Do Gelatin Face Masks Actually Work?

The internet is full of DIY face masks, with homemade gelatin and milk face masks circulating as an especially popular method. We are frequently asked: Do DIY gelatin face masks actually work? 

Here, we'll take an in-depth look at this question, but first, let's go over the details of gelatin itself.

What Is Gelatin?

When most people think of gelatin, they remember the beloved, wiggly treat adored by kids.

Beef Gelatin is a form of Collagen Peptides, which are short-chain amino acids. These 'cell-ready' (easily digested) amino acids mix into warm or hot drinks such as Bulletproof coffee.

Peptides are crucial for maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, joints, and bones.

The Difference Between Gelatin and Collagen

Both collagen and gelatin (the cooked form of collagen) are proteins that are made up of amino acids. They are both ideal for supplementation since our body's collagen production naturally declines with age.

The difference between collagen and gelatin mostly lies in their ability to be mixed in liquids.

Beef Collagen Powder

  • Pairs well with Keto, Bulletproof, Paleo, Primal, GAPS, and Whole 30 diets
  • Mixes easily in hot or cold liquids
  • Promotes a healthy metabolism
  • Naturally supports skin, hair, nails, and joints
  • Collagen does not have the gelling quality of gelatin

Beef Gelatin Powder

  • Ideal for baking or making fun desserts such as gummy snacks, Jello, marshmallows, ice cream, panna cotta, and yogurt
  • Mixes well in hot or warm liquids
  • Thickens when mixed with cold liquids or when cooled off
  • Acts as a natural thickening agent for homemade sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles
  • Helps keep you satiated (great for supporting weight loss efforts)
  • Can be used as a beauty treatment to add hair thickness or strength to skin and nails

Using Gelatin as a Face Mask

Gelatin Face Mask Pain

As mentioned earlier, the internet is full of articles and videos that you will tell you it is okay to use gelatin as a DIY face mask. Some even swear by it, saying it works like a homemade Biore pore strip.

While some users claim the mask is an effective blackhead remover, others say it did absolutely nothing to clean out their pores and left them with red, raw, irritated skin. One thing all users seem to agree on is the pain, with one individual saying "it hurts like no other". Many users say it is the most painful mask they have ever used.

One user even reported the mask taking off a chunk of one of her eyebrows! No wonder some users have dubbed the DIY gelatin mask "the face mask from hell".

How Gelatin Face Masks Work

In theory, gelatin works as a face mask because it becomes sticky and bonded to the skin as it dries. Its adhesive properties cause it to act as a sort of peel-off mask, similar to the popular masks found in stores.

However, along with removing dirt and toxins, its particularly strong adhesive properties also removes a small layer of skin when peeled off. While exfoliation is important for healthy, supple, youthful skin, the action causes by gelatin face masks is unpredictable and can be overly aggressive. In other words, it is far too sticky to be healthy for your skin.

If too much skin is peeled off, or is more is peeled off in some areas than others, DIY gelatin masks can leave you with patchy red splotches all over your face. Although this discoloration is temporary, it still takes your skin time to repair itself.

Are Gelatin Face Masks Effective?

Let's breakdown the pros and cons of DIY gelatin face masks.


  • Quick and easy to make
  • Possibly effective (Some users say it does help clean out pores, but at the cost of a lot of redness and pain)
  • Natural ingredients


  • Pain (this is the most reported complaint and likely results from too much skin being peeled off or from the mask attaching to baby hairs and ripping them out)
  • Redness
  • Splotchiness
  • Inflammation
  • Smell (users often complain of a "horrible" scent)
  • Irritation
  • Reactions
  • Sensitivity (users say it is particularly important to pay attention to any products applied after a gelatin face mask)

Forget the Face Masks: A Better Way to Use Gelatin

If the risk of ripping off part of your eyebrow didn't scare you away from DIY gelatin face masks, consider the fact that there is an easier, more effective, pain-free way to enjoy the many benefits of gelatin: consuming it.

Grass-fed gelatin is excellent since it mixes well with hot liquids, making it especially convenient for use in cooking and baking. It also makes a great addition to your favorite food and drinks.

Grass-fed Collagen is excellent for mixing with almost any of your favorite food or drinks.

The Benefits of Consuming Gelatin and Collagen

Benefits of consuming grass-fed gelatin and collagen include:

  • Strong Bones - Gelatin contains lysine which helps the body absorb calcium, helping to prevent bone loss and maintain strength.
  • Healthy Skin - Collagen plays a significant role in helping our skin maintain its strength, hydration, and elasticity, all key factors for slowing down the aging process and fighting off fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Strong Nails and Hair - Gelatin contains glycine and proline to support nail and hair health.
  • Strong Muscles - Gelatin contains high-quality protein to support muscle growth.
  • Healthy Arteries - Collagen supplements can help support healthy arteries.
  • Better Digestion - The glycine in gelatin helps support the production of gastric juices needed for proper digestion.
  • Fight Inflammation - The collagen in gelatin has been linked to a reduction in inflammation in individuals with osteoarthritis.
  • Improved Sleep Quality - The glycine in gelatin helps promote the production of serotonin, a key supporter of healthy, deep sleep.
  • More Effective Than Topicals - When consumed, gelatin is far superior to topical sources. Creams only work temporarily, whereas consuming gelatin allows it to work within the body for long term benefits.
  • Healthy Energy Levels - Amino acids such as glycine may help boost metabolism and improve energy levels.

For a complete review of the benefits of supplementing Gelatin and Collagen, check out our Collagen Case Study.

How much Grass-fed Gelatin or Collagen Powder Should I Take?

A minimum of 5 grams per day is enough to keep beneficial amino acids such as glycine and proline circulating in the body to help with skin, bone, and heart health. If you are experiencing inflammation, you may consider increasing your dosage to 10 to 15 grams a day (about one tablespoon).

It may only take as little as 3 to 4 days to notice subtle improvements, but it typically takes around 4 to 12 weeks to experience significant results.

Be sure to test for allergies to gelatin and collagen before consuming it and always check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your vitamin or supplement routine.

Finding Quality Gelatin

We hope this helps you avoid the pain of DIY gelatin face masks. Consider sparing yourself the discomfort of a gelatin face mask and enjoy a delicious cup of gelatin-infused tea or Bulletproof coffee instead.

Our Bovine Collagen Powder and Beef Gelatin Powder were specifically formulated to adhere to Whole 30, bulletproof, gaps, keto, and paleo dietary plans.

If you have any questions about Zen Principle Collagen products, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Have you ever tried a gelatin face mask? What are your favorite ways to use gelatin? We'd love to hear about your experience, let us know in the comments below.



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