DIY Face Masks

After this winter season’s slew of storms, my skin was dry, dull, and begging for something special to make it soft and healthy-looking again. My budget unfortunately doesn’t include a weekly spa visit , so I went to the next best place for my face: my kitchen. After a little bit of research I developed a list of foods that I was okay with slathering on my face: chocolate, yogurt or sour cream, oatmeal, various fruits, and honey. Kitty litter, though recommended by several websites as an exfoliant, did not make the cut.

First I wanted to cleanse and exfoliate, so I sent four strawberries for a ride in the blender until they formed small chunks, then mixed them with a couple of spoonfuls of plain organic Greek yogurt. I went into this thinking this mask would be brilliant and that I would love every minute of it. Instead it felt funky and slimy. This concoction was more of a creamy scrub (the strawberry seeds act as an exfoliant), so I gently massaged the mixture over my skin for a minute before washing it off with warm water. After about five minutes I realized that my face felt firm but not dry, and very smooth. Delish — and worth the ew factor.

Next it was time to glow with a chocolate-oatmeal mask. First I processed two tablespoons of oatmeal (I used Quaker old-fashioned oats) in the blender until coarsely ground. Then I put it in a bowl along with a quarter cup of cocoa powder, a tablespoon of honey, and two tablespoons of Greek yogurt and mixed it until combined. The results were great: The caffeine in the chocolate perks up your skin, the oatmeal sloughs off dead cells, and the dairy acts as a deep cleanser. I left this one on for 15 to 20 minutes; it hardened slightly without feeling like it was sucking the life out of my face, and it made my skin tingle. After washing it off with a dish towel that is now my designated chocolate-mask towel, my skin felt bright and smooth and smelled like hot chocolate.

Homemade face masks are an awesome way to treat yourself to an improved complexion without breaking the bank — and a nice break from your normal skincare routine, which probably involves some kind of chemical solution. Playing with your food? That’s fun. But beautiful skin is even better.

Strawberry Face Scrub:
3-4 fresh strawberries
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
Blend strawberries into small chunks with yogurt. Massage gently over skin for 1 to 3 minutes; rinse with warm water.

Oatmeal Chocolate Mask:
2 tbsp oatmeal
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
¼ c. cocoa powder
1 tbsp honey
Blend oatmeal until coarsely ground. Add to bowl with yogurt, cocoa, and honey and mix until combined. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes; rinse with warm water.