Our skin has much to contend with this time of year. The long months of winter have exposed our poor, sun-deprived complexions to buffeting winds, extreme cold, and air so dry it hurts. Despite all the references to rosy cheeks and eyes all aglow, a beautician winter is not.

There are myriad products lining the shelves promising to brighten, even, soften, clear and do any number of things to your complexion, but most cost an arm and a leg and the majority are chock full of ingredients one would be hard pressed to identify. This is far from an ideal solution.

But don’t despair, dear reader, there is hope. With a few easy to source ingredients (many of which are already sitting in your cupboards at this very moment), you can whip up some life-changing facial masques that will rejuvenate your parched skin and leave your complexion feeling radiant and blooming. Read on for two simple recipes.


This sticky mixture of honey, cocoa butter, and oats is perfect for dry, sensitive skin. You can use this as a moisturizing daily cleanser or leave on as a masque for a more powerful soothing session. This will leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth.


Makes about 1 cup

  • 1/3 cup (90 g) raw honey
  • ¼ cup (35 g) white clay
  • ¼ cup (30 g) cocoa butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (20 g) finely ground oatmeal
  • 1/8 cup (15 g) aloe vera gel
  • 25 drops orange essential oil
  • 15 drops frankincense essential oil


  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix until smooth and well-combined.
  2. To use, smooth liberally over cheeks, forehead, chin and, nose being careful around the eye area, massaging into the skin in an upward sweeping motion. Rinse immediately, or leave on for 20 minutes as a masque for extreme softening.

Store in a covered container in a cool, dry place.


Sometimes, we just need to hit the reset button and this powder will do just that. Warming spices get the blood moving while the clay and activated charcoal help to pull out impurities. All the while, your skin will be bathed in a steady stream of antioxidants, minerals, and compounds to support healthy inflammation response. After you rinse, your skin will feel tingly, fresh, and enlivened. Use this 1-2 times weekly to brighten and clear your complexion.


Makes 1 cup of powder

  • ¼ cup raw cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup red Moroccan clay
  • 1 tsp activated charcoal powder
  • 1/8 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch of grated nutmeg


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. To use, place one teaspoon of the powder into a bowl and add enough water to form a paste. Spread liberally over your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, being careful of your eye area. Let the mask dry on your skin (around twenty minutes) and then soften with warm water and rinse. Follow with toner and moisturizer if desired.

Store in a covered container.

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Writer Danielle Charles Davies has a BSc in Herbal Science from Bastyr University and in addition completed two years of clinical training at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She has a Masters Degree in Writing and has written for the the American Herbalists Guild and has also served as a food columnist. Her musings, and recipes, can be found at her blog, Teacup Chronicles.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.