Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget-friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

woman with face mask

You guys are getting to know me. You probably realize by now that I’m a health nut and I go bananas over any and all natural beauty products—as long as they work. (Just had to clarify that, because as we know, some natural prodz don’t live up to their claims. Tom’s of Maine deodorant—we’re lookin’ at you). Something you don’t know, however, is that I’m thrifty. Yes, I’ll blow my budget on Dr. Hauschka facial creams, probiotics, eyeliner and oils, but when I can save money and make something myself, you best believe I do.

When I lived in L.A., I’d spend hours perusing the beauty departments at Barneys and Neimans (a.k.a. beauty heaven—and home to zillions of fab products I couldn’t afford). Most of the time I’d window shop, but if I was really lucky I’d get samples. (See? Thrifty.) That’s how I had my dangerous encounter with Sisley Paris Intensive Day Cream—quite possibly the most a-mazing thing I’ve used on my skin. Evah. (And at almost $300 a jar, probs not something I’ll be using again in the near future.) So yes, I know that there are lots of expensive products out there that work wonders, but I also know that most of us have to pick and choose where we spend our money.

Facial masks and scrubs are one category I like to save on. Why? Because when I make them at home, I know what’s going into ‘em—AND they’re super easy and cheap. There’s just something about a product sans parabens and fancy chemicals that I love! Whether your skin is dry, oily, or needs brightening or soothing, there’s a mask for you. Wanna check out some of my faves?

face mask girls Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Ever since high school I’ve been a big fan of raiding the kitchen to concoct masks and play around with ingredients. I’ve got combination skin so have pretty much tried everything under the sun, but these are the masks—plus a few scrubs—that have worked best for me, as well a few that I’m looking forward to trying.

Most derms recommend using a mask once a week (but frequency of use will also depend on your skin type). And remember to always start with a clean face and use a toner and moisturizer when you’re finished. Another trick I use is to spread a warm washcloth over my face near the end of my mask time to really open up the pores and help it work. So, what’re you waiting for? Get bizzy!


face mask1 Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Avocado, Banana and Honey Face Mask: This mask is super-moisturizing! Avocados contain tons of minerals plus vitamins B and E, and honey is a humectant (it draws moisture to your skin) and helps reduce inflammation. Mix together ½ mashed avocado,  ½ mashed banana, and 1 teaspoon of honey (preferably raw, organic and unfiltered) until blended. Spread over your face and neck and leave for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

Honey, Essential Oil and Almond Oil Mask: Almond oil is ultra-nourishing and absorbs easily into the skin. Essential oils—in addition to smelling incredible—have various healing properties. Combine 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered honey with 2 tablespoons almond oil and 2 drops of 100 percent pure essential oil—my faves are rose, lavender, lemon and geranium. Massage on skin and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

honey mask Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Egg Yolk, Honey and Almond Oil Mask: Egg yolk adds moisture to the skin, and so do nourishing almond oil and honey. Combine 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 drops of almond oil. Apply mixture to face and neck and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.


Egg White, Honey and Lemon Juice Mask: Egg whites tighten the pores and give skin a temporary lift, while lemon juice can help lighten discolourations and acts as a natural disinfectant. Beat 1 egg white until stiff, and then combine with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply to skin and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. NOTE: Lemon juice can burn your skin, so don’t use more than 1 teaspoon, and don’t leave this mask on any longer than 15-20 minutes.

tomato Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Tomato Mask: I love this one! Tomatoes contain tons of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants and also have natural astringent properties which help remove excess oil and refine pores. In a blender, combine 1 ripe tomato, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oatmeal until a paste is formed. Apply to skin. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

Egg White and Peach Mask: Peaches are  the perfect summer fruit—not only are they delicious, but they also contain natural alpha-hydroxy acids that exfoliate and cleanse the skin. They’re high in vitamins A and C too. Blend 1/2 a ripe, mashed peach with 1 egg white and a bit of water if needed to help the blending process. Apply to skin and leave for 20 minutes; then rinse.


