Here’s one thing that’s not a secret: I love face masks! They’re little at-home facials that help you resolve a certain skin concern without throwing your whole routine around. But they also add a conscious moment of wellness to a mopish day.
Because I always get a lot of questions about the face masks I use and which ones I recommend, I thought I’d make a little overview of my favourite face masks for any concern. Have a read, I’m sure you’ll feel like throwing on a good one in a minute!
Your eating habits haven’t been the best, your skin feels dirty due to city pollution, a heat wave has struck up or it’s that time of the month. There are many moments on which you’ll want to turn to a purifying mask, no matter your skin type.
Purifying masks or cleansing masks help to combat blemishes by clearing your pores and regulate your sebum production. Even if you don’t have many imperfections, it can still feel very refreshing to use a cleansing mask when your skin feels a bit congested or oily.
These kind of masks are often clay masks, as clay has the power to suck up all the dirt from your pores and bring any imperfection to the surface of your skin. But some cleansing masks also have manuka honey as their main ingredient – an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient that fights blemishes without the drying feeling of clay.
- Aesop Primrose Cleansing Mask. A super refreshing clay mask that doesn’t dry down to sand paper. Especially good to purify hot weather skin.
- Delbôve Masque Souabou. A heavy-duty one that I absolutely love. Deeply purifying and with a minty feeling that gives your skin a powerful boost. However, if you have sensitive skin, this might be too much for you.
- Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask. A lot more creamy than the ones mentioned above, which makes it easier to spread on your face. Also smoothes skin and helps to mattify oily complexions.
- Susanne Kaufmann Healing Earth Mask. Gentle but effective, not only purifying but also helps to soothe and heal redness and inflammation.
- Antipodes Aura Mask. The only purifying mask I’ve tried that has no clay in it. Which immediately makes this one cleansing but hydrating at the same time, and it smells divine.
No matter your skin type (from Sahara desert-dry to discoball-oily), hydration is always needed. And a little hydrating mask once or twice a week helps to perk up your skin, keeping it youthful and plump.
Hydrating masks can also be a good way to soothe your skin in extreme weather conditions or after a heavier (purifying or exfoliating) treatment. Keep your hydrating mask in the fridge to give it some extra cooling powers – also great after a day in the sun.
The ingredients of hydrating masks can differ a lot, but they’re mostly based on nourishing oils or hyaluronic acid. They also often contain skin-soothing ingredients like calendula, aloe vera, evening primrose and blue tansy.
- Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask. Milky, whipped and simple. My skin drinks this up like it’s water, and I love applying it after a cleansing mask.
- Skin Regimen Night Detox. Not really marketed as a hydrating mask, but it’s my favourite to slather on while watching a movie or reading a book to quench thirsty skin. And you can leave it on overnight, too.
- Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask. Thick, but in the nicest way. Feels as if you’re putting an actual avocado on your face with added power of nourishing avocado oil and the soothing, brightening effect of evening primrose.
Exfoliating and brightening masks
There’s a lot to say about exfoliation, but basically it’s a way to shed off dead skin cells to reveal healthy, glowing skin. You can find exfoliating masks in three different ways:
- physical exfoliating masks, containing some sort of grain to scrub
- chemically exfoliating masks with AHA and BHA acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid …)
- enzymatic exfoliating masks which are a bit more gentle than AHA/BHA-masks but have the same effect
Using an exfoliating mask helps to make your skin more glowy and bright, but can also clear away blemishes, reduce pigmentation and scarring and improve skin texture. I prefer enzyme peels or AHA/BHAs as scrubs can damage your skin barrier.
- Oskia Renaissance Mask. Juicy, gel-like mask that uses enzymes to nibble at your dead skin cells and gives your skin the most beautiful smooth texture and glow.
- Rituals Glow Mask. Exactly the same as the Oskia one!
- Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Mask. This one contains a slight grain of cranberry seeds, but is gentle enough to not damage your skin. And the turmeric gives your skin a true boost, making it the perfect treatment for tired and dull skin.
Have you tried any of these? Write me a comment with your mask recommendations!