Face masks are a much deserved treat for the skin all year round. They are of particular importance during cold and dry seasons. There are many commercial face mask preparations on the market, however many of these masks contain tons of unnatural ingredients that most people can’t pronounce let alone understand the effect the ingredients might have on their skin. Many of these masks are also expensive, making it hard for many to enjoy the benefits of the masks on a regular basis.
Luckily there is an alternative to pricey, mostly synthetic masks. It is relatively easy, with a little help, to make a variety of face masks with items you may already have in your kitchen. Any items you don’t have can easily be obtained at a grocery store. This project focuses on one such natural, inexpensive and easy to make recipe. The recipe is for a banana face mask that with the help of bananas, yogurt and honey cleanses, soothes and hydrates your skin. The recipe is also easy to adjust for different skin types. I will include variations on the recipe in this article to help you customize the mask for your specific needs.
Start the recipe by gathering one large banana, 3 tablespoons of runny honey and 1/3 cup plain yogurt. If you wish you can save time on this recipe by doubling it and storing half of it in the freezer. You can just take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw or thaw it under cool running water the next time you feel like using a face mask.
After obtaining your ingredients use a large fork, food processor or chopper to mash the banana into a paste; make sure the paste is smooth and free of lumps. In many recipes that call for fruit I will recommend using fruit juice or yogurt that has natural fruit in it already. However, I do not recommend that for this recipe as banana is the most active ingredient and also the most prevalent. So it is important to use a freshly mashed banana in the recipe.
Once you have mashed the banana into a paste, warm some honey until it is runny. You can usually do this easily by holding the bottle of honey under warm to hot water for a minute or two. Once the honey is ready add three tablespoons of it to the mashed banana.
After adding honey to the banana add the 1/3 cup of plain yogurt. Then stir all the ingredients until the mixture is relatively uniform (it does not have to be perfectly blended).
Your face mask is complete. To use the face mask first prepare your facial skin for deep cleansing by placing a hot (as you can stand but don’t burn yourself) wash cloth over your face for 1 to 2 minutes. The heat and steam from the cloth will open your pores allowing the mask to penetrate more deeply.
After you prepare your facial skin liberally apply the mask to your face and neck while taking care to avoid your eye area. Leave the mask on for five minutes, then use a warm wash cloth to remove it using soft circular motions. Splash face with warm water to remove the rest of the mask. After removing the mask completely from your skin splash your face with very cold water. The cold water will close your pores making it more difficult for dirt and oil to get in and become trapped there. Pat your face dry gently with a soft, dry washcloth or towel.
This mask is great for many skin types but there are many variations on it that suit certain skin types even better than the original recipe. Each variation requires only a small addition /substitution or two at the most, so it’ll be easy for you to whip up a mask that’s just right for your skin type.
If you have oily skin that is not overly sensitive, pineapple is the perfect way to remove oil and deep cleanse your face. People with sensitive skin should definitely avoid pineapple as it could be irritating to their skin. You can use either mashed pineapple fruit (2 or 3 tablespoons of crushed pineapple) or use pineapple juice. I prefer using juice as it has a higher concentration of fruit acids than mashed fruit. It’s also very easy to add to a mask, saving you time.
If you have dry skin: Humectants are the answer to your prayers. Humectants are a class of substances that attract water. Use of them on your skin and hair will help you hydrate them tremendously. There are many different natural humectants such as honey and glycerin. Honey is the easiest to come by and rarely causes skin reactions even in very sensitive people. To use simply add an extra tablespoon or two of honey to the original recipe.
If you have skin in need of toning: Vitamin C and Caffeine are just what the doctor ordered. Both Vitamin C and Caffeine help tone and tighten skin, they can also help give skin a healthy glow. You can add 1 tsp. of ground strawberries, oranges (just the fruit) or lemons (just the fruit) to the mixture to get benefits from Vitamin C. You can also add 1 tsp. of Tea leaves or fresh ground coffee to the mix to add a lovely scent and the benefits of caffeine to the original recipe.