Ah, face masks. You've probably seen those stereotypical movie scenes of people wearing calming face masks and cucumber eye covers. Let's be honest, you probably wished you were one of those people at some point. 

Elizabeth Layman

The coolness on your face; the refreshing feeling of nourished skin afterward....

Before you go to your local Walmart and spend tons of money on expensive cosmetic face masks, though, here are four inexpensive, food-based face masks you can make. They're all-natural, refreshing and cheap alternatives.

Yogurt and Bengal Gram Flour

As the name suggests, this face mask requires only two ingredients: yogurt and Bengal gram flour. For face masks, I would recommend using only plain yogurt (it doesn't really matter what the fat content is) because the added sugars in flavored yogurts can actually harm your skin.

For this mask, I usually mix a ratio of 1 tablespoon of yogurt with 1/2 tablespoon of Bengal gram flour. This creates a light yellow mixture with a relatively thick consistency. You can adjust the ratio of yogurt to flour as you wish, based on your consistency preferences.

corn, garbanzo, chickpeas, pea, meat, legume, cereal, vegetable
Christin Urso

The only downside to this face mask is that Bengal gram flour may be relatively difficult to get a hold of based on where you live. It's a type of flour made out of dried chickpeas, and it's usually available at Indian supermarkets. If there are none near you, though, you can find it on Amazon. There are also YouTube videos that can show you how to make the flour from scratch.

If you can get a hold of the flour, you will definitely love this face mask. The secret to knowing if a food-based face mask is good is how well it absorbs into your skin. This yogurt and Bengal gram flour concoction absorbs super fast, and it leaves your face feeling moisturized and refreshed. I love to put this mask on about half an hour before I take a shower. I apply a new coat every 10 minutes, since each coat takes about that long to absorb into the skin. Then, I just wash it off directly in the shower.

Since this is an all-natural face mask, you can (and should) use it as often as you'd like. Over the summer, I used it every time before I showered for about a month, and it left my skin feeling rejuvenated. One of the best things about this face mask (and all the ones following) is that you can use the mixture for any other part of your body, too, so enjoy a face, neck and arms mask if you'd like!

Yogurt, Olive Oil, Honey and Turmeric

The star players in this face mask are yogurt and turmeric. As you can probably tell, I love using yogurt in face masks - the reason being that yogurt is a natural moisturizer that contains both healthy probiotics and milk protein, which are both great for your skin. Turmeric, on the other hand, is a superb natural antibiotic. All the ingredients for this face mask can easily be found at the grocery store. 

To create this mask, I mix 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1/3 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4 tablespoon of honey, and 4-5 drops of olive oil. The result should have a light orange tint with a relatively smooth texture.

#SpoonTip: I tend to be very sparse on the amount of turmeric I put in the mixture because too much turmeric can stain your skin a yellowish color that is quite difficult to wash off. I also shy away from using too much olive oil, because too much oil can clog your pores and cause problems down the road. In moderation, though, the ingredients of this face mask do magic.

curry, turmeric, coffee, sweet, condiment, relish, cinnamon
Sarina Raman

I usually apply this mask about half an hour before taking a shower, making sure to massage it for at least two minutes. This really allows for the yogurt, honey and olive oil to absorb into my skin and moisturize it, while the turmeric keeps my skin clean and refreshed. And, of course, you can use this face mask as often as you'd like, but even applying this mask one time is enough to keep your skin feeling moisturized for several days.

Yogurt and Lemon Juice

This face mask works a little differently from the others. While I also use this face mask before showering, I usually apply this only about 10 minutes or so beforehand, and scrub it onto my face for about two to three minutes. The ratio I use for this mixture is 1 tablespoon of yogurt to 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

lemon peel, citron, lime, lemonade, citrus, juice, lemon
Claire Waggoner

This face mask works as a really good exfoliator because of the acidic lemon juice, which is very effective at removing dead skin cells from your face. I, personally, have very sensitive and dry skin, so I use this face mask in moderation. Too long of exposure to this face mask can actually leave your skin really dry, since the acidic lemon tends to pull water out of your skin cells. But, in moderation, this face mask can leave you feeling like you have a brand new face - in a good way, of course!

Oatmeal and Honey

Oatmeal has long been considered a boon for your skin - it's a great moisturizer and offers a lot of healthy protein and minerals. Honey is also a great moisturizer and, similar to turmeric, a natural antibacterial agent.

Rolled oats, grain, handful of oats, handful, hands, barley, oatmeal, oat, pasture, corn, wheat, cereal
Jocelyn Hsu

For this face mask, I would recommend preparing the oatmeal (consisting of plain, unflavored oats) based on the instructions on the package, but using milk instead of water. This allows your skin to benefit from the milk protein, which leaves it soft and rejuvenated. After preparing the oatmeal, I usually make the mixture at a ratio of 1 tablespoon of oatmeal to 1/2 teaspoon of honey. You don't want too much honey, or else the mixture might begin to feel too sticky and uncomfortable. I like to apply this mixture 10-15 minutes before showering, and wash it off before the oatmeal dries up. Like the other masks, you can use this face mask as often as you'd like, and it'll leave your skin glistening, glowing and moisturized. 

Drink Water!

This one isn't a face mask, but it's the golden rule for having healthy, glowing skin. Drink at least eight glasses (not cups!) of water a day to keep yourself and your skin hydrated. If you exercise daily or have dry skin (like me) you may actually need even more - closer to 10 or 11 glasses. Nevertheless, even if you  have neither the time nor energy to use any of the above face masks regularly, drinking water is something super easy and literally priceless that you can do to pamper your skin.

dropping ice, water splash, water cup, cup of water, splash, water, ice
Jocelyn Hsu

So, there you have it - four food-based face masks (and a fifth tip) that are not only good for your wallet, but also for your skin. A great aspect of using natural ingredients for face masks is that all the ingredients for these face masks are very easy to find in grocery stores, and are everyday food items, so you won't have to worry about wasting any of them. Next time you go grocery shopping, you could easily buy yourself, say, a tub of yogurt or a box of oats to eat, and just set aside a couple tablespoons of each to mix in face masks later. 

Who said food's just for your stomach? Let food pamper your skin, too!