I don’t know about you, but when I think of an at-home DIY mask you mix up in your kitchen, I tend to think of them as being a little weak. I mean, c’mon, we’re all busy, and when I mask, I want it to do something, anything. I don’t have time to slather on a combo of ingredients on my face and cross my fingers it’ll work—I want to see results, I want to know that’ll it’ll exfoliate, or brighten, or hydrate—I need a guarantee. Which is exactly what at-home DIY kitchen masks tend to not come with: that guarantee.
So when I opened up holistic expert Shiva Rose’s incredibly thoughtful and inventive new book Whole Beauty, I noticed a whole section on DIY masks. One specific mask caught my eye, thanks to an ingredient list I’ve never seen before: sheep's or goat's milk yogurt, raw honey—and this is what makes it really special—saffron.
It’s the best DIY mask I’ve ever tried, and I might even and say best mask in general. It’s that good. It’s also super simple, but incredibly effective. I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say this will literally make you glow. I’ve taken a total of like five selfies in my life, and I couldn't stop snapping photos of myself after washing it off. Everyone was remarking how much I was glowing, even I couldn’t stop talking about it and admiring my skin (hate selfies, love myself, ya feel?).
Instead of continuing to muse on about how great it is, I want you to try it out for yourself, and let me know how it goes. Without further ado, recipe and notes from Rose herself, below.
Golden Sun Mask (from Whole Beauty)
For: Normal to dry skin types
Recommended use: As needed for special occasions
½ cup plain yogurt (Rose prefers goat’s or sheep’s milk)
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon saffron threads
How to make: Combine the yogurt, honey, and saffron in a bowl and stir until the mixture is a pale golden hue. Wash your face and pat it dry, then brush the mask onto your skin (either with a clean makeup brush—it’ll make you feel so luxe!—or just use clean fingers). Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
“This mask really makes you radiant, like the sun,” describes Rose in Whole Beauty. “It combines three of my favorite ingredients—yogurt, honey, and saffron—and it’s a mix of Persian and Ayurvedic traditions. The unusual flavor and beautiful golden red color of saffron come from the crocus flower, and it is said that it takes 4,500 crocus flowers to make one ounce of saffron. Ayurvedic practices call on saffron for its incredible healing properties in everything from reducing stress and depression to soothing menstrual cramps and even helping with male fertility issues. It also helps alleviate skin discoloration, dullness, and acne. This mask will brighten your skin for a special occasion, birthday, holiday, or romantic date.”
After using this mask once and getting that radiant glow, word around the office spread. A day after mixing it, we had extra (actually, you’ll have a ton extra, this recipe makes a lot, we’ll get to that below), so a few of us Dominos decided to go for another round. More is more when it comes to glowing, right?
Glad I did so, because now I can pass along a word of warning: The saffron threads, which naturally brighten and soothe the skin, also will begin to release more of their color as they sit in the mixture. That glow-inducing ingredient, after a few hours, will turn into more of a yellow stain. So it’s important to use it with the first hour or two of mixing the ingredients.
Yes, saffron is a bit expensive, and Rose recommends using a very high quality one. “There can be low-quality saffron that is actually just colored threads, or has additives like food coloring,” says Rose. “I purchase mine from Iranian or Indian food stores. You can test saffron by seeing how it dissolves in water: If it's not a good quality, the water will turn red right way. True saffron will gradually lose its color making the water more golden rather than red.”
Also, as hinted above, the recipe will make a lot. Like, enough for 5-10 masks. You can either be generous with your application by also applying it on your neck, décolleté, and hands, or you could cut the recipe in half.
Rose prefers to use quality of ingredients that she’d eat, too. And that’s especially true of the quality of the yogurt and honey in this recipe. She’d recommend using an organic, raw sheep yogurt, but any yogurt is fine as long as its organic and whole. Coconut yogurt will work, too, if you’re vegan; it might not be as exfoliating as others, but it’ll still balance skin. For honey, Rose prefers raw honey for the amazing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and healing properties.
When mixed all together, lactic acid-rich yogurt (rich in zinc and B vitamins), and enzyme-rich honey will allow the saffron threads to really penetrate the skin. Honey is a natural humectant and will keep the skin supple and soft. Yogurt also cleanses away dead cells and can clean the pores. And saffron can naturally brighten the skin and soothe it as well.
But beyond that, maybe the magic can’t be explained. Just trust that it’s powers of gentle exfoliation, hydration, and brightening go beyond what I thought was possible, and all in the convenience of your kitchen.
Feel free to use once a week or before a special event.
Oh, and grab Whole Beauty, it’s a cumulation of all of Rose’s incredible and holistic beauty. From crystals to skincare to meals, she’s put all of her knowledge into this one handy, beautiful book.