Beauty Features

LET’S TALK GOOD SKINCARE PRACTICES – PART VI: MASQUES

Relax, Refresh, Recharge, Face Masque!

The reason we are talking about masques now, is because as a skincare step they’d be applied after your exfoliator and before your serum, and because they are a special treat/pamper moment, an occasional weekly or monthly treatment rather than a daily step.  So keep following here, daily routine will be cleanse (double at night), acid exfoliator (1 to 3 times a week depending on your skin’s type and condition, or if you’re an old seasoned pro at this and depending on the acid you’re using, it can be daily), hydrating toner/mist, eye cream/treatment, serum/oil, moisturiser and in the AM, SPF. The masques come as an additional step after exfoliation only occasionally. It can be as little as once a month to up to 3 times a week. Now depending on your skin’s condition, it will be a pampering moment to give skin an extra boost, or it can help get your skin back up to optimal condition after more intense treatments or if your skin has been feeling depleted and your routine still hasn’t caught up to get your skin back up to par. Personally I love a good masking moment. It’s part of my relaxation, self-care and pamper routine, and something I try to indulge in once a week, even if my skin isn’t necessarily in desperate need of additional care. So for those moments I usually opt for soothing, hydrating or refreshing masques, but you can also choose some that are purifying, fight blemishes or have ageing care properties. I also indulge in a good purifying masque if my skin is going through breakouts and I love using them after sun exposure for an added replenishment and care treat.

Devices

Foreo UFO 2 Sonic Powered Smart Mask Treatment Device, RRP £249.00

I love the amazing array of 8 LED light therapy colours (which is basically the full wavelengths’ spectrum) feature, which together with thermo and cryo functions, precision sonic pulsations and hydro-masking technology plus the fact that each mask has its own specific routine, gives you the most targeted treatments possible. Together they will help with collagen production, breakouts, skin tone, texture, soothing sunburnt and irritated skin, minimise imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles and even fight dark circles. Of course, the compatible FOREO masks (I’d say I’ve some favourites, but those include pretty much the entire selection, so it would be mostly  pointless to try and choose, but I’d like to give a shout out to the ones I’m currently in love with, smoothing Acai Berry, revitalizing Manuka Honey, hydrating Bulgarian Rose and their latest, calming & soothing Cannabis Seed Oil) are designed to be used with the device for ultimate results. Using a ‘power-masking’ device like the UFO 2 will not only condense a usually 20 min long session into as little as 90 secs, but it will relax you and enhance your mood (we know how stress can lead to aggravated skin!) but its thermo therapy (a newly optimised warming function that reaches up to 45 degrees) softens and preps the skin as well as relaxes the skin to help it more efficiently absorb the mask’s nutrients. Follow with the Cryo function (cooling) to help tighten, tone and reduce puffiness while lifting and firming. The T-Sonic Pulsations will aid facial massage and relax facial tension. Not only is it brilliant for a quick pamper session when time is short, the sonic massage, plus thermo and cryo functions feel amazing! And the masks are really richly packed with gorgeous ingredients.

Available at Foreo, Cult Beauty and lookfantastic.com

Chok Beauty Ionic Skin Perfector, RRP £99.00

This is a one of a kind beauty tool designed to complement skincare routines through ultra-infusing skincare products and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The unique Ionic Thermo-Infusion technology of the device stimulates the absorption of skincare products by easing the penetration of skincare products and reaching the lower layers of the skin in just 2 minutes, increasing the amount of product absorbed by skin cells magnifying the desired effect in just a few days of use, the Light Therapy penetrates deep into the pores soothing acne and smoothing out fine lines, EMS Microcurrent trims and tones facial muscles for healthier looking skin and Nano Sonic vibrations enhance the skin’s cleansing process by removing the impurities and unclogging blocked pores. It’s brilliant because you can use it with any of your sheet masks (like these from Skin Republic, Patchology, MIJ Masks or BIOEFFECT) to enhance their benefits by speeding-up and increasing absorption.

