When I was a teenager, I used to get a girls’ magazine called Brio (now apparently reincarnated as Susie Mag). Like most publications for teen girls, it had all kinds of beauty tips and tricks – though usually a tamer, more modest variety than what you’d see in Cosmo or Elle. Among the most commonly featured beauty tips were DIY facial masks, formulated to do everything from clear up greasy skin to giving you a happy glow. I rarely went through the effort of gathering the recommended ingredients, dragging out the blender, and fielding the baffled looks and teasing comments from my Dad that such recipes entailed.
These days, however, my approach to detox masks has shifted and I’m much quicker to reach for one. I credit this change to discovering that you don’t need a half dozen ingredients, a blender and mess to whip up and smear on a deep-impact face mask. Nor do you have to lounge around for half an hour with a goopy face to reap the rewards. (This is important when you have two border collie supervisors who are convinced that goop covering your face means something is seriously wrong with you! Apparently it’s fine for THEM to run around covered in mud, but not people… go figure.) Instead, you can skip the mess entirely and try this easy alternative:
Detoxifying Baking Soda Face Mask
1 tsp baking soda
Essential oil of your choice (just a few drops!) [Optional]
Put about one teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. (It doesn’t have to be exact – this is a very flexible and forgiving “recipe”.) Add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. Tea tree oil will boost the mixture’s clarifying properties (so go lightly!). Alternatives like lavender and chamomile will help sooth inflamed or reddened skin. Mix in just enough water to create a smooth paste. Using your fingers, spread the paste in a thin layer across your face, being careful to avoid the eyes. Let the mask sit for a least a minute or two, though you can leave it on closer to 10 if you wish. Then wash it off, and you’re good to go!
Tasteless and odorless, Bentonite Clay is a fabulous detoxification tool that excels at pulling toxins – and particularly heavy metals – out of the body. Experimenting with this wonderful stuff has been the second big factor in my revived use of detox masks in recent years. It’s safe to use internally or externally, but external use is a lot faster and more pleasant (in my opinion!).
Being a clay, bentonite clumps more than baking soda, but not so much as to make it difficult to work with. It’s important to always use glass jars and wood utensils when working with BC. (These spoons are only $1 each, and freaking adorable in person.) Using metal can actually contaminate the clay, because it’s so quick to absorb metals! Handled correctly, though, that’s a great thing because it provides an easy, cost effective way to pull excess and harmful heavy metals from your body.
You can make a bentonite face mask by simply subbing clay for the baking soda in the recipe above and omitting the essential oils. Some people prefer to give their masks an added kick by using Apple Cider Vinegar in place of the water as well. Nadia over at Body Unburdened even recommends using a similar bentonite clay mask on your feet.
All things considered, detox masks can provide a great way to work fast and effective small-scale detoxes into your routine. Do you have a favorite detox mask – DIY or commercial?