When it comes to extra-special skincare, it is the best most of us can manage to smear on some serum before we dash out of the door.
But there is something lovely and decadent about smoothing on a face pack and luxuriating in a bath full of foamy bubbles, and it can work wonders for your stressed skin too.
Face masks have been around for almost as long as there have been faces. Clay, fruit, milk, eggs and honey have been used for thousands of years to smooth and soften the skin.
Nowadays there is a mask for every skin type, and every problem.
Oily, blemished skin can benefit from lightweight, gel masks. They can have a wonderful deep-cleansing and tightening effect.
Peel-off masks exfoliate the skin, but if your skin is super-sensitive then proceed with care as peeling off the mask isn’t always pain free – think of waxing your face!
Some exfoliating masks are gently massaged in before leaving on the skin for a truly deep-cleansing experience. Nude Miracle Mask contains rice beads to exfoliate the skin, turning an uneven complexion flawlessly smooth. Being a natural face mask it guarantees leave your skin feeling pure.
Clay has traditionally been used to deep cleanse the skin. These masks smooth on easily and you relax while they dry, drawing out impurities. Washing them off can take an age, as you need to soften them with warm water before they rinse away. Lots of clean flannels can help here.
Clay masks can be drying, so if it is a moisture injection you need, check out creamy honey or oat-based face packs. They don’t dry out, but soak into your skin and you usually remove any excess with tissue. Like a cream bath for the face, they plump up skin and smooth out wrinkles better than any serum. Try Lush’s Oatifix Fresh Face Mask if your skin is dry and delicate and in need of some nourishment.
Glycolic or lactic acid masks are best used on a regular basis, but their results can be remarkable when it comes to minimising fine lines. Sometimes these masks contain powerful ingredients and you may need to apply a neutraliser afterwards. Don’t ever miss this step out, or your skin will suffer. Sanctuary has a Youth Revolution Glycolic Peel Off Mask that comes with an anti-wrinkle serum for optimum results.
We are addicted to quick-fix cosmetics, but some things only work if you give them time. The benefits don’t just come from the mask; taking ten minutes out to relax can refresh you as much a strong cup of coffee, without making you hyper! If you can, lie back in a warm bath while the steam helps open your pores so the mask is even more effective. If time is tight, schill-out and practice meditation techniques or deep breathing exercises. Your brain will thank you as much as your skin!