I used to underestimate the power of a good face mask because I learned to care for my skin from the inside out --- that is, as the skin is often a reflection of internal health, what better way to promote healthy skin than to practice healthy lifestyle habits?
I will say that an internal approach to skincare has been the most effective for me, but that's not to say that external skincare shouldn't be paid attention to. About a month ago, my mom guilted ;) the entire family into going to a spa (don't ask), which is where I was reminded of how a face mask could actually effectively enhance the appearance of your skin.
A personal brand that I love is Lush, because the products are made of 100% natural, cruelty-free (and often fair-trade) ingredients. At the same time, Lush masks have to be used up within 2-3 weeks (okay, sometimes I'll stretch it to 4 weeks), meaning that you have to wear the mask almost every other day, so it's not convenient or realistic for me to buy one regularly. Above all, nobody wants to regularly spend $7-8 on a face mask when you can make cheaper ones at home. Here's a great recipe for combating redness and making your skin glow:
You'll rarely see the world "milk" (as in dairy milk) on this blog, but dairy milk is rich in fat that will nourish and moisturize your skin (if you have dry feet, warm some milk up and soak your feet in it --- it sounds crazy, but it truly works!!!). You could try using a plant-based alternative, such as coconut milk (which has a creamier, richer consistency than rice or almond milk), but I just don't have any first-hand experience with substitutes.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, so it's a good idea to mix some into your soup or make turmeric tea if you're sick. The anti-inflammatory properties will also soothe irritated skin, reduce redness, and make it glow. One thing to keep in mind is that turmeric does stain, so don't keep this face mask on for too too long, or you may end up looking slightly orange, like an oompah-loompa ;). Don't worry though, the stain doesn't last for very long, and you could also consider applying this face mask before washing your face if you want your face soap to help rub off any residual tints.
And lastly, the optional ingredient is honey -- honey, especially raw honey, has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to help combat redness/irritation, and kill off some bacteria on your face. I hear that manuka honey is even more powerful and can seriously improve acne, but that's something that I haven't tried myself yet and can't verify with results.
Turmeric Face Mask
milk (dairy, or you can try coconut)
1. Mix turmeric powder, milk, (and honey) until you get a paste-like consistency.
2. Apply to a clean face with clean hands.
3. Let the mask sit for 10 minutes before washing off.
*measurements are arbitrary, use as much or as little as you need to get a paste-like consistency!