DIY Mask Pots

DIY Mask Pots

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There was a craze some years ago for homemade skincare products – the sort of thing your grandma might have made to boost her complexion during the difficult wartime years.

So we all tried bags of oatmeal as body scrubs in the bath, whipped up cucumber with yoghurt and honey as cooling face masks, and mixed egg yolks into beer for our hair.

It was messy but it was fun, and yes, it smelled delicious.

Then skincare went all scientific, until these days when you almost need a degree in biochemistry to understand the ingredients label.

Except for an interesting new development that seems to be bucking the trend.

Innisfree, one of the more popular Korean brands, and the one which sources most of its natural ingredients from ‘pure’ Jeju Island, has launched a range of mix-it-yourself face packs.

Depending on your skin type, you choose either a clay base which needs washing off, or a creamy version that is effectively a sleeping pack. Then, depending on the particular needs of your skin, you choose 2 sachets from the extensive range and stir them into your pot.

I went for canola honey and camellia oil, which made for a wonderfully creamy combination that felt silky smooth on my skin. There was surprisingly little of the base itself in the pot, but that was fine as it meant there was plenty of room for stirring in the contents of the sachets.

One freshly mixed, personalised face pack will last you at least 2 applications. The possibilities are endless, the price, 5,000 won. And after trying it out, I really hope this particular product makes it out of Korea and into the shops in Singapore, too.

Bee Venom

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There’s a lot of this around, not just in wildly expensive pots of under eye cream and suchlike, but also in the more affordable guise of sheet masks.

It seems like a weird sort of ingredient to hype in skin care products, but there is apparently some science behind it – the tiny amounts of venom in the mask are enough to make your skin react as if it had been stung.

If you really had been stung, a toxin called melittin would have been injected into your skin, and your body would automatically send blood toward the area to promote healing. This would also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, both things your skin needs to retain a youthful look. Meanwhile, the toxin would have had the additional effect of relaxing the muscles.

All of these things, minus the painful sting, are theoretically good for your face, hence the popularity of bee venom in skin care products. There is also scientific research suggesting that bee venom might even help treat arthritis and multiple sclerosis, which rather backs up the old wives tale that bee keepers don’t get arthritis…

Just in case you were wondering, no bees get harmed in the production of these masks. They are tricked into stinging a sheet of glass, which means they don’t lose their stinging ‘lance’ and so they live to sting another day.

And did I feel the ‘sting’ when I tried these products? Maybe… sometimes it is hard to tell how much is just your imagination. I did, however, really like the sparkly gold flecks in the bee venom jelly cream I used after my mask.