DIY Face Masks for When the Baby's Napping

By Nikki M

When you're a mom, time is precious – especially when it comes to carving out some alone time for rest or relaxation. So when you find those rare pockets of free time during the day, take advantage of them!

Sure you can aimlessly browse the web and flip through some channels (warning: daytime television is awful), but why not do something a wee bit more beneficial? Something relaxing and makes you feel oh-so-pretty . . . and refreshed! Something that takes minimal effort yet yields maximum impact (and that lasts longer than a single TV episode).

We're talking about face masks. But not just any face mask. Rather than going to your local beauty store to splurge on a tube of hard-to-pronounce chemicals, simply stop by your kitchen and make an all-natural concoction that does wonders for your skin (and your morale)!

Feel younger with a yogurt-based mask

If you’re looking for a peppier look that is both youthful and energized, use a yogurt-based mask.  Yogurt contains Lactic Acid (AHA), which stimulates collagen production for baby-soft fullness. It prevents premature aging, and smooths out both fine lines and wrinkles. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which are great for battling acne. Plus, yogurt is very gentle with a good zinc content that’s soothing for sunburnt or sensitive skin.

With all its benefits, we love to use yogurt as a base for most of our homemade face masks. The plainer it is and the higher the fat content, the better.

Fight acne with honey

Still battling those pregnancy pimples . . . months or even years after? Honey is known as an antibacterial, which is excellent for those suffering with acne. Its sticky consistency pulls all the gunk from your pores, and its antibacterial properties keep them clean. Honey contains a lot of antioxidants, eliminating free radicals, keeping your skin looking young. It's also a natural humectant, attracting and retaining moisture, keeping your skin ultra-hydrated. 

Because of its texture, we love using honey as a binder for our masks. For the full benefits, make sure to use raw honey – those little bears in the pantry aren't going to cut it.

Brighten up with a bit of strawberry

To battle unsightly dark spots, blemishes, and acne scars, look to strawberries.  Its antioxidant ellagic acid also prevents collagen destruction and protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Strawberries are also rich in Vitamin C, which fights off free radicals that cause wrinkles. They also contain folic acid, which is great for cell regeneration.

Tighten pores with egg whites

 Egg whites don’t just make for great, protein-rich omelets, they also have multiple benefits when applied topically. They tighten and tone the skin without leaving it parched. The very same protein that helps you slim down is also great for your skin’s tissue repair.  Plus, its potassium content helps hydrate and moisturize.  With riboflavin magnesium, it’s also a wonderful ingredient for eliminating toxins and slowing the aging process. On top of it all, egg whites contain the enzyme lysozyme to kill those acne-causing bacteria.

Use oatmeal to soothe sensitive skin

Remember the oatmeal baths back when the chicken pox still existed? These little grains are still great for your skin.  Oatmeal is anti-inflammatory which is great for irritated and sensitive skin. It's used to treat many skin disorders like eczema, poison ivy, and even sunburns. Oatmeal keeps skin soft and locks in moisture by balancing the skin's pH levels.

Bonus: oatmeal can also be used as a gentle scrub. After leaving it on as a mask, rub the oatmeal in circles on your face before giving it a good rinse.

Moisturize with bananas

The high levels of potassium in bananas aren’t just a great boost of energy, they also hydrate and moisturize your skin. Bananas also contain Vitamin A that heals very dry skin, fades scars, and smoothens out wrinkles. It has a ton of vitamins to fight damaging free radicals, produce collagen, and protect the skin from UV damage.  Plus, bananas have oil-controlling properties, amino acids for skin elasticity, and lectin to kill pimple-causing bacteria.

With its countless benefits, bananas are easily one of our favorite mask ingredients.

Nourish with avocados

For an extra level of moisture for the top layer of your skin, an avocado’s high oleic acid content will have you feeling super hydrated and supple. As an added benefit, oleic acid also regenerates damaged skin cells, and reduces redness and irritation. Rich and buttery, avocados also contain antioxidant carotenoids that protect the skin from environmental damage, improving skin's density, thickness, and tone. They also contain vitamin C to increase your elastin and collagen levels, and vitamin E to reduce the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.

Exfoliate with pineapples

 Looking to rid yourself of that layer of dry skin?  Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which break down protein. It lifts dirt and dead skin cells without being harsh and abrasive, making it a perfect alternative to irritating scrubs! A pineapple mask will leave your skin brighter, more toned, and your pores much more refined. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for sensitive skin.

Make sure to use fresh pineapples rather than canned – you need the live enzymes to get the benefits.

Use each of these as one-ingredient masks to suit your current skin needs. But if you want even more remarkable effects, mix them together!

To battle stubborn acne: YOGURT + HONEY + EGG WHITE
To perk up dull, tired looking skin: STRAWBERRY + YOGURT
To hydrate dry, flaky skin: AVOCADO + BANANA + HONEY
To soothe irritated, sensitive skin: OATMEAL + BANANA + YOGURT
For clear and refined pores: EGG WHITE + HONEY
For a youthful complexion: PINEAPPLE + BANANA + YOGURT

Steps to a 15-minute spa experience:

  • Prepare and mix your ingredients in a small bowl
  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Pat dry.
  • Open up your pores with some steam. You can either use a  facial steamer, or simply drape a warm towel over your face for a few minutes.
  • Apply your mask evenly all over your face, making sure to avoid the delicate eye area.
  • Leave it on until it dries, about 10 minutes. If you find that it dries too soon, mist your face with some water or toner.
  • When your mask is all dry, wash your face with warm water, finishing off with a cold splash.
  • Spray on your favorite toner. We love Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel in a handy spray bottle. It's alcohol-free and contains Vitamin E and Aloe Vera.
  • Massage in a rich moisturizer or face oil.  We're huge fans of Argan and Rosehip Seed oils. (Check out this list of Argan oil health benefits on Jen Reviews!)

And voila! A midday pick-me-up that leaves you feeling refreshed, with beautiful, glowing skin. You'll look like you spent the day at the spa . . . and no one will ever guess that you put a raw egg on your face.

What are some of your favorite DIY beauty treatments? Share your recipes with us!

Tags : beauty   motherhood   

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