If you’re a regular reader of mine, or follow me on social media (Instagram: katiesuesessentials & kwebb819) then you likely know how much I love a good face mask. Young Living offers several face mask options; my skin type likes theART Beauty Masque best; I can’t say enough good things about it. However, it is a little out of my price range to use on a regular basis. I try to do 2-3 face masks a week, so the Young Living masks are definitely something I can only do occasionally, and I always buy them with ER points as a splurge! So, to fit my budget, and satisfy my craving to DIY as much as possible, I make my own face masks! Making them yourself can be a wonderful and cheap way to care for your skin, but it’s important to pick a mask that is going to assist you with your skin care goals and that is a good fit for your skin type. I had so much fun researching for this post and trying out different masks (I even got my family involved!); I can’t wait to share them with you!
Why should I make a mask at home when I can buy one at the drug store for a couple bucks?
I’m glad you asked! There are several reasons to make masks at home.
- Store bought masks (even the “healthy” or “natural” ones) contain artificial preservatives, artificial dyes and fragrances, unethically sources ingredients, and chemicals. I don’t want any of that on my precious skin! A lot of the ingredients are known to be linked with health issues and can actually cause more irritation to your skin.
- DIY masks are actually much cheaper than store bought ones! For instance, the mask below with the most ingredients contains: Activated Charcoal ($22 for 12 oz = 72 teaspoons; $0.15/mask), Bentonite Clay ($12 for 10 oz = 60 teaspoons; $0.20/mask), ACV ($6 for 16 oz = 96 teaspoons; $0.06/mask) and essential oils (about a penny a drop) making the most expense mask below only $0.45! The ingredients cost $40, but you will get over 70 masks and can make multiple types of mask if you don’t always want to do the same one. It would cost you over $100 to get that many masks at the store!
- Making them yourself is just plain fun. There are few things that relax me more than making a mask, applying it, and soaking in the tub. So luxurious!
- You can rest easy knowing that you have hand-picked each ingredient in your mask. You get to decide which companies you buy from are up to snuff. You’re the master and commander of your skin care! I try to research the ingredients in everything I put on my skin and only pick things I am totally comfortable with.
Today we’re going to learn about 7 common at-home face mask ingredients and why they’re awesome, and get some DIY mask recipes that are super easy to make.
A couple of things to know about face masks before we dive in:
- Always wash your face before applying a mask to insure your mask has a clean canvas to work with.
- Try steaming your pores open before applying your mask so that the mask can penetrate deeper into your pores and clear out the gunk. You can do this by using the glass bowl method: boil a pot of water, pour the water into a glass/metal bowl, and lean your head over the water allowing the steam to roll over your face. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel to trap in steam and heat. Stay like that for 10 minutes.
- You may experience a slight breakout after doing a mask treatment. This doesn’t mean the mask didn’t work! It only means that the mask went into your pores and is banishing the bad stuff like it was supposed to. Just be mindful that this is a possibility.
- No mask is a “cure all”. Different masks target different areas of concerns (black heads, dry skin, acne, excess oil, fine lines, etc.), so don’t expect to wake up the next morning with celebrity-perfect skin. It takes time, a strict skin care routine, and, likely, a cycle of a couple different masks.
- Adding essential oils to your face mask and skin care regimen can give skin a much needed boost and can help your mask be more effective!
Ready? Let’s go!
Baking soda1 is a gentle exfoliate, has antibacterial properties, can lighten blemishes, can tighten pores with it’s astringent properties – it’s the Swiss Army Knife of skin care! It can remove dead skin cells, help treat and prevent acne, fight blackheads, shrink pores, and give your skin a vibrant glow. Bring it on! It is a wonderful option for those with combination/oily skin, but works well for all skin types. However, some people find they have a sensitivity to baking soda when using topically. Note: baking soda is great for drying out active acne, but this also means it can dry out your skin; make sure to apply moisturizer after using. If you have never used it on your skin before (or in your deodorant) test a small patch of skin first by creating a baking soda & water paste and applying it to the underside of your forearm.
