Even delicate, balanced skin needs a little TLC once in awhile. There are so many ways in modern life to lose our balance, and our skin is more than happy to tell us so pronto. Stress, hormonal imbalances including PMS, Adolescence, and Perimenopause/menopause; even changes that can be as small as a few too many dietary indiscretions can tip your skin into either too much or to little oil production. When the result is acne, eruptions, pimples, or just those hive-like swollen pores that feel itchy, inflamed, or generally aggravated, it’s time for a little TLC.

That’s exactly where I was one evening in mid-August. For me, perimenopause coupled with a couple of hot, dry, stressful weeks had finally taken its toll. As I tried to relax that evening, I noticed that although my shoulders had finally let go of a lot of the tension and my mind was finally slowing to a more manageable chatter, my skin was feeling like it did when I was about 17 years-old…oily, clouded, and highly aggravated. I had one particular pore on my chin that was swollen, hard, and painful as if all the anger and frustration of my past few weeks had collected for a protest and dug in deep. The first herb that sprang to mind was Yarrow.

Yarrow is used by many herbalists as an astringent to tighten and tone skin. It’s inherently cooling and toning. Coupled with a little Kaolin clay and some honey, it was perfect for mopping up the mess all those stressful and emotional days had left on my face. I followed my Yarrow Mud Mask with a spritz of Rose hydrosol and a gentle facial lotion to help my skin relax and return to balance. The next morning, the painful swollen pore that had kicked off my quest for relief was nearly gone and my skin felt almost like her old self again.

Yarrow Mud Mask for Oily, Irritated Skin Recipe

This gentle mud mask works well for all skin types when you skin’s gotten unbalanced enough it feels oily and irritable. This mask, coupled with a little relaxation, is deeply healing TLC at its best.


  • 1/2 (2.5 ml) tsp honey
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) kolin clay or cosmetic clay
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried yarrow flowers, powdered
  • drizzle of water


  • Measuring spoons
  • Bowl
  • Spoon


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Rinse your face with warm to hot water, warm enough to open your pores but not uncomfortably hot.
  3. Dry your skin.
  4. Apply the mud mask mixture to the oily areas.
  5. Kick back and relax for half an hour or so while the mask dries on your skin.
  6. When the mud mask has dried, use warm water to gently rinse it away.
  7. Pat your face dry and apply a toner and lotion that’s appropriate to your skin type.

You may also be interested in:

Browse Herbalism Topics

The Herbal Nerd Society

Gain access to even more with an additional 250 articles, recipes, and more in ad-free viewing.

Become a Member