I’ve always had fairly temperamental skin and ever since puberty I have been battling to keep the zits at bay. After years of a wide variety of skin care products, prescription drugs, dermatologist visits, and even a (way too pricey) non-surgical cosmetic consultation, my skin is finally at a place where I feel like I have control over it. No, I never went ahead with the cosmetic procedures I had explored in that consultation, despite the incessant phone calls I received afterwards.
After enduring years of fuckery from birth control pills, ProActiv and even Accutane, it’s safe to say natural skin products have become my greatest ally.
My day-to-day skin care regiment has way more steps in it nowadays, which I will explore in another post, but once a week I like to give my skin a little extra boost. I’m a huge fan of face masks, like I think a lot of us are, and I’m always drawn to the displays with the “3/$5” one time prepacked masks. The reality for me though is those masks just don’t seem to work well with my skin, usually burning a little before drying or offering little to no results. I’ve tried some fantastic fresh masks from Lush like Magnaminty, as well as the hugely popular Glam Glow masks, and I won’t deny I absolutely loved them.
Of course with the love came the downside of the cost. And yeah okay maybe I have been known to invest the same amount in eye shadow or lipstick, but those things last way longer in my opinion. So while I’d love to keep buying fresh minty masks from Lush or having another excuse to hit up Sephora for my fave charcoal Glam Glow mask, I just can’t justify the cost. Especially when fancy cheeses aren’t getting any cheaper.
I also prefer to do one mask a week, so you can see how it adds up.
That’s when I decided to experiment and price out the cost of making my own, along with the effectiveness. I wanted to save money, but I also wasn’t looking for a half-assed mask. So you can imagine my standards were pretty high. After a few good conversations with some local natural health stores, I made the choice to try a Canadian company called A. Vogel.
Named after it’s founder Alfred Vogel (1902 – 1906) who’s philosophy (according to their site ) was that:
Nature gives us everything we need to protect and maintain our health.
Having established the company in 1923, and dedicating his life to natural health products, I was more than inclined to trust their Green Clay for my experimenting. If you’re curious about the A. Vogel Green Clay, you can check it out here. I chose to use Green Clay over the other varieties (White and Grey) because it’s recommended for oily and/or problematic, which is my main concern. If you have normal to combination skin you may want to try to Grey Clay, and if you tend to have sensitive or dry skin give the White Clay a go. This of course is based on the informational insert found in my clay box, A. Vogel provide a digital(PDF) copy of the insert that you can check out here .
The insert I mentioned above does include directions for preparing the clay, but because they are also suggesting using it as a wrap or compress, I find the quantity suggested is a bit much. I played around with the ratio of water to clay until I found a consistency that worked well for spread-ability. The insert suggests the addition of a few drops of essential oils, which I am all for! The recommended choices for Green Clay masks was either Geranium, Lemon or Bergamot. Usually Bergamot is one of my all time favourite oils, but for this mask, I chose to stick with Lemon.
One of my favourite things about A. Vogel’s clays are the customization options. I’m a HUGE fan of rose water. In cooking, in beauty routines, and even in my tea. Oh and the bath *cue heart-eyed emoji*, rose water is sooo nice in the bath. As someone who adds rose water to her skin routine in the form of a homemade toner and makeup remover, I’m actually shocked I experimented with my green clay mask for so long without thinking to substitute regular water for rose water.
Palm, meet face. Haiii!
I started using rose water in my weekly mask a little over a year ago, and honestly have never looked back. Check out this super informative article regarding the benefits of rose water from the Food section of NDTV. But to sum it up for you, rose water is chalk full of antoxidants and anti-bacterial properties to help enhance your skin and really clean out your pores. It’s also known to tighten the capillaries which helps with pesky uneven skin tones, acne scarring and blotchy redness just to name a few awesome pros!
Given my skin’s history, these 3 ingredients are a match made in skin heaven! Not to mention how cost effective the whole venture is. My lemon essential oil was under $10 ($8.99 from Marshall’s, because Marshall’s is the sh*t), the Green Clay in the 900g box (they make a smaller one) was $16 and the rose water broke the bank at a whopping $3.
Okay okay, I know what you’re thinking. We’re now at $29 before taxes, plus all the “effort” of making it yourself…wouldn’t it just be cheaper to buy a pre-made mask? For me the answer is a hard no. Yes, the total cost of this before whatever your local taxes might be is nearly $30, but this also is enough to make me a mask every week for 6 months.
I have yet to find a pre-made mask that yields the same awesome results, while being all natural, and having the longevity for half a year’s worth of use. If you know of one, of course please share because I’d love to try it out!
My recipe is included below for your spa night pleasure, as always I would love to hear your feedback! What type of clay and oils did you use? How were the results for you? Areas for improvement to my recipe are always welcome.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with A. Vogel nor did I receive compensation for this post, I’m just a fangirl 🙂
Rose Water Lemon Green Clay Mask
Prep Time : 5 minutes ⇒ Wait Time: 10 minutes
1) Add 2 tbsp of clay to a bowl, preferably one that isn’t metal or plastic
2) Add rosewater 1tsp at a time, stirring with a wood or stainless steel spoon, until you have an easily spreadable paste
3) Add 1 to 2 drops* of lemon essential oil (or whatever oil you’ve chosen), and stir well
*Tiny Caution: essential oils are highly concentrated and I would advise testing a small area of skin first if you are sensitive. I would also suggest, especially with lemon essential oil, that you do not exceed 2 drops. I say this, because one time I was making my usual recipe and the bottle slipped and I ended up with (at least) 10 drops of oil. I decided to use the mask anyways, and let me tell you it burned. I washed it off real quick with cool water and slapped some coconut oil and was totally fine, but it still sucked!
4) Apply evenly to a clean face immediately, avoiding the eyes.
5) Wait 10 minutes or until the mask has dried, wash off & pat dry.
6) Moisturize as normal!