Face masks – skin care necessity or luxury? No matter your skincare concern (blemish-prone skin, dullness, dryness, redness…) a face mask should be part of your skincare routine. Not only are they a skin saviour, but they’re also a great way to relax after a looooong week.
I’m a fierce lover of face masks and am pretty set in my mask routine but for all you mask newbies out there or, for anyone looking for a little how-to refresher, here are my top tips for masking.
Tip 1: Make sure to cleanse your face before you use a mask. Like most things in life, when it comes to applying a face mask, you get out what you put in. A face mask is meant to restore glow, remove dullness and generally enhance your complexion. It can’t get in there and do it’s job if your skin is covered in make-up and the day’s dirt. If you apply a mask without cleaning your face, you’re essentially wasting your time and pushing dirt deeper into your pores. So, make sure to clean your face deeply and thoroughly before applying your mask. To enhance the effectiveness of your mask, you may also want to use a gentle exfoliator followed by a warm wash cloth/hot shower/bowl of hot water to open up your pores.
Tip 2: Apply your face mask in an upward, circular motion. Circular motions apparently help with circulation while the upwards motion supposedly tightens and lifts your skin. I don’t know if there’s any real ‘science’ behind this but it does sort of make sense. A downward motion pulls your skin down – which nobody wants. Also, this probably goes without saying, but make sure your hands are clean before applying your mask. You may want to use a mask brush (or a clean foundation brush) to reduce the amount of bacteria transferred from your hands to your face and to distribute the mask evenly, plus using a brush makes you feel like a pro – just make sure to clean and dry the brush after use. If you mask is thicker, I’d also recommend splashing a bit of water on your face before you apply so that you’re not dragging the mask across your face.
Tip 3: Make sure you follow the instructions and don’t leave it on too long. Leaving a face mask on longer than recommended can actually harm your skin and dry it out, there’s a time limit on the box for a reason! Follow it. Another tip? Don’t apply too frequently. Most masks recommend applying no more than once a week. Resist the urge to over-mask! You can however multi-mask or layer your masks. Multi-masking is the process of applying different masks to different areas at the same time (i.e. a purifying mask on your nose and a hydrating mask on your cheeks) whereas mask layering is the process of applying full masks on top of each other (this one is for serious maskers only though – I wouldn’t recommend this without research).
Tip 4: Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot. Make sure to rinse it off completely. To do this, gently splash your face with lukewarm water. Don’t scrub and don’t use hot water. Yes, you’re going to make a mess. Get over it. A soft, lukewarm wash cloth is ok as long as you wipe gently. Your face will be extremely soft and delicate from your mask application so be gentle.
Tip 5: Finish strong.“Seal” your pores by rinsing with cold water and then follow up with a toner and a moisturizer.
Ok so now that you know how to mask, let’s talk about what to mask with. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to ignore all those hard-working charcoal/clay masks out there and focus on masks intended to improve your skin’s radiance and leave you with a noticeable glow – after all, this month is all about #SunKissedGlam. Here are some of my favourite radiance-enhancing masks, all available at Coquitlam Centre:
Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Face Mask
An "instant facial" mask that brightens and energizes the look of dull, fatigued skin to restore a healthy, rosy appearance. Formulated with Cranberry seeds and Turmeric, this invigorating mask helps soften skin and gently exfoliates it, for smoother, brighter, illuminated looking skin.
Available at Kiehl's Since 1851 $50*.
Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask
An ultra-replenishing mask that helps rescue stressed, aging skin. This powerhouse contains: vitamins A, C, E and F to help skin recover from damage that leads to skin aging while enhancing barrier properties, nutrient-rich Algae Extract to moisturize and soften skin, Pro-Vitamin B5 to nourish damaged skin, and botanical extracts of Licorice, Comfrey and Burdock to soothe, calm and help decrease sensitivity. Apply this revitalizing mask as an ultimate remedy for dulling, dry, dehydrated, lackluster, photodamaged skin and skin aging.
Available at Eccotique Spa & Salon $73*.
Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Face Mask
Give your skin a wake up call with this 100% vegan face mask that's inspired by the rituals of Amazonian tribes. This vibrant face mask, a blend of acai berry, guarana and babassu oil, exfoliates and invigorates sleepy skin to help it look wide awake.
Available at The Body Shop $28*.
Just to Clarify Jelly Face Mask
Ready to glow? This vibrant jelly mask is full of papaya, orange and grapefruit juices to brighten your complexion by breaking down dry skin. This mask also contains ultra-fine bamboo extract to help polish away dead skin to reveal the naturally glowing, smooth skin beneath. The result? Skin that looks lit from within.
Available at LUSH $13.95*.
FRESH Vitamin C Glow Face Mask
This powerhouse treatment improves skin's radiance and glow by 31% after just one use. The revolutionary formula is powered by 50% real crushed citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and clementines which naturally contain AHA fruit acids that help revitalize dull skin for a vibrant, healthy-looking glow and soft, smooth texture.
Available at Sephora $75*.
*Prices quoted are regular prices, before taxes. Price and availability are subject to change. Please see stores for details.