Guys, you probably think of “facial masks” as those mysterious items in your lady’s half of the bathroom cabinet that might as well be labeled “Don’t go there.” And when it comes to do-it-yourself skin care—whipping up potions and lotions in your kitchen—maybe you’d rather stick to more manly kitchen endeavors, such as frying bacon.
“Men are often reluctant to try natural skin care—or any skin-care product, for that matter!” said Janice Cox, a natural beauty expert and coauthor of EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends. “After all, most guys limit their ‘skin routine’ to a bar of soap and a stick of deodorant.”
But listen up, dudes: If you suffer from razor burn on your face after shaving—or if you simply have dry, red, bumpy, pimply, itchy, flaky, blotchy or sore facial skin—you might want to get in touch with your feminine side and try using a facial mask.
Using a facial mask can help men retain moisture in their skin and sooth red, irritated patches, said Cox. She even provided a recipe for a mask that you can make yourself—using ingredients that you likely already have on hand. The best part? You only have to follow this at-home spa routine for 15 minutes, once a week.
SOOTHE YOUR SKIN
The right facial mask will contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will speed healing. There are lots of ready-made facial masks in the drugstore—if you think you’d like to try one, look for soothing ingredients such as aloe and chamomile, as well as ingredients that are natural antibacterial agents, such as lavender and honey, advised Cox. She usually chooses whatever brand in the store has those types of ingredients and has the shortest list of total ingredients.
Or save your money and whip up this easy recipe, created by Cox just for Bottom Line readers .
A HOMEMADE MASK FOR MEN
Cox’s mask has just three simple ingredients and takes only a few seconds to stir up!
Ingredients for one mask:
¼ cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons whole milk
Don’t use this mask immediately after shaving because your skin will be sensitive and it may cause irritation. Instead, use it 15 minutes after shaving, a few hours after shaving—and if you’re not using it to treat razor burn, you can try using it anywhere from weekly to daily, depending on the severity of your skin condition.
How to do it: Mix ingredients together in a small bowl, then spread onto clean, dry skin including your forehead, nose, cheeks, chin and as far down the neck as your razor burn or beard goes. Avoid your eyes and lips. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water and pat your skin dry.
Note: Discard any leftover mask so the milk doesn’t spoil. It’s best to make a fresh batch each time.
You may be wondering if there is anything natural that you can do immediately after shaving, since a lot of razor burn can flare up in the first few minutes after shaving. Cox suggested that you splash cold water on your face and then massage either a few drops of witch hazel or almond or olive oil into your face. (The witch hazel may sting at first—but only for a few seconds.) Try each and see which works best for you.