This piece originally appeared on VinePair.com.I’m always searching for a way to incorporate alcohol into my everyday life without raising suspicion, so when I stumbled across a few recipes suggesting that a beer face mask can do wonders for your skin, I was pretty pleased. As you might know, I’ve cajoled my friend Hannah into washing her hair with beer to see if it might have a positive effect, but the end results were mixed. I was curious to see if beer might work better on skin than it does on hair.
The logic behind using beer is that brewer’s yeast helps keep your skin’s pH levels balanced. After perusing a handful of recipes, I settled on this one, which calls for plain yogurt, egg white, olive oil, almond extract, lemon extract, and of course, beer. The mixture is supposed to battle zits and tighten pores – which is probably code for make you look younger. However, I was only interested in the former since I already look like a child.
Now, the recipe is this:
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Ale
- 1 Teaspoon Plain Yogurt
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
- 1 Egg White
You combine all of these ingredients in a bowl, adding the egg last, then whisk for 15 seconds. Apply the mixture to a clean face, wait 15 minutes, and rinse. However, one teaspoon of yogurt didn’t do it for me, probably because I was using nonfat Greek yogurt, which gave the mixture a very watery consistency. Whole milk-based yogurt might have worked better. Because I was using non-fat yogurt, I had to use around half a cup as opposed to only one teaspoon to give the mixture cohesion.
I put on a shower cap and applied the mask, much to the delight of my boyfriend, who spent the next fifteen minutes making fun of me. Although the goop was pretty thin, it hardened on my face. Like all face masks, it was a little uncomfortable, but nothing an episode of The Bachelorettecouldn’t distract me from. After time was up, I washed the mixture off and felt that my skin had taken on a rubbery feel. But it also felt quite soft. I celebrated for about five minutes until my skin turned incredibly itchy and dry. I washed my face again and restored its normal state soon enough.
By the second day, I decided to forgo the shower cap. I’d stuck the the mixture in the fridge overnight to see if it would congeal at all, and it did thicken up a bit. Application was more or less the same, although the mixture was chillier. As you can see, my dog enjoyed herself. This time, when I washed off the mixture my face didn’t get as itchy. The acne around my chin pretty much stayed put, but my face did feel smooth – especially around the cheeks. The dry feeling also wore off.
The third day was surprising – my face was itchy. REALLY itchy. I thought that my skin would acclimate to the mixture, but oddly enough it seemed to be rejecting it further. Not even a trashy YA novel could get my mind off the unpleasant tingling sensation. In fact, by the time my fifteen minutes were up, I was dying to wash my face, which felt as though it had been set aflame like the waters of Westeros. Once again, my skin felt very tender afterward, and less rubbery than the first two days. So even though the process was more excruciating on day three, the product was more appealing.
Well, this was fun, but like shampooing or bathing in beer, it was also costly. Greek yogurt or skyr is pretty much the only yogurt with a texture that can work for this, and that stuff ain’t cheap. Plus, I used a pretty good beer (Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale), and I imagine you’d want to as well. What’s the point of washing your face with Bud? It’s basically water, anyway. But, I do believe that this works in terms of improving the texture of your skin (though I’m not sure it zaps zits). The mixture also smells great: like a Master Brewer who’s spent hours in an essential oils store.
Overall, the positives were not enough to sway me to make this beer face mask again – unless I run out of things to feed my dog.