How to Make Your Own Natural Face Mask

Dorie Byers, RN, of Indianapolis, Ind., is a fan of the homemade face mask. She has included the following face mask recipes in her book, Natural Beauty Basics (Vital Health Publishing).

The ingredients Byers advocates are very mild and widely used, but she does recommend a patch test before experimenting with something new. Simply apply a bit of the ingredients to the inside of your arm and wait a few hours to see if any reaction develops.

Liquid Face Masks

  • Honey. For dry skin, try a honey face mask; any type of honey will do. Just leave it on for a few minutes and rinse with warm water. Pat dry.
  • Olive oil. By itself, olive oil makes a great facial. Use extra-virgin.
  • Honey-Olive Oil Combination. Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply to your face and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off with tepid water. Gently pat the face dry.
  • Yogurt. Unflavored plain yogurt is great for toning any type of skin. Apply a thin layer and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

Oatmeal Face Mask

Oatmeal, fabulous as a bath soak, also makes a great face mask. Grind it a bit in the food processor, add water to create a paste, and then allow it to sit on your face for a few minutes.

If you have time, create an infusion to add to the oatmeal. Mix 3 tablespoons herbs, 2/3 cup boiling water, and 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal; steep, cool, and strain. Lavender, basil, and mint are good for any skin, while breakouts respond to thyme and rosemary. Parsley, lemon balm, and fennel are good for dry skin, while sage, yarrow, and lady's mantle work for oily skin.

Flax Face Mask

Eating flax seeds provides powerful, good-for-your-health omega-3 fatty acids, but you also can take advantage of these oils in an easy-to-make face mask. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of flax seeds and just enough water to cover. The seeds will swell and the water will become gelatinous. Spread the gel on your face. When dry, rinse off with tepid water.

Egg White Face Mask

Egg whites, whipped, applied to the skin, and let on until dry, are soothing and leave the skin glowing. Rinse and pat dry.

Natural Clay Face Mask

One of Byers' favorite face masks is natural clay, often found in the cosmetics section of a natural foods store. Typically, the clay is mixed with a bit of water and applied directly to the face (but not near the eyes) and allowed to dry. Rinse and pat dry. "The clay draws out impurities," Byers explains.

Post-Face Mask Skin Treatments

If you have medium to oily skin, consider an after-facial astringent. Byers recommends full-strength lemon juice or apple cider vinegar applied with a cotton ball. The acid in these is in sync with the natural acid balance of skin and will nicely tighten pores. Add a sprig of rosemary, which also is an astringent. You can get some benefit with just the rosemary steeped in a bit of warm water, then allowed to cool.

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