Have you ever found yourself waking up on a beautiful day, ready to take on the world, only to make it to your bathroom mirror and see that your skin did not get the memo? Whether it be a rogue blemish, dull skin, dark circles, or dry flakes for days…your pantry may hold the secrets to goddess-worthy skin in a pinch.
The case for food-grade, homemade face mask ingredients is pretty simple. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it absorbs approximately 64% of what we put on it. As the saying goes, if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face!
The majority of skincare products in retail stores exaggerate their effectiveness and are loaded up with chemicals and preservatives to increase their shelf life. In wanting to take better care of your skin, and your wallet, there’s no better place to look than your fridge or pantry for inspiration.
Below, we go over some of the time-tested (and edible) ingredients that make the best natural DIY face packs around!
When it comes to DIY face mask ingredients, yogurt stands out as the MVP. Besides being super tasty, it’s chock full of vitamins, probiotics, and other goodies to keep your face looking and feeling baby-smooth.
Yogurt also provides a little undercover exfoliation action, thanks to its lactic acid content. Lactic acid, by the way, is a naturally-occurring alpha hydroxy acid that will gently exfoliate dead skin cells and leave you with a radiant, dewy glow. It’s gentler than its bigg sister, glycolic acid, and when used in yogurt form, it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
Speaking of sensitive, finicky skin, yogurt is a extremely nourishing and a godsend for calming irritated, flaky skin. It can even be fantastic for acne sufferers, due to the fact that yogurt’s rich in zinc, which happens to be anti-inflammatory, helping to cut down on reduce redness and swelling while helping regulate oil production when used topically.
Oh, to top everything off: yogurt makes an ideal base for DIY face packs and can be blended with pretty much everything on this list. Which sort of leads us to wonder, what can’t yogurt do?
Most of us aren’t ourselves before a morning cup of joe, but did you know that your coveted coffee grounds can wake up your face too? The caffeine in coffee beans has a plethora of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Just use some of your favorite coffee (ground, of course!) mixed with the facial oil of your choice to make an invigorating morning facial scrub. The caffeine will help to get your circulation going and reduce puffiness, resulting in skin that’s clearer, brighter, and more awake!
This foamy powdered form of green tea is all the rage in the health circuit right now. Matcha is a powdered form of green tea that has amazing health properties when drank or used topically! One cup of matcha has the same effects of 10 cups of regular ole’ green tea, meaning it has a super high concentration of anti-aging antioxidants.
The caffeine in matcha also helps to tighten everything up when used as a mask, and is also shown to prevent damage from the sun. While you’re sipping this delicious, frothy, green beverage, why not let your skin soak in some of the goodness too?
Honey – raw, unprocessed honey – has amazing benefits inside your body and out. According to the National Honey Board (that’s a real thing – truly), the acidity of honey ranges from a pH of about 3.4 to about 6.1, with the average of 3.9. That makes honey slightly acidic, which which is great for killing off bacteria on your skin as well as breaking down and clearing away dead skin cells.
And that’s just one of the reasons raw honey is so good for acne. Another? Raw honey happens to be a powerful antibacterial, thanks to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is a powerful antimicrobial that’s naturally found in honey.
The best part is that honey’s got you covered from the beginning of that first inflamed pimple all the way to the eventual acne scar. You see, raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid capable of lightening dark spots and evening out skin tone.
On top of all that, it promotes natural skin healing, which makes it great for helping breakouts heal more quickly and brightening your overall skin tone. Use it just like you would a cleanser, or leave on for up to 30 minutes to gently exfoliate your skin and give it a rosy glow!
You’ve probably seen oatmeal baths praised for their ability to relieve itchy, irritated skin. There’s a reason that oats have been used for centuries by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans in the beauty department!
Along with being moisturizing, oats contain a plant compound called saponins that act as mild cleansing agents without stripping your skin of its natural oils. They are also rich in beta-glucan, which is said to improve collagen production and moisturize deep into the layers of the skin.
