Who doesn’t like face masks? There are a great way to relax and also nourish the skin with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. While there is an abundance of masks at your favorite salon, drugstore or clinic, your fridge most likely already has some basic ingredients to make a perfect natural mask at home. It is easy and, best of all, free! 

Berries are one of the key components in a lot of face masks - not surprising, considering that they are a rich source of phytonutrients and polyphenols, that help skin to stay fresh and healthy. The great way to utilize the power of berries is to freeze the juice of strawberries, blueberries or raspberries and use 1 berry ice cube in the morning before other face creams to refresh, tighten, hydrate and nourish the skin. 

You can safely use homemade face masks up to 3 times a week. However, make sure you use it immediately after making it, otherwise it will not be as effective and might cause an allergic reaction. 

Fruits, berries and vegetables serve as vitamin rich addition to a cosmetic base that you choose to use based on your skin type. Some examples of bases:

For dry skin- egg yolks, olive/coconut/vegetable oil, sour cream. 

For oily and porous skin - egg whites, plain low fat yogurt or kefir, honey.

No matter what skin type you have, it is important to follow certain recommendations for making and using face masks. Here are a few tips to remember:

 - before using any kind of mask with berries, fruit or veggies, make sure you don’t have an allergy to any of the ingredients. To test for an allergy, apply a small amount of mash up combination you are planning to use on the inside of your wrist and wait 5-10 min. If the skin didn’t get red, you are good to go!

- use face masks immediately after making

 - use only ripe and fresh berries and fruit, and make sure to wash them well before mashing into a mask

 - apply masks only on dry, cleansed face and don’t forget to cover clothing - fruit and berry juices are very hard to wash off

 - apply the mask in a thick layer following massage lines and avoiding eye and lip areas

 - leave the mask for no longer than 15-20 min and then wash off with warm water. Holding homemade masks longer than recommended may irritate your skin because of naturally occurring acids in fruits and berries. When washing, don’t rub in the remaining pieces of berries or fruits into the skin

  - remember that fruits, berries and veggies all contain organic acids that may have a whitening effect on skin. So if you want to preserve your tan, don’t use these masks too often. 

And now, on to my favorite face mask recipes!

Masks for oily skin

Tomato Mask - regulates the production of oil and detoxifies. Blend a tomato in a blender or food processor, add natural oat flakes and mix until thick. Leave on for 15 min.

Whole Bran Mask - regenerates, helps to mattify complexion. Add rye or whole wheat bran into a glass of warm milk and let it sit for 20 min. Apply the mixture and leave on for 20 min.

Parsley Mask - freshens and helps to get rid of excess oil. Mix finely chopped parsley with an egg yolk, and refrigerate for 10 min. Leave on for 20 min.

Cabbage Mask - helps with breakouts and dark spots. Mix finely chopped cabbage with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Mix well and apply for 15 min.

Masks for dry skin

Carrot Mask - nourishes the skin with vitamins that support skin’s delicate water balance. Mix freshly shredded carrot with an egg yolk. Apply to your face and leave for 10min. 

Chocolate Mask - greatly hydrates the skin. Melt good quality milk or dark chocolate, add an egg yolk and sour cream. Leave on until dry to the touch.

Watermelon Mask - hydrates the skin, minimizes flaking and irritation. Mix a glass of watermelon juice with a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of salt. Apply the liquid with a cotton disk onto face, neck and/or chest and wash off with cool water after 2 hours.

Masks for normal and combination skin

Strawberry mask - boil an egg, cut up the cooked yolk, mash up a few strawberries and blend with the yolk. Apply and leave on for 15 min.

Kefir mask - has some amazing nourishing properties for your skin. Blend some natural oat flakes in a blender and mix with kefir until you get a cream like texture. Apply and leave on for 20 min, rinse with warm water.

Peach Mask - cleanses pores and nourishes skin. Squeeze the juice out of a couple ripe peaches, set the fruit pulp aside. Soak up a thick tissue in juice, put it on your face, and cover with the pulp on top. Relax and leave on for no more than 20 min.

Potato mask - minimizes swelling and under eye bags, helps to balance out the skin. Shred one medium sized potato and add a baking soda on the tip of a knife. Mix in the whole egg, tablespoon of milk and teaspoon of lemon juice. Leave the mask on for 15 min.

Tea mask - removes any dirt and grime, cleanses the skin, rich in antioxidants. Brew 1 tablespoon of whole leaf, natural tea (green or black). Let sit for 40 min, then soak a cotton disc in the liquid and generously wipe the face. Leave on for an hour, then rinse with cool water.

Apple mask - tones and freshens the skin, gives radiance. Blend an apple in a blender, to the puree add a tablespoon of honey and egg white, mix well and apply. Leave on for 20 min.