Available at Chok Beauty and Amazon

Sensitive Skin

Subtle Energies Soothe Pure Plant Hydrating Mask, RRP £65.00 for 50ml

Designed to soothe and provide instant moisture replenishment for stressed or sensitised skin. With Pure Rose Water, Aloe Vera and Marshmallow Extracts that will cool and calm down redness whilst providing deep hydration and the traditional ayurvedic actives of Neem, Coriander Seed and Rhu Khus will soothe, calm and restore. Perfect as a weekly hydration treatment or for after-sun care since it’s so deeply hydrating and soothing, also great after a long flight (whenever those are possible again!) to help replenish the skin. Apply to freshly cleansed and (gently) exfoliated skin and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a damp cleansing cloth. Follow with your usual skincare regime.

Available at https://www.subtleenergies.com.au/

Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask, RRP £38.00 for 50ml

A firm favourite of mine, this colour-changing, transformative mask is formulated with a prebiotic from algae, a good-bacteria probiotic and patented Alguronic Acid, to help balance, detoxify and boost radiance for a healthy, glowing complexion. Different stressors can throw off the balance between good and bad bacteria, which may cause sensitivity, dullness and uneven tone and texture. This will help to re-establish the balance of your skin’s surface ecosystem, providing a source of nutrition and energy, while neutralizing the effects of lifestyle aggressors that visibly age skin faster. On application, it transforms from mint green to pink to let you know it’s active and working. Leave for about 5 mins and then rinse off.

Available at Cult Beauty, SpaceNK, lookfantastic.com and other selected retailers

Bybi Super Greens, RRP £20.00 for 60ml

Love this powerful yet gentle clarifying face mask that helps bring stressed-out skin back into balance. Really cooling on the skin, it’s brilliant at calming down redness and inflammation while super-gently deeply cleansing and detoxing. It uses a unique gentle blend of detoxifying and nourishing ingredients such as Kaolin Clay and Spirulina to gently cleanse pores and draw out impurities whilst calming the skin, without stripping it or drying it out and balancing oil production and helping to clear breakouts. The combination of Superfoods, Tomato and Broccoli, means that skin won’t just feel clearer but restored and hydrated too. Apply an even layer (doesn’t need to be thick) all over face and neck and leave on for about 10 mins before rinsing off. Follow with your usual routine. Additionally, the Broccoli Seed Oil used is cold pressed, minimising the energy used during extraction, the Kaolin Clay is locally sourced from Cornwall and the tube is made from sugarcane, a carbon-neutral material that is 100% recyclable. 

Available at BYBI.com 

Skin Proud Balance Act Face Mask, RRP £12.99 for 35gr

Designed for when skin is in need of some serious soothing. Suitable for dull and uneven skin types, this Pink Clay Mask cleanses the skin, removing dirt and reducing the appearance of pores. Skin is left soft and hydrated, glowing and happy thanks to Pomegranate Oil. Formulated with sebum regulating pink and white clays, this mask rebalances skin to help leave it feeling soft and smooth. Smooth over dry skin, creating an even layer. Allow to dry for 5-10 minutes and rinse with warm water. If you have oilier skin, you might prefer the Unplug Mask.

Available at Boots

Jane Scrivner Masquerade Intense De-Stress Face Mask, RRP £29.00 for 100ml

Formulated to soothe, decongest, repair, refresh and revitalise dull and tired skin, it works on the surface of the skin to immediately tighten, brighten and replenish, leaving it relaxed, radiant, nourished and luminescent, in just 10 minutes. French Clay gently removes impurities from the surface of the skin and exfoliates debris and dead skin cells to purify and cleanse pores, cooling and anti-inflammatory Aloe Vera helps to balance out the typical dryness of the French Clay, whilst Witch Hazel provides powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, astringent and reparative properties, to help tone and balance the skin and tighten pores while a soothing blend of Rose Hip, Argan & Jojoba Oil hydrate, nourish and balance skin.

Available at Janescrivner.com

Combination Skin

Indeed Labs In-Circadian Night Mask, RRP £24.99 for 50ml

This thirst-quenching mask is ideal for those with tired skin looking for the perfect morning glow and boost of hydration. Inspired by the skin’s natural circadian rhythm, it works alongside the skin’s regeneration process while you sleep. Also known as your 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, your circadian rhythm can influence body temperature, cell regeneration, water loss, hormone release, and skin’s natural healing process. Apply onto cleansed skin and massage until absorbed. For intense hydration, leave on overnight then rinse in the AM. For instant hydration, leave on for 15 minutes then rinse.

