I Tried the Kardashians’ “Homemade” Face Mask—Here’s What Happened

Updated: Jan. 25, 2024

It's practically edible: Four delectably simple ingredients were the formula for a homemade face mask that our reporter discovered as an epic treatment to heal winter skin. There was just one real-life problem...

In an era when pricey beauty products are forever popping up under our noses via our smartphones, Google search data suggests homemade face masks have gained popularity. As a California native who’s lived in the Big Apple for more than 15 years, for ages I’ve sought a good winter remedy for dry skin. I’ve tried drinking more water, sleeping with a humidifier and even taking a break from my retinol routine, which I thought might be contributing. But nothing seems to help—every year just as I’m stepping out to holiday parties, I find myself peeling, flaking, and desperate to try anything for extra moisture.

So recently, when Kendall Jenner told Vogue that a homemade face mask recipe had rescued her skin from flare-ups and inflammation, I was intrigued—especially because our cold weather had arrived in New York right on time this year, with temperatures dropping near the freezing point the week after Thanksgiving.

Thrillingly, this homemade face mask was so easy to replicate. All I needed were four ingredients: Avocado, honey, oatmeal, and lavender oil—the first three of which were already stocked in my kitchen, the last which was at my bedside. As someone who’s always studying the ingredients on my food and cosmetics labels, I loved that this homemade face mask made it effortless to know exactly what I was putting on my skin.

If you’re wondering what I thought of this homemade face mask, it completely worked—but no, I’ll never make it again. (If that’s confusing, keep reading!)

The skincare benefits of honey, avocado, oatmeal and lavender oil


super food honeyvia merchant

“This superfood honey, I got it from Kourtney, so I’m assuming it’s really good and natural,” Kendall said in the skincare demonstration that was my inspiration for this homemade face mask.

Honey is a superfood that’s been used for its antimicrobial properties for thousands of years (I take a teaspoon of Manuka every day during flu season), and it can also reduce acne inflammation and even heal burns. Honey is also a wonder as a moisturizer because it seals water within the skin.

Infused with a combination of royal jelly, pollen, and propolis (which is said to be beneficial for the immune system, which also includes your skin’s resilience!), Beekeeper’s Naturals honey has garnered some buzz in Hollywood. The brand says it prioritizes “pesticide-free hive health”—likely a few of the reasons the Kardashian family are fans.

But, an important reminder, as Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, FAAD a dermatologist at New York’s Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery—who has developed cosmetic products with Hailey Bieber and Martha Stewart—suggests: “While I love natural ingredients, I tend to caution patients against DIY masks or products given the potential for contamination and reactions. Propolis, while useful in some instances, is also known to cause contact dermatitis, and so I would proceed with caution.”

It was wise to ease into this face mask by doing a spot test first, as I try to remember with any new product. While I didn’t have a reaction to this homemade mask, everyone’s physiology is different!

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Two avocado halves rest on a white marble countertop with copy spaceLiz W Grogan/Getty Images

Next time you have an avocado lying around that’s just a little too ripe to eat, adapt it for this face mask. Avocado is another incredible ingredient that when applied topically can soothe sunburn, hydrate the skin and potentially reduce wrinkles over time thanks to its healthy fats and vitamin-rich oil.

These were fun insights to research, as this would be the first time I’d ever use avocado directly on my skin.

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oatmeal on wooden spoonMartysjahlushyk/getty images

There’s a reason oatmeal baths are a timeless recommendation for chickenpox: Science has shown that oatmeal soothes skin and relieve itching and irritation. Colloidal oatmeal in particular is a skin protectant that is FDA-approved for a range of dermatological conditions. Decades of research have also demonstrated that oatmeal can clean and exfoliate skin and calm symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.

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Lavender oil

Dried Lavenderglegorly/Getty Images

I was initially surprised at the use of lavender oil in this homemade face mask recipe because I’d previously heard it can cause skin irritation. To my surprise, I learned lavender oil also possesses skin-healing properties for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, itchiness, rashes, and more.

If you’re unsure how your skin might react to lavender oil, give it a spot test both on its own and in combination with the other ingredients, since blending them can alter the compounds within each individual ingredient and cause them to react differently on your skin.

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How to make this homemade face mask

Making Kardashians Homemade Face MaskCourtesy Laura Lane Rad

Even a facialist to the stars told me DIY face masks can be an inspired way to care for your skin. “I grew up in a farm town in the Central Valley of California,” celebrity esthetician Angela Caglia told me, “and my grandpa was a big farmer. When my sisters were eating it, I was putting the fruit on my face and making masks,” she said.

With some direction from her on when and how to whip up this homemade face mask, I started with a fresh avocado that my sons hadn’t finished at dinner (we are fans of no food waste!) sliced up with two teaspoons of Beekeeper’s Naturals. I found some oatmeal in my pantry and mixed that in with a drop of lavender oil that I always keep next to my bed to help me wind down for sleep. I mashed all this up and spooned it into a jar. I figured I’d make enough for a few days.

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Here’s what I learned using the avocado and honey facemask for a week

The first night, I washed my face like normal and left the mask on for 10 minutes or so before rinsing it off in the shower. I also tried it another time after I’d just used my LED red light mask for 10 minutes, thinking the light might open up my pores and let the ingredients to seep in more.

On several days I also did the mask in the morning, when I woke up feeling my skin was dry. I wanted to see how my system would react to the mask in the morning versus at night, and whether there was a difference before or after my LED face mask.

I really wasn’t expecting to notice that much of a difference from a simple mask…but for the first time since summer disappeared, my skin wasn’t dry! It was supple, glowy and soft. There was a clear difference. I’ve left other masks on my face overnight to try to tackle the dryness problem, but nothing worked as well as leaving this on for simply 10 minutes each night!

However, going forward, I’m planning to keep the food in my body and not on it. Why? This face mask is a huge mess! I’d love to ask Kendall Jenner how exactly she washed this off without clogging her drains. There were chunks of oatmeal and avocado clogging up my shower drain and all over my shower floor. I’ve done a lot of masks, and this was the messiest I’ve ever used! It was a pain to clean up.

If I do it again, I would try to blend the ingredients in a blender to see whether that makes cleanup smoother. And next, I might just try a mask of honey—the thought of amping up my immunity while sealing moisture within my skin definitely has some winter appeal.