Homemade face masks
Disclaimer: Everyone’s skin is different. Therefore whilst these ingredients work for me, they may not for others. It is good to test out a less sensitive area of your skin before using the products on your face!
Whilst in lockdown I have had more time and privacy to make and apply DIY face masks. My grandma is a big fan of using household ingredients to make beauty masks and so I thought it would be interesting to look into the different ingredients she has used in the past and determine whether there was any scientific evidence behind them!
I whisked one egg white and applied it to my hair and face earlier this week as had some leftover from cooking. Eggs whites act as a hydrating face mask owing to some of the proteins present in them. According to the DermReview, egg whites may help absorb sebum, suggesting that it may be useful in improving acne. However, I was unable to find any scientific evidence backing this up.
Acne is a multifactorial condition which is caused due to excessive production of this oily substance, sebum, which then blocks the holes in the skin where hair follicles grow out. Resident microbes on the skin may then infect these plugged follicles. Egg whites also act as an antimicrobial which suggests, that again, it may be useful in improving acne. That said, topical use of eggs may result in an allergic reaction and also accidental ingestion of raw egg whites which may be contaminated with salmonella. This microorganism can cause diarrhoea. Therefore care should be taken when using this.
Turmeric is a yellow powder, which is often used in Indian dishes and produces a radiant yellow colour. Curcumin is the active component of turmeric which has anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties associated with it. It is anti-inflammatory and is thought to speed up the process of wound healing by reducing the body’s natural response to wounds, such as inflammation and oxidation.
Given these qualities, for general skin health, there is evidence for turmeric to have positive skin-care effects.
However, looking at the literature, scientific conclusions on the effect of turmeric on skin conditions more difficult to establish. Studies have investigated the topical use of turmeric on skin conditions such as acne, eczema and pigmentation. However, the studies are limited, meaning that the isolated effects of turmeric could not be established effectively.
This ingredient has been used for many years and is used by celebrities new and old (as old as Cleopatra!). It is widely used in beauty products and often advertised as having skin brightening effects. Interestingly, rose oil is known to have a soothing effect on emotions such as depression and grief and can be used in treating insomnia and headaches. It has also been shown to have antimicrobial effects and anti-inflammatory effects.
My grandma told me that tomatoes can be rubbed onto the face make your skin “glow.” This seems to be supported in the literature. Consumption of tomatoes has many health benefits and topical use of tomatoes is also well known in helping cool sunburnt, irritated skin.
Tomatoes contain high amounts of vitamin C. This vitamin is involved in reducing wrinkles and also depigmenting the skin. It also promotes wound healing and reduces redness and inflammation.
Tomatoes contain high concentrations of a substance called lycopene (the substance which gives tomatoes their red colour). Lycopene’s antioxidant effects have been investigated which found that lycopene provided protection against UV rays when applied topically. This supports the notion that it has antioxidant properties.
That said, unsurprisingly, I was unable to find scientific evidence outlining the effects of topical use of tomatoes. Therefore, it is difficult to say the specific effects applying tomatoes will have on the face.
The effects of honey on the skin are quite well-known, with it being a component of many beauty products.
Manuka honey is known to be anti-microbial and is effective at promoting tissue repair and increasing the wound healing process. Also, due to its antioxidant properties, there is evidence of it aiding in healing burn wounds in particular.
Whilst many studies have been conducted on the wound healing processes of honey, there is scope for more research into other properties of honey, such as its anti-microbial properties.
In conclusion, all of these ingredients contain substances which are known to aid in skincare. However, the extent of this remains unclear. Given that there is controversy in current dermatological products, more research should be focused on this area to see whether these products can be manipulated to help in treating common dermatological conditions.
Being in isolation is difficult and one of the ways I have been coping with it is by trying to keep myself busy and stick to a routine. Part of it, applying face masks! I hope you enjoyed reading this article and find it useful and interesting!
Written by: Adi - Purpose Print Team