DIY Soothing Herbal Face Mask
When I feel like my skin needs a boost, using a face mask is one of my favorite go-tos that makes an immediate difference in the feel and appearance of my skin. I love using clay masks, but my skin is sensitive and, in the winter especially, gets easily red and irritated by anything abrasive. Sometimes I like to forego the clay and whip up a gentler option, which led to the creation of this simple herbal face mask. This formula can be made with an endless combination of skin loving herbs, but I used:
1/3 cup colloidal oatmeal
Oats, Avena sativa, are probably the first herbal skincare remedy I ever learned about. It makes me think about desperately wanting to get the chicken pox when I was a kid, so I could take an oatmeal bath...seemed like the ultimate fun. Oats have a stellar reputation for being used in formulas that soothe and calm irritated skin. This humble ingredient is a powerful friend to dry skin in need of a natural emollient.
1/3 cup dried hibiscus flower
Exotic hibiscus, Hibiscus spp., has been captivating my formulary interest recently, and I've been having fun playing around with this herb that I've seen referred to as "nature's botox." Hibiscus tones and tightens the skin, while brightening up a dull complexion and promoting collagen production.
1/3 cup dried marshmallow root
Anyone familiar with marshmallow, Althaea officinalis, knows it functions as the ultimate "nature's gel." The mucilaginous root turns into a gelatinous paste when liquid is introduced, making it a perfect herb to use for a face mask. Much like oats, this gives it a soothing, anti-inflammatory quality, great to use on skin that is prone to redness, like mine.
🌺 Fun Fact! 🌺 Hibiscus and Marshmallow are both members of the Malvaceae, or Mallow family. Members of this family often have mucilaginous and emollient qualities and can be a great direction to explore when formulating soothing, softening skincare products!
To make your mask, add the hibiscus and marshmallow to an herb grinder. I use a coffee grinder for this, but you'll want to have a separate grinder from what you use for your actual coffee, or else your herbs will always smell like java beans. (I actually love putting coffee on my skin, too, but that's a post for another day!) If you don't have a separate herb grinder, you can get your upper body workout in for the day with the help of a pestle and mortar, or you can add the herbs to a blender, they might just not turn out as finely ground.
Next, mix in your colloidal oatmeal, and there you go! Your dry base is ready. The recipe makes enough dry mix to last about 13 face masks and can be stored in a jar ready to go for whenever the pampering inclination hits. Don't forget to label your jars, especially if you're like me and have numerous "experiment jars" hanging around your house at all times.
Measure about a tablespoon of the dried herb mixture into a small bowl and add your wet ingredient(s) of choice. For my mask, I mixed in 1/2 tablespoon of honey and a splash of apple cider vinegar. You could choose instead to use 1/2 an avocado, plain yogurt, a banana, olive oil, or even just water. Stir everything together until you achieve desired consistency, and slather all over your face and neck! I have to admit, my mixture looked pretty enough to eat, so of course I had to taste it, and it was delicious. It's almost always a good sign when the things you put on your skin are safe to put in your mouth!
Let your mask sit for fifteen minutes or so. Rinse it off, admire your freshly soothed and hydrated skin in the mirror, and top off the experience with a coat of your favorite moisturizer (I highly recommend WCB Complete Body Lotion!).
One of my favorite things about this gentle mask is that it doesn't leave my skin red and irritated after I rinse it away, so it's perfect for daytime or afternoon application as well as before bed. And the formula is so simple, herbs can be substituted and wet ingredients can be mixed to create tons of great combinations to address specific skin concerns.
So there you have it! I would love to hear of any cool combinations ya'll try in the comments. Endless experiments await! ✨