Nothing says like self–care like a solid face mask. Unfortunately, sheet masks don’t always come cheap. This week, in an effort to save $$$ and de–stress from midterms, I treated myself to a DIY spa day. Using simple pantry ingredients, I recreated staple beauty products for a quick at–home pamper session, with interesting results.

First things first—I needed a solid DIY makeup remover. Before applying the masks, I need a clean slate, free of foundation and eye–makeup. Through online research, I found that olive oil and coconut oil are natural makeup removers, solubilizing the compounds found in most beauty products. With both in hand, I ran a comparison test. The olive oil worked like a charm, quickly removing my waterproof liquid eyeliner and mascara. However it felt a tad greasy and I couldn’t escape the salad dressing smell. The coconut was equally as effective, smelled delicious and felt more soothing on the skin. Overall a win for coconut oil.

Oatmeal facemask

Not just a breakfast cereal, oatmeal is good for your face too.  Anti–inflammatory, soothing, and cleansing, oats are a common feature in skincare products. Dry, tired, acne–prone—my skin ticks all those boxes. Though the thought of rubbing wet oats all over my face seemed less than appealing, I was willing to give it a shot for happy skin. 


  • ¼ cup of oats, ground up in the blender
  • 3 tablespoons of hot water
  • Teaspoon of honey 

Grind up the oats in the blender to a fine powder. Then boil water, let cool for a minute and mix a few splashes in with the oats. You want a pasty consistency, spreadable but not too watery. Add a teaspoon of honey for an anti–bacterial acne treatment. 

The Verdict: 

The oatmeal was not cooperative. Thick, pasty, and cold, the oatmeal stuck to itself more than to my skin. As I struggled to spread the paste over my cheeks, large globs splattered the bathroom sink. I managed to unevenly coat my forehead and cheeks, but it refused to adhere to my nose.  

I set the timer for 15 minutes and proceeded to hide in my bathroom, least my roommates witness my new oat beard. Before it started to dry, chunks started to slide off my face. I called it quits at 5 minutes and vigorously washed off the mush. Even after only a few minutes the oats worked their magic. My skin felt plump, moist, and refreshed. Too bad the bathroom sink resembled the remains of a food fight.

Brown Sugar Coffee Scrub

Invigorating and packed full of antioxidants, your morning cup of joe can also work wonders on your skin. Coffee granules are the perfect size and shape for exfoliating, making it a popular component of face and body scrubs. Never one to say no to glowing skin, I decided to give coffee a shot.


  • 1 tablespoon of ground coffee
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Microwave the coconut oil to liquid consistency. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and coffee grounds into the coconut oil until smooth. Spread over your face and let sit for 15 minutes before washing off. 

The Verdict: 

Again, I struggled to spread the mask over my face. Though easier to spread than the oatmeal, this time the liquid kept dripping down my chin. Luckily it smelled divine, like a caramel mocha—I couldn’t help but lick my lips. However, due to the stickiness, I only kept the mask on for about five minutes. My face looked like I landed in a pile of dirt. Washing it off, the coffee grounds were abrasive, effectively scrubbing my cheeks pink. Afterwards my skin felt tight and refreshed, though a little drier than I would like. Perhaps this would make for a better body scrub than a facial. 

Overall: While these recipes may not get you spa–level results, if you're in need of a quick and cheap pamper sesh, turn to your kitchen pantry.