Let's bust a couple of myths about DIY face masks right now: 1) They're not just a frivolous activity for teenagers to do at sleepovers, and 2) they're not reserved for crunchy granola hippie-dippie types who are terrified of "real" skincare. The truth about making your own skin products out of simple, whole-food ingredients from your kitchen is that if you know what you're doing, they can be just as (if not more) effective than the expensive premade stuff. DIY face masks are the OG facial treatments, after all, and some of the savviest skincare-industry experts swear by them.
One such expert is Joanna Vargas, celebrity esthetician and founder of Joanna Vargas salons and skincare collection. Vargas has one of the most cult-followed skincare businesses in the game, and her powerful, results-driven products (which include everything from sheet masks and serums to cleansers, dry brushes, and moisturizers) are beloved among in-the-know skincare gurus. Vargas is also the pre–red carpet facialist to celebs like Mandy Moore, Mindy Kaling, Emma Roberts, Debra Messing, Dakota Johnson, and more. Long story short, she's the real damn deal. And she recently told us that one of her favorite skincare tricks is to know a few simple but effective DIY face mask recipes for multiple skin concerns. Here, Vargas shares five of her favorite DIY recipes, which you can make for literally $2 out of stuff you probably already have at home.
Red Carpet Glow Exfoliating Mask
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
How it works:
Vargas sent us this exclusive recipe, which she swears will give you "red carpet–ready skin at home." Containing only four choice ingredients, the mask effectively sloughs off any unevenness or ruddiness in your skin tone—but it's also gentle enough for sensitive skin. Vargas suggests massaging the mixture into your skin like a face scrub for a few minutes using downward circles. "This will stimulate the lymphatic system and help to rid the tissue of any impurities," she says. Then, leave it on the skin for 10 minutes and remove with lukewarm water. "The lactic acid in the mask will assist in resurfacing the skin while the olive oil will act as an anti-inflammatory," Vargas explains. "Your skin will be perfect and glowing for days!"
Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey ($8)
Woodstock Brown Sugar ($9)
Horizon Organic Whole Milk ($5)
Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($40)
Acne-Fighting Spinach Mask
1/2 cup chopped spinach leaves
2 tbsp. pure honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
How it works:
Here's a mask Vargas recommends for acne-prone skin. Did you know spinach has breakout-blasting benefits? The vitamin K and anti-inflammatory properties work to clear up blemishes, especially when combined with raw honey, which is antibacterial, and a very tiny touch of lemon juice, an astringent. Blend this up, apply it to the skin, and leave on for 10 minutes tops. Then rinse.
The following three masks are featured on Joanna Vargas's blog:
Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey ($21)
Santa Cruz Organic Organic Pure Lemon Juice ($7)
Hydrating Rose-Hip Avocado Mask
1 tbsp. of honey
10 drops of rose-hip seed oil
1/4 of a ripe avocado
How it works:
Dealing with a dry, dull complexion? All you need is this three-ingredient remedy: rose-hip oil strengthens the skin's moisture barrier while honey and avocado deeply hydrate and soothe the skin without risking a breakout. "Avocado is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which are incredible for your lymphatic system and restoring the skin's lipid layer," Vargas explains. Blend up the ingredients in a food processor, and leave on the skin for five minutes before rinsing.
Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey ($9)
Kate Blanc Cosmetics Rosehip Seed Oil ($13)
Triple-Action Turmeric Mask
1 tbsp. of organic Greek yogurt
1 tsp. of honey
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. aloe
How it works:
Have combination skin? (I do!) This mask will be your skin savior. "I call this a triple-action mask because it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and super hydrating,” Vargas writes on her blog. "Honey and aloe are natural antiseptics, great for keeping your skin clear. Turmeric is the anti-inflammatory, and organic Greek yogurt will boost your skin's hydration." Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and let them work their magic for 10 minutes.
Organic Simple Truth Greek Nonfat Yogurt ($7)
Beekeeper's Naturals Wildflower Raw Honey ($16)
Feel Good Organics Organic Turmeric Root Powder ($9)
Nature Republic Aloe Soothing Gel ($8)
Anti-Redness Potato Mask
1 grated white potato
1 grated cucumber
A few drops of rose water
1/4 tsp. of turmeric
How it works:
Potatoes on your face? Yes, ma'am. Turns out these tasty root vegetables are anti-inflammatory, just like turmeric (and are a centuries-old treatment for bruises and wounds). Combined with cucumbers, which are cooling, toning, and hydrating, this mask will calm and decongest any redness and irritation you've got going on. Just blend the ingredients, apply to your face, and rinse after 10 minutes. Use a damp cloth to make sure you clean all veggie bits off your skin.
Leven Rose 100% Pure and Organic Rose Water ($14)
Anthony's Organic Turmeric Root Powder ($12)
Want more skincare advice? Check out the $10 skincare product every model we talk to is obsessed with.
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