Taking care of yourself is something you simply must work into your routine. For your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you. Whether you’re a mom trying to tame the terrible twos or a student balancing the demands of academic achievement and the rewards of a beautifully active social life, we all need to take a bit of time out to just love ourselves once in a while.
Since long and luxurious baths are no longer an option (remember those days, hey Capetonians?) I’ve taken to another little self-care regime: concocting random homemade face masks with healthy ingredients from my pantry.
Even though I’d hardly call myself a DIY beauty connoisseur, my little experiments have been super fun so far and I’ve even discovered three go-to home-made face mask recipes to try:
1.) AVOCADO, CACAO & HONEY
- Mix the ingredients together in your blender or even by mashing them finely with a fork for at least half a minute – just make sure they form a smooth brownish paste.
- Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
- Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.
BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:
Cacao – this chocolaty powder is full of antioxidants, which helps fight off free radicals and ultimately rejuvenates your skin. It’s also great for exfoliation, hydration and firming the skin.
Maca – this invigorating adaptogen will boost circulation to the face and help detox the skin naturally.
Honey – if you’re vegan, you may want to give this ingredient a skip. If you’re not, however, honey is a great addition to any skin regime. It’s antibacterial and helps fight off acne; full of antioxidants, which minimise the effects of ageing; naturally moisturising and also clarifying.
Ease of application: The smoother you blend it, the easier it is to apply. So, rather spend an extra few seconds mixing together.
Texture: Blend the mixture until it takes on the texture of a creamy body butter.
Smell: The main scent will be that of cacao powder. If you find it too overwhelming, blend in a drop of an essential oil of your choice – lavender, rose geranium and tea tree are all great options!
Washing off: By the time twenty minutes have passed, the mask would have formed a pretty solid crust all over your face. To minimise water wastage, fill a small bowl with warm water and place it in your sink. Use this water to splash all over your face until the mask has been washed off entirely.
Effect: This mask leaves your skin feeling beautifully nourished and moisturised. Even if you have a naturally oily skin (like I do), it leaves it glowing rather than greasy and also seems to assist in making the pores just a little smaller.
2.) BANANA AND BICARB
- 1 small banana / half a large banana (ripe)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Mash the two ingredients together till it looks light and fluffy. Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
- Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water.
BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:
Banana – rich in antioxidants, potassium and a range of vitamins, bananas are truly a power fruit. They bring moisture to dry/aging skin and fight acne-causing germs in combination/oily skin.
Bicarb – it’s a great exfoliator that helps remove dead skin cells and it also assists in balancing the pH level of the skin.
Ease of application: I found it a little more difficult to apply than the avo and cacao mask, as it was a little lumpy and gooey and kept slipping through my fingers.
Messiness: It can get a bit messy, so work over an easy-to-clean surface.
Texture: As I mentioned earlier, it’s a little gooey and lumpy. If you’re sensitive to gross-feeling textures, it’s probably a mask you should avoid. Also, once on the face, it dries in clumps here and there, which can lead to itching in those spots.
Smell: Some people can’t stand the smell of bananas, so if you’re one of those, once again, best avoid this mask. If it doesn’t bother you, you’ll hardly notice it, however, as the bicarb also neutralises it somewhat.
Washing off: This tends to get messy. To minimise water wastage, fill a small bowl with warm water and place it in your sink. Use this water to splash all over your face until the mask has been washed off entirely.
Effect: It left my skin feeling soft, smooth and revitalised. Not quite as glowy as the avo and cacao mask, however.
3. OATMEAL, TURMERIC AND COCONUT OIL
- Blend ingredients together until they form a thick paste. Wash your hands and gently smear all over your face, avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes and lips. OR use a large, clean makeup brush to do the same.
- Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with warm water.
BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS:
Oatmeal – more than just a wholesome breakfast, oatmeal contains chemicals known as saponins that have intense cleansing abilities.
Turmeric – this wonder spice is known far and wide for its anti-inflammatory properties. This will calm your skin during a breakout and also help reduce scarring.
Olive oil – packed with antioxidants and highly hydrating, olive oil is a great addition to any beauty treatment.
Ease of application: This was by far the easiest of the three masks to apply, thanks to the stiff consistency of the paste.
Messiness: Let’s just say, you shouldn’t wear any item of clothing you really love. As great as turmeric is for your wellbeing, it’s not so great for your clothes and could stain them yellow for a long time to come. Also, any white surface. And… now here’s the real kicker – also your skin. So, be sure not to leave it on for longer than 10 minutes.
Texture: The firm paste will be pretty inoffensive to anyone with tactile sensitivities.
Smell: It hardly has any scent.
Washing off: Once again, be very careful when removing this mask not to splash too wildly and send the turmeric everywhere. Rather was it off gently using a warm face cloth and dry with an older, darker towel.
Effect: I had experienced a little hormonal breakout just before applying it and definitely saw a decrease in inflammation after applying the mask.
What is your go-to homemade face mask? Let us know in the comment section below.
Read more about the benefits of turmeric here
For more information on the benefits of honey and coconut oil read this post.