Okay, I’ll admit it. For a long time I thought face masks were pointless. Do face masks work? Do they even make a difference? For a long time I didn’t believe in them at all. And then it all changed.
I genuinely think I’m a bit addicted now. I’ve got a whole drawer just full of face masks! I realised that the main reason why I never understood what they can do was because I was using 49p pouches of gimmicky mud mask (chocolate bubblegum flavour or some bollocks like that), and when I did use them, it was maybe once every few months.
I’ve since realised that to see the effects (and appreciate the magic) – you need to follow three simple rules:
1) Face mask more regularly.
2) Don’t skimp on the ingredients
3) Use the right mask for your skin concern
Let me elaborate further.
How it works for me now
I now use face masks at least once a week – and sometimes up to three times, depending on how I’m feeling (read: how many days I’ve got no social plans)
I don’t rely on just one kind of mask either. Different parts of my face have different concerns, at different times. Have you heard of multi masking? Different masks for different areas of your face? Well it makes sense.
Face Mask Cheat Sheet
Mud based masks draw out oil and impurities. Great for big pores, my nose and the t zone.
Cream based masks are great for hydration, soothing itchy skin and anti-ageing. For me, that’s forehead, cheeks and neck. (Yep, don’t forget the neck!)
Sheet masks are the new “it” thing. They work on the concept that the mask ingredients are held close to the skin under the face-shaped sheet, so that the goodies are absorbed quicker and more effectively.
Sleep masks – possibly not even on your radar but I am a CONVERT. These are basically intense night treatments that you sleep in. And no, before you get ideas of mud all over your pillow, most of the ones I’ve tried are either like heavy night creams or gels which are relatively absorbed by the time you hit the hay.
Acid masks – whether it’s fruit acids, glycolic, lactic or enzyme masks, these work on the basis of sloughing off the top layer of dead skin to reveal radiant, smoother looking skin underneath. I tend to use these more in summer as my skin is more sensitive with colder weather.
These are the products that I’ve tried and would buy again. I do have a good list of masks I like, but first, the ones I that I consider as skin gamechangers.
Sukin Anti Pollution Charcoal Mask
First up – the charcoal mask from Sukin, a natural brand from Australia. I’m OBSESSED with Sukin. It’s organic, vegan, reasonably priced and lovely to use. One of the first brands to make me believe that natural skincare can pack a punch.
This clay masque feels absolutely sublime when slathered onto your face in a generous layer. It’s a classic mud mask that dries within 20 minutes, but it doesn’t pull at my face as much as other mud masks I’ve tried. (y’know, that feeling like your face is in a cast?!)
Ever since my trip to Australia, I’ve used this mask regularly and that’s when I noticed the difference. I feel like my skin has become less oily and smoother to the touch. Also, as a Londoner, I like the “anti pollution” purpose, but I couldn’t tell you whether it works in that respect.
It’s available in Boots and online but if you buy it from Lookfantastic via this link, I’ll get about 3% commission- WAHOO!
Antipodes Aura Mask
Next up, my favourite cream mask. It’s the Aura mask by Antipodes – another great beauty brand from down under, this one by way of New Zealand
The key ingredient of this one is manuka honey, the powerful do-all (read: expensive) honey. Manuka joney is antibacterial, so this mask is actually great for oily or blemish prone skin.
Good news it’s only £14.70 right now from HQHair here – that’s a third of RRP. GO.
So yeah – here’s a picture of it half used… MORE PLEASE.
Sephora Sleeping Mask
Finally – a more recent gamechanger. The SLEEP mask.
Fairly self explanatory, you apply a generous layer to your face and let it sink it for a few minutes before bed. Then you can sleep as normal (though, I’ll be honest, I do try and sleep on my back more than usual)
I recently discovered these Sephora Sleep Masks. Initially I was a bit sceptical. I don’t think they’re entirely free of nasties and they do look like mass-produced commercial masks. However, when I used these for the first time, I actually looked in the mirror the next day and immediately noticed a difference.
I love the Turquoise ones, the Purifying Algae masks (which are like a thick night cream) and the Green Tea mattifying masks (which are more of a gel).
Each pod has about 3-4 applications, so at $4 a go, I think they’re very well priced. I was so impressed after buying 3 myself, that I asked my American friend to bring back TEN after her Xmas break. TEN.
Finally – what would a post about masks be, without a picture of me in a mask?!
So, to summarise – have a regular treatment, don’t be afraid to mix and match for different parts of your skin and definitely try masks outside of the regular mud mask category! (watch out for Sheet masks…)