kind of clay. This one’s easy, too: mix the litter (only 100% natural clay litter works) with some water and your favorite essential oil, then put it all over your face. Just make sure the litter is, ahem, clean first.
Yogurt and Honey Face Mask: A classic that I can never remember to make when I actually have plain yogurt. (PS: the full-fat stuff is necessary for this.) Mix warm honey and yogurt together before applying to your face for fifteen minutes. A trick to warm the honey without a microwave: heat up a spoon under hot water first, then pour the honey on top.
Brown Sugar Exfoliant: The ingredients for this one are always in my house. Mix a little brown sugar with olive oil, make it pasty, then massage it (gently!) onto your face. Don’t leave this one on, though: rinse immediately, and you’re done.
While you’re masking, use the rest of those bananas to make banana bread. (Image and recipe by Ephemeron.)
Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Ripe Banana Mask: I always have bananas around the house – fruit’s a big deal in my life – so this one is perfect. Mix a banana – preferably super ripe – and a tablespoon of honey together, then squeeze a couple of drops of orange or lemon juice into the mix. It’s super soothing and not over-drying.
The Breakfast Mask: One egg yolk, a tablespoon of honey and another of olive oil, plus a half cup of oatmeal make a great morning-themed mask. My addition to this recipe: while the mask is on for fifteen minutes, make yourself a mimosa.
Aspirin Spot-Treatment: I haven’t tried this recipe yet – my rosacea keeps me from the most intensive spot treatments – but my acne-having friends swear by it. Take a couple of aspirin (one to three, depending on how many spots you’re treating) and crush them up. Place the aspirin and a couple drops of water in a bowl, which will create a paste. Add some warm, soothing honey or, if you’re honeyless, a natural oil (olive, almond or coconut). Don’t put this all over your face unless you’re super oily and blemished – otherwise, just the worst spots need to be treated.
Combination and Sensitive Skin
Balancing Rose Face Mask: I have been meaning to pick up some rose water (I have my eye on some from Etsy), which is a great toner on its own. Use two tablespoons, plus a tablespoon of – you guessed it – yogurt, and a tablespoon of warm honey. Mix it up, and if you want, add crushed petals from your own roses.
Oatmeal Mask: More yogurt – a cup’s worth – plus a half cup of oatmeal makes a great soothing mask. If you’re like me and don’t ever have yogurt, you can use egg whites. Instead of wiping this one off, splash your face with water to loosen the mixture, then lay a steaming washcloth (wet it, then toss it in the microwave for a few seconds) over your face.
Avocado Face Mask: I’m loathe to put avocado anywhere but in my mouth…but this recipe (a half an avocado and a quarter cup honey) is probably worth it. Watch out, though: if you have a blemish under your skin, this mask could help pull it to the surface. Normally that’s a great thing – deep blemishes wreck havoc and take longer to heal – but you’ll want to avoid this mask if you have an event the same day.
Heavy Cream Facial Mask: I’m trying to cook with less cream, so maybe I should use it up making masks! Take a gram or so of baking soda and mix it with a tablespoon of heavy cream, then add a tablespoon of honey and stir it up. This one has lots of fatty acids, sugars and vitamins in it, so its effects are visible almost immediately.
Weekly Sugar Exfoliation: Dry skin gets more moisture if it’s well-exfoliated. Take a little sugar (white or brown, doesn’t matter) and mix it with a little water and, if you’re in need of a binder, a touch of olive oil. Gently massage the sugar mix over your face, then rinse with warm water. It’s best to follow this up with something super moisturizing – spray on a little rose water first if your face feels too oily.
If none of these combinations suit your fancy, Planet Green has a list of ingredients you can combine, in whatever quantities you wish, to make your own mask. (Warning: Planet Green doesn’t list what works for each skin type. Do a small test area before you cover your face!)