My garden has sprung to life with beautiful pale purple lilacs, fluffy pink roses, and a lawn that needs to be mowed far more often than seems necessary (it’s still better than shovelling the walk, though!). Whenever I work outside on my back porch I’m distracted by the wafting scent of lilacs, roses, fresh cut grass, and clean air, so one day I got to thinking that I should incorporate some of those short-lived blossoms into a face mask. And here we are.
Lilacs are a sign of early summer here in Calgary; after the tulips and the May Day trees bloom, lilacs are next. There are loads of lilac bushes here, so even if you don’t have one in your yard it’s not hard to poach a few blossoms from a boulevard or street corner and take them home to a vase. I’ve heard of people using the wood to smoke lamb and infusing the flowers in honey, syrup, cocktails, and even scones. They’re a bit astringent, making them a nice pore-tightening addition to a face mask, plus they have a lovely fresh smell like a sort of floral just-before-rain smell that’s not at all overwhelming.
I paired a handful of lilac flowers with the petals of a single rose, taken from my very large backyard rose bush (it seems to be on a mission to take over my backyard, which I might be ok with). Rose is said to be calming to the complexion and the constitution, and I tend to agree. I then inflicted some mortal (groan) mortar and pestle wounds on those pretty petals and turned the rose and lilac into a creamy face mask with the help of some raw honey and clay.
The final mask was definitely a bit lumpy, but overall quite lovely. Thanks to the honey and the gentle nature of kaolin it never got too tight, so I just hung around on my porch with a good book (I really enjoyed What Alice Forgot by wearing the mask until I got bored (maybe 40 minutes?). I followed it up with some of my Pomegranate Primrose Summer Facial Serum and voila—refreshed, clean skin. Hello, summer!
Lilac Rose Face Mask
1 fresh rose, petals picked
1/2 fresh lilac, flowers picked
2.5mL | 1/2 tsp honey
10mL | 2 tsp water
Kaolin clay, as needed (I needed about 3 tbsp)
Place the rose petals and lilac flowers in a mortar and pestle and thoroughly bash the ever-living daylights out of them until you’ve got a wet, flowery pulp.
Stir in the honey and water with a spoon—now you’ll have a very wet, flowery pulp.
Start adding kaolin clay, half a teaspoon at a time, stirring between additions until you have a thick, creamy paste.
To use the mask, pull your hair back and spread the mask all over your face and down your neck a bit, avoiding your eyes, mouth, and nostrils. This mask makes enough for two, so it’s a good one to do with a friend! Let the mask dry for about twenty minutes before rinsing it off; I’d recommend rinsing it off into a sink with a garbage disposal hooked up to it, or placing one of those sink sieve devices (like this) over the drain so you don’t clog your pipes up with bits of flower petal. Follow up with a hydrating serum—I’m currently in love with my Pomegranate Primrose Summer Facial Serum.
Because this mask has fresh flower petals in it, you should use it all up immediately—it’s not a make-and-use-later one, even if you do add a broad spectrum preservative.
Don’t have access to fresh, clean rose petals or lilacs? Try substituting other flower petals from your garden! You can also try blending in other flowers, and herbs, like bits of dried lavender or calendula.