I’m probably preaching to the beauty blog-reading choir here, but skincare obsessions are a bit of a thing with me. (I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my citrusy Trader Joe’s set.) Nearly a decade ago, there was an extremely unique skincare and beauty shop in the mall called Skinmarket, which has sadly long since closed. I went almost every weekend until it did, and the coolest part by far was an ice bar with freshly made masks you could purchase by weight.
I thought of Skinmarket during the last big snowstorm, around about day four of my frosty captivity. Masks are cool because unlike, say, serums, most people have the necessary ingredients for at least one awesome mask on hand. Here are five treatments you can make with very common pantry/medicine cabinet staples.
1.)Avocado: Okay, part of me feels like it’s a sin to waste perfectly good almost-guacamole by smearing it on my face. But utter deliciousness aside, avocados are rich in Vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A is multi-beneficial, but prized for its exfoliation abilities. C renews skin, and E heals. Mash half an avocado with a fork and apply to skin. 8-10 minutes is a good benchmark time for mask application. I would use the other half to make a sandwich while I wait.
2.) Oatmeal: For those of us with itchy, easily irritated skin, oatmeal is really a miracle ingredient. When I was in beauty school, we did a relatively long facial section on oatmeal, and were told it “force feeds” moisture into the skin. While that may be a bit of hyperbole, oatmeal is very hydrophilic. Aside from that, oatmeal has long been used as a calming ingredient to soothe ailments like eczema. Cook 3/4 of a cup of oatmeal with 1/3 of a cup of water, and let it cool slightly. Spread warm- not hot- oatmeal over facial skin, and leave for about ten minutes. Dampen the mask a bit, and remove.
3.) Baking Soda: This isn’t a mask per se, but I have tried bucket loads of exfoliant in my career. Nut scrubs and pit scrubs tend to be a bit harsh, with jagged edges causing “micro-abrasions” in delicate facial skin. Even pricey exfoliants can be a bit lackluster- but mix a bit of baking soda in with your regular cleanser or even combine it with water to create what is hands down the best skin scrub I’ve ever used.
4.) Honey: I touched on honey briefly last week, but this is another seriously awesome one-ingredient skincare powerhouse. This is not the least messy mask there is- I had a dedicated honey mask brush- but in addition to a strong ability to trap moisture, honey is antibacterial, full of vitamins and antioxidants, and it just gives skin an indescribable glow. Warming the honey a bit- about ten seconds in a ramekin in the microwave- will make application marginally less sticky. A very warm washcloth will help with removal and steam in some extra moisture.
Do you have any favorite pantry staples for beautiful skin? Ever made a homemade skincare potion?