Face masks are an important part of my skincare routine. They help treat specific concerns I have and deliver almost immediate results. It's been important for me to have a balanced mask wardrobe, so to speak, and here is a look at the types of masks I keep in my routine to treat any and every skin ailment and condition I could have pop up.
1. Pore Purifying Mask - No matter how well I cleanse my skin, I still need to use a pore purifying mask to really deliver the results I want - which is clear skin and clean pores! I've been using the NUDE Purify Deep Cleansing Mask to help remove impurities from my skin thus preventing future breakouts. It's a delicate clay mousse that feels great as soon as its applied. Often with some pore cleansing masks skin is left dry and flaky, however that is not the case with this NUDE mask which is why I adore it so much. Not only does it help me prevent and treat breakouts, my skin stays balanced throughout the whole process.
2. Exfoliating Mask - As soon as I began adding exfoliating masks into my routine, I saw the biggest changes in my skin. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is an exfoliating mask I enjoy and it's results prove why these masks are so vital to a healthy skincare routine. The PTR mask helps to remove dead skin cells using alpha hydroxy acids, while also exfoliating with pumpkin enzymes and polishing using aluminum oxides. This is when I see the biggest change in the texture of my skin as well as a reduction in hyper pigmentation and dark spots. Using exfoliating masks help to go deeper than just a granular scrub and really target rough texture, fine lines and uneven skin tone. These masks are always a guaranteed glow getter.
3. Hydrating Mask - One of the biggest keys in keeping skin looking its best is hydration. Skin that is hydrated often looks younger, fresher and more radiant. The Valmont Prime Renewing Pack is a mask I recently discovered that gave me one of the most intense moisture treatments I've had in a long time. While many hydration masks can deliver an instant burst of water to the skin, many can't prolong that feeling of hydration for longer than a day. I found that when using the Valmont Prime Renewing Pack, which helps to rebalance the skin's hydrolipidic film, my skin stayed hydrated for more than a week after using it just once.
4. Targeted Treatment Mask - I left this category open a bit more because there could be a number of concerns that people have that masks could address. Firming, lifting, brightening/whitening, calming, soothing - and it's just a matter of adding in that mask which addresses your targeted concern. For me that is brightening or as some products call it "whitening". Whitening products often work at brightening up dull complexions and making them a bit more even toned. I find that because I am so pale, I can suffer from a sallow and lackluster complexion and occasional bouts with hyper pigmentation so using the Mario Badescu Whitening Mask once or twice a month has been a real help. It has Kojic acid and licorice to help brighten and naturally lighten any dark areas, while still calming and soothing my skin. I do recommend using a muslin cloth to remove this mask as it can be a bit challenging to get off with just water, but the brighter skin afterwards is worth the extra step.
5. Overnight Mask - This is a newer mask category that has been gaining more and more popularity over the past year. These masks are often used in place of night creams or in some cases as an additional moisturizer and they are great at treating the skin while it sleeps. Since skin often replenishes itself throughout the night, overnight masks are a great way to really help deliver strong results at a time when the skin is its most receptive. The Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask (which will be out in stores in early 2015) is a great firming and contouring overnight treatment that I've been using recently. While I still see many of the benefits of other overnight masks I've tried such as increased hydration and radiant skin the next morning, the feature that sets this mask apart from the rest was the firming and tightening effects I felt. On the mornings I would wake up after using this mask, I found that my skin appeared more taut, smooth and oddly enough with little to no pillow marks on my face. That last result may seem a bit strange, but because I am a restless sleeper, I am constantly struggling with sheet and/or pillow lines on my face the next morning. After the first night of using this mask, I didn't notice any lines and each use after resulted in the same thing - no pillow marks!
6. Eye Mask - Even though many of these above masks are used very close to the eye area, having a dedicated mask for that area specifically makes quite a difference. The SK-II Signs Eye Mask is one of the most decadent eye masks I've used in a long time and always delivers immediate results. Any puffiness, dark circles or dehydration I am suffering from virtually disappears after 10 minutes of using this mask. It's like 8 hours of sleep in a mask.
7. The 'Does Everything' Mask - There are those few masks that come along and can target a ton of different ailments at once and are great for when you need to get your skin looking great in a pinch. The Eve Lom Rescue Mask is that mask that I can count on to throw on the night of an event or the morning of a big meeting to get my skin in immediate tip-top shape. It helps to reduce blotchy skin, decongest, minimize irritation, absorb excess oil and eliminate redness. Basically it's a miracle in a mask. And a bonus is that it can be used under the eyes for an eye mask! I've heard that this mask was a skin saver but now after trying it, I can really attest to it's powers. My skincare routine will never be without it going forward. It's on the way to holy grail status as we speak.
*pr samples included