Since the dawn of civilization, herbs have functioned as a source of healing and sustained health. From shaman, to apothecaries, to modern day medicine, mankind has found relief thanks to nature's plant population — and now it's your turn to try your hand at a homemade eye mask infused with the stuff. Beauty and self care is not excluded. Rather, its genesis can be traced back to antiquity — the Romans were known to utilize mint to aid digestion and ancient Asian cultures reportedly ground the herb into a paste to apply as a skin-brightening mask. Sounds worth a shot, no?
It doesn't take much digging to uncover a plethora of testimonies and scientific studies that support the benefits of integrating herbs into your daily routine. Thankfully, this process can be low effort and high impact, case in point: a do-it-yourself eye mask infused with herbs that you can make with simple ingredients, likely already in your kitchen. In less than five steps — precisely four, if you include the relaxation stage — you can elevate any at-home spa day with this eye treatment. Perfect for reducing redness and minimizing puffiness, this mask is meant to help you indulge in relaxation and restore your healthy glow.
Step One: Supplies & Set Up
You'll need a small piece of absorbent material (like a washcloth, head warmer, or sock), twine, scissors, green tea bags (choose one that includes various herbs, like chamomile), a sprig of mint, and a small cucumber. Once you've gathered all the necessities, create a relaxing space for yourself. Consider all your senses — find somewhere quiet, play a soft relaxing playlist, light your favorite candle, and lay out your softest throw blankets.
Step Two: Cut &
Place your fabric against your face to guestimate where to cut it; it doesn't have to be perfect. If need be, laying back and with the fabric against your face, use a sharpie to mark dots on either temple, above the eyebrows, and on the highest parts of your cheekbones. Use these guides to cut out a simple rectangle. From there you can get as creative as you'd like, you can leave it as is or opt to cut out the nose and round the corners. Lastly, make a small slit about a half inch from each side of your fabric and tie on your straps with a Lark's Head knot — be sure to include enough string to secure your mask.
Step Three: Chop & Soak
Once you have your mask intact, heat roughly six ounces of water til it's steaming. Do not boil the water — remember you'll be applying this to the delicate skin of your face! Next, roughly chop your mint, slice a few pieces of cucumber and place in the water with green tea bags. Allow the ingredients to steep for 5 - 10 minutes before also soaking the mask in the mixture for several minutes.
Step Four: Relax & Restore
Once you're satisfied with the intensity of your herbal infusion and have steeped your mask until it's soaked through, you can choose to apply it to your skin warm or allow it to cool in the fridge. Cozy up on your sanctuary (made up during step one), lay your mask against your face, and secure with ties. Let yourself enjoy the calming herbal aromas, take deep, purposeful breathes and allow your thoughts to wash right over you. You can stay there as long as you'd like, but 15 minutes should suffice. After removing your mask and dabbing away any excess dampness, apply your favorite eye cream to lock in the moisture and benefits.
Images: Elisa Llera & Kristin Martz