Dec 2, 2014

Customise Your Own Masks: Instantly Brighten, Reduce Redness And Tighten

The best masks for your skin are not the ones you buy off the shelves. Rather, it's those made with fresh, raw ingredients. Thats why the Lush Fresh Face Masks are so popular. Yet the mask I'm about to show you is better. It's all natural, affordable, and more importantly, it is better for your skin.

What's so great about this mask is that you can customise your mask according to what your skin needs. Whether my skin is breaking out, feeling dry or just dull, this mask is always the one thing I fall back to. Don't worry about it being a hassle because once you have the ingredients at hand, making this becomes so easy. The masks are also suitable for all skin types.

 The base of all the masks is :

  1. Oatmeal : two teaspoons (Any oatmeal is fine, be it instant or just the normal ones)
  2. Yogurt : one and a half to two teaspoons


1. Add ingredients in a clean dry bowl and mix well.

2.Add more yogurt or more oatmeal until desired consistency is reached.

3. Apply on skin and leave it for around 15 minutes.

4. Those with normal to dry skin should remove the mask while the mask is still moist. Letting the mask dry out can allow moisture to leave the skin. Those with combination to oily skin may remove the mask when it has dried. I found that when the mask dries completely, it helps to remove sebum from deep within pores. Face would feel less oily throughout the day.

5. Just as you're about to remove the mask, gently massage the mask into the skin in circular motions before washing it off. This is to allow the oats to exfoliate the skin. If the mask have dried up, use tap water to moisten it. The dried yogurt can be quite scratchy, so be sure to moisten it first.

6. Follow up with your regular cleanser to ensure all traces of the mask is removed.

I like my masks thick enough to hold it's form.

It is as simple as that. Although simple and basic as it is, this humble mask will instantly brighten, whiten and reduce redness on your skin. It soothes any irritation and leaves your skin feeling so smooth after.

Who is it great for :

Those with sensitive, dry or irritated skin. Even for those currently suffering from acne breakouts.

This mask is a very gentle mask that I have been using for about three years now, especially when I was still suffering with acne. I found that I could get away with using this mask 5 times a week. Every single time, I would have a more even complexion, the redness and inflammation from the pimples would also reduce significantly.

How it works: 


The ability to smooth your skin comes from the naturally derived lactic acid from the yogurt. This is an AHA, a chemical exfoliant, that will slough off the dead skin cells on your skin. This not only smooths your skin but may also reduce appearances of fine lines after repeated usage. The concentration of lactic acid in the yogurt may be milder than what you find in the stores, but unlike those, this will not cause any irritation to your skin. I talked all about such AHA's in my Clear Skin & Anti-aging: Exfoiation Is Key (AHAs).
Yogurt is also a mild bleaching agent. It has the ability to give you a more even complexion and also help to reduce those suffering from redness on your skin or on your pimples. This is also great if you're trying to whiten your skin, especially if you're a fan of the Korean porcelain skin.

Yogurt itself is also very moisturising. Yet what many are unaware of is the Zinc in the yogurt. It is anti-inflammatory, accelerates skin cell renewal and is even said to regulate sebum production. 


Oatmeal is the magic ingredient for those suffering from irritated or sensitive skin. It too, has anti-inflammatory properties and can even soothe itchy, inflamed skin. They can also act as a natural cleanser as they have saponins to remove oil and dirt. The oats itself can act as very gentle exfoliators to remove unwanted dead skin cells too.

How to customise it thereafter:


Great for : it's moisturising, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant abilities

Honey has a great moisturising ability and can significantly prolong the time the mask stays moist. The longer the mask stays moist on the skin, the more your skin absorbs.

It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Honey also has anti-oxidants in it. It is said that the darker the honey, the better the anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties of the honey. In my picture I used Manuka honey, but I found that the more affordable honey works just as well. 

Directions: add half a teaspoon of honey to base mixture


Great for: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and said to be anti-aging 

Tumeric is a spice commonly used in indian cooking or in curries. You can find them at the spice section of your supermarket. It's really cheap too, I got it for SGD $ 0.80 for a 100g packet.

I use this ingredient in conjunction with the honey when I suffer a serious breakout. Although the base mask is great for soothing current breakouts, it doesn't help to prevent future breakouts, especially breakouts caused by bacteria. (I talked about the causes of breakouts in my post: Clear Skin: The Cause & Tips.)

