Mask Off: A DIY Showdown pt. 2

Now that we know what we can avoid in our DIY mask, which ingredients are safe for your face? You may be surprised (or relieved) to learn that a vast majority of cosmetic products used in spas contain many of the same derivatives from plants and fruits that may be in our kitchens. The main difference between what we buy in the grocery store and Sephora is the efficacy in the ingredients. With this in mind, know that your DIY facial mask can’t quite garner the exact same results even if you are using a lot of the same “base” ingredients. (But you can get some benefits that are perfect for when you’re in-between appointments with your esthetician.)

Food for your Face: Ingredients OK to Use

Raw honey is a natural humectant that is great for dull, dry skin and for those who are prone to breakouts. In addition to its moisturizing properties, raw honey is an antimicrobial that promotes wound healing. The enzymatic and antioxidant properties of honey also help reduce (and in some cases prevent) wrinkles.

When you’re not making toast or guacamole, Avocado is perfect for a DIY mask. Avocados are naturally high in Lutein, an anti-oxidant. Lutein is a carotenoid that protects skin and hair, keeping it healthy, youthful, and glowing. When you add avocado into your mask, you’re not only helping to stop free radicals but you’re helping block the effects of UV damage to the skin. Avocados are also naturally high in vitamins A, D, and E and also help in boosting collagen production.

Apple Cider Vinegar is an all-purpose ingredient that you can probably find hundreds of uses for outside of skin care. But for your face, specifically, ACV is used as an antiseptic and anti-fungal to help kill bacteria on the skin. In a facial mask, ACV helps to detoxify the skin and stop acne in its tracks. (You can also use Coconut Sap Vinegar, though finding it in stores is a lot harder)

For a moisturizing mask, try adding Ghee (clarified butter) into your DIY recipe. Most tubs of ghee you find in grocery stores contain about 6% lauric acid. Lauric acid is a Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) which helps to fight acne. Ghee is also rich in vitamins A, D, K, and E.

It’s hard to find a DIY mask recipe online that doesn’t mention Turmeric. This spice has been touted as a skin care staple for ages and for good reason. This anti-oxidant fights off free radicals like nobody’s business. But it’s also anti-inflammatory (for those who are sensitive and prone to breakouts) and an antibacterial. Adding turmeric to your mask is a quick way to give your skin the ultimate glow. Dermatologists suggest that turmeric can help prevent UV damage and dark spots. Be careful though, leaving turmeric on your skin for too long can definitely stain your skin an orange-yellowy hue.

Okay, so you might have a box of Gelatin lying around but, you may want to give this a try. Adding a pack of unflavored gelatin to your face mask helps to shrink and clean out pores. This will give you a tightening effect on the skin.

There are quite a few ingredients you’d typically find in DIY mask recipes that are missing from this post. Well, we covered most of them in part one, but the ones below are ingredients we’re still not exactly sure about.

  • Oatmeal: the oatmeal we eat every morning and the oatmeal that helps soothe and heal our skin are two, completely different oatmeals. Sorta. In the treatment room, we use colloidal oatmeal or medical grade oatmeal. The difference is that colloidal/medical grade oatmeals are finely ground and are better suited for absorption into the skin.
  • Mayonnaise: while we couldn’t find any evidence that it hurts your skin, it doesn’t ever seem like a good idea to put condiments on your face.
  • Milk: can be used as a face cleanser but doesn’t really have any effects on the skin when used in a mask. Milk byproducts like Ghee perform better.

And there you have it. Feel free to share your favorite DIY facial mask ingredients in the comments below.

Image Credit: Alice Ma as featured in Chloe Magazine via Powder Room