Summer has officially arrived, so it’s the right occasion to make the most of those not-so endless days by spending as much time outdoors as possible. But make no mistake. Many of the quintessential components of the season can play mischief with your skin, resulting in a dry, lackluster complexion.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious culprit: the sun. For some, excess rays may not be an issue if you have a skin type that produces more sebum during the warm weather months, but it’s also not uncommon to become more dry than usual.
Swimming in a chlorine-filled pool and chilling out in an airconditioned room are two other surefire ways to dry out your skin. Of course, internal dehydration caused by those beach libations and salty barbecue fare all show up in the skin externally as well.
While wearing SPF, moisturizing regularly, drinking copious amounts of water, and adding a humidifier to rooms with AC can all help combat dryness, adding a face mask into your routine (ideally, 1-3 times a week) can help replenish your complexion while reducing the appearance of dullness, balancing natural oils, and infusing your skin with moisturizing botanicals.
DIY Summer Face Masks for Ultimate Moisture
If you want to get the most out of masking, use an all-natural formula comprised of only pure ingredients. Since that can be difficult to achieve when purchasing many store bought products, get crafty this summer by whipping up your own DIY face masks.
It only takes a few simple ingredients—and minutes of your time—to prepare a results-driven concoction that will replace what summer is taking away.
Before You Get Started
Here are a few tips before you dive in:
While it can be tempting to jump online and order up a bunch of ingredients, make sure you’re doing enough research about the company and/or brand you are purchasing. There are a lot of places that incorrectly use the term “natural,” when in fact there are fillers and chemicals in the formula. When using fresh produce, always go the organic route as the last thing you want in your mask is a bunch of pesticides.
Make sure you thoroughly clean your face before masking.
When applying your mask, spread an even and generous (not too much as this is counterproductive) layer across your face, neck, and decollete—in most cases, you can apply near eyes and mouth when using a hydrating mask, but it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first.
If you’re truly oily within your t-zone (nose, chin, middle of forehead) but dry elsewhere, don’t be afraid to double mask! Simply apply the hydrating mask in your drier areas and something more oil absorbent in the oilier areas. A simple DIY for oily is kaolin clay mixed with enough water to make a paste. Add approximately 3-5 drops of a clarifying essential oil such as tea tree or sweet orange—lavender or rose if you have inflammation from a breakout.
Remove the product with a soft washcloth saturated with warm—not hot— water. Don’t aggressively rub your face. Rather, use a patting motion to gently remove the bulk of the product before rinsing with tepid water.
Make sure you’re masking when you have enough time as the best results come after the product has been on the skin for at least 20 minutes—30-40 is even better! What’s great about hydrating masks is that they never full dry or get stiff like a mask for oily skin (those formulas should only be on for up to 15 minutes), so apply your product, put your feet up, and dive into that summer read.
No mask or beauty product is going to replace taking care of yourself, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, managing your stress levels, limiting alcohol intake, and practicing a healthy diet.
DIY Mask Recipes
Remember, the goal of a hydrating mask is to put moisture back, not take more away, so you will find these formulas to be more creamy in consistency.
Cucumber, Aloe, and Lavender Face Mask: Best for parched, sunburnt skin
So, you know you should have been wearing SPF at all times yet somehow, that sunburn made its way onto you face—we’ve all been there. This mask uses only three powerhouse ingredients—aloe, cucumber, and lavender essential oil—known for their ability to soothe, hydrate, heal, defy your age, and improve the appearance of your skin tone.
One half of a cucumber—ideally, seedless
2 tablespoons of all-natural (read: not the glowing green stuff) aloe vera gel
2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
After cutting the cucumber into slices, toss them into a blender and mix until thoroughly pureed. Add aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil and blend until smooth.
Purifying Banana and Honey Face Mask
Best for oily, dehydrated skin
Remember how we mentioned some oily-skinned folks don’t actually get dry? Well, that’s only half of the story. There are also those who are producing oil, yet are also experiencing dehydration. This only prompts the skin to produce more oil to compensate.
Along with providing moisture, banana is great for eliminating bacteria that can cause—or is causing—breakouts and inflammation. Honey is also antibacterial, but is also known for balancing natural oils, eliminating the appearance of dullness, and being extremely hydrating. The addition of OJ is minimal, yet it removes dirt, oil, and impurities while providing an instant glow.
- 1 fully ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons of organic honey
- 1 teaspoon of fresh-squeeze orange juice
With a fork, completely mash the banana in a mixing bowl, or use a food processor to eliminate all of the chunks. Add honey and orange juice, mix thoroughly.
Cacao and Papaya Glow Mask
Best for dull, flaky skin
A telltale sign of dry skin is flakiness, but in order to put moisture back into your skin, you have to remove the flakes first—otherwise your serums, face oils, and moisturizers won’t be able to penetrate. Deliciousness aside, cacao powder has several benefits for the skin, to include providing an instant glow, reducing the appearance of dullness, minimizing the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles, and removing impurities.
It’s the papaya in this mask that’s going to take care of those pesky flakes because it contains exfoliating enzymes that helps with dissolving dead skin cells. There’s also the addition of vitamin-rich aloe (A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12) that leaves skin smoother and calmer while bringing radiance to your look.
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
Simply mix all of the ingredients together until smooth. To eliminate chunks, consider using a food processor or blender to puree the papaya first.
Hydrating and Brightening Strawberry and Yogurt Mask
Best for lackluster, dry skin
This summertime fruit is chock-full of powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C, polyphenols and anthocyanins, so it helps with protecting your skin from environmental stressors such as the sun. Yogurt contains a natural form of lactic acid, so it works as an effective exfoliant while having an emollient effect on the skin.
4-5 medium-sized strawberries
2 teaspoons of Greek yogurt
Mix the berries and yogurt with a blender until smooth.
Summer Skin Care: 6 Causes of Dry Skin, First Derm, June 27, 2017,
7 Amazing Ways In Which Cocoa Powder Benefits Skin Health, Pain Assist, January 7, 2019,
Rebecca Taras has over ten years of editorial and copywriting experience, including serving as an editor for hot digital spaces like Refinery29, PopSugar, Forbes Travel Guides, and Bustle. Along with contributing to print and digital outlets, she currently handles copywriting for some of the biggest brands in the beauty and travel industries.
A Chicagoland native, Taras began her career catering to celebrity clientele as an esthetician at the Peninsula Chicago Hotel before launching her own line of bath and body care products with her previous bath and body care company, Cleansing Queen. Rebecca also created custom in-room amenities for the Sofitel Hotel Chicago, including items featured in a special presentation for the president of AccorHotels upon his visit from France to Chicago. Her efforts were recognized by the Chicago Fashion Foundation, and she received the Style Maker and Rule Breaker award in the Beauty category.
Ultimately, Rebecca’s initiatives evolved into the co-founding of Terminal Getaway airport spas, now located at Seattle-Tacoma International, Tampa International, Orlando International, and Chicago O’Hare International airports. Though she is no longer involved with Terminal Getaway, her passion for beauty and travel not only persisted over the years but grew.
As Rebecca continued to refine her skincare knowledge, she spent a considerable amount of time as a journalist covering beauty and other topics. Rebecca’s diverse body of knowledge, experience, and an insatiable curiosity for faraway places culminated in Well-Traveled Beauty, an upcoming skincare line and travel website. The company’s initial offerings will be a line of results-driven, travel-friendly beauty products that take the guesswork out of figuring out what to pack.
A global traveler with a passion for Paris, Taras finally decided to live the Parisian way of life on the daily and call the City of Light home.