My obsession with skin care runs to the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to face masks, but not every mask is made equal – and some can do more harm than good. There are enough masks available to confuse the most seasoned skin care addict, and some target skin function in longer term, while others are ideal prep hours before a big event. I’ve put together a list of my top 5, to deal with the most common skin complaints.
- Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque: just like Ronseal, this one does exactly what it says on the tin. Post-exams, post-festival or during wedding season, this one will bring a bit of life back to your poor, ashen face (but please make yourself a cocktail of dioralyte, berroca and vitamin C too). Those of you with easily clogged pores should be careful with over doing it (although I find I can apply it once a week, after exfoliation, without any issues) and if you have dry skin a hydrating booster or spritz of a hydrating mist can really maximise its power. A pricey enough one at fifty yo-yos, this has been a staple of mine for about 8 years now and generally lasts a good 10 months each time.
- Cien clay mask: yes, from Lidl, and for a total cost of 69 cent for two sachets – which I find gives a good six treatments if I use it only on my T-zone (and you’d have to be seriously oily to need it all over, unless god love you, you’re a teenager). This mask contains zinc and white clay – perfect for minimising the effect of an acute breakout or keeping blackheads at bay for those prone to them. (Note for non-oily skins – I am currently testing out the other ones Lidl has available)
- Patchology posh peel pedicure: Okay, so this one is actually for your feet, but it makes the cut because it can fully be used in place of a pedicure! I discovered this recently while in Italy, and I think it may have blown me away more than any face mask to date. Genuinely. As an almost daily runner, getting my feet summer ready is not usually something I attempt myself – I leave it to the experts as it involves a lot of heavy lifting. However, this year I was up to my eyes in studying and thesis-ing, and my exam was in Italy so I never made it to the nail salon (is it even called a “nail salon” in Ireland? I feel not everyone would get the Red lotus reference though) before my flight. Post-exam shopping involved getting lost in Sephora for a couple of hours, and this was the best reward. I haven’t ordered from niche-beauty.com before, but it was the first site I found that had this mask and sold to Ireland…and have already clocked up a fair bit of time browsing as I write this. I would highly recommend using this mask at least a week before you’re planning on parading your feet in public, as there is a bit of a gross, flaky period (apologies again to Aideen, and all of Positano and Sorrento). But it is worth the manky few days (maybe don’t wear your favourite socks) – you will be left with baby soft feet, I promise.
- Garnier moisture bomb sheet mask: just like the Cien one, this sheet mask is a heavy weight champion for under a fiver. It’s ideal the night before a big event, especially a photo shoot or a wedding, when you need make up to sit onto skin easily, and stay in place all day. This mask deeply hydrates your skin, and can help prevent any dry, uneven patches of foundation – especially if your coverage is a little heavier than usual. One worked of warning for oily/easily clogged skins though: once a week max!
- Radial snake oxygenating & cleansing mask: This mask is for immediate use before an event/night out etc and really seems suitable for all skin types. Charcoal helps unclog and minimise the appearance of pores, without any need to steam/squeeze/pull off a pore strip. The bubbles (which can be quite alarming, please note that when they say bubbles…they mean bubbles!) have what seems to be a similar effect as an oxygen facial – everything looks plumped and glowy for about 24 hours. I didn’t find this had any long term effect on the skin, but the instantaneous result was like an extreme version of Beauty Flash Balm, and lasted all day – so definitely great for a short term boost.
As a self-confessed mask addict, I would love to hear what your go-to mask is – or if you’ve tried any of the above? Always on the lookout for a new one to try!