The Best Ingredients for Your Homemade Facial Mask

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Facial masks don't have to be expensive. Here's a list of the best ingredients you can use from your kitchen to create your very own all-natural, Earth-friendly facial mask.

Let’s face it,  facial skin care products can hurt our pockets. The mind-dizzying array of products alone – from soaps, cleansers, astringent, toner, to moisturizer and cream – can send any budget-conscious beautyphile into panic mode. You don’t have to buy each and every one of these products though. Sometimes all it takes is a little experimentation and a free afternoon to whip up a batch of your own facial skin care line. Here are some of the key ingredients you can use from your kitchen for your very own all-natural, Earth-friendly facial mask:

Honey

honey

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Honey is one of the best ingredients you can use for a facial mask. It helps lock in moisture on the skin so that it becomes more supple. Honey is also an excellent antibacterial agent that can help reduce the redness and swelling of pimples. This ingredient is also has antioxidants that help repair damaged skin cells.

Application: Simply spread a thin layer honey all over your face. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm or cool water. If it starts to drip off, you lightly put cotton pads on top until you’re ready to wash the mask off. You can also mix honey with other ingredients like egg white, yogurt, or heavy cream if you’re uncomfortable with the texture.

Egg Whites

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Here’s another reason not to throw away the egg whites after a baking spree – it’s an excellent natural face lift. Egg whites are made up proteins that help tighten the pores and lift the skin. It also helps control oily skin and has bacteria-killing enzymes that help reduces redness in acne.

Application: For a plain egg white mask, just spread a thin layer on the face using your fingers or a face sponge (no need to whisk it!). Wait for the mask to dry, then rinse with water. For a homemade pore strip, you can soak a small strip of tissue paper in egg white before putting it on your nose or T-zone. If you plan to combine egg whites with other ingredients like crushed oatmeal, you can try whipping it up first to create a more foamy texture.

Yogurt

yogurt

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The yummy goodness of yogurt for your tummy is good for skin too. Yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA – a common beauty ingredient) that helps exfoliate and regenerate dull skin. It also has hydrating properties that leave your skin soft and smooth. Yogurt also contains zinc, which works like an astringent that tightens pores and improves skin texture. For best results, use regular yogurt (not the non-fat ones) in plain flavor.

Application: Apply a thin layer of yogurt on the face using a face sponge and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse off with water. Because common types of yogurt tend to become drippy, you can put cotton pads on top until you rinse off the mask. You can also try mixing other ingredients with yogurt – try honey, crushed almonds, or brown sugar.

Coffee grounds

coffee grounds

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Before throwing out the used coffee grounds, you might want to consider using it in your face mask. The grounds work great to scrub off dead skin cell buildup, while the caffeine in coffee helps promote blood flow to the skin.

Application: Rub coffee grounds (make sure it’s at room temp and not straight from the coffee maker) directly on skin, then rinse off. The grounds are usually mixed in with creamier ingredients like yogurt or egg white to form a firm mask.

Oats

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Oats are not just good for your heart…they make an excellent face mask too! Oats contain silica and lubricating fats that help hydrate the skin. Oatmeal leaves a film on the skin which locks in moisture on dry skin. It also helps relieve irritated skin, and contains proteins that help protect the skin from infection. Oats also contain saponins which help remove accumulated dirt and oil from the pores – that’s why ground oats are not just great natural exfoliants but excellent cleansers too.

Application: Crush or grind oats and mix with water to form a paste, then massage on damp face after washing. Leave on and rinse off with lukewarm water after 10-15 minutes. You have the option to crush oats until it becomes powder or to leave it a bit coarse to make a good scrub. You can also mix it with other ingredients like honey, yogurt or egg whites.

Mango, Papaya, Pumpkin

mango

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pumpkin

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Mango, papaya, and pumpkin are fruits (and a vegetable) that are all very rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E – also known as your skin’s best vitamins. Vitamin A is the active ingredient in a lot of facial creams since it has been proven to unclog pores, rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles and make skin softer and smoother. Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from damage.

Application: Blend mango, papaya, pumpkin, or a combination of the three until it becomes a creamy paste. Apply on the face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with water. You can mix mango, papaya and/or pumpkin paste with other ingredients to form a more skin-nourishing face mask.

References:

Alexandrescu DT, Vaillant JG, Dasanu CA. Effect of treatment with a colloidal oatmeal lotion on the acneform eruption induced by epidermal growth factor receptor and multiple tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2007 Jan;32(1):71-4. Epub 2006 Oct 11.

Finneran N. The incredible edible spa. US: Lulu.com, 2005.

Green P. Ars gratia cultus: Ovid as beautician. American Journal of Philology. 1979; 100(3):381-392.

Nikogosian N, JL Wheeler. Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin. US: Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Postmes T, Van den Bogaard AE, Hazen M . Honey for wounds, ulcers, and skin graft preservation. Lancet. Vol. 341, no. 8847, pp. 256-257. 1993.

Purba MB, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N, Lukito W, Rothenberg EM, Steen BC, Wahlqvist ML. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Feb;20(1):71-80.

Raloff J. The color of honey. Science News. 1998 Sept; 154(11):170-171.

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