Coconut oil2 is naturally moisturizing, containing Vitamin E and saturated fats (which help repair your skin’s natural oil barrier while moisturizing), as well as having antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is wonderful for cleansing and moisturizing the skin — fighting acne-causing bacterial while leaving your face soft and smooth. A word of caution though, coconut oil is comedogenic, which means it can clog pores (I know, this is shocking given that it’s been hailed as the end-all-be-all in skin care the last several years, but it’s true). On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the worst), it’s a 4. This means that too much of a good thing can be bad. So, if you are prone to clogged pores, use sparingly (no more than once a week). It is a great option for those with dry/aging skin, but can be used by any skin type.
Bentonite clay3 (a powdered clay you mix with water) is awesome! It detoxes skin, cleans out pores, pulls out excess sebum (thereby treating acne, reducing oily skin, treating and preventing blackheads), aids in skin regeneration, reduces the appearance of pores, reduces inflammation, and is great for skin issues (such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea)! It can do it all! Great for all skin types, especially those with oily, acne-prone, or sensitive skin.
Note: When handling bentonite clay, using metal (which contains positively charges ions) will neutralize the clay, making it much less effective; make sure to use glass, plastic (when not combining with essential oils), or wood only. It is also important to buy clay from companies who do not use metal in the extraction process. I prefer Redmond Clay.
Young Living Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil
While technically a cleanser, I use the Mirah Luminous Cleansing Oil as a mask more than I use it do to wash my face. I have never heard of anyone else doing this, but I do it all the time and I love it! Mirah is very nourishing and moisturizing. It is made with 10 essential oils and 10 carrier oils that have all been touted for their abilities to improve skin conditions and appearance*. The product page says it “removes pore-clogging impurities without stripping away the natural oils your skin needs.” To use as a cleanser, you just massage into your skin and rinse off. People use it as a makeup remover/cleanser combo. When I use it as a mask, I add a couple other essential oils to it, massage it into my face and leave it for 15-20 minutes. It is great for any skin type!
Activated charcoal4 is fabulous for clearing out pores! It binds to the gunk in your pores and gently sucks it out, leaving you with clearer skin and smaller pores. It can balance oily skin by pulling the excess oil. It can be drying to some, so only use once or twice a week. It is not recommended for those with dry skin. Note: Activated charcoal is black and easily stains. Either wear old clothes/something you don’t mind getting dirty and lay a drop cloth on the floor, or just use these masks in the bath tub. If you notice it staining your tub/sink, don’t worry, it can be easily cleaned. If you use activated charcoal as a scrub, 100% do it in the shower or it will go everywhere!
Raw honey5 has been used as a skin treatment for hundreds of years! It is packed full with natural antioxidants making it great for aging skin. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being clarifying, making it perfect for tackling acne and preventing breakouts. It’s also known for helping the look of your complexion, and unclogging pores. Although great for any skin type, those with sensitive skin should definitely add it to their arsenal!
Essential oils have been used in skin care for thousands of years. Some are moisturizing, some drying, some balance your skin’s oil. Some fight acne, or scars, or blackheads, or dark spots. Some cleanse. Some heal. Some traditionally used in skin care are:
Tea Tree Neroli
Frankincense Carrot Seed
Myrrh Roman Chamomile
Ylang Ylang Sandalwood
Juniper Clary Sage
They all have many uses. Do some digging to find out which essential oils would benefit your skin the most.
Choosing the right mask for your skin type is very important. Choosing the wrong one can do more harm than good, and can cause breakouts. In doing my research, and by trial and error, I’ve learned that I can’t use coconut oil on my upper body – it clogs my pores and I will breakout. I still love coconut oil, though, and often use it in place of lotion on my legs and hands.
Take a look at the categories below and choose a mask that will work on your areas of concern, and then pick a mask in that category that best suits your skin type. It’s highly unlikely that every single mask will be right for you, so choose wisely and enjoy the results!
