If your skincare regime needs an update, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on lots of new products, then how about getting handy in the kitchen and whisking up your own skin-loving treatment? Free from chemicals and kinder on your purse than a salon facial, these five easy-to-make face masks will help with most of your skin’s needs.
Diminish Dryness with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is intensely moisturizing thanks to a potent combination of fatty acids, which help to both retain and restore the skin’s moisture balance. It also contains vitamin E to keep skin smooth and prevents it from getting dry and cracked. Complementing that are the anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which can help stop a dry skin flare-up in its tracks whilst protecting the skin from free-radical damage.
The Recipe: Banish dry or flaky areas of skin by mixing up your own hydrating and exfoliating mask. Gently warm a tablespoon of coconut oil – it’s solid at room temperature – and then mix with a few teaspoons of sugar to make a paste. Sugar contains glycolic acid (a natural exfoliator that helps to loosen those dead skin cells), while the coconut oil moisturizes the new skin underneath. Apply the paste all over your face and gently massage in, concentrating on any problem patches. Leave it on for five minutes before rinsing away with warm water.
Soothe Redness with Oats and Honey
Oats have long been used as a soothing, nourishing solution for irritated skin thanks to the high lipid and protein content that helps to moisturize, protect, and prevent inflammation. Honey is healing and contains antibacterial properties, which makes it great for treating inflamed acne-prone skin. Mixed together, they’re a dynamic skin-loving duo!
The Recipe: Combine half a cup of hot – not boiling – water with one third of a cup of oatmeal, and mix thoroughly. Leave the water and oatmeal solution to settle for a few minutes before mixing in two tablespoons of Manuka honey, which has a much higher concentration of natural antibacterial compounds than normal honey. Massage a thin layer of the mask into your face and neck.
The texture of the oats will also give your skin a very gentle exfoliation as you apply the mask. Leave it to work for ten minutes, then rinse with warm water – and be sure to put a strainer in your sink to avoid clogging the drain with any residue!
An Anti-Aging and Brightening Boost with Aloe Vera and Tomato
The acidity of tomatoes is great at fighting spots, reducing oil, and breaking down pigmentation. Aloe vera is often a key ingredient in after-sun lotions as it’s beneficial for soothing burnt and irritated skin, but it also works to fight against aging. This is because it contains a cocktail of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, which help to improve your skin’s natural firmness and hydration levels.
Keep an aloe vera plant on your kitchen windowsill – it’ll thrive somewhere sunny – for fresh gel whenever you need it. All you’ll need to do is slice off a leaf and squeeze out the clear substance found in the center before applying it to your skin.
The Recipe: Simply combine two tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel and one tablespoon of tomato juice or the flesh of a freshly squeezed tomato. Apply to your face and leave for up to 45 minutes before rinsing off. Your skin will look brighter and more evenly toned, especially if you apply this treatment regularly.
Deflate Puffiness with an Ice Facial
From beating lines and wrinkles to toning up saggy areas and reducing puffiness, using ice therapy (or ‘Frotox’) to literally freeze your skin is a pricy beauty treatment that can set you back serious money. The good news is that a simple ice facial at home can offer the same rewards, especially if done regularly. It’s the perfect pep-up after a party or sleepless night to get you looking perky again.
Using cold temperatures causes the blood vessels in the skin to contract and then dilate, boosting the circulation, which helps shift a build-up of fluid retention as well as improve the oxygen and nutrient supply to the surface. The result is a more toned, radiant complexion.
The Recipe: All you need are some ice cubes, a muslin cloth, and freshly cleansed skin. Avoid applying the ice directly to your skin as the cold can cause the blood vessels to break. Instead, wrap the cubes in a muslin cloth first and then gently massage over your skin in upward, circular movements. Do it for five to ten minutes or as long as you can bear the cold sensation!
Tighten Enlarged Pores with Vinegar
Troubled by large open pores on your nose, forehead, and cheeks? Yes, they can be hard to get rid of, but you don’t need to spend a small fortune trying. The simple answer lies in an affordable bottle of apple-cider vinegar picked up from your local supermarket. Used as a skin toner for hundreds of years, cider vinegar can be an effective solution to tightening and toning. It’s also rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which help to exfoliate sebum and dirt from those problem pores, making them seem smaller.
Just make sure you try to use unpasteurized and unfiltered apple-cider vinegar, which you need to shake before use because the cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle is the best bit for your skin as it contains enzymes, bacteria, pectin, and trace minerals.
The Recipe: Cleanse your face thoroughly so that it’s free from makeup, oil, and grime. Then mix 1/4 cup cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and gently apply the solution to your face with a cotton pad. Let it dry for five minutes before rinsing it off. The more you use it, the more your skin will tolerate it without irritation and you can leave it on for longer. Just don’t apply it to your skin without watering it down first as it can be very strong and may aggravate your skin.
Photographer Anna Shtraus Photo Editor Maya Itani Beauty Editor Frankie Rozwadowska