Everybody’s got specific skin needs, and those needs can change with factors like the weather, hormonal changes, your surroundings or age. As a teenager, I battled my skin with overly harsh treatments and my skin reacted similarly. Oh, the drama! I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage self to chill out. Meanwhile, I can share some tips with you now. Put your best face forward by finding your skin type below, then turn your home into a spa with these DIY facial treatments.
A good sleep and hydration routine supports healthy skin that you can help maintain with occasional exfoliation and daily cleansing, nourishing, moisturizing and protection.
Use lukewarm (not hot) water when cleansing, and gently pat your face dry with a soft towel. Use a gentle cream or gel cleanser and then balance your skin with a toner and moisturizer.
Look for products that don’t rely on benzoyl peroxide, fragrances, parabens and preservatives so that you can gently but effectively treat your skin.
Deeply clean and reduce clogged pores by using a gel cleanser, gently exfoliating regularly and keeping skin hydrated with a hydrating toner.
For cleansing, hydrating and balancing the skin, look for antioxidant-packed serums and beauty oils for extra nutrients and moisture.
DIY Facial Steam
Gently open pores and refresh your skin using the cheerful scents of herbs, flowers and citrus. This uplifting home spa recipe takes minutes to work, making it a quick solution for dull skin or the perfect precursor to a homemade mask.
Yield: 1 application
2 cups water
1 rose, stem removed
2 tablespoons (2 g) dried lavender
2 tablespoons (5 g) dried chamomile or chamomile tea
2 slices of lemon
1-2 drops geranium essential oil
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan.
Remove from the heat. Add the rose petals, lavender, chamomile and lemon to the water and let steep, covered, for five minutes.
Carefully transfer the water and steeped aromatics to a large bowl. Stir in essential oil.
Position your head about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) over the bowl with a towel draped over your head to tent the steam.
Hold your face over the steam for about five minutes. Stop and take a break if the heat feels too intense.
Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry. Follow with a mask, toner or moisturizer as needed.
DIY Whipped Strawberry Facial Mask
This luscious whipped facial mask gets its beautiful pink color from fresh strawberries and cream. Berries and cream both contain gentle acids that can help soften and exfoliate the skin. Deep cleansing bentonite clay helps to draw out impurities while geranium essential oil soothes the skin and promotes balance.
Yield: About ½ cup (4 masks)
½ cup (60 g or about 3 berries) chopped strawberries
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
6 drops geranium essential oil
1 tablespoon (30 g) bentonite clay
Combine the strawberries, heavy cream and essential oil in a blender or food processor and pulse 3 times to purée.
Add the bentonite clay and pulse 3 more times, or until the mixture thickens.
Moisten a washcloth with hot water and drape it over your face for thirty seconds.
Remove the washcloth, then apply the mask liberally to your face, avoiding sensitive areas like your eyes, lips, and nostrils.
Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Pat dry and follow with toner, as needed. This mask can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and used daily for normal or oily skin types or once per week for sensitive skin.
DIY Moisturizing Aloe & Avocado Sheet Mask
Soothing aloe, rich avocado and creamy coconut are blended together in this hydrating facial mask. Just brush the mask onto strips of rice paper and apply to your face for an intense dose of moisture any time your skin is feeling dry.
Makes about ½ cup (4 applications)
3/4 cup (180 ml) aloe juice
1/2 fresh avocado (about 85 g)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut milk
6 drops spearmint essential oil
4 sheets culinary rice paper
Combine aloe juice, avocado, coconut milk and essential oil in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
Using a pair of scissors, cut the rice paper into 2- by 3-inch strips (5 cm by 7.5 cm).
Moisten a washcloth with hot water and drape it over your face for 30 seconds.
Brush one strip of rice paper with the puréed mask, then place on your face, avoiding the eyes, lips or nostrils. Repeat this until your face is covered in strips.
Allow the mask to dry for up to 20 minutes before discarding strips and rinsing face.
Pat dry and follow with toner, as needed.
For more skin care tips, visit our Beauty & Body Care Department.
Enjoy these recipes, but remember that essential oils can irritate sensitive skin, mucous membranes and eyes. Use wisely and keep out of reach of children. For external use only.