It’s hard to know how to begin this article, but did you know that some people use cat litter instead of facemasks?
Michelle Phan posts a regular beauty video blog to YouTube, and she claims that the absorbent clay in cat litter can clean pores and leave skin soft and supple.
The internet is full of women agreeing with her and claiming that their cat litter face masks have shrunk their pores, de-blemished their skin and saved them a fortune on face masks and facials.
Read enough of it and you could almost believe the fountain of youth is actually hidden in the box cats use to relieve themselves. I was interested to read that it was saving some women money, and decided to give it a go.
How much money could I save?
Normally with these money saving challenges, I have a go and then I work out how much I could actually save. But before I agreed to rub cat litter into my actual face, I wanted to be sure the sums added up.
I bought 10 litres of cat litter for £5.50 (the cheaper options were all scented and Michelle is adamant that you shouldn’t use scented litter. Having smelt some of the scented litter on the shelves, I agreed).
The recipe calls for two spoonfuls of cat litter, combined with water and aloe vera if you want to pep it up – and two spoonfuls made no dent at all on the bag. I am confident I could easily (easily) get 200 spoonfuls from the bag, which would be enough to make 100 cat litter face masks. That gives a price per mask of five and a half pence, which compares pretty favourably with the price of a ready-made facemask.
After all, even a cheap single-use face mask typically costs me 99p, while the leading brands are often £5 or more. A face mask applied as part of a facial at a beautician’s can cost more than £25, but I’d have to be pretty impressed by cat litter to compare it to a hour’s relaxation at the beautician.
So, how well did it work?
Before reading this, please be aware that I used a brand-new bag of cat litter, I did not kneel down next to the cat box and look for a dry patch.
I added two tablespoonfuls of cat litter to a bowl and added a splash of water before giving it a mix. The concoction made a slightly weird hissing noise as the rocks soaked up the water. Then I blasted it in the microwave for 20 seconds, at which point it was ready to use (although actually rather hot, so be careful).
According to Ms Phan the trick is not to use the rocks, which might harm your skin, but just the cloudy water around them. She is undoubtedly the expert in this very niche field, so I followed her instructions exactly and waited for 15 minutes.
Did it work?
It certainly didn’t feel like a normal facemask; I was simply rubbing clay-filled water onto my face. It tingled as it dried and I cannot deny that my skin did feel softer after I washed it off. My face certainly felt as if I had treated it to a facemask.
Will I do it again?
The sums really add up; even a cheap 99p facemask is almost 18-times as much as my homemade cat litter alternative. Afterwards, my skin felt softer and more supple, just as it does when I use a facemask.
But despite that, I am not sure I’ll do this again. For me, the main enjoyment of a facemask is to spoil myself; get in the bath, light some candles and apply a good-smelling lotion from a packet.
Splashing some cloudy warm water onto my face from a bowl filled with cat litter is simply not the same. I don’t think this is a money saving technique that works for me.
However, if what you enjoy is the end result rather than the process, then this is definitely worth investigating. If you apply two 99p facemasks a week then switching to cat litter could save you almost £100 a year.