Available at Cult Beauty, Boots, feelunique.com and other selected retailers

Filorga Age-Purify Mask, RRP £42.00 for 75ml

This has been designed to help clear blemishes and fight signs of ageing. Formulated with a non-drying White Clay, this powerful mask absorbs excess sebum and instantly mattifies the skin. Smooth an even layer over clean, dry skin and leave on for 10 minutes, before rinsing away and revealing fresher, radiant skin.

Available at lookfantastic.com

Soak Sunday Rose Utopia Transformative Clay Face Mask, RRP £16.00 for 50gr

Indulge and brighten your skin with softening and pore refining Pink Clay to draw out impurities, Rosehip, Geranium and Aloe Vera to soothe and Lavender, Red Rose and Sage to clarify. Skin is left silky soft and your mind indulgently relaxed. Mix the clay powder with a few drops of water until you make a smooth paste. Apply a thin layer to clean skin using the mask brush provided, leave for 10 minutes then wipe away with a clean face cloth.

Available at Soaksunday.com

ESPA Clean & Green Detox Mask, RRP £40.00 for 55ml

Reboot your radiance and give tired, dull complexions a dose of goodness with this veggie-inspired detox mask. As powerful as a smoothie for the skin, this creamy clay formula is packed with plant-based, nutrient rich greens to help reset skin, creating a deep-cleansing action that refines the skin’s texture and helps keep the skin looking healthy and glowing. Apply an even layer over face, neck and décolleté. Let yourself relax for 10 minutes before rinsing away with warm water.

Available at espaskincare.com, lookfantastic.com, John Lewis and other selected retailers

The Organic Pharmacy Purifying Seaweed Clay Mask, RRP £37.95 for 60ml

Ideal to detoxify and energise congested skin, as the Clay draws out impurities and helps to remineralize the skin whilst the Seaweed calms redness and Antioxidants and Vitamin C restore a radiant glow, perfect for those pesky maskne days and when you’re looking for a little glow-up. Skin feels fresh, clean and visibly brighter. Apply an even amount to face and neck, on cleansed skin. Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes and remove with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water. If you want a more soothing option to calm your congested, inflamed skin, you can opt for the Honey & Jasmine Mask.

 Available at The Organic Pharmacy

Oily/Blemish Prone Skin

Omorovicza Ultramoor Mud Mask, RRP £72.00 for 50ml

Another favourite from this cult Hungarian brand which is right up there in the mud masks hall of fame. Known for its blue appearance once applied, it’s non-drying, deep-cleansing and purifying, and smells truly fabulous due to the Sage and Camphor in it. This flash anti-ageing mask harnesses the power of Hungarian Moor mud, rich in Calcium and Magnesium, to draw out impurities and Plankton Extracts lift and firm for a smoother complexion. Apply to face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 15 minutes, depending on skin sensitivity (or you can opt for the slightly gentler Deep Cleansing Mask). To remove, splash warm water onto face, then wipe well using a damp mitt or face cloth.

Available at Omorovicza, Cult Beauty, SpaceNK and other selected retailers

Dr.craft Bio-Bakuchiol Purifying Masque, RRP £28.00 for 50gr

Combining gently cleansing Kaolin Clay and deeply detoxing Bentonite Clay with organic Argan Oil for its ageing-care, skin regeneration and repair properties, which has been sourced directly from a women’s cooperative in Morocco that shares the profit amongst the local women, and has established an ecosystem reforestation project to ensure the supply will not run out and therefore the income supporting the women will not disappear. The funds from this cooperative also provide healthcare and education to the local women, and provides support for the local community as a whole. Dr. Craft has developed a clean extraction process to produce safe, highly pure, sustainable and organic Bakuchiol, using the ancient medicinal plant Babchi seeds which have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Bakuchiol has powerful ageing-repair benefits, as well as improving the appearance of UV related skin damage. By restoring the skin’s water lipid layer, and boosting hydration, the ingredient helps to reduce the severity of wrinkles, and improve elasticity. Apply evenly to clean skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Available at drcraft.co.uk

Q+A Activated Charcoal Face Mask, RRP £6.50 for 50gr

Designed specifically to help decongest and detoxify skin, this formula is rich in Activated Charcoal, which is an ancient ingredient used to draw out impurities from the skin, Bentonite Clay has the power to absorb excess oil from the skin, making it the perfect ingredient for oily and acne-prone skin types and Kaolin Clay to help detoxify the skin and give the this mask its luxuriously smooth texture. Glycerin, Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil to hydrate, nourish, protect and keep it from drying skin out.

