A good face mask goes a long way. They're amazing at taking the stress out of a bad day in the office, minimising pores and zapping spots, brightening, hydrating, and nourishing skin, as well as providing Instagram beauty-story fodder.
But the best part? A good face mask is easily made at home, and arguably, the most effective ones are made from live, fresh ingredients. Trust us, it’s surprising, but humble products like yoghurt have exfoliating properties on par with many commercial scrubs, while honey is brilliant at eliminating spot-causing bacteria.
Try it out: using the list of accessible ingredients below, grouped according to its properties and benefits, try one of the suggested blends. In truth, any can be blended together to customize to your skin’s needs.
Properties & ingredients: Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants and enzymes.
Benefits: Hydrates, reduces redness, swelling and bacteria from spreading, a natural exfoliator, slows down ageing.
For exfoliation and a moisture boost: Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with honey, apply a layer on clean skin, and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Massage into skin in circular motions before washing off. Leave the honey on lips overnight to lock in moisture.
Properties & ingredients: Anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, full of vitamins, minerals and proteins, balances PH levels of the skin.
Benefits: Stimulates blood circulation, calms eczema, retains moisture and soothes irritation, normalises PH balance.
For dry skin: cook 1/2 cup of oats with boiled water. Add 1 tbsp of honey and one whole egg. Mash half of a banana into the formula. Wait to cool - cleanse the face to open pores and then apply oat mask and leave for 15 minutes. Remove with warm water.
Properties & ingredients: Citric acid, Vitamin C, antioxidants, citric acid, natural oils
Benefits: Radiance boosting, removes impurities and dead skin cells, helps build collagen and improve blood circulation, dries acne.
As a toner: Simply take an orange juice and apply it on a cotton pad and wipe over face and neck - leave to be absorbed. An alternative is to use an orange peel.
Properties & ingredients: Antioxidants, vitamin B-3, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, dilates blood vessels that contribute to dark circles.
Benefits: Can break down the appearance of cellulite, sunspots and redness, reduces hyperpigmentation.
For dark circles and sunspots: Mix 1/2 a tbsp of coffee grounds with olive oil and apply under your eyes or other dark circles. This concentrated mixture will affect problem areas in 5-10 mins - rinse off. Also, use as a facemask around under eyes, which can be left up to 1h.
Properties & ingredients: Antibacterial, antifungal, prevents loss of moisture, reduces inflammation, fatty acids possess anti-microbial properties.
Benefits: Hydrates and nourishes skin, promotes the production of collagen, get rid of the dirt that causes acne, leaves skin looking radiate and fights wrinkles.
To balance skin tone: Mix one tbsp of coconut oil and 1/2 a tbsp of turmeric for brightening. Mix well and apply all over the face to even- and soften out the skin tone. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Properties & ingredients: Vitamins B12, B2, B5, calcium, lactic acid, zinc, alpha-hydroxy acids.
Benefits: exfoliating prevents wrinkle formation, anti-ageing, brightens the complexion.
For added nourishment and moisture: mix with avocado and bit of olive oil.
For soothing and exfoliating: mix with oats and honey.
For reducing swelling and inflammation: mix with mashed cucumber.
A few small notes of caution:
- When you wash off any mask using oats, remove with a paper towelette or tissue, and dispose of it in the rubbish. If you wash off in the sink or shower, the oats will cause a clog. We recently found out the hard way!
- Lovely turmeric can temporarily stain your face if you’re pale (as in overnight staining, not days-long staining) unless you mix in a few drops of milk or yoghurt to the mask act as a barrier or remove the mask with a cleansing oil.