You know what happens when your skin is in a rut, and nothing seems to help? You find your favorite masks – the ones that really mean to help and not just sit there to doll up your vanity!
I would classify my skin type as normal-dry, a tad sensitive and very susceptible to hormonal and/or stress related breakouts.
If I had to recommend one mask to every single person I met, it would have to be the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask. While it may seem like yet another clay mask, I have found that this one delivers when you need it the most. If I use it religiously about once in two weeks, I find that I don’t breakout as often and my skin feels ‘bright’ for extended periods of time. However, I can’t keep up with all the ‘masking’, I forget,because you know, there’s always something better to do. Hence, upon Divya’s recommendation, I tried this as a spot treatment for a large and very annoying pimple. Major hyperbole alert – this one worked like magic! The spot started to calm down and I’m now left with, well, not spotless, but mostly acne free clean looking skin.
It contains pink clay, coffee and papaya enzymes to clarify, unclog pores, and provide a nice little dose of radiance – all buzzy sounding words, that for once, are actually true. I apply a thin layer all over my face, avoiding the eye area, and leave it on for the recommended 10-15 min. It dries white, exposing every single pore on my face – so gross, but oh so satisfying! My skin feels ever so slightly stretched and dry, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a little bit of facial oil, or my favorite Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (that I sing praises of here).
Exfoliation is my best friend. My biggest skin related issue is dull, sometimes bumpy looking skin that doesn’t make a nice canvas for makeup. Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate promises an instant fresh-from-the-clinic glow. One word – intense! The recommended way of using it is to apply a thin layer to the skin, massage it in for about 30 seconds and leave it on for two minutes.
It feels slightly gritty, and while natural human instinct would be to really scrub every last dead skin cell off the face, less is more in this case. I start to feel a slight tingle almost immediately, a good indicator that I must stop with the massaging. I focus on my forehead, nose and chin, and take it easy on the rest of my face where I seem to be a tad bit more sensitive. Two minutes of patience, and I’m rewarded with smooth, evenly textured, nicely exfoliated skin!
This nifty little combination of physical and chemical exfoliators (lactic acid, papaya, pineapple and pumpkin enzymes) is a great occasional treat. I have found that the introduction of an acid toner in my daily routine has reduced the need for a frequent strong exfoliating mask/treatment. I save this one for days when my skin desperately needs a pick me up.
Soothe And Hydrate
My love for First Aid Beauty has been well documented here. It is no surprise then that I love the Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask. This is the perfect comes-with-no-baggage mask. I can apply it generously, leave it on forever, massage it in.. or not, and it works just fine. It calms my skin down and is deeply hydrating.
While I love using it when my skin is dry and parched, it serves as a great foil to the more heavy duty Instant Detox and Exfoliate masks. The soothing properties come from Colloidal Oatmeal, a common ingredient in all their ‘Ultra Repair‘ products. F.A.B. also left fragrance, phthalates, parabens and sulphates out. The texture is creamy, and contains bits of oatmeal – it does feel slightly odd to be putting breakfast on my face. But hey, anything for plump baby soft skin no?
I’m usually not very open to trying out new skincare products, so these masks really deserve a pat on the back for sticking around and doing their job(s) well!
What are your go-to masks?