What type of look would you like to create?
This will help us personalize your experience.

10 DIY Face Masks That Are Expert-Approved & Actually Work

UPDATE diy-face-mask-recipes-thumbnailUPDATE diy-face-mask-recipes-header
Photo by AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

Face masks are an essential part of any skincare routine. They can be nourishing, hydrating, and a great way to target any major skin concern you may have. Not to mention they're a deeply relaxing way to boost your wellness routine while also caring for your complexion. That said, face masks aren't always the cheapest. Even though they're often worth every penny, you can reach or exceed your beauty budget very quickly if you’re not careful. So what's someone who's on the quest for perfect skin to do? DIY it, duh! 

DIY face masks can often work just as well as (if not better than) some of the most sought-after face masks on the market. Not only are they often incredibly easy to make, chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen ready and waiting to help you get rid of hyperpigmentation, acne, and more. Below, we rounded up some of the best expert-approved DIY face mask recipes. See which recipes they recommend now!


About the Experts:

Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, is the president and co-founder of Modern Dermatology.
Leah Avigdori is a holistic and medical esthetician with over 15 years experience.
Joshua Zeichner, MD, is the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital.
Cynthia Rivas is an esthetician and skin care expert based in New York City. 

1. Best Face Mask Recipe for Exfoliating the Skin

The all-natural ingredients in this mask have multiple healing properties, including brightening, rejuvenating, moisturizing, and exfoliating. You may already be aware that cinnamon has anti-inflammatory benefits, but it also works as a gentle exfoliator, according to Cynthia Rivas, an esthetician based in New York City. According to Rivas, it’s even antimicrobial and helps kill bacteria. The other ingredients in this powerful recipe include nutmeg, which, like cinnamon, helps gently exfoliate and acts as an anti-inflammatory for irritated skin. Just in case you were debating whether to bake with this recipe or slather it on your face, yes, this recipe also uses cocoa, so the jury’s still out on that one. Cocoa, Rivas says, is a “powerful antioxidant that protects and rejuvenates the skin.” Finally, this recipe calls for honey, which promotes hydration and smooths the skin. We don’t officially recommend eating it but we do recommend sitting with it on your skin for at least 10 minutes. 

How to Make the Face Mask:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  2. Add 1 teaspoon nutmeg-anti-inflammatory
  3. Add 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

2. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Minimizing Pores: Kaolin Clay and Green Tea

The holy grail of DIY masks for purification? Clay. It absorbs excess sebum (which can lead to breakouts), lifts away dirt and debris, and calms redness—all without stripping your skin of its essential moisture. Named for its “kaolinite” mineral content, kaolin clay has a neutral pH and is considered the gentlest clay, making it a great choice for dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin types. Plus, it acts like a blank canvas when used as a mask. Keep it simple and mix with water, milk, or apple cider vinegar, and customize it by adding in honey, yogurt, or green tea!

How to Make a Clay Face Mask:

  1. Brew 1 cup of green tea and let it cool
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered kaolin clay to a small plastic or glass bowl and slowly mix with a wooden, glass, or plastic spoon in the cooled green tea until it forms a thin paste consistency
  3. With a brush or your fingers, apply an even layer onto skin and let it sit for five to 10 minutes, or until fully dry 
  4. Gently rinse with warm water, avoiding any rubbing or tugging 
  5. Follow with a moisturizer (pro-tip: this mask can be used once a week!)

3. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Reducing Redness: Oatmeal 

As it turns out, your breakfast can also double as a soothing skin treatment. Chock full of antioxidants known as avenanthramides, oatmeal is well known for its ability to relieve redness and calm itchy, irritated skin. So if your complexion is on the fritz from cold winds, allergies, or reactive, consider making an extra batch of oats for your face. Bonus: This homemade face mask can be made with plain instant oatmeal (so easy!), but just make sure it’s free from added sugars or flavors.

How to Make a Calming Face Mask:

  1. Cook a serving of instant oatmeal according to directions and let it cool
  2. Gently slather onto your face, letting it sit for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse with cool water
  4. While skin is still damp, follow with your fave serums and moisturizer for max absorption

4. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Tired Under Eyes: Coffee

Have you noticed that caffeine tends to be a star ingredient in eye creams? That’s because it can help constrict blood vessels, giving a temporarily tightened effect to puffy under eyes. So if you’re looking for a morning quick-fix to help perk up tired eyes, this two-ingredient eye mask with ground coffee and honey is a no-brainer. And don’t worry, no extra jitters involved here.

How to Make a Tightening Face Mask:

  1. Mix a ½ tablespoon of coffee grounds + 1 teaspoon of raw honey until you have a thin, paste-like consistency; add more honey if needed
  2. Use fingers or a small fan brush to smooth the mixture onto your under eye area and up toward the brow bone (pro-tip: this area is delicate! Be sure to use light pressure and avoid getting into your eyes)
  3. Leave the paste on your skin for 10 minutes
  4. Gently rinse the mixture off without tugging or rubbing the skin
  5. Finish with a hydrating eye cream

5. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Hyperpigmentation: Papaya 

If you’ve ever dealt with a gnarly breakout, you know the battle doesn’t end when the pimples heal—the dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH for short) left behind can take their sweet time to fade. Thankfully, a simple DIY mask with fresh papaya and honey can help speed up that process. A natural source of alpha hydroxy acids and a brightening enzyme known as papain, papaya acts as a gentle exfoliator to dissolve dead skin cells and reveal a brighter, softer complexion. 