Available at qandaskin.com

Dr.Hauschka Clarifying Clay Mask, RRP £25.00 for 90gr

This is the only face mask from Dr. Hauschka that you mix yourself just before application. (Word of advice, open carefully, or you might find yourself covered in clay mask powder!) This method of preparation allows it to take full effect by deeply cleansing pores while binding with and loosening dirt and sebum while invigorating and clarifying all skin conditions and effectively help minimise blemishes and enlarged pores. Loess Clay with Nasturtium and Witch Hazel actively binds with and loosens dirt particles, lifting and drawing them from the skin. Blackheads are softened, skin is soothed and the appearance of redness and blemishes is diminished.

Available at drhauschka.co.uk

Smart Skin Miracle Meta Mask, RRP £30.00 for 90gr

This mask is packed full of the antioxidant and skin-soothing ingredients like Camellia and Olive. A real blend of locally sourced ingredients and Glycolic Acid works hard to gently exfoliate, brighten and renew the skin’s surface. Accelerating dead skin cell turnover also helps to reveal a glowing complexion while the Glycerin works to nourish and hydrate.

All Smart Skin formulas are 100% vegan and made in the UK using COSMOS certified ethical factories, making them perfect for the climate conscious. Always using a minimum of 95% natural formulas Smart Skin is truly a sustainability must-have.

Available at https://mysmartskin.co.uk/

Dry Skin/Dehydrated Skin

Embryolisse Hydra Mask, RRP £22.00 for 60ml

Like all the other products from them, this is a true treat! If your skins in need of a moisture boost, this ultra-moisturising cream mask is just the ticket. Ideal for severely dry or dehydrated skin, great after sun-exposure to help replenish lost moisture and soothe the skin. Bathing skin in hydrating and regenerating active ingredients, it will leave your complexion smooth, soft and plump in mere minutes. Apply to clean, dry skin, and leave on for 15 minutes. Your face will feel soft, smooth and fresh, whilst looking plump, youthful and radiant. 

Available at Cult Beauty

Ameliorate Restorative Facial Mask, RRP £22.00 for 75ml

Another one for the “big love” column! Boasting an expert multi-use formula charged with Ceramide Therapy, this mask helps to enhance your skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving you with healthier-looking skin that is plumped with moisture. Using a blend of high-performance active ingredients, this overnight mask helps to protect your skin from moisture loss whilst smoothing and nourishing for skin that feels comforted, looks beautifully radiant and feels replenished. Also, smells fab!

Available at ameliorate.com

Syrene Aqua Hydrating Masque, RRP £70.00 for 100ml

This is an overnight gel masque that restores lost moisture to a dryer dehydrated skin. It melts into the skin while creating a deep well of hydration, providing antioxidants to protect your skin from the environmental drivers of ageing and leaves skin dewy and plump. Enriched with Seaweed Extract, Marine Collagen, Black Fern, Manuka Honey and Glycerin, to deeply hydrate, strengthen, smooth, moisturise, lift and help skin retain moisture, keeping it plump and glowing. Apply a generous layer over the face and neck and allow it to feed the skin overnight.

Available from www.syreneskincare.co.uk, Harvey Nichols and Liberty London

COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask, RRP £23.00 for 60ml

This is a gorgeously luxurious and effective skincare treatment enriched with Glycerin, and a potent blend of Propolis Extract and Natural Beeswax. A deeply nourishing face mask that delivers multiple skin benefits as you sleep. It can be used as a wash off mask, as an overnight mask or as a daily moisturiser and restores vital moisture to the complexion for a softening and brightening effect, as well as soothing any redness or irritation.

