Sometimes your skin just needs a little bit of extra care. Everyone should know about the basics of cleansing, toning and moisturising but not all of you regularly use a treatment such as a mask. Masks are a great way to target specific skin problems and when used regularly, i.e. once a week, can help manage problem skin. Masks should be used after cleansing and followed by a toner (and if your being really good a serum) and then moisturiser.
I use several different masks once or twice a week if I remember or whenever my skin looks and feels like it needs a boost. They are also great used before a special occasion to give you glowing and perfectly prepped skin. I would highlight, however, to test them first just in case you have a reaction.
AVEDA Deep Cleansing Herbal Clay Masque
For: All skin types
Claims to: Absorb excess oils and draw impurities from the skin
Use: Weekly or as needed after cleansing and exfoliating.
Price: £28 for 125g
- Marshmallow root extract – anti-inflammatory, suitable for sensitive skin, helps to induce phagocytosis (process by which certain cells engulf bacteria and dead tissue), speeds up healing process.
- Clover flower extract – helps to speed healing process, acne, eczema, rashes and irritation.
- Hyssop extract – Antiseptic and healing.
- Kaolin –Type of clay, draws impurities from skin and helps to dry excess oil, reduces production of sebum, high silica content which aids in removing dead skin cells, eliminating toxins and oil, regenerative properties.
I use this when I am suffering with congestion or have a breakout that is irritated and inflamed. It’s also great as a targeted treatment for use on one area (I use it on my nose regularly). I have also used this as a wash off spot treatment.
It is an ultra smooth paste which I find is best applied to dry skin after cleansing. On the website it says to exfoliate before using which it doesn’t say on the bottle. I have yet to try this. I use about a grape size amount for my whole face and spread it on with my middle fingertips. It feels nice and cold, soothing and healing as soon as it goes on. Immediately my face feels relaxed. It has an unusual smell, kind of herby and gardeny (I know that’s not a word). The great thing about this mask is that it stays on for only five minutes so if you are busy and don’t have time to wait for products to work before washing them off this is for you. As it dries, it doesn’t make the skin feel tight or irritated. Sometimes I will leave for 10 minutes because it feels so nice. I then use a flannel and warm water to wipe off and finish by rinsing my face in cold water. Afterwards my skin feels fresh and I can immediately see a difference in the size and appearance of my pores. Any red marks or spots are immediately reduced and calmed. When I use it as a spot treatment, the spots definitely heal quicker than other treatments I have used and appear less inflamed. I have had this tube for ages and still have many uses out of it. I also use this on by back.
I love Aveda as a company. The core of Aveda is the art and science of pure flower and plant essences. Their vision is “connecting beauty, environment and wellbeing”.
TEMPLESPA The Power Breakfast – Nutritious scrub and mask in one.
For: All skin types, combination skin, backs, chests, faces and hands.
Claims to: Polish and brighten, has anti-ageing benefits, dissolves dead skin cells.
Use: 1 minute scrub, 20 minute mask. (It doesn’t say how often to use but I use once a week or when required).
Price: £25 for 85g
- Honey – Healing, antibacterial, anti-ageing, soothing
- Walnut shell powder – exfoliator (natural and doesn’t break down)
- Oats – absorb impurities, exfoliate, moisturising
- Strawberry – helps reduce acne and marks, antioxidant, anti-ageing, removes excess oil, cell regeneration.
- Papaya, apple and pear – Vitamin C, enhance collagen production, antioxidant, protect cells from free radical damage.
- Kaolin – Type of clay, draws impurities from skin and helps to dry excess oil, reduces production of sebum, high silica content which aids in removing dead skin cells, eliminating toxins and oil, regenerative properties.
This has a similar effect as the Aveda mask but I normally use this as a substitute if my skin needs resurfacing especially if I have dry flaky patches at that later stage of a breakout or if I am suffering with an oily T zone. My husband also uses this every so often and finds it does wonders for his skin. I wouldn’t use this if I have irritated skin because of the abrasive effect. I cleanse and then apply to wet skin. I use about a grape size amount for my whole face, sometimes a little more. It has a very thick sticky, bitty texture so sometimes I need to apply a little more water to my hands to help it glide on. It smells like citrus juice (kind of like a smoothie). I massage gently all over my face for a minute or so and then leave for however long I have or can be bothered but 20 minutes is recommended. As it dries it feels like a typical clay mask in that I can feel it hardening. I wash off firstly by rinsing with warm water to remove the excess and the bits (there are quite big bits, presumably the oats) then I take a damp flannel and make sure it’s all off then rinse with cold water. My skin feels really clean and invigorated. All flakes and dry areas of skin are banished. My pores look clearer and skin looks more refined. Yeah!
Templespa are another great company with a similar vision to Aveda using botanical actives and minimising the use of chemicals.
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
For: All skin types
Claims to: Renew and refine skin, improves skin tone and radiance, minimises pore size, reduces congestion, smooths the appearance of fine lines.
Use: Weekly, leave for 10 minutes.
Price: £32 for 50ml (currently a limited edition of 75ml)
- Glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acid from extracts of pineapple, passion fruit, lemon and grape – exfoliate the skin without the abrasive effect of scrubs, decongest, remove dead skin cells, resurface skin.
- Omega 3 and 7 from arctic blackcurrent seed oil – Repairs, nourishes and sooths skin.
I use this to help refine my skin texture and when I’m in need of a radiance boost. I used this the night before my wedding to give me glowing skin which it certainly did. It is not recommended to use this on irritated skin but I do use it when I have angry spots and it seems to be ok. After cleansing, I apply about a small marble size amount to my fingertips and massage all over my face and down onto my neck. I apply this to dry skin. It is silky smooth and has an uplifting, fresh scent. When it first goes on it is a little tingly especially on any spots or irritated areas. It doesn’t dry at all and feels comfortable on the face and is slightly warming if anything. I remove it with a warm flannel or sometimes just with warm water. I then splash with cold water. The noticeable effect is that the skin looks smooth and pores refined. I really notice a difference the next day.
Ren, like the other two companies uses plant and mineral derived actives and does not use skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients. Big thumbs up!
I promise all my posts won’t be quite so lengthy but I like to be thorough.
Hope you found this useful!