Sure, we’ll smear on a $75 face mask, marinate for a while, and rinse hard-earned dollars down the drain in the name of a little extra plumpness/glow/dewiness/pore-minimizing. Some of our most prized treatments cost more than we’d care to admit in front of our loved ones.
But once in a while? Thrifty just feels so right. Throwing together a face mask from the contents of your refrigerator is creative, dirt cheap, natural, and minimizes your carbon footprint—a no-brainer. The only question? What to use. While it’s tempting to throw everything in and call it a motley mask, the efficacy depends on tailoring it to your skin’s needs.
Without further ado, 15 ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen, and what they’ve got to offer your complexion. Pick and choose for the perfect treatment.
Nutmeg – This heavenly-smelling spice has naturally anti-bacterial properties, making it perfect for treating breakouts.
Honey – Honey has been used since ancient times as a humectant, trapping moisture deep in the skin. It also has anti-bacterial properties, making a perfect choice for dry to combination skin that’s prone to blemishes. Be sure to use raw honey (manuka is phenomenal, albeit pricey) for the best results.
Papaya – Papayas contains the enzyme papain, which acts as a gentle chemical exfoliant, removing dead cells and brightening like nobody’s business. Papayas are also packed with antioxidants
Eggs – Egg whites cleanse and tighten enlarged pores, while the fattier yolks moisturize and soothe.
Bananas – Filled with Vitamins A, B, E and F, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine and iron, bananas are soothing and deeply hydrating. Perfect for parched or sunburned skin!
Yogurt – Thanks to lactic acids, yogurt (we prefer plain Greek!) makes skin glow, and softens and smooths rough, dry patches.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is not only effective for hair growth but it’s antimicrobial properties fight against microbes and keeps your skin away from breakouts. In addition to this, Saturated fatty acids in coconut oil like lauric and capric acid promotes the production of collagen that regenerates your skin cells.
Avocado – This buttery produce is overflowing with vitamins and lecithin to help restore damaged skin. And its fatty oils are brilliant when it comes to dissolving pore-clogging gunk.
Brewer’s Yeast – Rich in B Vitamins, brewer’s yeast stimulates and improves circulation, and helps prevent acne.
Tomatoes – Their cooling elements soothe raw skin, natural astringents remove excess oil, and tons of vitamin C and A brighten dull skin. Naturally-occurring lycopene helps protect skin from environmental damage.
Aspirin – The salicylic acid found in this drugstore staple banishes blemishes and brightens. Be sure to massage it into your skin as a gentle exfoliant before rinsing off!
Green Tea – Green tea is known for its antioxidant rich make-up—but it’s not just great to drink. A tablespoon added to a face mask minimizes inflammation and redness.
Oatmeal – A breakfast favorite that’s deeply soothing and hydrating, particularly if you suffer from exczema.
Pumpkin– Pumpkin’s very similar to papaya in its benefits, so only one of the two is necessary in any mask recipe. Vitamin A boosts cell turnover, Vitamin C brightens, and enzymes dissolve dead skin cells. It’s also fab for minimizing pore size and balancing oils.
Turmeric – This saffron-colored powder is highly anti-inflammatory, andfilled with skin-healing antioxidants. It evens skin tone and is even said to minimize lines. But be sure to exercise caution (and perhaps a drop cloth)—it stains fabrics like nobody’s business.