Available at lookfantastic.com

Organic Apoteke Rejuvenating Face Mask, RRP £39.95 for 50ml

This mask is perfect to rejuvenate dry and dull skin. An instant pick me up for the skin whilst giving instant rejuvenation. The Amino Acids and Antioxidants in this nourishing mask will enhance microcirculation, improve complexion and skin tone, boost collagen and build elastin. Deeply replenishing and packed with potent antioxidants, it stimulates cellular regeneration, firms and tones skin for a youthful glow, Instantly enhancing skin’s radiance. Using key ingredients like Pentapeptides to naturally build Collagen and Elastin, Shea Nut Butter which is high in essential fatty acids to protect against dehydration and Honey for its anti-bacterial and healing properties. 

 Available at https://www.organicapoteke.com/

Balanced/All Skin types

florence by mills Hit Reset Moisturising Mask Pearls, RRP £34.00 for 20gr

Ideal for tired or dehydrated skin, these pearls of hydration are bursting with nourishing and hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil to leave skin feeling soothed, soft and supple. To use, line up the arrows on the cap and the tube to open. Shake out two pearls and crush them in your hands to apply on clean, dry skin. You can leave on for 15 minutes and then either rinse, tissue off or massage any remaining product into the skin, or you can leave on overnight for an intensive treatment.

Available at Beauty Bay

Katherine Daniels Smoothing Resurfacing Mask, RRP £30.00 for 75ml

This salon-strength mask deeply cleanses your skin while refining pores thanks to the action of a blend of 3 clays, Green, White and Red while Aloe Vera ensures skin is left hydrated and soothed. After using your skin will look smooth and fresh with a more even texture and tone. Ideal as a deep cleansing mask or a pre-makeup skin saviour. Apply to entire face and neck avoiding eye area and lips. Leave for 10 minutes then emulsify with water and remove with a damp face cloth.

Available at Katherinedanielscosmetics.com

Evolve Bio Retinol Gold Mask, RRP £26.00 for 60ml

Big favourite for the most absolute pamper feel. I mean, who doesn’t want to have their face covered in gold? The nourishing formula is great for all skin types and works to tackle signs of ageing whilst moisturising the skin. Using a plant extract from Bidens Pilosa for their Bio-Retinol, a natural form of Vitamin A. This natural ingredient works to provide similar rejuvenation and cellular renewal benefits as Retinol, but without any irritation. The gold mask is also blended with sustainably sourced Mica for its beautiful shimmer and Argan and Rosehip Oil to nourish the skin. Apply an even layer onto skin after cleansing. Leave for 5-10 minutes then add water to transform the gold mask into a milky texture and then rinse it off.

Available at evolvebeauty.co.uk

Faace Masks, RRP from £24.00 for 100ml

Having launched with what they call a “no BS capsule collection” of moisturiser-masks, Period faace, Tired faace and Sweaty faace, they now added two more masks to the range, Dull Faace and Menopause Faace (which will be available exclusively at Cult Beauty from mid April). Designed to target different concerns at different times in our lives, there’s something for everyone. Apply them as a priming moisturiser before your make-up or a thick layer as a mask and leave on for 5 mins, 20 mins or overnight. Designed to sink into skin fast whether you whack on in transit or spend the time on your skin before bed. And whether you prefer to leave it on or wipe off any residue, you can make them work for you and whatever your face throws at you at any given time.

Faace is made in the UK, vegan, cruelty free, 100% plant powered using ethically sourced ingredients.

Giving back: Unlike a face mask, sanitary products are not one of life’s little luxuries. Faace is operating a buy one mask give one sanitary product initiative with the social enterprise Hey Girls to help support the 1 in 10 females in the UK suffering with period poverty.

Available at weearefaace.com, Liberty and Cult Beauty

5.Sepai Glow Recharge Mask, RRP £72.00 for 58gr

Revive and revitalise your complexion with this nourishing and illuminating face mask that uses carefully selected botanical ingredients to promote instant glow and nutrition. Helping to restore skin’s radiance and vitality, the mask works to regulate the hydrolipidic barrier and restore stressed skin. Its infusion of antioxidant and Vitamin C-rich Camu-Camu extract helps to brighten the complexion, while a multi-mineral Vitality Shot regulates skin’s barrier and Jasmine Petals provide a soothing and calming effect on skin. Apply a thin layer of product using a gentle massage on the face and neck. Let it act for 15 minutes and remove with a previously dampened cotton face cloth. Rinse if desired.

Available at lookfantastic.com

Next we reach for the moisturisers!

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