Every now and then, on evenings when I don’t have much to do and my kids are in bed, I give myself a little spa night.
It usually involves Netflix, a good bath, and some dark chocolate. Spa nights are a great way to relax; I’m not as busy as a lot of people are, but I do run around after two young kids every day, and the little stresses of normal life build up. Usually, after wiping noses and making lunches and answering questions all day, I’m not thinking too much about blackheads or how dark the circles under my eyes are. I’m thinking about my pillow and how nice it’s going to feel to sleep on it all night.
Spa nights are my nights to take care of myself.
I’ll add some Epsom salts and essential oils to my bath, find a good movie, and then make it a true spa night by treating myself to an all-natural face mask. I know that I could buy masks if I chose to, but let’s be honest – fancy face masks are pretty low on my priority list. I prefer to use ingredients that I have in my cupboard and refrigerator. It’s so simple to make a homemade face mask out of ingredients that I keep on hand that I can’t imagine ever spending money on a store-bought mask. Plus, I always know exactly what goes into my recipe, and personally, I kind of like to know what’s in a mask before I smear it all over my face and leave it there for twenty minutes.
There are two main components to a good face mask, and you’d probably be surprised to know that you have everything you need in your kitchen already.
Homemade Face Mask Bases
One thing a proper face mask has to do is stick to your face. It doesn’t have to be like glue, but it does have to stay where you put it. The base you use will determine the benefits your mask will have for your skin.
Avocado makes a great base. It is a good texture for staying on your face, and also has moisturizing properties for your skin. If your skin is dry or suffering from overexposure, reach for that overripe avocado that you really meant to turn into guacamole, and instead turn it into a mask.
Another good base is oatmeal. If you grew up in the days when every kid in the class got chicken pox at the same time, then you’ve probably had an oatmeal bath, so you know that oatmeal helps soothe irritated skin. Beyond that, it works as a cleanser to clear your skin of built-up oil and impurities, and it exfoliates when you scrub it off. I cook oatmeal when using it for a base, but it can also be used as an additive in its uncooked state.
One of my favorite bases to use for homemade face masks is plain yogurt. The cool, smooth texture feels wonderful on the skin, and I find it to be the easiest to keep on my face. Beyond that, yogurt has extraordinary benefits for your skin. It is moisturizing, somewhat antibacterial, and contains lactic acid. Are you already making your own yogurt? Even better! (Read more about yogurt’s benefits at Organic Authority.)
Finally, for a different kind of base, egg-whites can be used for face masks. I will admit that this is my least favorite type of mask; I love to eat eggs, but I like them well-cooked, and I find the sliminess of raw egg whites off-putting. Still, I’ve used them in masks before, and I’ll use them again, because egg whites are known to tighten skin and reduce pore size.
I’ve already mentioned that I love chocolate, so any mask that involves cocoa powder is okay by me. Best known for it’s high antioxidants, cocoa powder gives skin a real boost. Also, it smells delicious.
You had to know that honey was going to appear on this list somewhere. With its sticky texture and adhesive properties, honey is a natural choice for a face mask. Honey has antibacterial properties, which are perfect for fighting acne, and also acts as a cleanser. Finally, honey helps moisturize dry skin. To learn more about the benefits of honey, read here.
A final potential ingredient for a natural face mask is lemon juice. Lemon juice, like many of the ingredients above, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also brightens skin and, with regular application, can have a bleaching effect on dark spots. (This is especially worth noting if, like me, you have freckles that pop out in the summertime.)
There are dozens of ways to combine the above ingredients into your perfect face mask, but here are a few of my favorite recipes. For each recipe, I just mix the ingredients together, keep the mask on for twenty minutes or so, then wash off with cool water.
For a boost
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
For a moisturizing mask
- ½ an avocado
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
For tightening and reducing pore size
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
For soothing irritated skin
- ½ cup of cooked oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon of honey
I hope you’re able to use these ingredients and make them into your own masks. Maybe even enjoy a spa night while you do. I know that there are many more recipes and ingredients out there for DIY face masks.
What are some of your favorite homemade face mask recipes?
I’m always looking for new ones! So feel free to share in the comments below.