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So, your skin has decided to have a meltdown moment and create a few craters and bumps on your glowing face. If you’re anything like me, you may have tried tons of products that don’t serve you the results you’re looking for.

Well, let this be a load off your mind — sometimes the answers to our skin care concerns are sitting right in our very own pantries.

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I started buying skin care masks that had ingredients I recognized from brands like Lush and Glossier. After switching to natural masks full-time, I found that my sensitive skin reacted better to them and calmed down faster after a breakout than when I had used a chemically-packed product.

Lush for example has a whole line of masks that live in your fridge due to their natural ingredients like: chocolate, oatmeal, honey, bananas, and essential oils. However, most stores are making things in bulk and need a few filler ingredients. In those same masks, you might find things like glycerin and added fragrance — which both are common skin irritants.

Making your masks at home takes the guesswork out of figuring out what you’re actually putting on your face. And the best part is the learning process. If something about your recipe doesn’t work, you can locate the problem pretty quickly and make adjustments. Similarly, if it does work, you’ve found a new skin care solution that’s only a few steps away from the bathroom cabinet.

With that in mind, here are three recipes for skin care treatment masks that you can whip up at home.

This mask is a great option if your skin is in need of instant replenishment. After a night out, or a hard workout, this is great to throw on during your cool down time.


  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. Using cocoa powder for skin care not only allows small amounts of cocoa butter to be activated when combined with liquid, it also works as a slight exfoliant to help soften skin.
  • 1 tablespoon honey. Honey has been used in skin care for a long time to treat eczema and to reduce inflammation. Raw honey is also known to balance bacteria on your skin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Citrus has shown to help with dark spots on the skin. Using a small amount in a mask should not create problems, however be sure to apply sunscreen after masking (citric acids, can cause skin irritation when used directly and exposed to sunlight).
  • 2 tablespoons ground coffee. Coffee is known to help cellulite on skin. It also has antibacterial properties, and works as a great exfoliant.

Coffee mask recipe

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and immediately apply the mixture to your face. If the mask is too thick, add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Leave on for 20 minutes or until it begins to dry and turn into a thick paste on the skin.
  3. Once it’s dry, remove with warm water. Rub the mask in circular motions around the face while removing to exfoliate.
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A turmeric mask is great for giving you a natural glow. Packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it’s known for being healing and cleansing.


  • 1 teaspoon turmeric. Turmeric has a long list of benefits; such as reducing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, irritation, and acne. A little goes a long way, and the color may slightly linger on your skin for a day or so. So, don’t leave it on longer than prescribed.
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt (or aloe vera gel if non-dairy). Yogurt is great for adding moisture to the skin. It also helps give this mask a smooth and cooling consistency. If you have any type of dairy intolerance, you can replace it with fresh aloe vera gel, which will offer the same cooling effect.
  • 1 teaspoon honey. Honey is great for reducing inflammation and dryness. Paired with turmeric, it helps boost the antioxidant properties of the two ingredients.

Turmeric mask recipe

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Spread evenly all over the face and onto the neck as well. Relax for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mask is dry. Don’t exceed 20 minutes with this mask on or your skin might start to absorb the orange color of the turmeric.
  3. Wash off with warm water and pat face dry.
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This treatment isn’t a full facial mask, but it is a great topical option for irritation spots or acne. It also helps to reduce excess oil production on the skin’s surface.


  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil. Tea tree EO can help to remove bacteria from cuts or wounds. So, if you’ve finally popped that annoying zit, a dash of this will help to promote healing. Careful though, there are some risks and potential side effects involved with applying it unmixed on the skin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosehip oil. A gentle carrier oil, rosehip oil helps reduce inflammation on the skin, and can help with brightening and collagen production. If you don’t have rosehip, you can use olive oil or coconut oil for a pantry-friendly base.

Tea tree spot treatment recipe

  1. Combine both oils in a small bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Using a cotton swab, apply the solution to problem areas before bed and leave on overnight.
  3. Cleanse face in the morning and pat dry.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

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As you experiment with the ingredients in your home to make your own skin care treatments, don’t be shy about tweaking things according to how your skin reacts.

Some combinations will yield different results. But part of the fun is finding your way to skin care success with the natural resources in your home.

Coming to Los Angeles from Oakland, California, Magdalena O’Neal has self-published a book of poetry and has been studying creative writing and journalism for the last 7 years. She loves baking and coming up with new recipes to fuel her vegan and gluten-free companions!