pumpkins Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Pumpkin and Yogurt Mask: So apparently Audrina Patridge is a big fan of pumpkin masks—and it shows because her skin looks amaze! (Side note: what was she thinking with that show of hers on MTV? Her family is C.R.A.Z.Y!) I make this one with canned organic pumpkin puree, but fresh would be great too. Pumpkin is loaded with exfoliating acids and antioxidants, and plain yogurt contains lactic acid (which is a natural exfoliant). Combine 4 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin pulp, 2 teaspoons of honey and 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Apply to face and neck and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.


turmeric Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Turmeric, Oats, Honey and Yogurt Mask: (Be careful not to stain your clothes with this one! But no, it won’t stain your face). Turmeric is amazing—it has natural cleansing properties that brighten the skin and is a potent anti-inflammatory. In addition to using it in this face mask, I sprinkle it on everything from salads to scrambled eggs to hummus. Oatmeal is smoothing and soothing, honey adds moisture (plus it’s a natural antibacterial agent) and yogurt exfoliates. Combine 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 3 tablespoons of ground oats (use a blender), 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Mix into a paste and add more honey or oats depending on consistency. Apply to skin and let sit 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.


Be careful with these if you have sensitive skin!

brown sugar scrub Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Lemon Juice, Honey and Brown Sugar: Reminiscent of Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish, this one smells divine. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, 1 tablespoon of almond oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. Mix, and massage gently into skin. Rinse.

Brown Sugar and Coconut Oil: This is Good enough to eat! And, if a little bit should happen to make its way into your mouth (by accident of course), there’s no need to worry—it’s all-natural! Sugar is a natural glycolic acid and helps exfoliate dead, dry skin and coconut oil is a fabulous moisturizer. Combine 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of melted (cooled) coconut oil. Mix together into a paste and gently rub over skin. Rinse.

coffee scrub Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Olive Oil and Coffee Scrub: Apparently the caffeine in coffee grinds helps stimulate circulation in the skin. I used to make this one all the time when I drank a lot of coffee. Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 or 4 tablespoons of coffee grounds (recycle ‘em from your morning java). Apply to face and exfoliate gently. Rinse off.

NOTE: All of these scrubs can be made in big batches and used on the body, too! Make sure you store ‘em in air-tight containers.


Aspirin Mask: I actually read about this one in Michelle’s interview with Erica Lam of the Style Spy—she swears by it! Aspirin contains beta-hydroxy acids, which help exfoliate, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Finely crush 3 or 4 Aspirins into a grainy consistency, and then add a tiny drop of water and 1 teaspoon of honey until you get a mask-like consistency. Apply to face and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing. Make sure you’re using an SPF after this one in particular!

marie antoinette3 Ever made your own face mask? Whip up these budget friendly beauty treatments to get glowing the natural way (no Birkenstocks required!)

Marie Antoinette Mask: Apparently this mask (or a variation of it) was the secret to Marie Antoinette’s porcelain skin. Rawr, she was a fox. Combine 1 egg white, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 drop of witch hazel and 4 tablespoons of non-fat powdered milk. Massage on skin and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Elizabeth Oborne is a Vancouver-based writer and holistic nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter: @elizabethedits.

Now do tell:

Have you ever made your own face mask or scrub?
Or do you prefer the store-bought variety?
Which one of these DIY recipes do you think you might try?


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 11:38 am

Elizabeth, I absolutely love you for making this post. Its wonderful that there are so many inexpensive alternatives to branded facial products! I love making my own face masks. I find that oatmeal, lime juice and honey is a great one for smoothing skin. I honestly don’t know which mask to try first! Probably the ones for oily skin… Also, Michelle ain’t kidding – I tried the aspirin mask and it really does work wonders. I would definitely recommend it!!

Huge fan, hyper-hair-colour-aware Thomas xx



Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 8:27 pm

I’m so glad you liked it! Definitely want to hear which ones you try. Yours sounds great, btw. And I have to try the aspirin combo!