How to Make an Exfoliating Face Mask:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together a ½ cup of mashed papaya + 2 tablespoons of honey
  2. Apply a thin layer of the mixture evenly over your face
  3. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water and follow up with your fave gentle moisturizer

6. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Hyperpigmentation: Turmeric and Lemon Juice

Modern Dermatology co-founder Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson highly recommends using turmeric and lemon juice as another great way to treat hyperpigmentation, as they "are both fantastic ingredients for lightening" dark marks. She shares it can be used all over the face or as a spot treatment to really target darker patches of skin.

How to Make an Exfoliating Face Mask:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1 teaspoon of lemon juice + 1-2 teaspoons of water in a bowl (Dr. Robinson shares that you can also add in honey because it "gives the mixture a thicker consistency and also contains antimicrobial properties, adding that water can be swapped for plain yogurt "to transition this recipe into a thicker, more exfoliating recipe thanks to the lactic acid in the yogurt”)
  2. Mix the ingredients together until it forms a paste
  3. Apply all over your face or use a cotton swab to dab it onto specific problem areas of your complexion
  4. Let the paste work its magic for 15 to 20 minutes
  5. Rinse off with warm water
  6. Dr. Robinson notes that you should use this DIY face mask once a week to start and gradually work your way up to using it three to five times a week

7. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Dry Skin: Cocoa Powder

Flaky, dry skin can be a pain to deal with. Give it an extra blast of hydration with this cocoa powder DIY face mask recommended by Dr. Robinson. She shares that cocoa powder, when mixed with milk and honey, "is moisturizing, plumping, gently exfoliating, and the cocoa provides the skin with antioxidants."

How to Make a Moisturizing Face Mask:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon of honey + 2 teaspoons of milk + 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder into a bowl and mix (the milk and honey serve as the base, and Dr. Robinson shares that you'll want to add "just enough cocoa powder to give it a thick enough consistency to spread on your face")
  2. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly with warm water
  4. Start out using this mask once a week and gradually increase to two times a week

8. DIY Face Mask Recipe for Acne-Prone Skin: Manuka Honey

Looking for a face mask that requires the fewest ingredients possible with the most efficacy in banishing blemishes and breakouts? Congratulations, you've found it. Holistic facialist and esthetician Leah Avigdori is a huge fan of honey, specifically raw Manuka honey. "Manuka honey is a wound healer, a humectant, an anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial," she raves. This makes it a fantastic option for those with acne-prone skin, because the honey can really clear up your complexion. Those with dry or sensitive skin can also benefit from slathering on this sweet solution.

How to Make a Skin-Clearing Face Mask:

  1. Get your hands on some Manuka honey (Avigdori says "you don't need to buy the most expensive brand, just look for a UMF rating on the label to make sure it's pure Manuka”, adding that "UMF stands for unique Manuka factor and it measures the potency of methylglyoxal, the component within the honey that gives it its antibacterial properties")
  2. (Optional: If you'd like a more detoxifying experience for your acne-prone skin, Avigdori says to "break open one capsule of activated charcoal to absorb debris and toxins per 1 tablespoon of honey and mix well.")
  3. Apply a thin layer over your face and neck
  4. Leave the honey mask on for 15 to 20 minutes
  5. Rinse it off with warm water
  6. You can use this face mask one to two times a week

9. DIY Face Mask Recipe for All Skin Types: Matcha and Aloe

Avigdori recommends the powerful combination of matcha and aloe vera for all skin types, especially given how well it softens and soothes the skin. "The combination of matcha powder and pure aloe creates a calming and replenishing action on the skin," she points out. "The green tea leaves in matcha contain high levels of antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and protect against environmental pollutants. Together with aloe, this mask delivers a soothing, softening, and healing effect on all skin types."

How to Make a Beauty-Boosting Face Mask:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon matcha powder + 1/2 teaspoon pure aloe vera gel in a small bowl; If you plan on applying this mixture to your neck and chest, double the amount used
  2. (Optional: Avigdori shares she also likes to add two to three pumps of colloidal silver gel and five sprays of rosewater) 
  3. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water
  5. This mask can be used two to three times a week (though start with once a week just to be safe)

10.  DIY Face Mask Recipe for Brighter Skin: Pumpkin

Who would've thought the secret to brightening your complexion was pumpkin? Not us, but Dr. Zeichner loves a pumpkin mask for exactly that. "To help brighten the skin, you can create a pumpkin mask at home. Pumpkin is used in skincare because it’s loaded with alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate dead skin cells. It also has antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene to brighten and protect the skin," he shares.

How to Make a Brightening Face Mask:

  1. Mix 4 tablespoons of pumpkin purée + 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
  2. Leave the concoction on for 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Rinse with warm water
  4. Start by using this mask once a week and work your way up to twice a week 

Want the very best skincare products like face masks and more delivered directly to you in our IPSY Glam Bag? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

Like this article? Share it with your friends by clicking the icons below! 

About the author
ashley-locke-headshot
Ashley Locke
Ashley is a Long Beach-based freelance writer who loves sharing beauty and skincare hacks with her fellow “lazy girls” out there. When she isn’t writing, you can find her crying while listening to The Maine or watching "The Office".
About the author
brittany-leitner-headshot
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
Share Article
Article Last Updated November 22, 2022 12:00 AM