With DIY face masks, there's no need for fancy spa trips — you can create an at-home spa day using all-natural ingredients while also saving money and time. Even better? Many recipes can be made with items found right in your pantry.
One thing to be aware of when creating an at-home face mask, however, is that you need to know how your skin will react to the ingredients. That's why New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King recommends a patch test. "Test the mask on the inside of your arm and leave it on as long as you would plan to leave on the face mask, then rinse," she says. "If any redness, itching, or bumpiness occurs over the next week in the location of the test patch, then I would consider trying different ingredients."
After you've checked for allergies, mix up your ingredients. The masks are a little messy, so you might want to apply them over a sink. But if you can get past a little messiness, and want to give your skin a little TLC, read on for a few easy at-home face mask recipes.
1. Banana, Baking Soda, & Honey Face Mask
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
A mask made with bananas isn't exactly unusual — the ingredient appears in several beauty products, including Glow Recipe's Banana Souffle Moisturizer and Ole Henriksen's Banana Bright range. That's because, according to Harvard's School of Public Health, the fruit has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin. Studies have also shown that the fruit is rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent free radical damage.
According to Inge Theron, founder of FaceGym, the baking soda in the mask works with the banana as an acne-preventing agent. According to studies, baking soda has anti-fungal properties that could, in turn, combat breakouts. Theron also says the same is true of honey, a well documented and studied treatment for acne thanks to its antimicrobial properties.
Before you use the mask, though, take caution if you have sensitive skin. Theron says the baking soda could cause irritation in some, and even if you're not sensitive, don't use the ingredient more than twice a week.
First of all, this mask smells absolutely amazing — seriously, you'll want to bathe in this stuff. Second, it feels great on the skin. It tends to feel a bit goopy at first, but it dries within a few minutes. For added exfoliation, rub in the mask as you wash it off. This will really work the baking soda into your skin and get rid of dead skin cells. Let the mask soak into your skin for 10 minutes to achieve maximum hydration.
2. Turmeric, Honey, & Greek Yogurt Face Mask
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King recommends a yogurt-based mask with turmeric and honey. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce redness and irritation while honey acts as an anti-microbial agent to help prevent acne. King also says it can work as a protective barrier around the skin.
King recommends Greek yogurt due to its lower water content, which makes it thicker and easier to use in a mask. It also contains lactic acid, which helps provide a gentle exfoliation that can lead to an added glow and acne prevention. Plus, according to King, the probiotics in yogurt "may bolster the microbiome of the skin, which we are learning plays a role in acne, rosacea, eczema, and other skin conditions."
Using hands or a skin care spatula, apply to your face and let sit for 20 minutes. Once done, rinse off with water and pat your skin dry. To prevent the turmeric from yellowing your skin, King recommends making a paste of the first two ingredients before adding the turmeric — but she says with such a small amount of turmeric, she wouldn't expect staining.
3. Avocado, Aloe Vera, & Olive Oil Face Mask
- 1/2 avocado, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of aloe vera
For this mask, it's very important to crush up the avocado. It's pretty messy on its own, but big chunks make it even worse since they won't stick to your face. That aside, this is the most moisturizing mask I've ever used.
According to King, the oil from the avocados has a multitude of skin benefits. The mask's superhero ingredient, avocado oil, is filled with vitamins like C and E, which provide antioxidants to the skin, while fatty acids help moisturize and protect the skin barrier.
Meanwhile, the olive oil helps with moisture levels, as it's both a humectant and emollient (basically, a fancy way of saying it can help draw moisture to the skin and seal it in). Aloe vera is a well documented topical treatment for wounds and burns, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and it's also a humectant.
Like I said, this stuff is messy. You'll definitely want to apply this mask over a sink or a bowl. Once it sticks to your face, it works absolute wonders. After 10 minutes, you skin will look so radiant that you'll start snapping all the selfies. Plus, your skin will feel so hydrated that you won't need to moisturize afterward.
Inge Theron, founder of FaceGym
Dr. Hadley King, New York City-based dermatologist
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