Scroll through Instagram and you’ll see face masks are a having moment with dewy-skinned models from Daria to Lily Aldridge and actresses such as Zooey Deschanel posting selfies, faces slathered in green, black or blue stuff.
Yet while our brains say ‘slap it on’, there’s another voice inside our heads anxious about what reactions might dog the-morning-after-the-mask-before (and most of us have been subjected to a post-treatment pimple at some point.) In all the confusion, you may well have left a mask or two gathering dust at the back of your bathroom shelf.
Now you can put all concerns aside with our guide to the best masks to match your skin type. There are just two rules we should all stick by: include your neck and chest (just as vulnerable to ageing as your face) and always start by placing a warm flannel over skin to open pores.
Go forth and slather…
Your mantra should be peel, mask and then moisturise. 1.) Start with a peeling exfoliator/mask hybrid with the power to nibble away dead skin cells, which hug the surface of your skin, dulling the complexion and making it look flaky. 2.) Follow with a super hydrating and calming mask to moisturise and soothe redness or sensitivity – dry skin is less able to shield itself from irritants. 3.) Finish with a generous layer of your usual moisturiser.
Ingredients such as salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory and skin resurfacer in one, and decongesting clay are both your friends. Avoid anything too scrubby, which will irritate already inflamed spots making them ANGRY, fuming in fact. And in the case of clay, never let it dry to cracking point as this draws moisture from skin’s surface, leaving it dehydrated.
At the risk of looking like Hannibelle (sic) Lecter, sheet masks are an anti-ageing dream, saturated with a potent serum-like formula. Start by exfoliating dead skin cells, which can stop active ingredients from penetrating and place the cloth-mask over your face. As you remove it, wring the sheet in your hands and massage the remaining gel/serum into your neck and chest.
Approach combination skin with a combination of treatments: treat just your T-zone to some deep cleansing to de-clog and tighten pores. T-zone tackled, layer another do-it-all mask all-over to feed skin with hydrating and anti-ageing actives such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and/or potent botanicals.