THE SECRET TO FLAWLESS SKIN

Trinny in rubber mask. Victoria Beckham in foil mask. Does your skin need a post summer boost but your budget can’t quite stretch to a professional facial? Then, why not invest in a mask.

It’ s easy to write off beauty masks as an occasional indulgence or an expensive spa treat but not anymore. When it comes to red-hot skincare trends, facemasks are having a moment and the latest ones are hardworking, multi-tasking marvels which can deliver serious results in the comfort of your own home. What’s more you can pick up a good one for a fiver or less.

Over the last year sales of masks have trebled thanks to celebrities such as Trinny Woodhall and Victoria Beckham taking to social media to show off their masks.  

From rubber masks to the latest bubble masks, there’s a whole new world of face masks out there and no matter what problems you’re having with your skin, there’s one to help supercharge your skincare routine.

Whether your skin is tired or simply in need of some rejuvenation, a weekly mask can do wonders for your skin, brightening and hydrating to wrinkle-softening and pore shrinking, They are especially good to use at this tricky time of the year, post summer and ahead of winter, when skin needs some extra pampering and are a serious line of defence against the sudden drop in temperature.

Containing skin-loving ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and anti-ageing retinol they work by boosting t cell turnover, collagen and elastin production and because they are left on your skin for longer, will push ingredients further into the skin than your normal face cream.

But with so many different ones being launched how do you decide which is best for you? Here’s our guide to the newest masks on the market and how to use them – just make sure you invest in one.

Masks Demystified;

Sheet Masks

Originating from Asia, sheet masks, also called cheat sheets, are versatile, can treat most skin issues, and have instant skin-boosting benefits. They are also popular because of their single-dose application and are ideal to take with you when you’re travelling as they take up no space at all.  Made from a cloth or paper with cut outs for your nose mouth and eyes   and saturated in serum based ingredients they are usually left on for 10-20 minutes, Try:

Origins Lavender Soothing Sheet Mask, £5 origins.co.uk Suitable for most skin types, this Lavender infused cloth facial mask with pure flower extracts and bamboo will help boost hydration, soften the appearance of fine lines and give tired skin a boost. Smooth the cloth over face avoiding eyes and lips and relax for 10 to 15 minutes.

Multi Tasking masks

These cleaver new masks do it all by acting as a cleanser, exfoliator, as well as a hydrating treatment. Apply to cleansed skin, leave on for ten to fifteen minutes and then rinse off. Try:

Rosina’s Kale and Pomegranate Enzyme Exfoliating Mask  £20 rosinaslotionspotions.com A multi-tasking mask that can be used daily as a cleanser to remove pollution and dead skin cell build or as a once a week skin booster. Contains pomegranate enzymes to gently exfoliate your skin while the organic, vitamin-rich kale will make even the most dehydrated skin feel suppler.  To use as a mask apply a generous layer to the skin twice a week, avoiding the delicate eye area, and allow it to penetrate for about 3-5 minutes then rinse off and apply moisturiser.

Bubble Masks

The latest trend, bubble masks are essentially deep cleansing masks and often come in clay creams and sheet formulas. They use a special oxygenation process hence the bubbling effect and after applying to your face they begin to foam up with huge bubbles to help decongest and detoxify the skin tackling blocked pores and excess oil. Apply to cleansed skin and leave on skin for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Apply moisturiser afterwards or even better, double mask and use a collagen or moisturising mask to give skin added moisture surge. Try:

BeautyPro’s Detoxifying Foaming and Cleansing Sheet Mask with Activated Charcoal (£4.95 from ww.beautypro.com) a deep cleansing mask that is smooth when applied, but as soon as the ingredients hit the skin and become exposed to air they begin to create a bubbly froth.

The bubbling action also creates a micro massaging motion helping to wiggle pores open and allowing the detoxifying charcoal and exfoliating fruit extracts get to work on every layer. The addition of rose water, lavender and chamomile will also rehydrate skin so you’re not left with that taut, stretched sensation once you wipe away the bubbles.

Rubber masks

While rubber masks have been popular in Asia for the last couple of years, they have only recently been launched in the UK. TV presenter Trinny Woodhall recently credited a rubber mask for boosting and tightening her complexion but they are not a quick fix as most take around 30 minutes or longer to work their magic. They are generally made from a powder formula that is mixed with water to create a paste.  When applied to cleansed skin the mixture dries into a rubbery consistency and can then be easily peeled off after the allotted time.

Rubber masks are particularly good for sensitive skin types, as they tend to be less irritating as the mask hardens on the skin. Try Crystal Clear Facelift In A Box (£14.99 from www.crystalclear.co.uk) Good for anti ageing and softening lines and wrinkles, this hydrating and lifting rubber mask, contains Algae Gel Active, de-toxifying Diatomaceous Earth and Wheat Protein and amino acids for moisturising and toning. The mask dries in 30 minutes and leaves skin lifted and firm. Good to use before a special occasion when you need that extra lift.

Jelly Masks

The latest Jelly masks are similar to other creamy facemasks but have slightly more wobble to them.  Simply scoop out a piece of the jelly consistency, massage it into your skin until it turns into a cream, and allow the formula to do its magic for around 10 minutes. Then rinse off. Try Ultrabland Jelly Face Mask (£7.95 from Lush) based on an ancient Greek formula for cold cream, and made with almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey, this cleansing mask removes all traces of dirt and makeup, without stripping away your skin’s natural defences.

Foil Masks

Victoria Beckham is a fan of these ‘space -age’ looking foil-backed sheet masks. The foil top layer has a protective barrier underneath, a cellulose sheet, soaked in ingredients and the idea is that the foil will stop the ingredients evaporating and will have a warming effect on the skin for faster absorption. Try: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Powerfoil Mask, (£16.50 John Lewis branches) – comes in two parts, a section for the upper face and another to fit around the lower face and contains double dose of moisture boosting hyaluronic acid to leave skin hydrated and brighter.

 

MASK RULES

*Most masks contain ingredients in a higher concentrated dose, which will be sitting on your skin for a while so if you suffer with sensitive skin or have on-going skin issues, like rosacea, do a spot test with your mask before you apply to your face.  Apply a small amount of the formula to the area just inside your elbow, which is similar to the skin on your face. Keep it on for the same amount of time that you would be using and see if there’s a reaction.

* If you are looking for a mask to hydrate dry, thirsty skin choose a mask containing hyaluronic acid. For skin brightening look for ingredients like Vitamin C, for pore refining or breakouts, Pomegranate or charcoal in a clay-based mask will work their magic, while a peel off mask is good for exfoliation.

*Steaming your face beforehand will open up the pores making the mask work harder and to boost the efficacy of your facemask even further try a mask primer.

*Be generous when applying a creamy mask  – if wearing a sheet mask lie down to stop it slipping off – this will also help blood circulation and will direct oxygen to your face.

*Use a clean flannel soaked in warm water to remove all traces and finish with a light dab of moisturiser. If using a sheet mask do not wash off any residue, massage excess into the skin with the tips of your fingers *If you’re using a clay mask don’t wait for it to dry out completely as this can draw moisturise from this skin and cause irritation.

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