A blog that gets nerdy for beauty

How not to waste your time in DIY face masks

We get it babe, facial masks are pricey. You want one but you have other adulting  priorities. So you see these DIY masks from Pinterest or Instagram and they start to allure you. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients will not do anything for your skin. And to tell you frankly, in most cases, spending PHP 500.00 in a good facial mask would do you better than spending an hour in the kitchen experimenting on your “all-natural” beauty recipe. Nevertheless, they are cheap and fun, so why not give it a shot? Unless you have nothing else to waste your time on, you want DIY mask that can really make a difference on your skin. So how to not waste your time on DIY face masks? Know the right ingredients.

Let us take a look in some of DIY masks ingredients that are worth giving a try:

Fruit Enzymes

Enzymes are protein molecules that accelerates chemical reactions. They are found everywhere and are vital in many biological processes.  Here,  we are looking at protease– the type of enzyme that breaks down proteins. They breakdown dead skin cells (that consist mostly of proteins) making them easier to remove by cleansing.

Papaya, pineapple and kiwi are fruits that are known to contain protease and are used in many skin care products for their exfoliating effect. Papaya, pineapple and kiwi contain the  papain, bromelain and actinidin enzymes respectively .  In the Philippines, papaya is a very famous ingredient in whitening products due to the brightening effects caused by papain.

Important care should be taken when using these ingredients. Though enzymes have the advantage of being active even at less acidic preparations (compared to AHA’s and BHA’s), their mode of action is complex and may still irritate skin. It is important to perform a patch test where you initially apply over a small area on your skin to see if it reacts negatively. Protease breaks down proteins in general. Meaning, they do not distinguish proteins from a dead skin cell and from a healthy skin cell. Because dead skin cells are found on the outermost surface of your skin they are the ones broken down first. It is important  to never leave the mask too long (at most 10 minutes) to avoid over exfoliation. Allergic reactions may also occur especially for those who are allergic to latex (latex is naturally sourced from papaya).

Check out these recipes:

  1. Pineapple and Yogurt Mask from Xovain

See Recipe

2.  Papaya mask from Bellatory

See Recipe

3. Exfoliating Kiwi mask from Bellatory

See Recipe



Oatmeal has been shown to provide a protective barrier against irritants by holding moisture, acting as an emollient. It has a buffering property that can keep maintain the skin’s normal pH.   It is a centuries-old topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions, including skin rashes, erythema, burns, itch, and eczema. Oatmeal exhibits anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Oatmeal is best used as a facial mask in its colloidal form – where it is milled to powder using a food processor and mixed with water. 


Check out these Recipes:

1.) Oatmeal and Greentea mask from Laura Neuzeth

See Recipe

2. Oatmeal and Chamomile Mask from Freutcake

See Recipe



Honey is a by-product of flower nectar that are processed in the digestive tract of bees. You may think its bee vomit but technically it’s not. Bees have special “honey stomach” for making honey which is separate from where its food actually goes.

Honey consist mostly of fructose and glucose. A small percentage consists of proteins, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and other minerals. Because of its soothing and anti-microbial properties, honey is suitable as dressing for wounds and burns as well as treatment for seborrhea, dandruff, diaper rashes, psoriasis, hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Honey is deeply moisturizing and regulates the skin’s normal pH.

Check out these various Honey Mask recipe from Living The Nourished Life:

See Recipe


A yogurt with some raspberries….because I cant find free images for plain yogurt

Yogurt is made from milk that has gone through a process called fermentation. The process converts lactose from milk in to lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is added  in many skin care products because of its exfoliating properties.

Check out these recipes:

  1. Yogurt and Oat Mask from BubzBeauty

See Recipe

2. Different Yogurt Mask Recipes from Stylecraze


Unnecessary (but can be fun) Ingredients

Here are some common face mask ingredients that has little or no benefit on your skin (but can be really fun to add on a face mask)

1. Milk – Milk can give moisture and improve consistency of your mask but it will do your skin more benefit if you drink it.

2. Cocoa powder – This doesnt do much for your face but who would not want a face mask that smells chocolatey?

3. Eggs – eggs can have tightening feeling on skin but this is temporary. Zinc and B vitamins from egg cannot be absorbed from your skin. You’d rather have it scrambled or sunny side up.

4. Coconut oil – avoid it. Its comedogenic. If you insist on using it, perform patch test


So How to not waste your time in DIY mask

  • You can’t expect your skin to benefit from all the nutrients in oats as much as you do when you eat it for breakfast. This applies to other ingredients used in DIY facial masks.
  • Many food products do not do anything when applied on skin except for their moisturizing properties, which you can conveniently get from any cheap drugstore moisturizer. Do your research before trying out new ingredients for your DIY facial mask.
  • Not all “natural” ingredients or those safe for eating, has zero possibility of irritating your skin. Always perform a patch test prior to applying your mask all over your face. Better safe than sorry




Reynertson KA et al (2015) Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena Sativa) contribute to effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry irritated skin, Journal of Drugs Dermatology, 14(1), pp 43-48

Burlando B and Cornara L (2013) Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: A Review, Journal of Cosemtic Dermatology, 12(4), pp 306-313

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700827/BROMELAIN/, retrieved April 13, 2017

Article written by:

Anne Porter

Hi! I’m Anne. I am a chemical engineer from Cebu, Philippines. I created Zarins Beautylab because of my love for cosmetics, skin care products and all other stuff that makes me (and you) look and feel beautiful. My semesters of chemistry courses come in handy as I explain the science behind different beauty products: which works and how it works. Well, Sometimes its science and sometimes its just good ol’ common sense.

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