Purifying Charcoal Mask

Purifying Charcoal Mask

This mask is one of the first ones I made when I first got into this stuff.  It’s just like the ones you buy from Clinique or other department store brands, but you can make it to “order,” and you can customize it to your skin type.  I’ll give you variations for sensitive skin, oily skin, and one for anti-aging. 

Normally I would consider my skin sensitive and tend to err on that or towards anti-aging. But sometimes I’ll still get a pimple, so if that’s your story when you make this, go towards the oily version.  However, no matter how oily your skin is, always follow up a charcoal (or any mud-type) mask with a good moisturizer.  My new favorite moisturizer is Egyptian Magic, which I referenced in Pretty Things:  March 2017.  I read about it in a magazine, and apparently they only do word of mouth advertising, which is pretty cool in my opinion.  You can use Egyptian Magic as an intense moisturizer, night cream, lip balm, or even in your hair.  It’s made of olive oil, and 5 bee products including beeswax, bee pollen, royal jelly, honey, and bee propolis. 

So for all the product variations of this mask.  You can buy activated charcoal here.  Get the calcium bentonite clay here or at Whole Foods.  Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is also at Whole Foods.  Rose water is available here.  You can get all the essential oils at Whole Foods or on Amazon.  Lavender essential oil is calming and great for sensitive skin.  Tea tree oil combats oily skin. Frankincense has anti-aging properties.  I use different ones during different times during the month, and I never use more than one mask per week (unless it’s a moisturizing sheet mask).


Total Time:  20 minutes (including set time)

Makes:  2 masks

Difficulty Level:  Easy


Ingredients for Sensitive Skin Variation

1 teaspoon activated charcoal

4 tablespoons calcium bentonite clay

2-3 ounces water

5-6 drops lavender essential oil OR 1 teaspoon rosewater


Ingredients for Oily Skin Variation


ingredients for oily skin variation

1 teaspoon activated charcoal

4 tablespoons calcium bentonite clay

2-3 ounces Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

5-6 drops tea tree essential oil


Ingredients for Anti-Aging Variation

1 teaspoon activated charcoal

4 tablespoons calcium bentonite clay

2-3 ounces water

5-6 drops frankincense essential oil



  1. Whisk all ingredients together with a small spoon or fork (or both) until it become the consistency of a clay mask. Start with 2 ounces of water or vinegar and add more if needed.
  2. Apply mask to face and neck. Let it set for 15 minutes or until it’s tingling and mostly hardened.
  3. Wash off with warm water. Complete you regular daily skin care routine, and follow up with an intense moisturizer (such as Egyptian Magic).




Rose + Turmeric Clay Mask

Rose + Turmeric Clay Mask

I love going to spas and getting facials, massages, and pedicures.  It’s one of my all-time favorite indulgences (along with finding new specialty food items and Sauvignon Blanc).  But I rarely go to the spa at this phase of my life, I can’t always afford new specialty food items, and I don’t drink alcohol in the winter.  That last part may seem strange, but when it’s dreary and cold outside, I tend to become a little reclusive.  I like to drink when there’s a good reason, when it’s nice out and I’m feeling energetic (like going to the pool in the summer, coming home, and having a super cold and crisp glass of Sauv Blanc as the sun sets –that’s perfection).  Basically I find drinking in the winter depressing.  

I love making skin masks at home because I can do it on my own time, and it leaves me feeling refreshed, healthier, and prettier.  I’ve only posted one other mask so far, but I’ve got more ideas.

Here’s a simple clay mask that takes about 5 minutes to mix up and 20 minutes to set before you wash it off.  Turmeric has quite a few health benefits including being an anti-inflammatory, working to improve brain function, and working as an antioxidant.  But it’s not one of those ingredients you can only put in a few things.  Buy a big container, and use it for skincare and for making spicy food.  Bentonite clay is the base for the mask, and you can mix it with any number of other powders, liquids, and oils to treat different types of skin.  Bentonite clay helps the mask harden and pull impurities from the skin, and it puts the mud in a mud mask.  Rose water has an intoxicating aroma, but I put in because it also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Plus it controls skin’s pH balance and helps combat oily skin.  Lavender essential oil has a calming effect and a pretty scent, so I love putting it in different homemade beauty products.



1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

2 tablespoons natural Bentonite clay

1 teaspoon rose water

2-3 drops lavender essential oil

water (between 2-8 tablespoons)



  1.  Sift the turmeric and clay into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Add the rose water, lavender essential oil.
  3. Add a little water at first to gauge how much you’ll need to get a mask consistency. Add more until it’s the thickness of a face mask.
  4. Use a small whisk or fork to incorporate everything together.
  5. Immediate apply to your skin generously.  Don’t forget your neck!
  6. Wait until the mask hardens, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Either use a warm wash cloth or get in the shower to clean the mask from your skin.
  8. Moisturize your face immediately.

Rejuvenating 2-Ingredient Face Mask

Rejuvenating 2-Ingredient Face Mask

I don’t wear makeup, but I love skin care.  I seriously neglected my skin in my 20s, and it showed.  But now I am extra careful with it.


Don’t skimp:  really get the mask all over!

This is the easiest, most instantly effective at-home beauty treatment I’ve ever tried.  It has 2 ingredients, and I bet 90% of homes have them right now. 

I love using face masks.  It’s my favorite of all beauty treatments.  And I especially love at-home beauty treatments.  This one seriously makes your skin feel softer and look brighter after about 15 minutes.  This recipe makes 2 masks only because I use one egg white, and it’s difficult to split that in half.  But maybe you’ll have a willing (or unwilling) participant nearby who will wear the other half.

When you use this mask, don’t neglect your neck.  As far as aging goes, the neck ages right along with the face, but it’s easy to forget.  Normally you shouldn’t use 2 masks in one day, but a great follow-up to this would be a moisturizing sheet mask.  Not only do they feel great, but you can scare your family members with your mummy face. 

Total time:  25 minutes

Makes 2 masks

Difficulty Level:  Easy


1 egg white (not the pre-separated whites sold in a carton)

2-3 tablespoons of espresso ground coffee (I use Café Bustelo)


After moisturizing, but no makeup or editing on the photo.

  1. Mix the egg white and espresso together in a bowl with a fork.  Use enough espresso to make the mask less runny.
  2. Apply mask generously all over face and neck.
  3. Wait about 10 minutes, or until it feels dry.
  4. I always go in the shower to take it off. Before you rinse it away, use the espresso grounds to exfoliate your skin.  Rinse thoroughly, then wash with a cleanser.
  5. That’s it. I promise you will notice a difference immediately!