Skip to content

DIY facial masks for glowing winter skin

What do you need to get your skin to glow? You could get some fireflies to do the work using luciferin and luciferase. Fireflies make light; it’s called bioluminescence. Humans don’t make light.


Figure. This gorgeous photo of Greta Garbo makes it look like she is glowing. Actually, her face is only reflecting light perfectly positioned by the photographer.

If trying to catch fireflies is too much work, you may be content with skin that doesn’t glow but reflects a bit more light. And how do you get that? Removing the upper layers of cells from the epidermis should do the trick; smoother skin (or makeup) will reflect more light.

What matters when thinking about removing layers of epidermis: keeping the skin barrier intact in winter is essential because the environment is extremely dry: outside, with snow and dry, cool air, or inside, with heating at full, your skin will feel dry, tight, and even itchy. The epidermis was designed through millions of years of evolution to stop water loss through the skin. You remove epidermis layers at your own peril.

The ready-made alternative

How to remove just a hint of epidermis? For lazy people, you can try our glycolic alpha/beta exfoliant or ascorbic acid. Leaving a 20% vitamin C serum long enough on your skin will have a similar effect. It all depends on the pH.

You need to know when to stop. Maybe start with a short time, like 5 minutes, or as soon as you feel some tingling. I have used our alpha/beta exfoliant for many years, so I know when it’s time for me to rinse it away (when the stinging becomes a bit uncomfortable). Be careful with your eyes; you don’t want to get acidic products in your eyes; they will sting and could even hurt.

How about DIY (do it yourself)

How to brighten your skin without breaking the skin barrier? Try mild acidity, like that offered by sea kelp bioferment, with some ascorbic acid thrown in.

To increase acidity (decrease the pH of the nearly neutral sea kelp), add some 20% vitamin C serum drop by drop; you can follow the pH decrease using pH paper. If you try to add ascorbic acid crystals directly to the sea kelp, you may have trouble dissolving it, but this should not be a real problem: the granular mix will add some physical exfoliation.

If you wish to add some beta hydroxy acid (the nomenclature is an invention by the skincare industry), you can add white willow bark powder to the mask base.

What to do after removing the mask

After removing the mask by rinsing it with lots of water, go for the oils. You need those fatty acids and other lipids to replenish the skin and provide substrate for the skin to make its own ceramides, building the natural skin barrier.  A bonus: you may encourage the cells in the subcutaneous fat layer to divide and make and thicken, making your skin look younger and plumper. My suggestion? Our Every Lipid Serum with CBD, a.k.a. Nourishing Skin Serum with hemp extract. It’s precisely what your skin needs to calm down after exfoliation.


Claims on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.