But whether you can pronounce ‘beta-glucan’ or not – you’ll feel the difference as soon as you take the oats mask off your skin. It’s a supple, smooth, deeply hydrated sort of moisture that gets addictive.
Oh, and did we mention it does an amazing job of soaking up excess oil while providing that baby-smooth nourishment?
You can use oats as they are, or employ a food processor to blend them into a powder before applying them to
your face. Mixed with milk or water, this is a quickie face pack with instant results.
Normally, you probably wouldn’t think to juice a potato, but they actually have amazing benefits for your skin! The whopping 70% vitamin C they contain can do a number on your under-eye circles, scarring, and other pigmentation.
You see, potatoes contain a little-known enzyme called catecholase, which lightens and nourishes the skin so this is the tuber to reach for when dark or red spots mar your complexion. The vitamin B6 they contain is also crucial for new skin cell formation, helping to increase turnover, for firmer, more youthful looking skin.
If you’re on the market for a natural bleaching agent, the humble potato is the pantry winner. So grate those potatoes and get that juice on your face! It’ll give you a lit-from-within glow, especially when paired with yogurt as a mask.
Last note on potatoes: They’re also wonderful for sapping excess oil off your face. Seriously, this is a go-to, must-do natural face pack for oily skin!
As a stellar anti-aging and vitamin-rich food, canned pumpkin isn’t just for pies anymore. It’s one of the best one-ingredient masks you can make at home! Rich in skin-brightening vitamin C and dead skin dissolving enzymes, pumpkin is perfect for evening out your complexion and getting the gentlest, yet effective, exfoliation.
It also contains plenty of zinc, which is known for its oil-reducing and skin healing properties. The vitamin K in pumpkin helps fade discoloration and works amazingly to renew aging skin.
So put that pumpkin on your face! You’ll just need a small amount of pure pumpkin alone or with honey as an instant radiant boosting face pack. Just be warned: you’ll crave pie afterwards.
Lesser known, but very effective as a DIY skin saver, rice is a pantry staple that packs a punch in the beauty world. Used for centuries in Asian cultures for its skin lightening and toning abilities, rice water can be used to make a refreshing skin toner or mask.
Rice is rich in vitamin B, which stimulates cell renewal, increases circulation, and slows down the aging process. Not bad for the much-maligned staple carb, huh?
How to reap its benefits: You can save the water when you wash the white rice and use it to wash your face or mix it in with a solid face mask ingredients like oats. Or you can take a few tablespoons of cooked rice and blend it with a small amount yogurt and honey for a simple, yet lovely, face pack that leaves your skin feeling like new.
Commonly referred to as “nature’s botox,” the humble banana is an anti-aging super fruit. Its rich in minerals as well as moisturizing Vitamin E, making it the mushy fruit to reach for when you’re skin is looking dull, dry and flaky.
Bananas have tons of potassium that deeply moisturizes dehydrated skin, and the lectin found in bananas has been shown to have medicinal qualities.
And of course, bananas are just so, super simple to make into a quick DIY face mask. You don’t even need any other ingredients – bananas are a miracle one-ingredient face mask all on their own. To make it, you can blend up a banana and apply as a mask for 10-15 minutes. You can also always add in some yogurt, honey, or even a sprinkle of matcha…but then you’d probably just end up drinking the stuff and we would not blame you at all.
Arguably the most delicious of the berry family, strawberries are another potent anti-ager when used topically. They contain a powerful anti-oxidant called ellagic acid that prevents the deconstruction of collagen, the primary cause of visible aging.
Alpha-hydroxyl acid in strawberries makes them another great food to gently slough off dead skin cells. Strawberries also work as a great mask for people with acne, as the acidic and astringent nature of their composition reduces oil that can lead to clogged pores.
To make a berry delicious mask, mix mashed strawberries with a little bit of honey to give yourself a sweet facial with longterm benefits!