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Peel-off masks, as the name suggests, are face masks that stick to your skin upon drying and have to be peeled off, pulling out the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells (1) from the outermost layer.
This deep-cleansing effect helps unclog your pores and thus prevents acne, as well as gives your skin a smooth and fresh appearance.
From big name brands to small organic stores, the entire beauty market is invested in this nifty little trend. But you do not need to burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy the perks of one. Homemade peel-off masks are easy to make and affordable, and they can be tweaked to suit your own skin needs. (2)
Just be careful when peeling off the mask as the process, if not done properly, can sometimes be painful and can even damage the skin.
Benefits of Peel-Off Face Masks
Homemade peel-off masks may provide a variety of skin benefits, such as:
- Readily helps in texture improvement
- Helps in shrinking pores
- Contains natural ingredients with minimal side effects
- Cost-effective because of the easily available ingredients
- Gets rid of oil, dirt, blackheads, and dead cells to clear your skin (3)
- Exfoliates the skin for a clean and soft texture (4)
- Customizable ingredients for best results
Peeling off these masks can sometimes hurt due to the removal of facial hair and blackheads, especially if done the wrong way.
The proper way is to remove them gently but swiftly in an upward direction. Pulling them downward with force can damage your sensitive facial skin and cause sagging. Such rough handling can also cause irritation and inflammation. (5)
DIY Peel-Off Face Masks
Here are some peel-off masks that you can try at home for flawless skin.
1. Activated charcoal peel-off mask
This face mask is formulated with activated charcoal and agar-agar.
Activated charcoal is an effective absorbent that traps the excess sebum and cellular debris settled inside your pores for their easy removal. (6)
Agar-agar is a binding agent in the mask but also helps hydrate your skin to make it soft and supple. (7)
- Activated charcoal – 1½ tablespoons
- Agar-agar/seaweed – 2 teaspoons
- Tea tree oil (8) – 2–3 drops
How to use:
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and then mix in ½ a cup of boiled water to form a smooth, thick paste.
- Apply the paste evenly to your face using a clean brush. Don’t put it too close to your eyebrows and hairline as it can stick to the hair in those areas and pluck them out.
- Leave it to dry for 20 minutes, and then slowly peel off the mask in an upward direction.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water afterward to remove any residue, and then pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
- Apply moisturizer.
2. Moringa leaf powder and gelatin mask
The moringa tree is referred to as a “miracle plant” in the Indian subcontinent for its medicinal properties. Its leaves exhibit potent antibacterial properties, which can help reduce acne breakouts.
Moringa also contains unusually high amounts of vitamin C, (9) which can help treat acne scars, remove blackheads, and correct skin pigmentation. (10)
Gelatin can absorb impurities from the skin and may also boost collagen levels, making the skin tight and thereby reducing wrinkle formation. (11)
- Yogurt – 1 tablespoon
- Warm water – 2 tablespoons
- Unflavored gelatin – 2 teaspoons
- Moringa leaf powder – 2 tablespoons
- Vitamin E capsule – 1 capsule
How to use:
- Mix the gelatin and water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 30 seconds in a microwave oven or on a double boiler until the gelatin dissolves.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and give them a stir to form a smooth paste.
- Allow the mixture to sufficiently cool down before applying it evenly to your face, avoiding the eyebrows and hairline.
- Let the mask dry completely, and then slowly peel it off.
3. Green tea, cucumber, and gelatin peel-off mask
Green tea is filled with vitamins and antioxidants that can help cure multiple skin issues such as irritation, inflammation, and even bacterial infections. (12)
Meanwhile, the water-rich cucumber helps moisturize your skin (13) and may even aid in fading a suntan. Gelatin, as discussed earlier, helps trap dirt, dead cells, and sebum to cleanse them off your face.
- Cucumber juice – 1 tablespoon
- Gelatin powder – ½ teaspoon
- Brewed green tea – ½ cup
How to use:
- In a bowl, mix gelatin powder and the brewed green tea, and then add in the cucumber juice.
- Apply the mixture evenly to your face.
- Leave it to dry for at least 10–15 minutes before peeling off the mask cautiously in an upward direction.
4. DIY coffee peel-off mask
The two main ingredients of this mask are coffee and tomato juice. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a vasoconstrictor, which means it constricts your blood vessels. (14) Thus, it helps in temporary skin tightening. Caffeine is also an antioxidant and helps fight inflammation.
Tomatoes contain a potent antioxidant known as lycopene, (15) which aids in healing damaged skin, preventing skin discoloration and wrinkles, and smoothening out your complexion.
How to use:
- Mix the gelatin powder in the tomato juice.