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 4:52 pm

thank you thank you for doing this post! i have been wanting to try some natural skin treatments myself and for my son. he has recently starting taking claravis which is a generic form of accutane (unfortunately nothing else has worked for his acne). but as you probably know, the skin gets so dry and flaky. i have been wanting to help him treat the dryness with a mask of some kind that is natural and chemical free. the claravis treatment does not allow anything with salicylic acid, alcohol, etc to come near your skin (heaven knows he has enough chemicals running through his body! poor guy!). this post was just the motivation i needed!


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 8:25 pm

I’m glad these masks have motivated you! I hope they help!! I’d also suggest (if he doesn’t already) that your son take an Omega supplement – cod liver oil – and coconut oil and a probiotic! Maybe Michelle has some more reccs, too!


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 5:35 pm

I make green tea masks all the time…

buy good quality green tea powder, mix with steeped white tea (good quality as well) into a paste…I put mine in the fridge to cool down so its nice and soothing…ta-da! instant super antioxidant mask :)

I also add a bit of olive/coconut oil if my skin is feeling dry :)


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 8:16 pm

Ooh, that sounds like a good one! Will have to try!


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 9:23 pm

I love this post! I’m all about the DIY. Just be careful with citrus (lemon) and citrus essential oils on the face and skin–citrus is photo-toxic, so it will increase the effects of the sun when applied to your skin.


Tuesday, August 23/2011 at 11:30 pm

Definitely have to try some of these scrubs. I have been desperately looking for a really abrasive scrub for body and these sound like they’ll do the trick. Olive oil and coffee might be my first since I always have those around. I’ve heard that the circulation benefits from caffeine can also help reduce cellulite…likely mostly a myth but I wouldn’t mind if it was a side-effect! Err not that I have cellulite or anything…………


Friday, August 26/2011 at 12:55 pm

Ha, of course not! None of us do ;)


Wednesday, August 24/2011 at 2:25 pm

Thank you muchly! I use mostly all natural & homemade goodies now, but this got me thinking; when did I stop using masks?! I used to LOVE masks!

… I think it was when I moved it with my guy, the giggling got to me… But I’m more defiant now!

I wash with a paste made from oat flour (bulk, uber-cheap) & water, great soothing cleanser, & if you massage for 1 min. twice a day, a gentle exfoliator even for rashy, sensitive flaky skin like mine. I’ve been using it since last spring, but have yet to see how it stacks up against fall/winter dryness. Maybe with some oil in it…


Friday, August 26/2011 at 12:57 pm

Your mask sounds great! There are so many different amazing variations out there and I’m all for trying new combos. Yeah, maybe try some jojoba or coconut oil in it. (And don’t let the giggling stop you!)


Wednesday, August 24/2011 at 3:33 pm

Loooove the aspirin mask, it’s absolutely fantastic when skin is a little out of whack (inflammed, congested, etc). You can also use the mixture on your legs after shaving to help prevent razor bumps. It’s essentially, homemade TendSkin minus the alcohol. Word of warning though, it stinks lol


Wednesday, August 24/2011 at 8:03 pm

My skin is way red and irritated, trying the pumpkin one stat!


Friday, August 26/2011 at 12:54 pm

Yay, hope it helps!


Thursday, August 25/2011 at 5:07 pm

Elizabeth, I have a question. Do you know of a mask or face scrub that helps to clear acne/blemishes? I’m fifteen, and have breakouts around my jaw area. I’ve heard washing your face with oatmeal helps, but I don’t know exactly how it works. Thanks!


Thursday, August 25/2011 at 6:08 pm

Oatmeal is great! I currently use a oatmeal and seaweed scrub, its just fantastic at preventing and clearing up pimples. Perhaps Elizabeth has a recipe for you?


Friday, August 26/2011 at 1:08 pm

Hey Claire! Oatmeal is great for acne because it helps draw out unwanted oils and impurities in the skin and also helps balance the skin’s pH. PLUS it has anti-inflammatory properties. As QuiteLight suggested below, you may might to try oat flour (which is already ground up for you very finely so it won’t cause any irritation to the skin) or you could use quick oats. Mix 1/2 cup oat flour or quick oats with 3/4 cup water and heat to let the oats absorb the water. Let it cool and then add 1/8 cup of honey. Apply to your skin and let it sit for 10-15 mins then rinse.
I hope this helps! Other things I’ve learned that help improve acne are to avoid dairy products and to take Omega oils and probiotics.


