These DIY masks can work wonders for a variety of skin issues—from dry, cracked cheeks and dull foreheads to acne breakouts. Try to use organic ingredients whenever possible, as the skin on your face is thinner than other parts of your body and can soak up toxins much more easily. For mask recipes that require honey, vegans can either substitute a little bit of pureed banana, or just omit it. When it’s time to wash the mask off, be sure to put a strainer in your sink or shower drain to catch large particles: you don’t want to clog your drains.
1. Avocado and Honey Mask for Dry Skin
This is a great mask for dry, peeling and scaling skin. The avocado and coconut oil provide replenishing moisture, while the honey helps to heal any chafed or raw areas. Avocado masks are used by celebs like Victoria Beckham and Jessica Biel, and the best part is that you can eat the second half that you don’t use on your face.
- 1/2 a very ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
Mash or puree the avocado until it’s smooth and creamy, and then blend in the rest of the ingredients. Apply to your face, avoiding your eyes, and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Wipe your skin clean with a damp, warm cloth, or rinse your face with warm water in the shower.
2. Soothing Oatmeal Mask
Oatmeal is great for soothing rough, angry skin and for helping to heal eczema and acne breakouts. Paired with honey and yogurt, it’s a calming and revitalizing mask for all skin types.
- 1/3 cup instant oatmeal
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt
Add the water to your oatmeal and stir for a few minutes until it’s plumped up nicely. Add the honey and yogurt, and put through a blender to smooth and combine it really well. Slather this all over your face, leave on for 10 minutes or so, and then wash with warm water. Pat dry.
*Note: this mask can also be used on eczema patches on other parts of your body, such as inner arms, the backs of your knees, your neck, etc. For areas other than your face, you can leave the treatment on for a bit longer before washing it off.
3. Antioxidant Mask to Brighten Aging Skin
Papaya is rich in antioxidants, and its enzymes help to slough away old, dry skin cells for a glowing, healthy complexion. Jasmin Fiore of The Deva Life swears by papaya masks as part of her healing regimen, and sings the praises of this rejuvenating wonder-fruit.
- 1/2 a ripe papaya—peeled, seeded, and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
Puree the papaya in a food processor or blender until just mashed evenly, and then blend in the other ingredients by hand. Spread over your face, avoiding your eyes, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wipe or rinse your face clean, and smile at yourself in the mirror.
4. Detoxifying, De-Puffing Mocha Mask
The caffeine from coffee grounds in this cocoa-licious mask helps to reduce swelling and puffiness, while the antioxidants in the cocoa help to reduce aging, and the yogurt replenishes lost moisture.
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
- 2 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
Blend all of the ingredients together, spread evenly over skin, and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. When you rinse it off, massage your face gently to exfoliate as well. If there’s any mask left over after you wash your face with it, add a bit of water to it and use it as a scrub for the backs of your arms and any other body part that could do with some smoothing.
5. Brightening Strawberry Lemon Mask for Oily/Problem Skin
Imagine this mask as a smoothie for your face: strawberries contain salicylic acid (which is great for acne-prone skin), while lemon juice helps to tighten pores and remove old, dead skin cells. Yogurt and honey have antibiotic properties, and this entire blend is as good for your outsides as it is in a drink. Use any leftovers in a slurp-able smoothie with the milk of your choice.
- 1/4 cup mashed strawberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
Mash all of the ingredients together, but do not puree in a blender: you want this to be spreadable, not a liquid. Apply evenly all over your face and let sit 8-10 minutes. Wipe off with a warm, damp facecloth and then rinse with cool water. Pat dry.
6. Redness-Reducing Mask for Rosacea
Cold weather can aggravate rosacea, leaving faces reddened and blotchy, and sometimes bumpy as well. The apple cider vinegar helps to stabilize the pH of your skin, while the oatmeal lessens irritation and the other ingredients soothe and moisturize.
- 1.5 tablespoons dry instant oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Strong-brewed green tea
Blend the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and add 3 tablespoons hot, strong green tea to the mixture. Stir regularly for a few minutes, adding tea as needed until you’ve created a thick paste. Apply it to your face and let sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe clean gently with a damp cloth. Rinse with cool-to-warm water, but do not use soap, and pat dry gently. Repeat twice a week for best results.
7. Soothing Manly Mask
This is a great mask for guys, as it can soothe both razor burn, and over-weathered winter skin. The yogurt acts as a moisturizer, while the cucumber lessens redness and provides moisture to dry, sensitive skin.
- 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon full-fat Greek yogurt
Put the cucumber through a food processor until it’s pulpy, and then mix the yogurt in by hand. Apply evenly over the face, and leave on for 10-15 minutes. (Feel free to lie back and place some cucumber slices on your eyes too). Rinse your face with warm (not hot) water, and pat dry. Lead image via Shutterstock