Repair and replenish your skin with ingredients from your kitchen cupboard
While some find resolution in an easy sheet mask or ready-made face pack, there are other more creative, sustainable, and eco-friendly ways to give your face the TLC it deserves, and it’s as easy as opening up your kitchen cupboard.
So here it is, nine face mask recipes that will need only two to three ingredients to make and suit many different skin types. Get ready for that at-home glow.
1/ Yogurt, honey and turmeric
For: Uneven skin tone and texture Without proper and regular cleansing, excess dead skin cells can build up on the surface of the skin, resulting in rough skin and dull complexion. One solution is to exfoliate, but for those with sensitive skin, it can be a pain to find something that won’t irritate. Made with natural ingredients, this recipe is gentle yet effective in achieving super-smooth and supple skin. The lactic acid in yoghurt dissolves dead skin cells to uncover newer, replenished ones. Meanwhile, honey leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated, and turmeric reduces inflammation, making this the ideal combination for hyper pigmentation and providing a remedy to all those days in the sun. Ingredients: One tablespoon of plain yogurt, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of turmeric powder Directions: Stir all the components until the yogurt turns dark yellow from the turmeric and honey. Set aside. Wash your face and towel dry. Apply the mixture and leave it on for a maximum of 10 minutes. Any longer and the natural color of turmeric will stain the skin. After 10 minutes, wash your face with water. Repeat two times a week.
2/ Honey, olive oil, egg yolk, and oatmeal
For: Red, patchy, or inflamed skin A calming mask helps clear pores dry blemishes and reduce redness caused by inflammation. This mask comes in great use as an overall spot treatment and can also be used for subtle exfoliation – ideal for sensitive skin and those breaking out around the chin due to surgical masks – aka ‘maskne’. The oatmeal helps soothe dry skin and absorbs oil and mattifies the skin, while the hydrating qualities of olive oil and the tightening effect of egg yolk can help reduce signs of ageing. Ingredients: One egg yolk, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of olive oil, and half a cup of oatmeal Directions: After mixing up all the ingredients to form a semi-thick paste, gently apply the mixture all over the face, on clean skin, or specific troubled areas. Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off. Repeat two to three times a week to calm the skin from heat and stress.
3/ Papaya, aloe Vera, and cacao
For: Dull skin This mask can be used to hydrate, remove excess oil, and help to improve the appearance of pores around the nose, cheek, and chin. The mild ingredients also cater to those with sensitive skin – so, mix away! Cacao powder will also boost circulation, tone, and brighten, resulting in plump and dewy-looking skin. This, paired with papaya, is filled with exfoliating enzymes that dissolve dead skin cells. Last, but definitely not least, aloe Vera is packed with vitamins and nutrients to boost radiance, all the while keeping skin soothed. Ingredients: One tablespoon of cacao powder, one quarter of a papaya, and a generous squeeze of aloe vera gel Directions: Mash your papaya until there are no lumps. Stir all the ingredients together until the mask turns brown from the cacao powder. Apply and leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. This mask can be applied twice a week.
4/ Grapefruit, avocado, and rosehip oil
For: Tired looking skin and fine lines Suitable for those with normal to dry skin, this nourishing combination will rejuvenate and pamper your skin after a stressful day. Avocados are rich in antioxidants which help to tame oil production boost immunity, resulting in a well-hydrated and smooth complexion. The vitamin C in grapefruit juice also helps to brighten up the skin for a healthier glow. As for the fruit peel, which is a natural exfoliate, it is an excellent substitute for chemical exfoliation as it helps to break down dead skin cells more naturally. The power to reduce fine lines (and sometimes scars) comes from rosehip oil which holds essential fatty acids that are vital for tissue and cell regeneration. Ingredients: The peel of one grapefruit, one tablespoon of avocado, and one tablespoon of rose hip oil Directions: Peel the skin off a grapefruit and crush it until it is in small, disintegrated pieces and set aside. Mash your avocados and incorporate rose hip oil. Now, throw in the peel and stir together. Let the mask sit on your face for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. This can be repeated three times a week.
