Article from Prevention, by
Treating yourself to a face mask doesn’t have to require a trip to the spa. With a few simple ingredients (that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge), you can create a mask for any skin type right at home.
Whether you make them a part of your everyday routine or save them for a once-in-a-while pamper session, face masks are a great way to optimize penetration of a concentrated ingredient, explains Doris Day, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of Day Dermatology & Aesthetics. A major benefit of do-it-yourself masks is that you have control over what you add in, she says. “If you have allergies to preservatives or certain ingredients, and you’re making it at home, then you know it’s not going to have those ingredients.”
But don’t assume that everything in your kitchen is safe. Even some natural, edible ingredients can potentially harm your skin. For example, Dr. Day suggests avoiding lemon or celery in masks, since they can make skin light sensitive and increase sunburn risk. To keep your face mask safe and beneficial, she suggests keeping it simple. “Just start with two or three ingredients, and then as you do it over time, you can add to your formula.”
When it comes to customizing masks for your individual skin type, Dr. Day recommends thinking about the specific issues you want to target. Is your skin prone to redness? Is oiliness an issue? Different masks can provide unique benefits to address your needs. Here, we round up seven dermatologist-approved DIY face masks for different skin types so that you can give your face the right kind of TLC.
For dry skin: honey & avocado mask
For a hefty dose of moisture, honey and avocado are a simple yet powerful combo, according to Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Santa Monica, California.
Honey moisturizes by drawing water to the surface of the skin, contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, and has a low risk of irritation. Avocado contains natural oils that quickly soften and moisturize the skin, adds Dr. Shainhouse.
Other natural oils that are safe and hydrating include: olive, jojoba, argan, sunflower, and grapeseed oil. All are good choices for at-home masks, says Dr. Shainhouse.
Make the mask: Mash 1/4 of a whole avocado with 1 teaspoon each of honey and olive oil (or other natural oil you have on hand). Spread evenly over your face and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
For oily or acne-prone skin: bentonite clay & green tea mask
Dr. Shamban recommends the recipe below—it contains green tea and Epsom salts, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Make the mask: Steep 1 cup of green tea at least 5 minutes. Scoop 2 tablespoons of tea into a bowl (be careful if the tea is still hot). Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts in the tea in the bowl. Mix in about 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay and stir until you have a smooth paste. Spread the paste evenly over your skin. You can enjoy the remaining cup of tea as you relax with your mask. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before removing it with warm water.
For sensitive skin: cucumber-honey-tea mask
Nervous that you’ll have a reaction? “If you want to check for sensitivity or for allergies, you can test the ingredient on the inside of your forearm,” suggests Dr. Day.
Make the mask: Cut a baby cucumber into very thin slices and set aside. In a small pot, steep 1 cup of black tea for at least 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and stir until dissolved. Add the cucumber slices. If desired, add one or two drops of essential oil. Let the cucumber soak for at least 10 minutes. Scoop the cucumber from the pot and place slices evenly over your face. Leave the slices on for 10 to 20 minutes before removing. Rinse your face with warm water.
For oily or acne-prone skin: blueberry-yogurt-honey mask
She recommends her own blueberry-yogurt mask recipe (below), which she tweaked to include honey. The blueberries and yogurt in this recipe are natural sources of AHAs. Honey has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, so it soothes skin while fighting acne-causing bacteria. The rice flour in this recipe gives the mask its structure, explains Dr. Shamban.
Make the mask: Mash 1/3 cup of blueberries with 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 tablespoon of rice floor, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes, before rinsing with warm water.
For sensitive skin: oatmeal-yogurt-honey mask
Oatmeal also contains saponins, which are like natural soaps that can gently remove excess oil. When combined with skin-nourishing honey and yogurt, this mask offers mild exfoliation, cleansing, and moisturizing benefits.
Make the mask: Stir together equal parts plain cooked oatmeal, plain full-fat yogurt, and honey. About 1 teaspoon of each is enough for a mask. Spread evenly over your face and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
For redness-prone skin: matcha & aloe vera mask
The caffeine in green tea is also beneficial. “Caffeine can temporarily shrink the blood vessels on your face and make you look less pink,” adds Dr. Shainhouse.
Make the mask: Stir together 1 teaspoon of matcha and 1 teaspoon of aloe vera. Spread evenly over your face. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off.
For dull skin: exfoliating oat-honey-banana mask
For those with oily or acne-prone skin, she suggests adding full-fat yogurt to the mix—a teaspoon should do the trick. Yogurt contains lactic acid, a type of AHA that will boost the exfoliating properties of the oatmeal.
Got finicky skin? Don’t fret. This simple mask is gentle enough for sensitive skin, says Dr. Bowe.
Make the mask: Mash together 2 tablespoons of raw oats, 1 teaspoon of honey, and half a banana. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of full-fat yogurt. Rub the mask in a circular motion on damp skin for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water, pat your skin dry, and moisturize.
For combination skin: green herb & yogurt mask
Make the mask: Add a few tablespoons of plain, full-fat yogurt and a handful of fresh mint and chamomile to a food processor. Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, use a mortar and pestle to grind up the herbs and combine with yogurt. Spread evenly over your face. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
What to know about multi-masking
“If you’re making a mask at home, you can make one thing that’s for the forehead and the nose, and then you can do something more hydrating for the cheeks, and kind of have fun,” she says.
The possibilities are endless for your multi-mask. Try bentonite clay for oily zones, a moisturizing avocado blend for dry patches, and a matcha mask for any red spots. With a little experimenting, you can find a unique combo that works for your skin.