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The Joy of Masking

Waiting for things is not fun. The build up to something exciting happening is never as fulfilling as the event itself which is why, when it comes to skin care, people (including myself) find it hard to commit. We want instant results, not small changes that take weeks to show themselves. However, skin care doesn’t really work like this. When using a new product, the advice is always the same: wait at least 28 days before forming an opinion on whether or not it is working for your skin. This is because it takes the skin around a month to turnover new cells, meaning that by day 29 you should be seeing some noticeable improvements in your complexion.

For those of us who only want to wait minutes to see results, a face mask is your best option. Designed to work their magic in less time than it takes to scroll through your Instagram feed, think of a face mask like a flash treatment that uses a high concentration of ingredients to optimise your skin in the shortest amount of time, whether you need to calm a breakout or erase the signs of a late night. This instant gratification makes face masks one of the most enjoyable and satisfying products to use, and the fact that using them encourages relaxation and ‘me time’ only increases their appeal. There’s a reason a huge chunk of #SelfcareSunday posts on social media feature someone rocking a face mask.

Unlike your daily routine, which focuses on correcting and maintaining your skin for the long-term, a mask can be swapped in and out as and when you need it. My week doesn’t feel complete unless I have treated my skin to a ten-minute masking session and on the weeks when my skin is feeling particularly problematic, it’s not unusual for me to employ two or three different formulas to tackle issues such as redness, dehydration and blemishes.

I pride myself on my selection of face masks and will happily show off my collection to anyone who comes over, often waving them off a few hours later clutching a couple of new ones to take home and try for themselves. If you are new to masking, there is a whole world of formulas to explore. To combat blocked pores and shine, you can’t beat a clay-based formula like the Dr. Ceuracle Grow Matcha Clay Pack. Infused with Matcha and Kaolin clay, this mask cools angry skin and absorbs excess oils to leave the skin looking balanced and fresh. On dull skin days, I reach for something acid-based. The Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Cranberry Exfoliating Mask is intense but totally worth it for the results. This red gel tingles on the skin, thanks to a blend of Lactic Acid and Cranberry Enzymes, and will make your skin looking unnervingly pink once rinsed away, but give it a few moments and everything calms down to reveal a radiant, smooth complexion. A hydrating face mask is also an essential and one of my favourite ways to moisturise my skin is with a sheet mask. Essentials include the Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Mask and the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask, both of which do a great job at minimising redness too.

If you don’t like the mess applying and removing a face mask can cause, face gels could be the answer. Designed for the under-eyes and lips – and expertly shaped to fit the smaller contours of the face – these targeted masks deliver hydrating and anti-aging benefits to the areas you care about most, plus they are much cleaner and quicker to use. Simply pop them on while you catch up on the latest Netflix series. BABOR, SENSAI and Intraceuticals have some great options that work wonders on all skin types and they can even be used alongside the more traditional masks in your collection if you fancy giving multi-masking a try. Who knew skin care could be so much fun?  

Image from iStock Photo

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