Way before I started writing Desi girl’s beauty blog, I had a passion for beauty products and skincare. In fact, I’ve always been a sucker for anything that promises to smooth, brighten or highlight. Sometimes I get it right, and quite often I get it wrong, such as the time I bought Dr Murad’s Gentle Blemish Treatment Gel.
However, in more recent years, I’ve realised that for good skincare you don’t just have to shell out for products, as many treatments can be made from what you have in your cupboard. This is no more the case than with face masks.
A good friend, who’s clued up on ayurvedic treatment, showed me how to make a great face mask, which I’ve been using to this day. I even shared this with colleagues in aid of charity. While there was some interest, I think many people were wary of homemade masks, as they thought they may suffer a breakout or reaction.
In fact, while people won’t think twice about buying an off-the-shelf face mask – where they don’t have a clue about the ‘hidden’ ingredients – they’re nervous about using something that’s been freshly made from scratch.
To right this wrong, I decided to pit one of my favourite facemasks against a mask I bought recently from Lush, the fresh handmade cosmetic giants.
My face mask is lovingly called ‘atta face’ which translates to ‘gram flour face’, alluding to one of its key ingredients. The facemask from Lush is ‘Brazened Honey, which was recommended to me by the sales assistant. I used this mask three times in a week, and did the same with my own face mask the following week. Here’s the lowdown:
Lush: Brazened Honey – £5.50 for 75g
|Brazened Honey - Lush's handmade face mask|
‘Atta face’ – free, if you already have the ingredients. If you’re buying from scratch, the cost still amounts to a few pennies for 75g.
|'Atta face' - humble but effective facemask|
Lush Brazened Honey - More than you can shake a stick at:
Kaolin, Talc, Fresh Organic Lime Juice, Sage, Rosemary and Juniperberry Infusion, Fresh Free Range Eggs, Honey, Glycerine, Fresh Fennel, Ground Almond Shells, Almond Oil, Bentonite Gel, Fresh Ginger Root, Fresh Parsley, Fresh Coriander, Ground Tumeric, Ground Cardamom, Clove Bud, Ginger Oil, Vetivert Oil, Juniperberry Oil, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Perfume.
Note: Perfume? Benzyl Salicylate (or acid)? Hardly the most natural ingredients.
‘Atta face’ – Everything you can find in your kitchen cupboard, or at the ‘World Foods’ section of a supermarket, or an asian grocery store:
2 tsp Gram (or chickpea) flour, ¼ tsp turmeric, 2 tsp natural yoghurt, ½ tsp honey, squeeze of lemon juice (optional).
Lush Brazened Honey – Two weeks if kept in the fridge.
‘Atta face’ – Two weeks if kept in the fridge.
Leave on for:
Lush Brazened Honey – five to ten minutes.
‘Atta face’ – About 20-30 minutes.
Lush Brazened Honey - A powerhouse of effective ingredients for all tired skins. Refreshing herbs and fruit juice are blended with warming Ayurvedic herbs and spices. With almonds to polish and moisturising honey, this blend leaves the skin vibrant and reinvigorated.
‘Atta face’ – Turmeric brightens, yoghurt and gram flour tightens, while honey moisturises. Lemon juice helps if you’ve got suffer breakouts. Oh, and it’s an absolute killer for dry skin!
Lush Brazened Honey – The first time I tried this product, it stung like hell. I literally felt my face burning up, so I had to take it off after just a minute rather that keeping it on for the recommended ten minutes. I imagine it was all those ingredients kicking into action. This certainly isn’t one for sensitive girls.
Bravely, I tried my luck again after a few days. It was more manageable this time, and I could keep it on for ten minutes. After rinsing, my skin did feel cleaner and softer, but the results weren’t particularly noticeable or lasting.
‘Atta face’ – Again, the turmeric might not agree with all skin tones. In fact, if you’re very sensitive, I’d reduce the quantity, or omit. Also, for very fair skin tones, the danger is you could look every so slightly jaundiced, or like one of The Simpsons.
But for most skin tones, it works a treat. I’ve even managed to convert a fair few friends and relatives who noticed the difference in my complexion after using it. The biggest benefit is that it really does eliminate dry skin, because if left on long enough, it hardens and comes of like a clay mask, taking all the dry skin with it.
So in short, don’t assume that the perfect solution comes in pretty shop-bought package. Sometimes it may just be in your kitchen cupboard.