Once upon a time, I could eat bags of candy, drink into the morning hours, and binge watch Law & Order: SVU episodes until 6 a.m. without fear of my face looking weary when I woke up. Sadly, that is no longer the case, but there are plenty of natural morning face masks that wake up your skin and let you forget about the mistakes of last night — well, when it comes to your face, anyway. While I still long for the resilient skin of my teens and 20s and definitely wish the hashtag #wokeuplikethis existed a decade ago, I'm basking in a.m. masks for those days when all my bad habits are staring me down in the mirror.
When I was growing up, I truly believed that by the time I was in my 30s there would be an anti-aging serum that would reverse all signs of aging and we could all live forever. Seriously, it was my belief that the movie Death Becomes Her would be a very real thing. While I'm disappointed that it would appear a magic potion does not exist, I am happy that nature has temporary remedies to relieve those dark circles under my eyes and dull complexion. Yes, these face masks allow me to fool clients, bar patrons, and my peers into thinking that I am a functioning adult that never accidentally drinks an entire bottle of Lambrusco at a bar and then goes home and eats a pound of cheese at 2 a.m.
Since I'm not ready to change my bedtime to 10 p.m. yet and I'd never deny myself cheese and wine, I rely on these a.m. facials to get me through those dark morning afters.
1. Oatmeal, Egg, & Pumpkin Restorative Morning Mask
This fall I told my real life BFF that she was going to have to take back seat, because vitamin A was my new best friend. After all, what had she ever done for my skin? One could actually argue that our mutual love of whiskey is making my complexion worse. This mask is bursting with vitamin A from the egg yolk and the fresh pumpkin pulp. I add four tablespoons of oatmeal (those B vitamins are worth waking up for), two tablespoons of fresh pumpkin pulp, and one egg. Blend your ingredients together, adding more oatmeal for a thicker paste, and apply on make-up free skin. I like to leave my mask on for about five minutes (this is a great time to make your bed) and rinse with lukewarm water.
2. Energizing Coffee Morning Mask
Caffeine masks are pretty much a go-to to for waking up your skin from any sleepless night, just like that cup of joe wakes up your brain. My love of coffee masks runs deep: They're cheap, they're effective, and they're super easy to make. For this wake-up mask, I've used a half a cup of coffee grinds, one tablespoon of coconut milk to hydrate and clean the skin, and one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice for a brightening effect. If your skin is super sensitive or dry, you can skip the lemon and/or add honey or macadamia nut oil to your mask — the last thing you want is to make your skin even thirstier. Whip up your mask in a bowl and apply on makeup free skin, gently massaging the grinds into your pores. Rinse off with lukewarm water after five to 10 minutes.
3. Virgin Grapefruit Margarita Morning Facial
Yes, tequila can give you energy for a night out, but grapefruit can be a great substitute when it comes to making a facial. Grapefruit is loaded with astringent and stimulating properties in addition to having tons of fiber. I'm lovin' this mask with one round slice of grapefruit, a few sprigs of cilantro, one teaspoon of fresh squeezed lime juice and half a tablespoon of raw honey. Remove the skins from the citrus fruits, then mix all the ingredients together in a blender and apply on makeup free, damp skin. Be sure to do a test patch on the inside of your arm before putting this stimulating astringent mask on your face. Once it starts to tingle, rinse the mask off, and follow it up with your fave moisturizing oil.
4. Clarifying Baking Soda Mask With Clary Sage & Lavender
No doubt I love me a baking soda mask! Typically, I use baking soda in the evenings because it's a total boss at cleaning out your pores and removing dirt and oil buildup that occurs throughout the day. It recently occurred to me, however, that baking soda, being that it stimulates our pores and reduces inflammation, is a great start to anyone's morning. Infuse your baking soda with filtered water, apple cider vinegar, milk, or rose water and then add a just a few drops of clary sage and lavender essential oil to calm extra baggage under your eyes. This is a serious treat for a serious case of the Monday mornings.
5. Invigorating Grape & Rosewater Morning Facial
According to sources at Livestrong, grapes can be used to treat inflammation. Since they are also known energizing snacks, they are perfect for a morning mask. I used a small handful of grapes, one tablespoon of organic cream, and one tablespoon of rosewater. Blend your ingredients in a blender and then apply on damp, makeup free skin. You can leave your mask on for a minute or two, but don't leave it on for too long or it could make your skin feel slightly dry. If you are looking for a bit of extra oil, add rosehip oil to your facial. Your skin is seriously gonna thank me.
Image: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Kristin Collins Jackson (5)