When it comes to keeping skin in top shape naturally, drinking enough water and sticking to a regular face mask routine can be key. You don’t have to do the same mask over and over – your skin will love a variety of nutrients, so don't be afraid to get creative and add some kitchen ingredients to the mix!
Why should you have a regular face mask routine? A face mask that is properly executed can remove excess oil, feed your skin vitamins and minerals, and improve the appearance of your pores. If you are one of the many maskers still slathering on Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque about 2 inches deep and then waiting for it to harden to a crumbly mess, you’re not alone. But you are doing it wrong. When you mix your mask, the right consistency makes a world of difference. You’ll need to play around until you find the ratio of dry to wet you like, but applying a thick layer of mask is wasteful and not adding any benefit to your skin. Start with a water color consistency and work up from there.
As far as letting it dry, it’s a terrible idea:
“You should never let a clay mask dry fully. There are three phases of a clay mask – There’s the damp phase where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals from the outside. Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. But then there’s the dry phase, which draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation. Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you’re just smothering your freshly cleansed skin.”
Sharon McGlinchey, MV Organic Skincare
Allure Magazine, April 30, 2013
If you want to keep a mask on for an hour, you can! All you need to do is add a bit of face oil, maybe some molasses, or try a reusable silicon or cotton sheet mask to lay on top of the mask while you relax and listen to a podcast. You can also use a spray bottle with water, tea, or toner to mist will you mask.
After you wash off your mask, your skin will be ready to absorb whatever comes next, so make it count. It’s just been through a workout and should be soothed with a nice, cool spritz of toner (or herbal tea). Follow with a light layer of face oil, gently massaged into your skin. This is the best time to get the beneficial fatty acids in your oil to sink in as deep as possible. If your face is red or irritated after rinsing, try mixing you mask thinner next time, or don’t leave it on for as long.
For the full spa experience, try a facial steam before you mask. Remember to use distilled water so you can save the left over water – it makes an amazing toner, hair rinse, and mask activator!
- To brighten skin, add canned pumpkin and/or a dash of turmeric.
- To hydrate skin, add mashed banana and/or use coconut water as an activator.
- To plump and tighten skin, use soy milk (unflavored without extra additives) as your activator.
- To calm skin, use chilled chamomile tea as your activator.