Gabriel recommends applying a face mask three times a week after thoroughly cleansing your skin. Generally speaking, you should leave the mask on for 10 to 12 minutes or until it has dried out, but feel free to experiment to see what works best for you. If you experience any burning, discomfort or redness, immediately wash off the mask, and be especially careful if using anything citrus, Miles cautions. Citrus fruits contain a chemical that increases sensitivity to light for up to 24 hours.
Making your own DIY face masks is one great way to purge your medicine cabinet of harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients and wasteful packaging. And who knows -- it might even inspire you to go even greener by concocting your own cleansers, toners and spot treatments.
But what if you just can't resist the fancy label and intoxicating scent of a ready-made mask from the store? It's okay to indulge your shopping habit once in awhile, Gabriel says. "The general rule is to avoid any mask made with detergents, synthetic fragrances, paraben preservatives and propylene glycol," she explains. "Always look at how much natural ingredient the mask contains. If your 'oranges and lemons face mask' lists fruit at the end of the ingredients list or does not list it at all, most likely you are being sold a generic face cream scented with orange fragrance."
For more information on making DIY face masks and natural skincare, check out the links below.
- Gabriel, Julie. Personal correspondence. July 1, 2013.
- Miles, Susanna. Personal correspondence. July 8, 2013.
- Runciman, Joanna. Personal correspondence. July 1, 2013.