Face masks are the fast pass to a clearer, more radiant complexion. Here, the pros share their secret DIY recipes -- using ingredients you've already got in your kitchen. By Cristina Mueller, REDBOOK.
Prep your face
A mask is one of the fastest ways to get a healthy glow because it delivers a potent dose of ingredients into your skin," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. You can apply a mask as often as once a week, but whether you whip up your own at home or buy one at the store, make sure to cleanse and gently exfoliate your skin first, which makes it easier for the ingredients to sink in. (The old advice about steaming your face? Experts say it's just not necessary.)
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Slather on a hydrating mask--it'll make you look dewy, and it plumps up lines so they're harder to see. Create your own in minutes with this recipe from famed Los Angeles facialist Ole Henriksen, whose clients include Halle Berry. In a bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp honey, 5 Tbsp dry oatmeal (blended into a powder using a food processor), and 2 Tbsp plain yogurt. Spread the mix on your face, avoiding your eye area, and leave it on for 20 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, combine the dry oatmeal powder with ½ Tbsp almond oil, juice from half a lemon, and 1 egg white instead. Prefer to have someone else do the work for you? We like Origins Drink Up mask ($23) or, for sensitive skin, Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask ($32), which has anti-inflammatory lavender.
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For a deep clean...
Coat it with ingredients that draw out impurities and unclog pores. Facialist Joanna Vargas, founder of Joanna Vargas Salon in New York City (Rachel Weisz is a client), swears by this D.I.Y. formula: Mix together ¼ cup mashed-up strawberries, 3 Tbsp plain yogurt, and 1 Tbsp rice flour or any nut that's been ground into a fine powder. Smooth the paste on your skin, avoiding your eyes, and chill out for 20 minutes. If you don't feel like playing Top Beauty Chef, go with a clay facial mask such as Freeman's Mint & Lemon Facial Clay Mask ($3.99) or one that contains tea tree oil, like the Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask ($15).
Don't forget your eyes
While you're pampering your skin, treat your eyes to a little R&R. Steep two chamomile tea bags in hot water, stick them in the fridge to cool, then place one over each eye after you've applied your face mask. Or try Henriksen's favorite eye-soother: Grate a chilled cucumber and wrap it up in gauze or cheesecloth "so it looks like a sushi roll," he says, then rest the roll over your eyes as your mask absorbs. "The cooling effect feels amazing."
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Take it off
When your mask is finished, follow these steps to seal in the benefits:
1. To remove a clay mask or any homemade formula, gently wipe it off with a warm, damp washcloth, then apply your usual face cream.
2. When using a store-bought moisturizing mask, simply tissue it off--no rinsing needed--and you're completely done.
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