A do-it-yourself journey to finding the right homemade face mask

A do-it-yourself journey to finding the right homemade face mask

Photo Credits: ITZELTH GAMBOA / AGGIE. Baking soda, lemon juice, and a banana are ingredients that combine to make an acne mask.

Making face masks from kitchen staples: What worked and what didn’t

Anti-Dry Skin Mask

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

¼ teaspoon of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of plain Greek yogurt 

Coconut oil, when applied to the skin, has properties that lighten dark spots. Greek yogurt helps dry skin, giving it a refreshing feeling afterwards and tightening skin. Cocoa powder is filled with antioxidants so it will help repair skin with acne, redness and sunspots — and it smells delicious. Before making the mask, first take out the yogurt and let it sit for 15 minutes. This will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. After washing your face, apply the mask, leaving it on for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. 

Although I did love the effects of the mask, I didn’t love the mask at all. The coconut oil made it too slippery, and it fell off of my face. I was laying down the entire time that I had the face mask on and despite putting it well above my eyes, I had to wash my eyes out because a few drops fell in — not the best experience for a self-care session. It left my skin soft, which was the only noticeable difference. It also left my skin incredibly oily, however, which was to be expected of course, but there’s a difference between my skin not being dry and feeling like my skin is smothered in oil. 

Redness Corrector Mask

2 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of cinnamon 

The juice from one lemon slice 

I chose to do this mask because it is supposed to soothe redness and brighten dark spots. Honey has traditional healing properties, opens up pores and allows for a deep cleanse. I’ve heard stories and read articles about people only using honey as a face wash, so I wanted to do a face mask that had honey as one of its main ingredients. Cinnamon helps diminish scar marks, blemishes and dark spots and lemon tightens the skin. 

I have never had an even skin tone and I’ve always hated how my skin is sometimes comparable to a tomato in the sun, so I was excited to try this mask. I poured the cinnamon into a bowl with the honey and lemon juice. The mixture looked more like a liquid than a mask, but it attached to the makeup brush well. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. 

The mask smelled overwhelmingly like cinnamon, and it slid down my face for the first minute or so. But after a few minutes, it solidified, and I was able to go about my night, working on my homework. What should have been my first warning sign that this mask isn’t the best for my skin type was that it burned. I wasn’t sure if it was because my skin was too sensitive or because the mask was working, but I really wanted to see if it reduced redness so I stuck with it and left it on. Much to my disappointment, not only did the mask not work, but it made everything worse. My skin was so red that I was convinced I was having an allergic reaction. To make matters worse, the next day I woke up with a volcano of a pimple on my chin, and despite my best efforts over the next few days, it only got bigger and a friend grew to accompany it. 

Acne Mask

2 tablespoons of mashed banana 

1 tablespoon of baking soda

½ tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Be very careful with baking soda: it’s not harmful, but it can easily irritate sensitive skin. It does, however, open up pores and absorb excess oils. The lemon in this mask is meant to provide an even skin tone. The banana hydrates the skin.

These ingredients together are supposed to help fight and prevent acne. Due to my previous mishap with a face mask, I figured I could use something for my acne. In hopes of treating the pimples on my chin, I did this mask two days after the redness corrector mask. But it did not work. What it did do was make my situation worse. The baking soda was a little too irritating for my skin, and my chin became inflamed. It got more red and the only thing it worked for was making me more frustrated with my DIY face mask journey. 

Moisturizing Mask

1 ripe organic banana

1 ripe organic avocado 

1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Not only is avocado great for toast, but it’s a great moisturizer for the skin. Olive oil, if used carefully, can even out dry blotches on your skin and lighten scarring. But this ingredient should be used sparingly. Too much oil can clog your pores, and although some people use olive oil as an all-night mask, I wouldn’t recommend it. The benefits do not outweigh the possible consequences. Mix all of the ingredients together and apply this mask onto clean and dry skin. The mask wasn’t slippery like the ones before, so I was able to enjoy the small amount of time I had for self-care in the midst of studying for my last midterm.

Surprisingly, this mask was actually my favorite. But really, the mask could have done absolutely nothing and I would have been happy about it. So long as it didn’t give me acne or leave my skin inflamed, I was content. My skin did actually feel moisturized — it felt like a real self-care session. It left me refreshed and happy that I went through with my self-care journey instead of giving up halfway through. If there’s any mask that should be tried on this list, it’s this one. 

While my small DIY self-care session was filled with highs and lows (mostly lows), when it comes down to face masks, I think I’m better off buying one from the store. 

Written by: Itzelth Gamboa — arts@theaggie.org

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