For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with all things skin care. My first ever beauty purchase was an “overnight restorative cream” that my 8 year old self certainly didn’t need- I would sit applying it just as the packaging told me every night while I searched through magazines for DIY masks and read about the beauty benefits of foods I had not yet come around to the taste of.
Fast Forward a few years, and while I’m still digging through recipes and throwing my money at face masks with cute packaging, the one major thing I’ve learned is the importance of self care and how that translates into caring for the world and people around you.
So, I’m here to share what I know (and what I’m still learning) with all of you.
First up… A day of masks.
Breakfast : the most important mask of the day.
For this mask you’ll need…
3-4 spoonfuls of coffee grounds
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon of coconut oil
The first step in this mask is to make yourself a cup of coffee...or two.
The same way we use coffee to wake up our brains, we can use it to wake up our skin. First and foremost, coffee is full of antioxidants used fight free radicals, which are one of the main contributors to our skin looking tired and dull. Free radicals disrupt our skin’s DNA to cause things like dark spots, collagen loss, and wrinkles. Coffee also contains caffeine, which aids in collagen production which increases firmness and elasticity, making this the perfect “bounce back” mask after the weekend.
Once you’ve finished brewing your coffee, remove the wet grounds and drain as much of the liquid from them as possible.
Next, take an egg and separate the yolk from the white (set aside and use as a hair mask, or make a single egg white omelette) and combine with the coffee grounds. Egg yolks contain an immense amount of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin A which helps fight dry and flaky skin, Vitamin B3 which hydrates and combats inflammation, and zinc which treats existing breakouts. Egg yolks are also full of protein, which helps skin repair itself.
Lastly we add in the coconut oil. A natural antibacterial, antifungal and moisturizer, coconut oil probably has over a million uses for the skin- However, it’s main purpose in this mask is to cleanse. Between air pollution, public transportation commutes,and last nights makeup, our pores can end up completely clogged. Coconut oil is incredibly gentle and it’s texture allows it to seep into your pores and soften everything trapped inside. When you combine this with the exfoliation of the ground coffee, you’re getting an incredibly deep clean and removing dead skin cells without using any harsh chemicals.
Combine your ingredients into a paste, drain any excess liquid, and set to cool in the refrigerator while you drink your coffee and read 10 minutes of a good book. Once your mask has set, apply to your face until it has a very thin translucent layer with bits of the ground coffee on top. Leave for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm water scrubbing in a circular motion. Pat dry, and finish with your favorite toner or facial oil. I like to use witch hazel, followed by vitamin E oil.
I think most of us would agree that we all need a little bit more simplicity in our lives. That’s why this next mask only requires one ingredient - a spoonful of honey, preferably raw or natural- anything but the kind that comes out of a little plastic bear.
Honey is a natural antibacterial, which helps treat acne and breakouts. In addition to soothing irritated skin, honey boosts your complexion with mild exfoliation that clarifies by opening and unclogging your pores. While this can be beneficial at any time of day, I like to use honey as a “getting ready” mask.
One of the most unique things about honey is that it’s a natural humectant, meaning it has the ability to attract and hold moisture. When used on the skin, honey is able to deliver the moisture it’s pulled in where it’s needed, leaving your skin soft and hydrated without making it feel oily or over lotioned. To do this mask, simply wash your face with warm water, remove any makeup, and apply a thin layer of honey to your face. Leave for 10 minutes. Bonus points if you leave on in the bath or shower, the steam is your friend. Wash off in a circular motion, pat dry, and continue with your routine for the night.
Last but not least is, in my opinion, the most useful and versatile skin care product you should have on hand.
For this mask you will need...
1 ½ cups water
2 TBSP sea salt
A sanitized spray bottle
*Optional dried herbs*
While sea salt is most commonly used for skincare in scrubs and soaks, using it in a simple overnight face spray is a great way to nourish and refresh your skin. Sea salt works as a deep cleanser, and when left on overnight it can work to balance the oils in your skin, as well as combat bacteria that causes breakouts.
To make this spray, you just need to boil a cup of water, add in the salt and stir until dissolved, let cool and then transfer into a clean misting bottle.
If you want to make something a bit more fancy, you can add dry herbs to the boiling water and strain before combining with the salt. I recommend either chamomile or lavender, as they both have external soothing properties as well as aromatherapeutic properties that help with a good night's sleep, which is possibly the best thing for your skin, as well as one of the hardest things to come by.