Alicia Keys Starts Her Mornings With An Easy DIY Exfoliating Mask

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Alicia Keys Starts Her Mornings With An Easy DIY Exfoliating Mask
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You'd be hard-pressed to find a complexion more naturally glowy and radiant than Alicia Keys'. The Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter is known for her no-fuss beauty routine (she's famously gone makeup-free since 2016), but she certainly doesn't skimp on the skin care front: She's all about using products that make her look and feel her very best—it's no surprise she opts for clean formulas to help her glow from the inside out.

But her lit-from-within look didn't just happen overnight: "I didn't always have good skin," she shares in a YouTube video with Vogue. Her skin care regimen took some trial and error, but she's finally perfected the formula for a fresh face. One way Keys gets her glow? An exfoliating mask—one that she mixes in the palm of her hand, no less.

How to make Keys' DIY exfoliating mask. 

As we know, the best masks are equally exfoliating and hydrating, giving you that bouncy, fresh skin post-treatment. That's why Keys is partial to an aloe vera gel in her concoction: "I'm always looking for something to calm it all down," she notes. Aloe is great to pair with exfoliating masks, as its anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe irritation and give the experience more of a hydration boost.

She pumps a few squirts of Epicurean's aloe vera gel into her palm (about a dime size), following with a few sprinkles of their probiotic powder. The blend also features nonfat milk and lactose—signaling lactic acid as the chemical workhorse here. That said, you can sub in yogurt for your DIY version—the creamy goodness is rich in the gentle acid. Yogurt is also chock-full of probiotics, making it the one-two punch you need to replicate the formula. (Peek at the full recipe and method, outlined here.)

Then, the fun part: Keys rubs the mixture together in her palms, slathering it on her face in upward circular motions. "It has a little bit of a grainy texture, and something about that feels good," she says. While the mask isn't technically a physical exfoliant, some of those powder granules can give your face a little massage. Once the goop settles, she waits about five minutes before washing off and patting dry with a fluffy towel.

Then just a spritz of rosewater spray (or "around a thousand," per Keys); some moisturizing eye cream, sunscreen, lip balm; and she's good to go. "My skin feels really good," she says before turning to her signature hair wrap. 


The takeaway. 

To truly replicate Keys' DIY mask, all you'll need is some aloe vera gel, probiotics, and lactic acid. Luckily, yogurt checks two of those boxes (and you might already have it in your kitchen). If you don't have any yogurt on hand, there are plenty of other ingredients you can pair with aloe vera for a luxurious masking experience. And if you're running low on aloe, there are more than a few DIY routes to take for some gentle exfoliation.

The best part about DIY beauty is that there's so much room to mix and match—and for trial and error as well. Take it from Keys: "Everybody's different. You have to keep trying to find what's good for you. Sometimes it takes a minute." 

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