Summer is right around the corner, so anything that promises fresh, acne-free skin is a headturner for me. Although my acne isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, I still battle stubborn zits from time to time, and I never really could get my face to shine on its own. When I heard about a cupcake face mask that is specifically designed for oily, spotty skin, I was intrigued. Well, I was intrigued mostly because I wondered if this mask was edible. I’m afraid to report that, no, this mask does not double as an afternoon snack, but it still had enough reasons to get me to give it a shot.
The mask is based on the Cupcake Fresh Face mask available at LUSH, but there is a homemade version you can whip together in minutes. This product at LUSH is made from Rhassoul Mud, Cocoa powder, Linseed Infusion, Glycerine, Fresh Mint, and Spearmint Oil. It promises to clear up your acne and give you fresher looking skin — just in time for all the beach trips you’ve got coming up.
Making a cupcake mask at home, however, is SO easy I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Plus, it gives me the chance to know exactly what’s going on my face. No matter how “natural” companies claim their products are, there seems to always be some kind of unknown ingredient you might not want on your sensitive skin. Also, making a batch of homemade cupcake mask is way cheaper in the long run than buying a tub of similar stuff at the shop (it’s about eight bucks for a two-ounce tub at LUSH). Best of all? You probably already have most of the ingredients at home.
Before we get started, this is what my face looked like, makeup free, before I whipped together my first cupcake mask.
My plan was to use this mask for four days in a row, just like I did with the Korean face masks I had so much luck with a few weeks ago. I was hoping to get rid of the small bumps on my forehead and my chin. Overall brightness would have been nice too. But I wasn’t about to get too greedy.
This is what you’ll need (don’t mind my coffee cup, she just wanted to come along for the ride):
Healing Clay (I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and I ordered it off Amazon)
Unsweetened Cocoa powder
Glycerin OR Apple Cider Vinegar
Just a few words on that last ingredient: I chose to use apple cider vinegar. I’ve been using the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay for years, and its instructions say that it works best with apple cider vinegar because it offers the acid the clay needs to do its proper job, and that’s always been true in my experience. Besides, apple cider vinegar packs a big punch for your face. It soothes and tightens your skin, erases dark spots, and treats acne. Glycerin has similar benefits, though. I just chose apple cider vinegar because I know it’s just meant to be with healing clay, peanut butter & jelly style.
Ok, got all the ingredients? Here’s what to do next.
1. Put one spoonful of cocoa powder into a bowl.
2. Squeeze in half a spoonful of honey.
3. Put in one spoonful of healing clay.
4. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract.
5. Pour in a heaping spoonful of glycerin or apple cider vinegar.
6. Mix it up!
Looks like chocolate frosting, doesn’t it? If you’re not getting the creamy consistency you want, you may need to add a bit more glycerin or apple cider vinegar.
7. Apply a layer to your face and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
If you have more sensitive skin, stick closer to the 10-minute mark. You should have some leftover chocolate goo, so stick it in some tupperware and put it aside for another day.
8. Rinse off with warm water.
Within the first few minutes of having the mask on, my skin was starting to tighten up with the clay as it hardened. As soon as I took it off, as predicted, my skin suddenly felt plump and firm. Is this what Botox feels like?! I thought to myself. Probably not, like, not at all, but that’s how different my face felt. I can definitely say that, while the Korean face masks were gentle and felt more soothing than anything, this mask definitely felt like it was more potent. There was an ever so slight burning sensation right after I washed it off. The burning went away quickly and eventually left my skin feeling refreshed, but it sure did feel serious for a hot minute.
The next day, at the same time, I set up to do another mask. This time, though, when I rinsed off my chocolatey mask, my skin felt irritated. A bit more burning now. And this is what my face looked like. Brace yourself. (And should I ever procreate, please do not ever show my children this picture of their mother.)
Ok, now erase that from your memory and we can continue. As you can see, there is some visible redness going on. A bit blotchy. I picked up the label of the healing clay and, in its defense, it does warn that you may experience a minimal amount of irritation when you use the mask. This is normal and your skin is just adjusting to the new pH levels it has just been exposed to. I was happy to see that this didn’t mean anything serious, and the label said the redness should die down within half an hour. So I waited. Impatiently.
The redness did fade away, but I made the decision that I wouldn’t use this cupcake mask every single day. A couple times a week sounds like a more doable amount to shack up with my new chocolatey friend.
Here’s my face the following day with no makeup — and no filter.
Things are definitely brighter. The bumps on my chin have died down a bit, and I can tell that the bumps on my forehead are on their way out. It was definitely worth it, if for nothing else than the chance to walk around the house with a face that smelled like a yummy double chocolate cupcake.
Note: If you have sensitive skin, definitely ask your dermatologist before trying this recipe. This was my personal experience, but other people may react differently to the ingredients.