DIY: Green Tea Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are one of my favourite aspects of self-care. I didn’t always pay too much attention to my skin beyond washing it and not leaving make-up on before bedtime. However, the last few holiday seasons a certain someone (*cough*mom*cough*) gave me skin care products because apparently I’m not getting any younger… One of the things that I’ve really grown to love is using sheet masks because they really force me to actually stop and relax for a bit since if you move too much, the darn things fall off, and they just feel really good.

Korean sheet masks, or sheet masks from other countries of origin, are all very trendy right now – and they can also be quite expensive. A quick look at the price tags at my local drug store showed me prices anywhere from $2.99 to $14.99 (and no, the one that is $15 doesn’t come with a cup of tea). I buy mine from a local Asian supermarket where I get them for $1 each (or less, depending on if there’s a sale or not). That said, I know there’s a better (frugal) way of doing it, so I did a little bit of research to figure out what I’d need to make my own.

I am not a skin care expert, but I do know that what works for one person’s skin might not work for someone else! So take care in trying this out, but hopefully it works for you!

You will need:

1 sheet mask
¼ cup steeped green tea, cooled to room temperature
½ tsp glycerin
1 vitamin E oil capsule

Soak the mask in the green tea until it’s fully saturated. If you’re using a compressed sheet mask like I am, it’ll open up in the tea as it gets saturated.

Move the mask into a bowl (or plate), add the glycerin and the contents of the vitamin E capsule. You can pierce open vitamin E capsules with a pin and then squeeze out the contents. Mix it around – you can use your fingers for this part!

Apply sheet mask to your (clean) face. Leave on for about 30 minutes. After removing the sheet mask, I usually rub in the remaining sheet mask mixture into my skin.

Curious about the purpose of each ingredient?

Glycerin is a humectant, which means that it helps to moisturize the skin by drawing in moisture.

Green tea can help decrease inflammation and clear clogged pores, plus it’ll smell good!

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it helps to moisturize the skin and help reduce UV damage.

DIY: Tea Baths

We all know that tea is great for drinking, but have you ever thought about bathing in it? I was at a cute little boutique not that long ago and they had huge premade sachets labelled as “tea baths”, which prompted me to go online to see if this was actually a thing (spoiler: it is!). Most tea baths out there don’t actually contain tea leaves, but calling it “tisane bath” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Tea baths are good for relaxation, soothing sore muscles, and just help to add a bit of glow to your skin.

Creating a tea bath is as easy as taking a look through your tea stash to see what you have available. I utilized epsom salts and herbal ingredients as well tea in creating my Tea Bath. Tea Baths are definitely a bit of a luxury and aren’t an every day event, but it’s nice to treat yourself from time to time! You can even opt to have a Tea Bath on a smaller scale and do a foot soak in it one as well. Tea Baths are easy to make ahead and might make excellent presents – and Valentine’s Day is coming up! You can create a mix in a jar and wrap a cute ribbon around the lid…. Just sayin’.

For one Tea Bath, you will need:

2 cups epsom salts
1 cup steeped green tea¹
1 tablespoon of each type of flower²
1 tea bag

¹ I oversteeped some green tea on purpose for my Tea Bath, I’m not worried about the tea tasting astringent since I am not drinking it. I would recommend using straight/plain green tea.

² I used 1 tablespoon each of lavender buds and rose buds (you could also use rose petals). Some other floral ingredients that you may want to consider using include chamomile or jasmine petals. I would avoid heavily coloured flowers, like hibisicus, because they may dye your skin (or towels… or bath tub…).

As you prepare to draw the Tea Bath, put the floral ingredients into the tea bag and cinch it close. I added the epsom salts to my tub as the water was filling, to help the epsom salts dissolve. After I turned off the water, I added the steeped green tea and then the tea bag with the floral ingredients. You can opt to put the flowers directly into the water if you want them floating around you, but the tea bag does make cleaning up after your Tea Bath a lot easier.

If you are opting to do a foot soak instead of a full Tea Bath, use ½-1 cup of epsom salts in your foot bath.

Epsom salt helps to relieve inflammation your muscles, and soothe sore muscles. It also helps to soften your skin and promote relaxation.

Green tea is an antioxidant, it helps refresh your skin for healthier glow.

Lavender and chamomile are both flowers that promote relaxation, relieve stress, and help refresh the skin.

