Everyone's experienced acne breakouts before, unless you're some type of superhuman. It's an unfortunate yet inevitable part of life we all have to deal with. We can do all the right things: eat healthy, exercise, wash our faces, moisturize, etc. and still get breakouts. It is truly the most frustrating feeling.

Some topical medications can help treat acne, but what if you just want an all-natural, inexpensive skincare treatment you can do in the comfort of your own home? Believe it or not, many food items you can find in your own kitchen can be used as face masks to revolutionize your skincare. I dived into a full research of the benefits of different food face masks and found some of the best. I tried four of them; here's how they worked for me.

Causes of Acne

It is important to assess what causes acne in the first place. Acne can occur at any age with any degree of severity. Hormones, stress, hygiene, medications, certain drugs, allergies, and topical applications can all play a role in acne development. In addition, diet can be a significant factor in acne occurrence. A diet high in inflammatory foods can cause acne; foods that are highly processed are among some of the most guilty. Clearly, many factors are involved in potentially causing acne, which is why consulting a dermatologist is essential for expert medical advise on your particular skin condition.

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Benefit of Food Face Masks

As I researched, I also found that the topical application of certain foods can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine. Specific foods can have desired effects on your skin, like prevention of acne-causing bacteria and anti-aging properties. The face masks I tried all contained foods known to provide beneficial effects to skin. 

So, which ones did I try?

1. Oatmeal and Banana Face Mask

| HD photo by Klara Avsenik (@curryandlove) on Unsplash

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-1/2 cup oats prepared with water and 1/2 a banana

Oatmeal provides anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while cleaning and soothing skin. Oatmeal can be especially helpful for sensitive skin due to its gentle soothing properties. There is little research on the benefits of banana applied on the surface of the skin. But there is evidence that fruits, as part of a balanced, plant-based diet, can improve skin and prevent acne occurrence.

2. Avocado and Yogurt Face Mask

Perfectly Ripe Avocado | HD photo by Kelly Sikkema (@kellysikkema) on Unsplash

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-1/2 an avocado and 1 serving of plain yogurt

Due to the essential fatty-acids, and vitamins A, C, D, and E, avocados applied to the skin can provide moisturizing effects and improved wound healing, which can help to heal acne-caused wounds on your skin. Also, yogurt contains probiotics, which has anti-microbial properties that helps prevent the overgrowth of unwanted, acne-causing bacteria.

3. Honey and Pumpkin Puree Face Mask

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-2 Tbsp honey and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Honey has been used for centuries for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antibacterial qualities. Its antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities can prevent growth of acne-causing bacteria and work to treat skin wounds potentially caused by acne breakouts. 

There is limited research available on the benefits of pumpkin applied directly to the skin, but there is increasing research on the consumption of a plant-based diet, rich in vegetables like pumpkin, to prevent the occurrence of acne

4. Coffee Ground and Cocoa Face Mask

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-2 Tbsp coffee grounds and 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Cocoa powder contains flavonoids that have antioxidant properties that prevent and treat oxidative stress factors on the skin. There is also evidence to suggest that cocoa applied topically can prevent photoaging, or the external aging of the skin.

Coffee grounds are often used in skincare practice to aid in exfoliation of dead skin cells on the skin's surface. This has been shown to reduce the thickness of the epidermis and thus, help reduce wrinkle area.

How The Face Masks Worked For Me

As seen in the above video, I divided my face into four sections and placed one of the face masks on each section. Unluckily for me, but luckily for the experiment, I had at least one breakout on each section of my face; this allowed me to determine whether or not there was any immediate improvement in my acne breakouts. 

First thing I noticed: face masks can surprisingly be lots of fun! I had never done more than 2 or 3 face masks in my whole life. But this experiment opened me up to a whole new world of skincare! There was something so incredibly peaceful and calming about brushing mashed-up food on my face. For application purposes, my favorite food face mask was the coffee ground-cocoa one. It stayed so well and smelled amazing! If you love the smell of coffee and chocolate, there's no debating this one is a winner.

After applying all 4 face masks, I waited 10-20 minutes and washed them off with water only. Now the final evaluation could be made.

I was expecting no immediate changes. Typically skincare takes time to show improvements. However, there was some noticeable improvement. My breakouts themselves appeared more reddened after the wash but, the skin surrounding them changed quite a bit. The avocado-yogurt food face mask left my skin feeling soft, moisturized, and plumped. And the coffee ground-cocoa food face mask exfoliated my skin wonderfully; my skin felt smooth, without any bumps as it had before. The honey-pumpkin food face mask and the oatmeal-banana food face mask didn't show much improvement other than the fact that my skin felt moisturized afterwards.

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My Overall Winner

Although the avocado-yogurt food face mask gave the best skin-feel results, my overall favorite was definitely the coffee ground-cocoa food face mask. It was fun to apply and it stayed in place, it smelled incredible, it was fun to remove, and it gave great exfoliation. Without a doubt, I'd try it again!

Feel free to try any of these to add to your own skincare routine. It's fun, relaxing, and great for your skin. And don't worry about looking silly! If I can post my food face mask-face on the internet, doing it in the comfort of your own home will be a piece of cake. And after all, the benefits to your skin are great, but the best part by far is having a great laugh.

Jennifer Campestrini