I Made a Face Mask for Under $1. The Results Were Seriously Surprising.

Easy to make, simple to use and wallet-friendly. What's not to like?

If I had back every dollar I’ve spent on face creams, masks and lotions, I could probably retire tomorrow. Smoother, tighter, brighter, wrinkle-free—all the promises somehow never seem to live up to the cost. With popular brands suggesting I drop $12 or even $70 for radiant results, I decided to experiment by making my own face mask using items readily available. The goal: create a face mask that’s just as good as the top-tier brands for under $1. Here are the results.

The Research

There are thousands of recipes for DIY face masks out there, but I wanted to use typical food ingredients and standard pantry items that were easily available and budget-friendly. That eliminated pricey essential oils and obscure potions. My skin tends toward the oily/combination side, and wrinkles seem to multiply daily, so I chose ingredients geared toward moisturizing, hydrating and tightening my skin.

Avocados

Avocados provide lots of health benefits when consumed, so I did a little digging to discover their benefits when applied topically to the skin. Turns out they’re just as good for you on the outside as they are on the inside. Avocados are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals that have been shown to help soften and hydrate the skin, heal acne and inflammation, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin tone and elasticity. Sign me up!

Yogurt

Many of the DIY face mask recipes I researched included plain yogurt. Yogurt contains lactic acid which can help dissolve dead skin cells, gently exfoliating the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Yogurt is also a good moisturizer, can help relieve sunburn and reduce skin discoloration. Works for me.

Honey

I included honey as another natural way to lubricate the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, particularly in combination with the yogurt. (I also thought it might help the mask stick to my face!) Honey is a humectant, which means it can pull moisture from the air and bind it to the skin—more moisture equals smoother skin.

Egg White

Finally, to tighten my skin and erase fine lines and wrinkles, I included an egg white. Egg whites contain collagen and protein which help skin maintain its elasticity. They can draw oil from and tighten pores, fighting outbreaks and creating a smoother, firmer finish. And who doesn’t want that?

My DIY Face Mask Recipe

What You’ll Need:

• 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed smooth (Here’s how to tell if an avocado is ripe.)

• 1 teaspoon plain yogurt

• 1 teaspoon honey (use raw, unprocessed honey if available)

• 1 egg white (Here’s how to separate an egg.)

What You’ll Do:

1. Whip the egg white.

Mixed egg white in bowl with whiskPhoto: Taste of Home

First, I separated an egg, retaining the egg white. Then I whisked the egg white until it was frothy. (You can make these refreshing lime tartlets with the leftover egg yolk.)

2. Mash the avocado.

Mashed avocado in bowlPhoto: Taste of Home

Then I mashed an avocado into a smooth, creamy paste, blending out any large chunks.

3. Mix the ingredients.

Mixed DIY face maskPhoto: Taste of Home

Next, I added the yogurt, honey and egg white to the mashed avocado. I mixed it all together and had a bowl of lovely green slime.

4. Apply the mask.

I gently smoothed the mask over my face using circular motions, avoiding the eye and lip area. After 15 minutes the mask had dried and darkened in color.

5. Remove and rinse.

I removed the mask with a couple of cotton pads and warm water, which wasn’t difficult, but I recommend doing it over the sink. A final splash of cool water and a towel finished things off.

The Results

DIY Face Mask in Plastic ContainerPhoto: Taste of Home

The DIY face mask recipe above will make more than enough for two masks. I used the mask twice a week before bed for several weeks as a test. The first week, I kept the remainder in the bowl I had mixed it in and covered the surface tightly with plastic wrap. After three days, the avocado had darkened considerably, as avocado exposed to air does, so it didn’t look very appealing, but I could scrape off the top and use the mixture underneath. After making another batch the second week, I transferred the remainder into a small-mouth plastic container, covered the surface with olive oil and used it again two days later, which worked much better. I still scraped a thin layer off the top, but what remained was as good as new.

I’d like to say I look 20 years younger, but alas, such is not the case. However, I did feel that immediately after using the mask my skin felt noticeably softer and smoother. The next day, I felt like my skin looked slightly smoother and tighter. While I think this effect was only temporary, using this DIY face mask the night before a special occasion or an event is definitely something I’ll keep in mind.

Also, using the mask didn’t cause my skin to break out, which has happened with some of the pricier products I’ve used. (Whenever you try a new face product or make a DIY face mask, always test it in small, inconspicuous area first to see how your skin reacts.) Overall, I really liked the way my skin looked and felt after using this DIY face mask. I will definitely make it again.

Analyzing the Cost

I figured the cost of the mask by estimating only the portion I actually used of the ingredients I purchased. These are all items I would normally have in my kitchen, or could easily obtain from the local grocery store.

Avocado: $ .50
(I bought it for $.99, but only used half. Tuck the rest into a taco or tomato & avocado sandwiches.)

Yogurt: $ .03
(1 teaspoon of a 5.3 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt at $1.00 Use the rest to make Parmesan Yogurt Dip.)

Honey: $ .06
(I used 1 teaspoon of a 12-oz. bottle of honey at $4.00.)

Egg: $ .20
(I always have a dozen eggs in the fridge. One dozen cage-free eggs cost me $2.40)

TOTAL: $.79  (FOR 2+ MASKS = about $ .40 each)

The last hydrating face cream I bought was $68 and did little except for cause break outs. So was my DIY face mask a bargain? At $ .40 per mask, (at twice a week that’s $3.20 per month), I would definitely say I got my money’s worth.

My Conclusion

Would I recommend making your own DIY face mask? Absolutely, if you have the time, know your skin type and do a little research about ingredients that target your troublesome areas. Try using natural food and pantry items that can provide health benefits for you inside and out—because true beauty comes from both.

While you’re at it, check out these foods you can eat to help you look younger.

The best way to brighten your complexion? Drink more water.
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Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."