Instead of spending a fortune on a manufactured face mask, why not make your own for your loved one? Not only are they less expensive, they make a much more thoughtful self-care gift and are surprisingly easy to make with simple ingredients found in your kitchen or at your local health shop. Not sure where to start? Follow our comprehensive guide to DIY face masks and scrubs below. With an option for each skin type, you can tailor your face mask or scrub to your loved ones’ preferences and sensitivities, and be sure your relaxation gifts will revitalize and restore.
Sometimes we have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients we didn't even know existed, and a spot test will ensure the mask goes off without a hitch (we definitely want to avoid a swollen-skin situation like that seen in the movie Hitch). Before smearing the mask all over their face, get your loved one to test the mixture on a small patch of concealed skin and wait for 10-15 minutes before applying.
If your loved one has dry skin…
Give your giftee an extra dose of hydration with this all-natural mask. Take a large bowl and mix together 3 tablespoons of ground oats, 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey, and 1 tablespoon of hot water, then spoon your mixture into a mason jar. This mask should be left on for 15-20 minutes for best results, then washed off the face with a gentle face wash lathered on a warm washcloth.
- The Superfood Secret: Manuka Honey
- Manuka honey is native to New Zealand and contains methylglyoxal, a skincare superhero with scientifically proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to soothe and hydrate the skin.
If your loved one has oily/acne-prone skin...
Combine 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of honey, and mix thoroughly in a bowl. Spoon the amber mixture into a small screw-top jar. For this mask, make sure your loved one does a spot test, as cinnamon can be known to irritate some skin types. This mask should be applied in a thin layer and left on until dry, and then removed gently with warm water. Remind your giftee to moisturize afterwards, so their skin doesn’t feel too tight.
- The Superfood Secret: Cinnamon
- Cinnamon is perfect for breakout prevention due to its antibacterial properties. This special spice helps clear active acne and excess oil by encouraging blood flow to the skin’s surface, speeding the healing process and improving your skin's overall appearance.
If your loved one has combination skin…
This mask is perfect for balancing out in-between skin. Pulse ¼ cup of ground oats with a tablespoon of dried lavender leaves, 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of dried thyme leaves in a food processor. Next, add in some aloe vera gel until your mask is a thick, paste-like consistency. Encourage your giftee to use this mask the same day and to leave it on for 15 minutes, tops.
- The Superfood Secret: Thyme
- Thyme has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; not only will it help clear up problem areas on the face, but it will also soothe and smooth dryer, more sensitive areas.
If your loved one has sensitive skin…
If your giftee suffers from eczema, rosacea, or any other inflammatory skin conditions, it’s essential to avoid ingredients that may irritate the skin. Take 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, and some Manuka honey, and mix until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture in a mason jar, and put in the fridge until it's ready to use. This mask should be left on for 20-25 minutes, and taken off with a warm washcloth. Be sure to follow up with a thick cream to lock in all that moisture!
- The Superfood Secret: Turmeric
- Turmeric has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural antiseptic, all while being extremely gentle on the skin. Just remember to encourage your giftee to wear clothes they don’t mind getting messy—this yellow powder is super pigmented and hard to get out of fabric or even bathroom surfaces. Prep your masking surface with paper towel to prevent any staining.
No matter what your skin type is, exfoliation is essential! If you’re unsure which mask would be best suited for your loved one, sticking with a scrub is always a safe bet. Take some ground coffee, brown sugar, and olive oil or coconut oil and mix in a bowl until you get a nice, paste-like consistency. Package your scrub in a mason jar and secure with a ribbon or twine.
- The Superfood Secret: Coffee grounds
- The caffeine in coffee grinds has potent antioxidants which can help with sun damage and increase blood flow, speeding cell turnover and improving skin brightness. The grainy consistency will help safely strip away dead skin cells, which clog pores and make skin appear dull and uneven.
- Using a stick-on label (preferably glossy to keep the wet masks from staining the paper), write out the face mask ingredients and directions on how to use, and stick it on the mason jar. If you have extra space, you can add the benefits of the superfood ingredients—it always helps to know the ins and outs of how a mask works before using it.
- Include a flat, wide cosmetic brush in your gift so that your giftee can apply their mask mess-free. This also helps ensure that bacteria from their fingers doesn’t contaminate the mask.
The take away
Using common items found in your kitchen pantry and bathroom cabinet will not only save you money, but will help you skip out on all of the chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances found in store-bought masks. DIY face masks have more active ingredients than inactive, meaning that they work almost instantly. So get mixing and masking! (If you’re in need of some TLC, why not make yourself a batch while you’re at it?).
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