Jasmine helps promote relaxation, helps soothe sore muscles, and refreshes your skin.

Rose buds/petals contain antioxidants, can reduce redness in your skin, and softens and helps to refresh the skin.

DIY: Tea Sugar Scrub

A few weeks ago, I had Katrina (@kdreyerco) over for a little afternoon DIY-ing. She came armed with pockets full of essential oils – all of them just smelled so good and we put them to good use by making sugar scrubs! These were so easy to make and they can be easily incorporated into your skin care routine. I’m all about self-care these days, and having sugar scrubs on hand really help with my skin care routine. I use sugar scrubs about twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) and I find that it’s frequent enough for me to keep my skin feeling extra smooth.

If you’ve never used a sugar scrub before, they are fantastic at exfoliating – the sugar helps to remove the surface skin cells and they can help hydrate your skin. You can use almost any type of sugar (don’t use powdered/icing sugar!) for your custom made sugar scrub. Brown sugar is softer, so it’d be a better choice for a sugar scrub that you’re going to use on your face. Raw granulated sugar is often more coarse, so it might be a better choice for your body or feet. Sugar scrubs can rub your skin raw if you’re using them too frequently – I find using them once or twice a week is sufficient, but you should keep your own skin sensitivity in mind and consider what part of your bod you’re using it for. I use about a tablespoon of sugar scrub at a time, I tend to use them on my feet. If you’re new to sugar scrubs, I would recommend making a small, single-use batch and test it out to see if it works for you and your skin.

These tea sugar scrubs are super easy to make and they only contain four ingredients! Some of which you may already have in your kitchen, which is a nice bonus so you don’t have to go to a store to buy anything new.

You will need:

1 cup sugar
½ cup coconut oil¹
2 tea bags (contents) or 1 tablespoon of looseleaf tea²
Essential oil(s) of your choice

¹ You can substitute coconut oil for another oil of your choice, I use coconut oil because it has a mild aroma and I find it to be less oily than some other oils out there.
² I find tea bags easier to use because the tea leaves are already finely crushed. If you’re using looseleaf tea, consider breaking the tea leaves into smaller pieces with a mortar and pestle or with a rolling pin.

For a single-use batch, mix together 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ tablespoon coconut oil, ¼ teaspoon tea leaves, 1 drop of essential oil of your choice. This is also a great way to test tea and essential oil combinations to see if you like it before you have to commit to a larger batch!

If you want to make a smaller or larger batch, it is a 1:2 ratio of oil to sugar.

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl – we used 3-5 drops of essential oil per blend. Remember – less is more! I found these great glass jars with rubber seals and lids to store the sugar scrubs in from my local dollar store.

Jasmine green tea with “Peace and Calming”.

The two blends that we made were:

1. Earl Grey black tea with 3 drops of bergamot essential oil
2. Jasmine green tea with 4 drops of a proprietary blend called “Peace and Calming” (contains tangerine, orange, ylang ylang, patchouli, and blue tansy essential oils).

Earl Grey tea with bergamot essential oil.

Some other combinations that might be nice are Earl Grey with lavender or peppermint oil, jasmine green tea with orange or lemon. I think a lot of citrus essential oils would pair nicely with a large variety of tea. I would recommend avoiding teas that are parts of blends (a lot of blended teas have dried fruit or nuts that may not pair well with oil as the dried fruit or nuts may go rancid in the sugar scrub).

Using a sugar scrub is easy. Put the desired amount into your hands (I usually use about 1 tablespoon’s worth each time) and then rub it into the area that you’re wanting to use the scrub on. One tablespoon is enough to do my feet, or my face, or my hands. Rub it gently into your skin and then it off with warm to hot water. Cold water will not do you any favours since there is oil involved.

Sugar scrubs can keep for quite a while, but do be careful when using them so you don’t introduce bacteria into your sugar scrub. I would recommend using a craft stick (e.g. popsicle stick) or a dedicated spoon to scoop out your sugar scrub instead of using your fingers. This can help limit the bacteria and moisture that goes into the sugar scrub (and helps to prevent it from spoiling). When it doubt, give it a sniff! It should smell the same as the day you made it. I’ve made a few sugar scrubs in the past and they kept easily for one month (I finished the batch at the one month mark). If your sugar scrub looks at all discoloured or ‘off’ compared to what it previously looked like, I would err on the side of caution and toss it and use it as an excuse to make a new batch!