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Exfoliating Face Mask

turmeric face mask

Most Ayurveda skin care recipes I have come across call for Besan, which is chic pea flour and also referred to as gram flour. I decided to give besan a try in combination with tulsi a.k.a holy basil. I profiled tulsi for as hair mud mask and a facial mask on it’s own and liked the results of that so I figured it would lend some it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties to this mask.

Since I discovered the vast benefits of turmeric whether taken internally or applied topically, I rarely make my own facial masks without it. Turmeric is definitely a super herb that you should eat daily and have in your skincare arsenal. Here’s a snapshot of why you should incorporate turmeric in your facemask recipes:

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties make turmeric great for acne prone skin
  • Evens out the skin complexion and brightens dark circles
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Inhibits facial hair growth
  • Natural effective antiseptic against eczema, poison ivy and psoriasis
  • Excellent exfoliant in conjunction with besan
  • Reduces skin inflammation
  • Gentle and effective for all skin types
  • Can be used frequently with no adverse effects

turmeric face mask

1 heaping table spoon of besan (gram/chic pea flour)
1 heaping teaspoon of turmeric
1 loose teaspoon of tulsi powder

Mix all ingredients together then add a binder to create the mask. The binder can be product that will make the mixture wet and sticky so it clings to your skin. Examples include: water, egg whites, egg yolks, honey, herbal tea, yoghurt, milk, lemon juice, glycerin and diluted vinegar. I switch binders depending on what my skin needs are at the time.

Additives like essential oils are also an option. The essential oil choice will depend on the intended purpose of the mask. For example if I wanted this mask to be soothing and calming I might use lavender, chamomile or patchouli. If I wanted the facemask to be anti-acne I might use sage, peppermint or tea tree. Essential oils enhance the mask but they are not essential for it to be effective.

diy face mask


  • Step 1: Pre-cleanse

I used coconut oil (76 degrees) to cleanse my face – oil cleansing in essence. I had used soap on my face the night before so there was no need to use it the next morning. Coconut oil has great cleansing abilities (I used it in my shampoo bar recipe for that purpose). Melt some coconut oil using body heat and rub it on your face in circular motion. Let it sit for about a minute

  • Step 2: Light Steam

Steaming opens up the pores so the mask can pull gunk out. Normally I just use a large bowl with hot water and drape a towel over my head and steam for about 15 minutes. Since the coconut oil was still on my face, I opted to steam with a hot washcloth. Simply wet the washcloth with hot water (not too hot) and place it on the face until it cools. Wipe away the oil afterwards. This step is repeated at least four times to completely remove the oil and open the pores.

  • Step 3: Apply the mask

There’s no science here. Slather on the mask as much as your face and neck can take. You could use the mask on your chest too, like I did.
Use the tip of your fingers to rub the mask in circular motion. This will slough off dead skin.

  • Step 4: Wait

The moisture in the mask needs to evaporate so that all the gunk is left trapped in the mask residue then we can wash it off. Wait until the mask is completely dry to the touch. Limit muscle movement when the mask is drying to avoid over stretching and tearing the skin.

  • Step 5: Rinse

This step is much easier in the shower, which is what I would normally do if I wasn’t shooting the video but you could also use a warm damp washcloth to remove the mask.

  • Step 6: Tone

Toning is optional but I like to use this step to remove any residue of the mask that may not have been washed off. I used my homemade floral toner.

  • Step 7: Moisturize

Basil will defat the skin so slather on that moisturizer like you mean it. In the video I am using the same moisturizer I use on my hair because I ran out of the Shea cream. That’s the beauty of making multi-purpose products. I keep them in different containers (hair and skin) to avoid cross contamination. Also, the essential oils for fragrance are different in each one.

PS: I don’t fully trust the Hesh brand with my face since the scary Canadian recall in 2010 where a whole batch was recalled because they found E.Coli in the products. There haven’t been any other contamination problems since then but my faith was shaken a little. I am fine with using the products on my hair but apprehensive around my eyes, nose and mouth. I love basil so I am in search of a different brand for use on my face. Any suggestions?