Don't Try This at Home: Dodgy Homemade Face Masks Edition

Each week I try the weird beauty DIY homemade shit just for you. Think of my face as a lab, and your eyes as the thing in labs that scientists look through when, y'know, considering microbes.
Publish date:
October 2, 2012
natural, DIY, skin, face masks

Unlike anti wrinkle serums, face masks have traditionally been made with natural ingredients.

Cleopatra often put egg on herself and Yang Gui Fei, a royal in the Tang dynasty, would make really easy facemasks we can all emulate involving pearl, white jade and ginseng mixed with lotus root starch. (cheers Yang, sounds great, I'll just nip to my ancient Chang'an garden in the year 750. Brb.)

Good news? Marie Claire's facemasks are made of ingredients found in Tesco.

Other good news? I'm staying at my parents house while I take a swim in the me-lagoon for a month so already have everything in the fridge without having to go to Tesco.

Even more good news? This was all done while my dad taught me about the Ryder Cup as I've never really been into golf before and EVERYONE WHO WASN'T AMERICA WON -- YEAH GOLF EMOTIONS IN GOLF YEAHHHH GOLFGOLF (I don't understand golf).

Yet more good news? Gael Garcia Bernal kept appearing on the Gillette advert during the Ryder Cup ad breaks and I got all emotional in my trousers.

But I digress. It's time to harness the power of Marie Claire's facemasks and become the sort of woman Gael Garcia Bernal would like to shave for. Covered in banana.

The Organic Banana Facemask

This promises to give skin a healthy glow, which is good because I'm so pale am often mistaken for an ill person/a white wall

1. Mash one half of a banana 2. Mix in a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey 3. Apply to the face and keep the mixture on for fifteen minutes 4. Rinse with lukewarm water and then moisturize.

IS IT EASY TO MAKE? You'll probably have the ingredients already and mashing a banana with a fork is quite fun. Not naked skydiving fun. But in comparison to say, poking a mango, it's quite good. 5/5

IS IT EASY TO WEAR? Firstly, it dribbles everywhere, forcing you to walk like a limbo artist should you need to get to your chair. It dribbled in my eye while I was limboing and, thanks to the acidity of the orange juice, I felt like a guy who's fallen into a vat of acid before it turns him into a super villain. But it was in my eye. Secondly, it tastes so nice which was irritating because I kept eating it. 1/5

YEAH ALL RIGHT BUT HOW DID IT TASTE? Like a dream. Sweet, bananaey with a tang of OJ; a real shame it was on my face when it should have been stirred into a bowl of Greek yoghurt or into my porridge. 4/5

ACTUAL RESULTS: Had to moisturise twice afterward because the bit where your nose attaches to your face was stinging and flaking off.

Thought for a moment my nose was attempting to run away, so spent a while trying to convince it of all the good times we had (remember when I pierced you and you bled all over my exam paper and I circled the blood and wrote "Nothing sinister, just my nose"? We're PALS!), but it was just the orange juice burning a bit. 1/5

MY 51 YEAR OLD FATHER'S COMMENTS: You look slimy. A bit like something in a horror movie.

The Breakfast Mask Promises to correct and calm oily skin and, according to the woman in the accompanying image, will make you achieve a small orgasm (god knows what full coverage would do):

Oh. Apparently this:

1. Combine an egg yolk, a tablespoon of honey, then a tablespoon of olive oil (yes, olive oil) and half a cup of oatmeal 2. Apply to the face for 15-20 minutes 3. Rinse with lukewarm water and then moisturize

IS IT EASY TO MAKE? I like how they imply putting olive oil on your face is any more bonkers than an egg yolk (NOT THE WHITES, FOR GOD'S SAKE). Anyway, extracting the yolk from a raw egg is tricky; I put a shot glass over the yolk after cracking the egg like a fucking pro and pouring the whites out.

Also, not everyone has porridge oats in the cupboard even though you should because they contain soluble fibre and are great with vodka in the mornings. 3/5

IS IT EASY TO USE? Sort of. I'd advise more honey because the mixture wasn't sticky enough and kept dropping off in large chunks all over the floor. And put a towel down. And make sure you lie down immediately after application.

It felt like wearing a soothing paper mache cloud and, after 15 minutes, had started to set slightly like a real facemask. As opposed to a dessert. 3/5

YEAH ALRIGHT BUT HOW DID IT TASTE? Wouldn't advise it considering there's raw egg yolk in there and it smelt a bit rank.

ACTUAL RESULTS? Do this if your skin is dry, which, after the orange juice fandango, mine was. Not only does the oatmeal gently exfoliate while you're washing it off, but my jib felt buttery in a good way. You have to always moisturise afterwards, but the olive oil in this one almost made that unnecessary. Big fan. Huge.

51 YEAR OLD FATHER'S COMMENTS: You look like a pebble-dashed house.

Heavenly Honey Citrus Mask This is supposed to be a quick fix to give your skin a healthy glow. Very enigmatic and sort of vague but we'll give it a go anyway.

1. Combine three tablespoons of orange juice with half a cup of honey 2. Apply to the face and leave on for half an hour 3. Rinse with lukewarm followed by cool water, then moisturize

EASY TO MAKE? Oh great, orange juice again. And you have to mix some honey with it? WHAT AM I, A POTIONS MASTER??!

Ha just kidding. See, I implied it was difficult for comic effect when in fact this is probably one of the simplest instructions you'll ever be given. Up there with "Here's 70p- go buy me a Twix" and "Don't eat the Twix" and "Go and buy me another Twix with your own money". 5/5

EASY TO USE?: Best to get a friend to spoon this on your face while you're wearing a shower cap and goggles. I altered the recipe, only adding one spoonful of orange juice due to a fear of being burnt and viscosity purposes, but it still dripped.

Because the mixture is colourless, it looked like my skin was melting which was quite fun, unlike the 30 minute waiting time -- quick fix my arse (that was a sarcastic comment as opposed to an instruction. Unless you're Gael Garcia Bernal. In which case, QUICK FIX MY ARSE, GAEL). 0/5

YES BUT DOES IT TASTE NICE? It tastes like honey and orange juice. So, if you like the sound of that, then by all means go apeshit.

ACTUAL RESULTS: The "mask" feels really soothing when on but as we all know, it's all about the journey, and this journey was sticky and boring (insert sex joke regarding one of your ex boyfriends here).

Honey on your face really does work, though, and I'd probably get rid of the orange juice altogether. If you've got sensitive skin, it just stings.

51 YEAR OLD FATHER'S COMMENTS: I don't really know what to say. Shiny.

I'd recommend the Breakfast Mask because it makes you look like that one from The Fantastic Four that turns into a Rock Person and feels really nice.

Honey on its own doesn't do much -- although in small doses it heals burns (I tried this out last month during a wok incident and I'm serious, this stuff is better than the cold-water-have-a-cry-use-a-bit-of-Savlon approach) -- because it's sticky and weird, but add it to olive oil and egg yolk and you've got yourself a pore party.

However, surely there's a way of getting homemade facemasks to at least stick. I mean, putting compote on your face is embarrassing enough without factoring in the limbo walk and a snail-like trail of slimy food in your wake.

I didn't try the skin-lightening mask because, like I said before, I'm the palest person alive but if anyone wants a go you can find it here and do let me know if you get brighter than the sun, won't you?

Oh, and if you've got any better face mask suggestions, pop them down so we can all learn together.

Next week I'm going to make sugar wax and rip hairs out of myself because I've been letting it grow specially and everything; my legs look like mohair totem poles.

And yes, I might film it or, at the very least, record some audio. TALLY HO.