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A little beauty secret: If you really want to know the best in the industry, ask beauty editors who they let work on them. If there's one thing practically every editor (and celebrity!) agree upon, it's that esthetician Joanna Vargas is the master of the facial. Her expertise doesn't come at a small fee, of course, but we found a loophole. We asked her to formulate four DIY face masks so you, our dear brides-to- be, can have glowing skin for your wedding day.
For brides with oily skin, achieving a balance of exfoliation and oil control is challenging, but Vargas swears this recipe does the trick. Rice powder cleans out blackheads and absorbs excess oil without stripping the skin. Yogurt, a natural anti-inflammatory, soothes breakouts, and lactic acid, which is found in yogurt, removes excess oil and exfoliates sans irritation. And a remedy for large pores? You might be surprised to know the best refiner is right in the produce section of your grocery store. "Strawberry is an old-fashioned trick," Vargas says. "It makes pores seem less dominant on the face."
1/4 cup mashed strawberries
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp rice powder
Mix all ingredients together and apply with your hands. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with tepid water.
This mask is the perfect concoction for those with rosacea — or for any bride who needs a little R&R! Mint and aloe vera cool hot, red skin, and lavender soothes the mind. "People who suffer from rosacea will attest to the fact that it worsens when they're stressed or upset," Vargas says. "If you can learn to calm yourself down, the lesser the redness will be."
4 tsp green tea
1 oz fresh peppermint leaves
1 cup lavender flowers
2 cups distilled water
2 tsp fresh aloe vera gel
Mix green tea, peppermint leaves, and lavender flowers together with water. Steep all ingredients for 15 minutes and strain through a cheesecloth. Add aloe vera gel and pour into a spray bottle. For a simpler version, steep one bag of peppermint tea and one bag of chamomile tea in a cup of warm water. When the water has cooled, add the aloe vera gel plus two drops of lavender essential oil and pour into a spray bottle. "Spraying it onto the skin throughout the day will ease redness and chill you out," Vargas says.
Don't worry if you get hungry while prepping this mask — the ingredients in this one moisturize whether ingested or applied topically. "Honey is great because it's hydrating without risking a breakout," Vargas says. Avocado contains omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, which restore the skin's barrier. Mango is loaded with skin-brightening vitamin C (it has more than oranges!), and olive oil is triple threat: It's an anti-inflammatory, softens the skin, and reverses the signs of sun damage.
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp avocado
2 tbsp olive oil
1 mashed mango
Mix together, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse with tepid water.
For brides with acne-prone skin, Vargas recommends keeping it simple. Oatmeal calms inflammation and pulls out impurities from the skin, and lactic acid in milk and yogurt will exfoliate and dry out blemishes.
1/4 cup milk or plain yogurt
1 cup oatmeal
Cook oatmeal and add milk or yogurt. Once it's cool, apply it all over the skin. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with tepid water.