I love a good face mask. It’s a real pamper moment for yourself and reminds me of sleepovers with friends (usually using those one-use sachets with ridiculous images of a fruit basket on someone’s face click here). There are so many masks nowadays that it doesn’t just have to be to relax. There’s detox, energise, calm, glow, sheet, peel-off… the list goes on.
I try to mask once a week and twice if I think my skin needs it. If I go away, I usually stash one in my bag for a holiday treat.
So here are my favourites:
- Sheet masks: you can’t go into any cosmetic store without finding a wall of these. Sheet masks have become all the rage, after they were adopted from Asian beauty stores. When I visited China for the first time, I discovered Innisfree, a Korean brand that claims to be all natural and uses the benefits of nature from Jeju, an island of the south coast of South Korea. Sheet masks are super handy, no mess, and great for travelling. I have no shame in sitting in my plane seat with a sheet mask on looking like Caspar the ghost (no I don’t travel in Business/First Class so I’m totally fine in wearing it with total strangers). I normally use a sheet mask for hydration purposes because you can then rub in all the serum after you take it off. Charlotte Tilbury came out with a dry mask but I found that quite oily, although it received rave reviews. I don’t tend to splash out on sheet masks either so £10 max.
Favourite products: Simple Skincare, Innisfree, Starskin
2. Clay masks– I feel like clay masks were the originals, the teenage survival kit together with Clearasil, friendship bracelets and CosmoGirl. I still keep a clay mask in my cupboard but don’t put it all over the face (unless there’s a real disaster going on). I tend to multi-mask and keep the clay for the t-zone (nose, chin and forehead). Clay (like kaolin) absorbs oil and unblocks pores so it’s good to dry up a blemish if you want to apply locally instead of all over. Find one with some sulphur in for a serious blemish-buster.
Favourite products: Fresh Umbrian Clay, Dr Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulphur
3. Cream Masks– great for when you’re feeling on the dry or sensitive side, cream masks really soothe. I can depend on a cream mask to make my skin feel plump and moisturised after too much sun, or a cold, windy day.
Favourite products: Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
4. Gel Masks- the texture of a gel mask is so satisfying. A good option to use mid-week or in hot weather (especially if you put it in the fridge). If you find a cream mask too heavy because you’re on the oily side, a gel mask could be right up your street. Look for ingredients like aloe vera and watermelon for a super soothing effect (basically all the ingredients you want on a holiday)
Favourtie prodcuts: Fresh Rose Mask
5. LED masks– I’ve mentioned this before on my favourite facials but if you didn’t know I’m into LED light therapy and you don’t have to go to an esthetician to get your LED fix. LED light therapy uses red, blue and yellow light to target specific skin issues: stimulate collagen, kill bacteria, treat pigmentation and more. Now you can take this out of the salon and use it in your own home (it also makes for a hilarious photo and my husband thought I was insane)
Favourite product: Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Mask