Scan the shelves of your local pharmacy or beauty supply store, and you'll see plenty of tubs and tubes filled with ready-to-slather face masks. But what if you could get the same benefits -- clearer skin, a brighter complexion, less visible pores, redness relief -- with a homemade concoction straight from your own kitchen? With a few simple ingredients and a good, old-fashioned mixing bowl, you can whip up your own personalized treatment in minutes.
Not only are DIY face masks less expensive than store-bought varieties, they can also be safer and more effective, according to skin-care expert Julie Gabriel, author of the book Green Beauty Recipes. "Conventional masks are loaded with ingredients that do nothing for our skin," she explains. "For example, an average mask with avocado would contain 3 percent avocado puree, the rest being carriers, preservatives and fragrance. If you simply mash avocado and spread it on your skin or hair, you get a cosmetic product that contains 100 percent avocado -- and for a lot less money."
Going DIY also gives you the chance to tailor the mask to your face, says natural skin-care expert Susanna Miles. "Most face care products are pretty generic," she says. "When you DIY, it's just a lot more personalized and fitted to your special skin needs."
Joanna Runciman, author of the site Actual Organics and The Radiant Woman's Handbook, notes another benefit to making face masks at home. "It is an inexpensive way to beautify yourself and friends," she says.