However, I found that adding the tumeric inhibits the ability of the yogurt to brighten, whiten and reduce redness. So you can alternate between this mask and the base mask.

Directions: add a pinch of tumeric powder to your base mask

Note: adding too much tumeric may sting or burn your face. Also, I would advise against using non-fat yogurt for this mask as tumeric needs the fat content to dissolve. Otherwise, it might leave a slight yellow residue on the skin. Fret not, a cleanser followed by a toner can effectively remove that yellow tint.


Great for: brightening the skin, anti-oxidant (in the form of Vitamin C) 

Lemon extracts are a common ingredient used to lighten dark spots and to generally brighten the skin. Delivering Vitamin C into the skin also doesn't get fresher than this.

( To read the full benefits of adding vitamin C to your mask, read 5 Reasons to Have vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine)

Directions: add a teaspoon of lemon juice or a gentle squeeze of lemon into the base mixture


Great for: temporarily slimming the face

I like to use this mask in the mornings, especially before an event. This caffeine from the coffee actually helps to ease any signs of bloating in the face area. I have dedicated an entire post on this mask in my One Trick For A Slimmer V-shaped Face. The mask written in that post was inspired by this base mask.

Directions: add a teaspoon of coffee grinds or instant coffee granules into base mixture.
Also, the instant coffee granules dissolves easily into the mixture, there is no need to dissolve it in hot water

So these are the ingredients I usually use in my masks, depending on my skin's current state. You can try other ingredients too. I have added a few drops of my Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion into my masks before. You can also try things like tea tree oil, witch hazel extracts or other essential oils as well.

I do hope this post was useful. Don't forget to share them on Google+, Twitter or Facebook too!


Note: the ingredients I use for my mask are specially set aside for my face only. They are not used for consumption whatsoever. This is to maintain a certain standard or hygiene. Adding unclean ingredients to your mask may perpetuate break-out prone skin. Use ingredients from your kitchen at your own discretion. Also, utensils I've used for my mask are either sanitised with rubbing alcohol or with boiled water before hand.


  1. your photography is great! i really want to try making my own face mask now! id love it if youd comment back xx

  2. I've been wanting to try some homemade facemasks! Great post :)

  3. Oooo i love home made face masks so I will definitely be trying! x

    I've got a mac lipstick giveaway on my blog if you want to take a look :)

  4. @AubreyLuu Thank you Aubrey :) I hope you liked the masks!

    @RachelMarie Thank you Rachel! Do tell me your experience after :)

  5. I have a question... does this mask keep in the fridge or do you make it on a daily basis?

    1. I make it on a daily basis for hygiene purposes. I'd imagine that keeping it in the fridge is possible if you're using it the day or two after. Do note to store it in an airtight and clean container too!


  6. Hi Stephanie!

    I would say that it would be best if made fresh per every usage. Mainly because unlike those store bought yogurt masks, this has no preservatives added. Like any other food ingredient, it would be subjected to the natural process of degradation or perhaps, bacteria build up.

    However, I don't see a problem with keeping a small batch in the fridge if you plan to finish it the next day :) Just keep in mind to store it in a clean, air tight container!


  7. Use colloidal oatmeal--the powdered kind you use in a bath. Mixes in much better, less lumpy. And one packet goes a long way, much further than when used for baths.

    1. Hi Kat,
      I never knew that! I would keep in mind the next time I run out of my oats.


  8. Hi, how about adding some olive oil or some avocado for the fat, since I only buy non fat yogurt? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Non-fat yogurt is suitable to be used in the mask as well! I'd imagine that those with oily skin would reach for the non-fat version more, just to be on the safer side.

      As you've mentioned, you can add other items to compensate for the lack of moisturising ability too. Both are great choices for those with dry to normal skin! Olive oil is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E whereas Avacado is rich in vitamin A, E and D. However for convenience purposes, I'd prefer Avacado because of it's thicker consistency. This would help the mask to better hold it's form. I'd imagine adding olive oil to work only if you add more oatmeal into the mix. Whichever is more convenient for you.

      As to how much of it to add in the mixture, I would think that half to one teaspoon would suffice, or until the desired consistency of your mask is reached.

      Don't forget, you could also use honey because it has great moisturing abilities as well!

      I hope this helps. Have fun with your masks Ruth, and do tell me what you think after :)


  9. your tips are very useful. thanks for posting.
    skin specialist