Is it just me, or is the holiday season stressful?
Do you find yourself by December 1st looking at your Google Calendar and feeling the onset of panic? Burning your gluten-free cookies because you’re burning the candle at both ends? Then eating the whole tray of cookies anyway because they feel like a warm blanket when you just “can’t even…”?
Instead, of giving you ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers or continuing the holiday recipe trek into canape valley and the sugar cookie forest, I thought I’d instead dedicate a little time on the blog this month to ways you can chill the fuck out.
For me, the ultimate unwinding activity includes a hot bath with delicious salts and my infuser spewing lavender essential oil on overdrive. But when I’m feeling extra, or when I just want to truly feel like I’m indulging in an evening of self-care instead of doing it on the defense as a simple act of survival, that my friends, is when I put on a face mask.
If you’ve read The Wellness Project book, then you know that one of my goals when switching to natural beauty products was also to break my pattern of being a complete product junkie. For the most part, I’ve kept that promise to myself. I still only use a handful of organic skincare products and natural makeup. But where I have experimented, and experimented extensively, is in the natural face mask department.
Below I’ve listed some of my favorite organic face mask products (and your recommendations that you sent me!) that cover a variety of needs like acne, dry skin and . Please don’t be alarmed by its extensiveness, or feel you need to add them all to your shopping cart at once. These face masks have gotten me through hundreds of baths over the years, and I usually only have one or two on hand at any given time.
For those even more committed to shedding their product junkie status, I’ve also put together a comprehensive list of some of the best DIY face masks from my favorite natural goddesses around the web. These homemade face mask recipes can be whipped up with just a few simple ingredients from your kitchen, and will give you a double dose of pleasure on nights when you want to feel productive, but just want to sit in some warm water and forget all your responsibilities and end of year performance reviews.
Read on for the best DIY face masks to give yourself some love this holiday season, and my favorite natural face mask brands for when even mixing together a few ingredients feels stressful.
With health and hedonism,
p.s. If you want to give yourself some more love this holiday season, I’m offering $50 off my online course 4 Weeks to Wellness Thanksgiving weekend, 11/22 to 11/26! Just use the code TDAYDETOX. The next session starts January 14th!
THE BEST DIY FACE MASK RECIPES
Image courtesy of Lily Diamond
Not only is Lily Diamond one of my favorite plant-focused cooks, she’s also my go-to when it comes to using herbs, fruits and flowers in natural face masks. In this healing face mask, basil reduces inflammation and irritation, honey provides powerful anti-aging and antibacterial properties, and blackberries offer gentle exfoliation through fruit acid. Also how beautiful is the above picture she took?
Matcha, in addition to being antioxidant morning fuel, is an excellent ingredient for the skin, reducing inflammation and evening skin tone. According to Katie Wells, also known as The Wellness Mama, the antioxidants may also be helpful for reducing acne and increasing skin elasticity.
Turmeric is an extraordinarily anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, antibacterial and anti-aging ingredient, all of which makes it excellent for a DIY face mask. Many women in ancient cultures use a mixture of turmeric and sunflower oil on their skin to brighten complexions. While it won’t stain your skin the way it does your kitchenware, be careful about towels and pillowcases!
Another one of Lily’s dreamy concoctions, this mask has fall written all over it. For those not familiar with Apple Cider Vinegar in skincare, the acid protects the surface of your face from bacteria and damage by restoring the PH, which often gets thrown off by using harsh, alkalizing soaps and other chemicals.
Perhaps better for warmer months, this face mask is like a natural mojito for your face! It brings a cool, calming energy to the skin and is perfect on mild sunburns, as a weekly hydration treatment, or when it’s too damn hot to do anything else. It was also formulated by one of my favorite face fairies, Jessa Blades.
Are you familiar with the black face masks that are taking the internet by storm? Well this is your own homemade natural version. Charcoal is one of my favorite star ingredients for pulling impurities out of the body, and that’s one reason it’s so great for breakouts and acne.
Image courtesy of Lily Diamond
This mask, in addition to being the most vibrant, gorgeous color, uses spirulina’s detoxifying, toning, calming, and softening properties. It’s also from Lily’s beautiful site Kale & Caramel. If you want even more natural skincare recipes, hop over there, or consider picking up her book by the same name, which is a complete guide to herbal healing from the inside out.
Like charcoal, bentonite clay is a great detoxing base for any homemade face mask. It’s perfect for oily skin, just be careful about keeping it on too long. You want to keep it hydrated so it doesn’t crack.
THE BEST NATURAL ORGANIC FACE MASK BRANDS FOR EASY AT HOME FACIALS
This luscious pink berry mixture is my absolutely favorite mask of all time–and the one pictured throughout this post. Dr Alkaitis in general, kills it in the mask department. Like many of these dry masks, you simple have to mix a tablespoon or so with water to create a thick base to smear on your skin. This mask actually should remain wet, so keep a spray bottle nearby and don’t let it crack. This aspect actually makes it a perfect mask to add a DIY component to: simply mix it with yogurt or raw honey instead of water for extra nourishment.
My favorite aspect about SW Basics is that their products only have a few ingredients in them. They truly mimic what you would DIY in the above recipes, but without the hassle. This natural face mask has just 3 ingredients. Just be careful of staining – like turmeric masks, hibiscus can be an invasive color!
This luxurious mask restores balance and harmony while creating the perfect beautifying ritual. It’s thick and pre-mixed, so just apply and relax. Honey delivers hydrating properties to visibly improve tone and radiance. Turmeric leaves your skin feeling calm, making this mask ideal for sensitivities. Skin brightening pearl powder enhanced with uva ursi and licorice transforms your complexion to have an everlasting glow.
Linne Botanicals’ gentle but effective Scrub Face Mask is perfect when you need a little exfoliation to reveal healthy radiant skin. I don’t use it every week – not even every month. But I love it when my skin is feeling dull. It’s also a beautiful millennial pink to boot!
As you may remember from this sleep post, I’ve fallen deeply in love with Uma’s line of Ayurvedic oils. They also make fabulous masks. Based on an age-old formula, this brightens skin for the modern age. It’s a potent blend of warming spices, Saffron and Cinnamon. Acne and inflammation is soothed, pores are toned, pigment fades and the skin shines with a luminous glow. Yes, please! It also smells fantastic.
This is one of the first natural face masks I tried when I made the switch, and it might be the most iconic! Tata Harper’s cult product is a super-hydrating, nourishing mask to deeply moisturize skin. Smoothe over skin as an overnight treatment or during the day for ten minutes to see skin come alive. I love using this one in winter when the polar vortex is beating the life out of my face.
True botanicals formulas are ultra silky and calming, and this mask is no different. I love how it makes my skin feel smoother after just a few minutes, and you don’t have to worry about any drying effects. It’s a great base before applying their oils, which I also love.
If you’re too sensitive to use a scrub or textured mask, getting something with probiotics in it is a great solution. The blend of enzymes, Lactic Acid and Probiotics gently polishes and refines skin for a superior satin finish. Shea Butter also hydrates and soothes inflammation for a radiant finish.
I recently got a facial at Britta Beauty and this is the formula she used on me. It was extremely gentle, nourishing, and smelled like pure HEAVEN. They don’t carry it in many natural beauty stores, so order directly from the brand.
Here are some of your favorite natural face masks that you submitted to me! Many of you seconded the products above. But here are some additional – I can’t wait to try them. Let me know yours in the comments!