No, not a Phantom of the Opera mask or an Occupy Wall street Guy Fawkes mask. Not even those masks you see people wearing in smoggy cities (although, I can see the benefits of them). I'm talking about a home made, nourishing and cleansing face mask. There are heaps of benefits for the skin when you do this. What's more, they are so easy and cheap to make.
Benefits Of A Home Made Face Mask
The benefits of such a mask will vary depending on the type of ingredients you use to make it.
However the general aim is twofold. First, you add ingredients that will draw out toxins and impurities. And, two, you add ingredients that will help replenish and rejuvenate the skin.
A third benefit of the whole experience, that often goes unmentioned, is that it is very relaxing and pampering so it can help you wind down after a hard day or busy week.
As we all know, stress is bad for the health and this includes the skin. Acne and blemishes on the skin are often caused by stress.
Make Your Own Face Mask
Most face masks are made from a base with various extras thrown in for added benefits.
The base forms the bulk of the ingredients. And usually has a specific affect or purpose on the skin.
One popular base ingredient is clay. Clay has been used for thousands of years as a skincare product. It's was used in ancient Egypt and probably even before that.
You can buy a tub of clay for under $10 but you need to ensure you get the right stuff. You need to go for cosmetic clay which is more refined than your “common or garden” clay. The thinking is that ordinary clay may contain impurities that can harm the skin. Probably not but best to be safe rather than sorry, especially for less than 10 bucks.
Anyhow, when you've decided to go for cosmetic clay as you base, there are even more decisions to make. These are more to do with the purpose of the mask and what you want it to do for your skin.
You can get white, red and green cosmetic clays.
White clays are thought to be the mildest and can be used on sensitive skin type. In fact, many mainstream skincare products will use dry white clay as a foundation.
White clay is believed to draw out impurities in the skin, act as a mild exfoliant and nourish the skin.
Red clay is best for mature skin and oily skin. The red color of the clay indicates that it is made up of iron and silica. These substances will also draw out impurities and is a more abrasive exfoliant than white clay. It is also thought to reduce the size of skin pores.
When using red clay, you will feel the skin tighten and pulsate, which sounds a bit scary but is actually quite a pleasant experience. It feels like your skin is firming up. After using a red clay mask, your skin should feel smoother.
The third type of clay that is popular for facial masks is green clay. This is the most reactive of the three. It is a strong exfoliant and draws out waste products and toxins from the skin. It will also tighten the skin and make the pores smaller.
Using A Clay Mask
The three clays are fairly easy to use. You simply add water or an astringent product like apple cider vinegar (or a half and half mix) to the clay so that is forms a sludge that can be applied to the face.
The mixture should be fairly thick so that it sticks to the skin. Spread on the face or other part of the skin to a quarter inch (.3-.5 of a centimeter). You may want to do a patch test before putting it on your face just to check if there is any adverse reaction.
After that, you sit back and relax for 20-30 minutes. The clay mixture will dry onto your skin and you will feel the tingling or pulsating sensation as it goes to work. After about 20-30 minutes you simply wash it off with water and dry your skin.
Depending on the strength of the clay mix you are using, you could have a facial every night or simply once a week. You can also add other ingredients like orange juice, apples, soy beans, honey, oats, almond meal and many other products for more specific effects. We will cover more face mask recipes in future posts, including what each ingredient can do for your skin.
image : Astrojunta