Here’s what happens when you use cat litter as a beauty product

I’m a sucker for face masks. There’s something glamorous about taking the time to treat yourself, combined with the promise of glowing skin, smaller pores, and the ability to read minds (oh wait, I mean, reduce fine lines). Though my skin has never been super problematic, I regularly find myself in Sephora, Ulta, or the beauty aisle at CVS, searching for the next “miracle” mask. Unfortunately, it’s become an expensive habit.

So you can see how I was enticed by beauty guru Michelle Phan’s YouTube tutorial on how to make a DIY Kitty Litter Face Mask. She explains that unscented cat litter is made of volcanic ash (sexy!) and has a negative charge that makes it super detoxifying (science!). I buy my cat’s poop sand in bulk, so I figured if the mask gave me the glow I’ve been hoping for, I would be set for life.

First, I had to explain to my cat, Mister, that he had to share his litter with me. He responded with his best “I’m judging you,” eyes.

I made sure to use unscented litter — not only is the perfumed stuff filled with scary chemicals, it’s also way more expensive. Here’s what I used. I was almost deterred by the words “urine” and “feces” blaring from the box, but I soldiered on.

All you need to make the mask is litter, water, a microwave, and any other ingredients you want to add (aloe vera, olive oil, essential oils, etc.). I put two handfuls of the litter into a bowl and filled it with water. The litter absorbed the liquid pretty quickly — be sure to add more water than you need because that will make it easier to spread the sand on your money-maker. I sprinkled in a little peppermint extract just for kicks. Then I microwaved the concoction until the consistency got muddier. It took about 20 seconds.

The peppermint extract did not hide the stench of litter. I was surprised how the smell immediately took me back to every single time I’ve ever scooped mounds of pee out of my kitty’s toilet box. Plus, even though I tried to avoid getting the clay rocks on my skin, they stuck to my face, fell on the floor, and crunched under my feet. I would not call the experience luxurious.

PROS: Weirdly, the cat litter definitely affected my face. My skin looked clearer and my pores appeared smaller after I washed the mask off.

CONS: Over the course of the day, however, three giant under-the-skin pimples bubbled up around my nose and jaw. Ouch!

Cat litter might work better for someone with oily skin, looking for an absorbent mask. As for me, I think I’ll ditch the litter and stick to glitter.

(Images via Amazon, Giphy, Christina Wolfgram.)