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Half Mag / Half Zine

How to make your own face masks with basic ingredients from your kitchen

Tired of baking banana bread and taking part in virtual pub quizzes, and in need of a new way to entertain yourself in self-isolation?

This is the perfect time for self-care, including looking after your skin.

You don’t need to order expensive creams online (besides, that won’t keep you occupied for very long) but instead, raid the fridge and kitchen cupboards.

With the help of Lucy Xu, the founder of London Premier Laser Clinics, we’re going to teach you how to make your own skin masks with basic ingredients.

From exfoliation facials to tackling eye puffiness and even a special face mask for those prone to acne, here are her top tips with simple recipes and instructions.

Exfoliation facial
‘Good exfoliation removes the dead skin cells clogging the skin and reveals fresh new cells below,’ Lucy tells us. ‘Getting rid of the dead skin leaves your skin looking fresh and healthy.

‘And more importantly, good exfoliation opens the way for your skin masks, moisturisers or other beauty products to penetrate your skin more deeply.’

What you need:

How it works: It’s super easy. Just mix the two ingredients in a bowl until they become a scrub (about half and half, but easy with the honey so it’s not too drippy). Then gently exfoliate the skin with the mixture and wash off with lukewarm water.

As a bonus, the honey has antibacterial properties and is believed to aid healing and kill of bacteria (note: this does not mean it kills coronavirus).

The mask is suitable for use once or twice a week, but be careful if you have sensitive skin.

DIY facial to open the pores
Lucy says: ‘As we know, open pores may cause acne and other skin imperfections. But with this next amazing homemade mask, you can reduce the size of your open pores and give your skin the perfect look it needs.’

What you need:

One egg white
One lemon
How it works: ‘Separate the egg white from the yolk (you can use an empty plastic bottle to do this,’ she explains.

‘Just crack the egg into a bowl, squeeze the empty bottle, place the bottle opening over the yolk. When you release your grip the yolk will be sucked inside the bottle and you can separate it from the egg white).’

Then, whisk the ingredients together until the mixture turns into a foam. Apply to your face for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash it off with lukewarm water.

Use the face one to two times per week maximum.

Hydration facial
Lucy says: ‘Hydration is the key when it comes to healthy skin. If your skin is hydrated, it will look more plump and youthful. Hydration also helps your skin to improve elasticity which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

‘Dehydrated skin produces more oil due to lack of moisture, which leads to many skin problems. And when your skin is fully hydrated, it can flush out toxins more effectively while your skin cells are functioning at their best.’

What you need:

Half an avocado
Cocoa powder
How it works: Start by mashing the avocado in a bowl, then add a spoonful of cocoa powder and honey, and mix. And.. that’s it – put in on your face, listen to a podcast or meditate for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Hydration and brightening facial
If your skin is looking a bit dull and gloomy, you could try this alternative hydration facial recipe.

What you need:

Orange juice
How it works: Mash up the banana in a bowl, then add some orange juice and honey. Use your eyes to measure, depending on the size of the banana but it should be a fairly thick mixture, so take it easy on the OJ.

Apply to the face and laugh at TikTok videos for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.

Facial for acne-prone skin – version one
‘Acne occurs when the pores of the skin get blocked with oil, dead skin or bacteria,’ says Lucy. ‘But this easy to make treatment will help you reduce your acne and improve your skin.’

Important note: do not use this mask if you’re currently on medication for your acne or your doctor has given other instructions.

What you need:

Aspirin (five tablets)
1tbs honey
How it works: Start by crushing the tablets into powder form, then add the honey and mix until the texture becomes smooth.

Keep it on your face for 10 minutes, then gently massage your face before rinsing it off with water.

Facial for acne-prone skin – version two
Lucy says: ‘Prevention is as important as the treatment. Acne-prone skin has the potential to develop comedones and pimples. It is often oily and appears shiny.

‘With this natural homemade face-mask, you can reduce the likelihood of having acne on your skin.’

What you need

Cinnamon powder
How it works: Finely mix your ingredients into a paste, then apply a thick layer to your face and wait for it to dry.

Once it has, remove the mixture with warm water.

Facial to reduce eye puffiness
Lucy says: ‘Maybe you have had one too many late nights getting through the latest series on Netflix or up late chatting to friends with a glass of wine or two. Under eye puffiness or bags under eyes commonly appear at any age. It gets worse the older you get though.

‘With ageing, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the supporting muscles around eyelids get weaker. The fat that is supporting the eyes moves into the lower eyelids and it causes the puffiness around eyes.

What you need:

A freezer
Two spoons
How it works: ‘Here is a skincare secret for under eye puffiness. Every evening, place two tablespoons into your freezer.

‘In the morning, after cleaning your face, use the cold spoons using outwards movements focusing on eyes to increase blood circulation and reduce puffiness.

‘For best results make sure to do it every morning for five to 10 minutes.

‘After the skin exercise, don’t worry if your skin gets red. That only means that it’s working. Also make sure that your curtains are closed and no one is around as they may think you’ve lost the plot.’

As with any homemade face masks, be extra careful if you have sensitive skin or if your skin is prone to reacting negatively to new skincare regimes.

Although all these ingredients (barring the aspiring) are natural, you should not use these if you have received specific instructions from medical or skincare professionals for any skin problems.

Otherwise, have fun and let’s get mixing.