- Add in coffee and turmeric. Blend all the ingredients well.
- Heat the mixture for 30 seconds in a microwave or on a double boiler until the gelatin dissolves.
- Stir in a teaspoon of honey.
- Let the mixture cool down before applying it evenly to your face.
- Let it dry for 15–20 minutes.
- Peel off the mask carefully in an upward direction.
- You can dab on some rose water to soothe the skin if needed.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and moisturize.
5. Matcha green tea, honey, and cinnamon peel-off mask
Matcha green tea is a rich source of antioxidants (18) that can help repair and rejuvenate your worn-out skin.
Cinnamon has antibacterial properties (19) that help fight acne. It is also credited with skin-brightening properties that may improve your dull complexion. It also increases blood circulation, which brings more nutrients to the skin and gives your face a natural glow.
- Matcha green tea – 1 tablespoon
- Raw honey – 1 teaspoon
- Cinnamon powder – a pinch
- Rosemary essential oil (20) – 3–4 drops
- Raw milk – ⅓ teaspoon (optional)
How to use:
- Mix the matcha tea powder with honey, cinnamon powder, and rosemary essential oil.
- Add the raw milk if you wish.
- Blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste evenly to your face using a brush.
- Apply a layer of tissue paper over the mask and leave it to dry for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully peel off the mask (along with the tissue paper) in an upward direction.
- Wash your face and moisturize.
6. Flaxseed mask
Flaxseeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, (21) which help moisturize the skin. Turmeric has antibacterial properties that cleanse the skin and help fight acne.
- Flaxseeds – 2 tablespoons
- Honey – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric – 1 pinch
How to use:
- Boil ½ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and let it cool down. You can also use powdered flaxseeds.
- Add honey and turmeric to the paste and mix.
- Apply this gel to your face using a brush.
- Place tissue paper or a thin cotton cloth over the mask. Leave it to dry for at least 20 minutes.
- Peel off the mask in an upward direction cautiously.
- Wash your face and moisturize it.
7. Almond charcoal mask
Almonds are replete with vitamin E, a vital antioxidant credited with multiple skin benefits. It helps fight off free radicals, repair cellular damage, and nourish your skin for a healthy appearance. (22)
Plus, the healthy fats in almonds help moisturize dry skin to keep it soft and supple. Both these ingredients help delay the onset of premature signs of aging by maintaining the elasticity and structural integrity of your skin.
This mask also contains rosehip oil, which helps in improving skin complexion by treating pigmentation and giving your skin a healthy glow.
- Almonds – 6–8 pieces
- Unflavored gelatin powder – 1 tablespoon
- Rosehip oil (23)
How to use:
- Using a pair of tweezers or a knife, burn the almonds on a gas flame until they darken in color.
- Grind the almonds to make a powder.
- Mix gelatin to a little bit of warm water until it dissolves and forms a paste.
- Add almond powder and rosehip oil to the paste.
- Apply the paste evenly to your face using a brush. Leave it to dry.
- Carefully peel off the mask in an upward direction.
- Wash your face and moisturize.
Tips Before Applying a Peel-Off Face Mask
Here are a few suggestions to help you use a peel-off mask correctly.
- Make sure to clean and dry your face thoroughly before applying the mask.
- Use a clean, soft-bristled brush to apply the mask. Avoid using your fingers as this will not give you an even coat.
- Wait for at least 10 minutes for the mask to dry before peeling it off. The easiest way to know if it has completely dried up is when it comes off easily.
- Do not leave the mask on longer than necessary as it may dry your skin and make the mask difficult to peel off. If this happens, use lukewarm water to wash off the mask.
Most-Asked Questions About Peel-Off Masks
What does a peel-off mask do?
Peel-off masks adhere to the dead cells, excess oil, and other impurities on your skin and then pull them out when removed.
What benefits do peel-off masks offer?
Peel-off masks can give your face a deep cleanse by removing the excess sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells clogging your pores. This helps brighten up your complexion, smoothen your skin texture, and prevent the growth of acne-causing bacteria within your pores.
Can you use peel-off masks after threading or waxing?
No. It is better to avoid using peel-off masks for a while after threading or waxing, as your skin tends to be highly sensitive during this time. Peel-off masks can further aggravate sensitivity and cause irritation or inflammation.
Homemade peel-off masks can be formulated with handpicked ingredients to suit your skin type. They can cleanse, exfoliate, and smoothen out your skin. Try one out and you will find it to be a fruitful experience — pun intended.
Avoid using peel-off masks if you have exceptionally dry or sensitive skin; traditional washable masks provide hydration and moisture that may better suit your skin needs.
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