The prospect of an upcoming self-care day has kept many of us grounded during lockdown. The self-care “day” we've found time to squeeze in after every zoom call or long day of admin at the virtual office.
For those of us who’ve run out of new products to try at home or have spent more than our monthly budget on skincare under the guise of 'treat yo self' and 'personal well being'. Now is the time to explore other avenues, we present to you; 6 DIY masks that you can try at home.
These will be categorised by purpose: exfoliate, cleanse and hydrate. With consideration given to the availability of ingredients you’ll need, but stay assured most of these won't require more than 3.
Exfoliation is often synonymous with scrubbing, even though the unfamiliar alternative — oil pulling is just as good, if not better. First on the list is oil exfoliation.
Oil Exfoliation, sensitive skin
You’ll need: 1-2 tablespoons of a high standard oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. (Sunflower oil is a good alternative)
Measure out 1-2 tablespoons and apply directly to clean (preferably wet) skin, it should look like the water and oil are separating. Continue to apply the oil all over. Wait for 10-15 minutes, and wet a cotton pad using this to massage your face in small circular motions to remove dead skin. Do not scrub. You'll be left with an exfoliated and moisturised base.
It probably sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing as an oil pull but actually, by using beneficial oils to exfoliate you're putting the principle of 'like dissolves like' to work and replacing excess sebum with nourishing oils. With this method, you avoid agitating your skin by using a harsh scrub or rubbing too vigorously and creating micro-abrasions on your skin, this is what causes rashes and unexplained scratches. Oil exfoliation is also a popular makeup remover method since its less drying than most cleansers, try using the Shea Nirvana Moisturiser for this because it works wonders.
Egg Mask, combination skin (dry, oily and/or sensitive)
The proteins in an egg can help to bind moisture to the skin, the extra hydration effectively plumps out the skin and makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable as a result your skin will look moisturised and feel tight. We recommend these especially before a big event as the mask makes for a great makeup base. Read the dermreview for a scientific breakdown of the enzymes and properties that make egg masks beneficial, now for the mask recipe.
You’ll need: 1 Egg and 1-3 drops of any essential oil. We recommend tea tree oil or lemongrass. 1 tablespoon of any high standard oil will work if you don't have access to essential oils.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg (inc. yolk if the essential oil you use is an anti-inflammatory). Using a flat tapered brush apply the mixture generously. Allow the face mask to dry for 10-15 minutes and wash off with warm water. Dab your face dry with a clean towel and finish off with a moisturiser.
vegan alt. this one is too good not to have an alternative
You’ll need: Aquafaba (viscous chickpea water) from 1 can. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1-3 drops of any essential oil.
Whisk the aquafaba until white and cloudy, this should take 10 minutes with an electric mixer (don't stop until it's foamed otherwise it will return to a liquid state). Stir in the lemon juice and essential oil. Apply the mixture to your face until it's dry. Then, rinse your face with warm water. Dab your face dry with a clean towel and finish off with a moisturiser.
Note: the vegan alternative will not provide the same benefits as some of the benefits are unique to using an actual egg. However, aquafaba will act in a similar way as to draw out excess sebum from clogged pores with the added benefits of the essential oil of your choice.
If you were wondering why bananas were the header of this blog post, you've finally arrived at the reason. Yes, a banana mask!... wait, what?! We had the same reaction when we heard about this one, but don't knock it until you've tried it.
Banana Mask, acne-prone and oily skin
You’ll need: 1/2 ripe banana and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
In a bowl, mash 1/2 of a ripe banana with a fork. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and continue to mix. When combined, massage the mixture onto your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Wash the mixture off with warm water. Then, dab your face dry with a clean towel and finish off with a moisturiser.
Now to tell you why you need to try smearing ripe bananas on your face when you get the chance. It's very simple, for the same reasons we eat them. Bananas are full of nutrients; B Vitamins, Amino Acids, Zinc, Vitamins A, C and E. What makes this mask special is that bananas have Potassium. Potassium is known to be extremely hydrating and key in controlled moisture retention when ingested and although potassium can't be absorbed through the skin, when it's applied to the skin it behaves similarly by enhancing moisture and reducing texture.
Yoghurt and Oatmeal, dry skin
You’ll need: 1 teaspoon oatmeal, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 tablespoon greek yoghurt.
Mix oatmeal and honey with greek yoghurt in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to clean skin and leave for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm water. Dab your face dry with a clean towel and finish off with a moisturiser.
Despite being the simplest of all these recipes, the yoghurt and oatmeal mask doesn't fall short of anything. Since honey is anti-septic, its antibacterial qualities are great for acne-prone skin. In addition to this, honey is extremely moisturising and can hydrate even the dryest skin types because it is a highly saturated solution (lots of sugars and very little water) so it actively draws more moisture from the air to balance out the sugars. Combine with oatmeal which retains moisture and you've got an award-winning collaboration on your hands — but it doesn't stop there. With greek yoghurt added to the mix your skin benefits from a combination of B Vitamins, Zinc, Calcium and Lactic Acid that work together to tighten and gently exfoliate your skin.
You can watch YouTuber Georgia Peach make this face mask at home while she explains the benefits of this combination.
Of course, no Millenials DIY list would be complete without avocado. IamDodods put us onto this one back in 2016, but it's never too late to try something that might work perfectly for you.
Avocado Mask, dry and dull skin
You’ll need: 1/2 Avocado, the juice of 1/2 lime or lemon and 2 tablespoons water.
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl using a fork to mash the avocado. With a flat brush apply the mixture generously. Allow the face mask to sit on your face for 5-10 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Dab your face dry with a clean towel and finish off with a moisturiser.
This mask is hydrating and great for oil pulling because avocados are packed with fatty acids which penetrate deep into pores and clear excess sebum while replenishing your skin with antioxidants that clear hyperpigmentation over time.
DIY face masks are a natural, cost-effective alternative but it is important to remember that in order to get the best out of your skin it is better to use specially formulated skincare products, like cleansers, serums and moisturisers for your skin concerns.
Let us know if you try any of these masks at home and leave us a comment down below. Subscribe to our mailing list to get all the latest on product launches and A Little More Balance blog posts.