Fight Blackheads/Minimize Pores
For dry, oily, combination skin (not recommended for sensitive, acne-prone, or aging skin):
In a small glass bowl (never plastic) melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil in microwave (or melt in a double boiler on the stove). Allow to cool, but not reconstitute. During the cooling period, steam open pores, if desired. This can be done by using the glass bowl method. Once coconut oil is cool, stir in 2 teaspoons of baking soda (adding more, if necessary) until a thick paste is created. Stir in essential oils. Rub a thick layer of paste onto your face using gentle, circular motions. It will be gritty because of the baking soda, this exfoliating power allows it to clear our pores. Let it sit on your face for 20 minutes, massaging your face periodically throughout. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat your face dry. You should see an immediate visible decrease in blackheads. Use 2-3 times per week, or as needed. Do not use more than once per week if you are prone to clogged pores.
For all skin types (except dry!):
In a small glass bowl combine bentonite clay and water. Only use enough water to make a creamy paste; you don’t want it runny. Add more clay or water if needed. Stir in essential oils. Massage clay into your face using gentle, circular motions. Allow to sit on your face 15-20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry, and apply moisturizer. Use 2-3 times a week, or as needed.
The Blackhead Eraser mask is my favorite to use to fight blackheads. Because of my oily, acne-prone skin, the bentonite clay is a wonderful option for me.
For combination, oily, acne-prone, or aging skin:
Combine all ingredients in a small glass bowl. The mixture will be very liquid. Apply a layer to your face, massaging your skin as you go. Apply another layer, if desired. Let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry. If there are leftovers, keep in an air-tight container (or wrap with cling-wrap). Use within 4 days.
Honey Apple Cider Vinegar Mask
For all skin types:
Moisturizing Mirah Mask
For dry skin:
This mask works best if you steam pores open first using the covered bowl method. Combine all ingredients in the palm of your hand (or small bowl, if you prefer), and rub mixture evenly over face. Let sit and soak in for 15-20 minutes. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry.
Moisturizing Coconut Oil Mask
For all skin types:
Mix essential oil and honey in a small glass bowl. Apply mixture your face and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash face with lukewarm water, then pat dry. Use twice a week. Tip: If you also have blackheads, add 1-2 drops of Young Living Lemon essential oil.
Tea Tree & Honey Mask
Tip: If you also have blackheads, add 1-2 drops of Young Living Lemon essential oil.
For all skin types (except dry!): In a glass bowl stir together bentonite clay powder and water using a plastic spoon or your finger (do not use metal with bentonite clay!). Add 4-6 drops of the essential oils of your choice. Spread clay onto your face and leave on for 20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse your face with warm water using gentle, circular motions; pat to dry.
Tough-Action Bentonite Clay Mask
For combination, oily, and acne-prone skin6:
In a small glass bowl, stir together all ingredients. Add a couple drops of water, as needed, if the mixture is too dry. Apply to face in an even layer; let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water using gentle, circular motions. Pat face dry and moisturize. If your face looks stained, simply wash face with normal cleanser. Use once a week.
Charcoal, Clay, ACV, Tea Tree Powerhouse!
The above recipe turned out to be my favorite mask! There are several that I love, but the Charcoal, Clay, ACV one blew my away! It is one I will be using often!
For all skin types:
Mirah Cleansing Mask
This Cleansing Mirah Mask is divine! It smells heavenly and leaves my skin so soft and radiant! Because Mirah is moisturizing and I have oily skin, I use this mask when I am dryer than normal.
For all skin types:
Note: this mask is very sticky! Putting on a robe or towel to protect clothes may be a good idea in case of drips. Stir all ingredients together in a small glass bowl using a metal utensil. Spread a generous amount over your face. If you apply a very thick layer, or if it is warm, the honey may begin to melt a bit, so watch for drips! Leave on for 20 minutes. You may notice it starting to dry in some spots (that’s the baking soda drying), or if you have active acne you may notice open pimples are oozing – this is normal and means the mask is pulling out the excess oil and debris causing your acne. Rinse face with lukewarm water and pat dry. This recipe makes enough for 2-3 masks. If you have leftovers, cover your bowl with an air-tight wrap and leave at room temperature. Use within 4 days.
Honey-Baking Soda Cleanse
The Honey-Baking Soda Cleanse mask is another favorite of mine. I use it when I’m more oily than normal and/or have clogged pores.
I hope you have a blast trying out some of these masks – I know I did! Let me know which ones are your favorite!
Striving for wellness and a chemical-free life, one oil at a time!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose.