DIY Face Masks for Your Self-Contained, Self-Care Days

Mother Nature | Tilda Swinton photographed by Tim Walker for W Magazine, December 2014.

Tim Walker

Although “self-care” is an overused phrase, it has become absolutely essential for emotional well-being during the pandemic. At the risk of sounding too much like a pulpiteer, doing something kind for yourself every day can help change your outlook in certain moments of despair. And if you haven’t developed a self-care routine, or the goals you’ve set out to achieve in this first month of the New Year have not been fulfilled, you’re not alone. It’s challenging to muster up the strength to do much of anything.

Should finding more time for self-care moments be on the top of your list, we’ve consulted with top celebrity skin experts and facialists on both coasts for the easiest and most effective DIY masks—each unique in its formulation. Give your skin a quick pick-me-up with these easy to find, high-quality ingredients.

For Acne Rescue


1 teaspoon raw honey 

1 teaspoon aloe vera gel 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

Colloidal silver water 

“This mask can be used several times a week if needed to improve the texture and softness of the skin and calm any irritation,” says London-based celebrity skin expert Nichola Joss. “Unfiltered raw honey is best to use, as it has more potent healing properties and cinnamon is high in antibacterial properties so it will help to rebalance any congestion in the skin. First spritz your skin with Colloidal Silver water all over. This will purify and heal the skin. Mix the raw honey and a teaspoon of aloe vera gel and then add the cinnamon. Apply mixture all over the face, gently massaging it in. Leave on for 30-40 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.”

To Gently Exfoliate and Clarify


1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 tablespoon raw honey 

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

“Cinnamon and honey are both antibacterial, which is great for anyone who’s dealing with breakouts,” says Shamara Bondoroff of SB Skin New York. “Plus, yogurt has lactic acid which provides light exfoliation. For this clarifying cinnamon honey mask, mix the ingredients and put the mixture on your face for 15 minutes. Cinnamon alone on the face has a warming effect—but the yogurt and honey make it super soothing. This will gently exfoliate, hydrate, and help with breakouts. It’s a perfect combination.”

For a Soft Glow  

1 tablespoon turmeric 

1 teaspoon flour 

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1 teaspoon milk 

“When you have some extra time, invest in masks and use them as much as possible,” says Mimi Luzon, who splits her time between New York and Tel Aviv to treat some of the most famous faces in the industry, including Irina Shayk, Bella Hadid, and Gigi Hadid. “I currently do a different mask every day. Following Eastern skincare practices, it’s extremely beneficial for our skin to use a face mask with a different function every day—it could be firming, illuminating, moisturizing or detoxifying. Turmeric preparation is also an excellent mask for glowing and softening of the skin. For this mask, mix all ingredients together to create an ointment, apply to the skin for 20 minutes, and then rinse with water.”

The Anti-Inflammatory Vitamin C and Antioxidant Berry Mask 

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup strawberries 

1/2 cup blueberries 

“This is an excellent mask full of healing antioxidant properties for the skin,” according to Lena Bratschi of Carasoin Spa in Los Angeles. “The lactic acid in Greek yogurt gently exfoliates, adds moisture, and helps to brighten the skin. Oats are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, while strawberries are rich in various antioxidants such as vitamin C, as well as flavonoids and salicylic acid. Blueberries—again, high in antioxidants, in particular, plant compounds known as anthocyanins which give the blue hue and may support collagen synthesis. Blend the ingredients and apply liberally to face and neck for 15-20 mins, cleaning off in the shower or with a soft washcloth.”

To Brighten

Ling Chan, Ling Skincare Spa 

New York

1 Tbsp Rice Flour
1 Tbsp Plain Full Fat Yogurt 

1 Tbsp Honey 

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice 

1 Egg White

Mix the rice flour and yogurt together as the mask base. And then add lemon (for skin brightening & uneven tone), honey and olive oil and egg white. The egg white is the last step for firming and tightening. Leave on 15-20 minutes, recommended to apply once or twice a week for visible results.

To Calm and Hydrate

Joanna Czech, who works with Lily Aldridge and Christy Turlington, suggests combining equal portions oats and flaxseed with one teabag worth of Linden in a coffee grinder. Create a paste with some lukewarm water and apply the glaze on the face. Keep it on for 20-30 minutes. “If you have an LED device, you can lie under a red light for 30 minutes. This will allow the ingredients to penetrate more deeply,” she adds. “Oats are very calming for the skin and flaxseed is full of Omegas, while Linden tea is super hydrating.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Lamees Hamdan, the wellness doctor behind the Shiffa Beauty line (Kim Kardashian West and Kelly Rowland are fans) recommends an all-natural soothing mask to calm skin and also brighten. “Start by adding a dash of turmeric to one teaspoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon and enough live, full-fat yogurt to get the right consistency for a mask. Any type of raw honey will do. Use once a week for 10 minutes. It’s calming because of the turmeric, yet exfoliating because of the yogurt, and also acts as an astringent because of the lemon.”

For Hydration and Glow

The celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas recommends her own anti-inflammatory, DIY Hydrating Spice Mask to stimulate the skin. The red-carpet skin expert, who tends to the faces of Rachel Brosnahan, Julianne Moore, Helena Christensen, and Mindy Kaling, recommends mashing up half an avocado, one tablespoon of Manuka honey, two teaspoons of coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon freshly chopped fennel. “It’s rich in nutrients that stimulate the lymphatic system. This mask smells absolutely divine, and ideal if you’re looking for an invigorating, hydrating glow,” Vargas says. “I encourage the mask twice a week after exfoliation. Leave on for 15–20 minutes.”

To Deep Clean

The Los Angeles–based celebrity aesthetician of the moment Vanessa Hernandez, whose Brentwood office boasts a 6-month waiting list, suggests a deep-cleaning DIY skin pick-me-up with ingredients that refine the pores. “Prepare to mix ingredients in a small glass (martini preferred) and use a small spoon,” Hernandez says. “Take one teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon milk, and two to three drops of lavender oil, and stir for two minutes into a paste. This will be just enough for one facial mask application. Apply with the back of the spoon in upward motions.”

Hernandez, who works on such recognizable faces as Amber Valletta, also recommends making use of this time with some facial lymphatic strokes with the spoon. Use the front of the spoon for curved areas of the face like the top of your nose and chin. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water. This can be done one to two times a week. Baking soda is a natural exfoliant that detoxifies, brightens, and minimizes pores. Milk naturally contains lactic acid, which is deep cleaning and brightening, and draws excess sebum from the skin. Olive oil is rich in vitamins for this skin. Lavender oil is anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, while repairing skin health, and boosts your immune system. It helps with redness and is extremely calming and relaxing. It’s packed with vitamins and helps fight against free radicals. “I know what you’re thinking: turmeric?! What a mess,” Hernandez says. “I dare you to try it. I promise there is zero mess or stains. The only time your hands physically touch this concoction is when you are rinsing it off.  Make sure to apply moisturizer after the mask has been rinsed off.”

For Exfoliation

A favorite of Dakota Johnson and Kate Beckinsale, the facialist Kat Rudu offers an exfoliating DIY mask that repairs skin from premature aging with a dose of natural antioxidants. Rudu says, “Take one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of Greek yogurt, and one tablespoon of cacao powder. Mix all ingredients together into a paste. Apply a thick layer on the face and leave on for 20 minutes. For extra exfoliating, wet your hands, and with a circular motion, begin to scrub your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. Mist it with your favorite spritz. The sugar draws in moisture and acts as a natural humectant to give skin a glow. Greek yogurt is a natural probiotic for the skin, while the cacao is excellent for repairing skin from premature aging and is very potent in antioxidants.”

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