5/ Avocado and cucumber
For: Oily skin While it’s normal for our skin to produce oil for a healthy barrier of moisture, overworked skin can produce too much. Plus, with Hong Kong humidity coming into play, sweat and oil seem to be a permanent fixture on our faces. What better way to target those pores before they get out of hand than with these two ingredients? Similar to Aloe Vera, cucumbers are a cooling agent which leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed. Cucumbers are made up of 90 percent water; it hydrates the skin and stop it from over-producing oil when it needs moisture. The avocados, thanks to their polemic acid content, reduce inflammation whilst also helping with fine lines. Ingredients: Half an avocado and one quarter of a cucumber Directions: Mash the avocado until smooth, blend the cucumber and mix in until completely incorporated. Apply the mask gently on your face and leave for 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeat two to three times a week.
6/ Almond and olive oil
For: Congested skin As with any city, pollution is the main culprit when it comes to congested skin. It is therefore essential to cleanse well and replenish the skin with the nutrients and hydration it needs. Two ingredients are all it takes. The fatty acids and proteins in almonds nourish and soften the skin, while vitamin E, among other nutrients, in olive oil fight off any free radicals which can lead to dullness, dehydration, and fine lines. Ingredients: A handful of grounded almonds and two tablespoons of olive oil Directions: Mix the two ingredients together and spread evenly on cleansed skin. Gently massage and leave on for 10 minutes. Just about two minutes or so before rinsing, massage your face once again to dislodge any more dead skin cells and residue such as makeup and oil. Use two to three times a week.
7/ Lemon, turmeric, and green tea
For: Wrinkles and stressed skin As we age, the collagen in our skin depletes. However, various factors can cause early wrinkles including stress and UV rays from the sun. A vast amount of exposure can break down the connective tissue, harming both collagen and elastic fibers in the skin. Hence, sunscreen is so important, especially on the face. The OG of Japanese beauty, green tea, is full of antioxidants that can reduce wrinkles. It also kills acne-causing bacteria from spreading and protects the skin from UV damage. Topped with lemon juice, the skin barriers are tightened further. As for turmeric, its anti-inflammatory properties form a skin shield to prevent wrinkles and better acne scars, age spots, dark marks, and discoloration. Ingredients: Two tablespoons of green tea, half a tablespoon of turmeric powder, and juice from half a lemon. Directions: Mix all the ingredients together and apply the mask with a cotton ball onto clean skin, or particular areas to target. Let it sit for three minutes. Then, repeat the procedure until the mixture is finished, and let the final coat of the mask settle in for 10 minutes. For positive effects, repeat this mask at least three times a week at night.
8/ Honey, lemon, and tomato
For: Blemishes and discoloration Caused by the overproduction of oil, blemishes are one of the bains of our beauty existence. The oil, usually concentrated on your T-zone, collides with dead skin cells, dirt, or bacteria resulting in spots, blackheads, and sometimes whiteheads. Tomatoes, which are rich in antioxidants, not only fight against premature ageing but can also lighten blemishes, while honey, with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, kill acne-causing elements. All three ingredients are also great for skin-lightening and evening out discoloration. Ingredients: One tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon tomato pulp, and juice from half a lemon. Directions: Combine all ingredients before gently applying the mask onto skin using a face brush or fingertips. Leave it to dry for 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat your face dry with a towel. Repeat two to three times a week.
9/ Avocado, banana, and honey mask
For: Dehydrated skin Just as we make sure our body stays hydrated with sufficient water intake – we should also do the same for our skin. Hydrating the skin can also improve the appearance of pores and strip away impurities. Bananas, as well as avocados, are rich in antioxidants which help to fight free radicals and together, the mixture of bananas, avocado, and honey, will help lock in moisture with all the minerals and vitamins that are needed for healthy skin. Ingredients: One banana, one avocado, and one tablespoon of honey Directions: Mash the banana and avocado, and then mix together. Add in the tablespoon of honey and mix again until fully incorporated. Apply the mask onto clean skin using a face brush or fingertips and leave for 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeated two to three times a week for those with extremely dry skin.