Recipe: Make A Fermented Face Mask 

This fermented face mask employs oats, live sauerkraut, raw honey and herbs to create a refreshing face mask tailored to your skin's needs.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: New Africa/Adobe Stock

This week I’m sharing a recipe that isn’t for eating, but for absorbing! It’s a recipe for your skin: a fermented face mask.  

While reading Pickle & Ferment, a new book by Susan Crowther and Julie Fallon, I came across a chapter called “Fermented Body Care Products,” which I was really excited to find. Their cookbook is chock full of wonderful and unique fermented recipes, but what I so appreciate (and know others will too) is that it also provides recipes for how to use your ferments to make other recipes. For example, the Jun sourdough bread recipe uses Jun tea, pureed SCOBY and fermented onions, and the raw pickled potato salad recipe uses fermented onions, fermented pickles, raw ACV and fermented garlic.  

But the short chapter on body care is what sets this book apart, in my opinion. I’ve been preserving food in various ways and making my own lotions for nearly two decades and I’ve never thought about incorporating the benefits of ferments with body care products before. It makes perfect sense. 

This facial mask recipe is a base that can easily be customized. Oats are calming and hydrating, cabbage (sauerkraut juice) is high in vitamin C (antiaging), honey has antibacterial properties, the probiotic benefits from fermentation can help restore the skin’s natural biome, and different herbs can be used to achieve different medicinal results. 

Yield: 1 pint jar 


  • 1 cup good water: well, spring or filtered 
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 
  • 1/4 cup live fermented sauerkraut (or other live fermented brine juice) 
  • 1 tsp. raw honey 
  • 2 tbsp. fresh or dried herbs 


Choose one or more of the following herbs for your fermented face mask, depending on your skin’s needs: 

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  • Dry or irritated skin: yarrow, lavender, chamomile, rose petal 
  • Aging skin: parsley, yarrow, rose petal 
  • Oily/acne prone skin: oregano, marjoram, rosemary, raw garlic 
  • Hormonal acne: raspberry leaf, alfalfa, yarrow, sage  

Blend oats until they are a “corn-mealy” texture. Combine all ingredients in a pint jar. 

If the mixture is too thick, add more sauerkraut juice until a thinner consistency is achieved (think of a thin pancake batter). 

Cover with a coffee filter or cloth and stir daily. 

Ferment until bubbling has ceased, about one to two weeks. Transfer to the refrigerator.  

To Use 

Apply paste to clean skin and allow it to dry. Can be used on the face and neck, eczema spots, surgical scars, etc. Gently remove with warm water. 

Caution: Always have an experienced forager correctly identify plants for the first time.  

Notes from Stephanie 

You can use store-bought sauerkraut brine for your fermented face mask as well, so long as it’s raw and from the refrigerated section. (Don’t use canned kraut.) 

Feel free to put a metal canning jar lid and ring on this fermented face mask if you are concerned about mold. 

This recipe has been shared with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.  

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