Learn the effect these natural ingredients have on your skin.Rachel Xiao
Let us celebrate the rise of the DIY face masks: what other skincare product is as easy, inexpensive and effective? Best of all, you can find a homemade face mask for any type of skin and rest assured that it is made from all-natural ingredients. No need to pore over the label googling chemicals when you can create magic with the food found in your kitchen! There are countless recipes for easy DIY masks and scrubs online (try this list from Marie Claire or this list from Elle), and today we’re here to break down the benefits of these delicious ingredients.
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There’s a reason that bananas are such a popular at-home ingredient: rich in potassium, moisture, and vitamins E and C, this fruit helps keep your skin hydrated, clear, and bright. Bananas also act as nature’s Botox, preventing fine lines and wrinkles, evening out skin discoloration, and fading age spots. This fruit does it all! In fact, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any other ingredients on hand (bananas are commonly mixed with honey, lemon juice, and yogurt), a mashed banana alone is a great face mask for dry skin.
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Honey is antibacterial and full of antioxidants, making it ideal for aging and acne-prone skin. Not only is it a powerful natural moisturizer, honey also refines your pores and helps your skin glow. Because honey is so sticky it’s often easier to mix with other ingredients, but it can also be applied directly in thin layers for soft, bright skin. It can even be used for spot treatment instead of a pimple cream. However, make sure that you are using the right kind of honey: most recipes call for raw honey, which avoids additional sugar or artificial sweetener and contains a wider variety of nutrients than processed honey.
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Despite yogurt’s velvet smooth consistency, this ingredient makes for a great natural and gentle exfoliant. Yogurt contains a lactic acid that helps dissolve skin cells, leaving you with a bright natural glow without the use of any harsh chemical exfoliants. Yogurt also has the benefits of preventing breakouts and reducing wrinkles and discoloration – that, in addition to it’s highly moisturizing qualities, makes this the perfect ingredient for preventing premature aging. Mix in some honey or lemon juice for extra glow.
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The heroes of the citrus family, this fruit is chock full of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which provide nourishing benefits for your skin (and even hair and nails). Lemon juice’s antiseptic nature exfoliates dead skin cells and helps fight flaky or oily skin, leaving you glowing and radiant. It also acts as a natural astringent, drying out blemishes and tightening up pores to create smoother skin. Because lemon juice is very effective at lightening scars and discoloration, it is a popular method for fighting acne. But it’s best to use lemon juice in small quantities and mixed with other ingredients – overuse of citrus juice can cause hyperpigmentation under sun exposure.
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Avocados are so delicious, I’m not sure I could sacrifice a whole one for a face mask. But if you’re blessed with an abundance of this fruit, avocados are full of healthy fats that act as a powerful natural moisturizer – you can even use the fleshy side of the peel for effective skincare if most of the avocado ends up on your toast. Avocados can also help treat dry and flaky skin (often associated with eczema and psoriasis), leaving your skin well-hydrated without an acne-prone oily residue. While it can’t act as sunscreen, avocado has also been shown to enhance skin repair after sun exposure, reducing radiation damage and skin inflammation. A true superfruit!
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Brown sugar is the perfect exfoliator for sensitive skin, as the grains are strong enough to scrub away dead skin cells but gentle enough to prevent microscopic tears. Since brown sugar also draws moisture from the environment into your skin, these sugar scrubs leave your skin hydrated and glowing without stripping away any natural oils. Finally, brown sugar helps your skin stay young: it is a natural source of glycolic acid, which lifts away dead cells and encourages cell turnover. Add brown sugar to your face mask and your skin will feel more fresh, firm, and rejuvenated.
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Seeing as the flesh of a cucumber is mostly water, it’s no surprise that this vegetable is a hydration powerhouse for your skin. Not only that, cucumbers also help tighten your skin up and even contain certain acids that help reduce swelling and soothe irritation. Chilled cucumber slices over your eyes help rehydrate the tender skin and reduce puffiness, while blending it with yogurt or avocado produces a hyper-nourishing and moisturizing face mask.
Got any secret ingredients or DIY recipes of your own? Leave a comment below to let us know what other ingredients are a must-try!