Before you make your shopping list, think about any food allergies or sensitivities you may have, Gabriel cautions. "If you know you are allergic to a certain product, do not use in it your mask," she says. "If you have lactose intolerance, then avoid using yogurt and cream."
Runciman advises DIYers to perform a quick patch test before using any new ingredients in face masks. "Seek the expertise of your health care provider before starting a new regime or if you have any allergies or suspect that you might be allergic to certain fruits or oats," she says.
Now comes the fun part: formulating a perfect cocktail of fruits, vegetables and other ingredients, custom-designed to address your skin woes. While the list of possibilities is virtually endless, Miles recommends the following basics:
- Honey for any skin type, including acne-prone and sensitive. Its antibacterial properties help acne while its antioxidants improve normal skin.
- Oatmeal for dry, acne-prone and sensitive skin. Its nutrients fight dryness, boost your skin's defense and cleanse pores.
- Bananas for dry and sensitive skin. They contain vitamin C, which can help fight wrinkles.
- Strawberries for any skin type, especially acne-prone. Containing alpha hydroxy acid, these berries help ease puffy eyes.
- Avocado for dry skin. This fatty food contains vitamin E, which naturally repairs skin.
- Papaya for mature skin. It contains an enzyme that helps eliminate dead skin cells.
Additional ingredients to explore include yogurt, egg whites, clay, spirulina (a nutrient-rich algae available in powdered form), green tea and other fruit purees. "Use baby food leftovers on your face!" Gabriel suggests.
Once you've crafted your recipe, it's as simple as mashing up the components with a fork and blending them in a glass or ceramic -- not metal or plastic -- bowl, Gabriel says. To achieve a thicker consistency, add a dash of cornstarch or cornmeal to your mixture, she counsels.
Don't feel like getting creative? Runciman suggests a simple strawberry face mask made from an ounce of strawberries, one tablespoon of local honey and one tablespoon of finely crushed oats. Mix the ingredients into a smooth paste with a blender or fork.