Masks are an effective way to nourish skin and get glowing, but the kind you squeeze from a tube and slather on your face can be goopy and messy. The innovation that delivers all the perks sans downsides: sheet masks—light-as-a-feather cotton that is precut to fit the face and saturated with beautifying ingredients.
You can opt for premade sheets or buy blank sheets and soak them with a homemade serum, like one of the blends below from Elena Arboleda, head aesthetician at Mario Badescu Skin Care in New York City. Just let the sheet rest on your face for 15 minutes as the ingredients soak in, then remove, rinse and voilà—gorgeous!
Below are three easy ways to create homemade serums that'll work wonders for your skin. Here's what to try if you're hoping to:
Banish blemishes. It’s prime time for breakouts, as the rise in heat and humidity kick oil production into overdrive, leading to clogged pores. For clear skin, Arboleda recommends applying a serum with witch hazel (its astringent properties dry out oil while its antibacterial actions ward off infection), chamomile (its chamazulene is an anti-inflammatory that calms redness) and honey (it has antifungal and antibacterial properties to help cleanse skin of acnecausing impurities). To do: Brew 3⁄4 cup of chamomile tea. Let cool, then stir in 1⁄4 cup of witch hazel and 1 Tbs. of honey. Soak mask; apply to skin. Or try: Karuna
Clarifying + Face Mask, $28 for 4, Amazon.com.
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Erase wrinkles. Skin loses the ability to retain moisture as we age, so even if we slather on moisturizer daily, we can still end up dry—and parched skin intensifies the appearance of any fine lines. Add to that all the squinting that the sunnier days trigger and crow’s-feet can really start to look more prominent. To plump and smooth skin, Arboleda suggests a blend of honey (a humectant that restores moisture), egg white (its protein enhances elasticity to tighten and lift skin) and green tea (its antioxidants help destroy the free radicals that age skin.) To do: Brew 1⁄2 cup of green tea. Let cool, then whisk tea with one egg white and 1 Tbs. of honey. Soak mask; apply to skin. Or try: Masque Bar Wrinkle Reducing Sheet Mask, $10 for a set of 3, Amazon.com.
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Calm redness. Whether your skin is red from heattriggered rosacea or you got a bit pink after staying out in the sun too long, Arboleda advises alleviating the irritation and inflammation with an infusion of aloe vera (its enzyme bradykinase helps reduce skin swelling while its plant compounds
promote wound healing), chamomile (its flavonoids soothe inflammation) and olive oil (its fatty acids provide essential moisture to irritated, parched skin). To do: Brew 3⁄4 cup of chamomile
tea. Let cool, then mix with 1⁄4 cup of aloe vera gel and 6 drops of olive oil. Soak mask; apply to skin. Or try: Happy Skin Rejuvenating Facial Sheet Mask, $8 for a set of 5, Amazon.com.
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