Thursday, August 25/2011 at 6:14 pm

I just love honey in face masks and scrubs! So moisturising on my dry sensitive skin, but doesn’t leave it oily. Have only recently discovered how great pumpkin is too, thanks to this Canadian company: http://www.rockymountainsoap.com/productDetails/1017201/1019833/1000144


Friday, August 26/2011 at 12:53 pm

Ooh that soap looks great! Definitely a good thing to have around for when you don’t have time to whip up a mask!


Ana P
Friday, August 26/2011 at 11:59 am

Thanks so much for the article. :) I love the way you write and your passion for finding natural beauty products/remedies that work! Me too! I LOVE pumpkin masks (hail Natropathica) but they can be expensive and I find I need different masks at different times, so these recipes sound perfect. I’m going to mix my own pumpkin one and asprin one soon. The banana avocado one works wonders, thank you.


Friday, August 26/2011 at 12:48 pm

Awesome! I’m so glad you liked the post and that you’re also into natural products! I’ve gotta try that aspirin mask, too!


Jane Stevens
Thursday, December 8/2011 at 4:21 pm

This is actually one of the best articles that I have read on this theme. Love your style.
I have tried every single one of these home made masks and facial scrubs, except the Pumpkin and Yoghurt Mask, which I am trying this weekend! I do steaming, and applying egg yolk mask every single week, that is my favourite treatment.

Great job !

Beauties Factory UK


Thursday, March 15/2012 at 11:38 am

Can you make these in advance and store them? I would love to know how to store these so i do not have to make them each time i need a good scrub.


Monday, June 11/2012 at 11:18 pm

As far as storing pre-made masks, I wouldn’t store them for longer than 2weeks in the fridge, unless your using yogurt/egg whites(which I wouldn’t pre make as they may get watery and such). Be sure to use an air tight container.
“Lush” makes all natural face masks & theirs stores for up to 4 weeks in the fridge!


Friday, October 5/2012 at 5:21 pm

I just tried the tomato mask…about five minutes in my face started itching and tingling (not in a good way). I kept it on for 9 minutes, and am following up with a hydrating mask (store bought).

I may try again, with less or no lemon. I think that may have caused the discomfort.


Sunday, October 14/2012 at 10:51 pm

The Aspirin mask…. I use something similar. It’s a scrub, rather than a mask though. A small handful of Aspirin, mixed with a few teaspoons of lemon juice. Let the Aspirin dissolve until you have a gritty paste mixture, and then use like any facial scrub.

It works really well, your face is left feeling clean and baby soft, and it helps cleaning out your pores. It’s still VERY gritty, so if you scrub too much you’ll scratch yourself up, and you should only use it every other day, but it’s worth it. I have very oily skin, and it’s soooooo nice.


Tuesday, November 20/2012 at 4:11 pm

Great post! I’ve been meaning to try out some homemade skin care so thanks for the awesome list and reminder ..:)


Wednesday, January 2/2013 at 11:09 pm

I love your facial recipes! I tried the lemon, honey and egg white face mask. I also tried the turmeric mask and it works great for acne, brightening the complexion and just a wonderful anti-inflaminatory. Just mix 1 tea spoon of turmeric power, with some milk and flour or corn starch to get the right consistency. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash the mask off with water followed with a gentle facial cleanser. The turmeric may stain you skin temporarily depending on your skin type (so do a spot test and see how you react towards it first) Thank you!!!!


Monday, June 10/2013 at 12:43 am

Elizabeth and all of you. My son just has chickenpox. His face now is full of lesions, they are falling off. How to avoid those scars? Thank you


Friday, June 28/2013 at 5:54 am

I did the avocado banana face mask… and afterwards I had this tightening warm tingling feeling… is this normal? My face doesn’t really look like its swelling or anything.. and I’ve always had semi blotchy skin… and my cheeks have always turn warm very easily…. so I’m not really sure if its doing me harm or not. Is it? I’m pretty sure I’m not allergic to avocado or bananas…well consumption wise…


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