Anyone that knows me knows I love a facial – and who doesn’t? But time is precious, and sometimes when I don’t have time to go into town and indulge for an hour or two, a sheet mask and a glass of wine on the sofa is a close second best. In fact, I tend to do at least one sheet mask every week, and always make sure I have one handy if I’m out at an event after work or on the weekend. They’re great for getting your skin up to scratch quickly, and with such a variety on the market, there’s one to target almost every concern.
Of course, a long-term skincare routine is far more beneficial than occasional hits from sheet masks. But if you’re looking for a deep cleanse, or are going through a dry patch and need a hydrating boost, a mask can work wonders to kickstart your skin and begin getting things back up and running. Generally speaking, the majority of masks on the market cover a minimum of one of these 5 areas: cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, brightening or the eye area. Depending on the formulation or specific ingredients in each mask, one might cover several of the above, or may have other desirable properties, such as anti-pollution.
I get sent so many masks to try and test, that I literally have an Ikea drawer – you know the square, cloth ones that slot into the shelving units – full of them. So, I’ve chosen 5 of my favourites – one from each of the above areas – for a special giveaway. I’m going to write a little bit about each one below, but to be in with a chance of winning, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list – and I’ll be announcing a winner at the end of July. So, what are you waiting for…
STARSKIN Detoxing Sea Kelp Leaf Face Mask
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the STARSKIN range, and this mask is one of my absolute favourites. It’s packaging is perhaps the most understated of the brand’s masks, but gimmicks aren’t everything – and this is one of the best performing of the entire selection. Formulated with 100% organic sea kelp, the mask is infused with 25ml of serum, and delivers clinically proven 72 hydration and anti-ageing properties.
As a La Mer devotee – I know that will unsettle some people, but I’ve used it since I was 15 and have never had a break out since – seaweed is an essential part of my skincare regime, and this mask covers the full array of benefits. It also detoxes and brightens skin, making it the perfect “mini-facial” if you just don’t have the time for the real thing.
PAYOT Blue Techni Liss Week-End Mask
I’ve written about this before in my skincare ingredients I use the most post, but this is one of my favourite exfoliating masks. It packs a hefty 8% glycolic, which is significant, so I wouldn’t leave it on for longer than 15 minutes at a time, and I tend to use the masks right before bed and, when I wake up the next morning, my skin is so clear.
This is all the AHA I use each week, and when used consistently, it really works wonders in keeping the skin looking clear and bright. If you do have sensitive skin, build up your applications – I’d suggest using it for 5-7 minutes first, waiting two weeks, then slowly building up the time to the full 15 minute application. However, if you do struggle, there are more gentle chemical exfoliants you can use.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask
I can’t stress enough that, if you suffer with dry skin, you’ll fare far better by spending your grooming budget on serums instead of moisturisers. Serums hydrate the skin on a far deeper level than moisturisers, meaning they’ll serve you better in the long-term than the products you’re typically using.
However, as much as I love a serum and use them twice daily, I still use hydrating masks when my skin is going through a rough patch – usually during the changing seasons. This mask from Neutrogena is one of my favourites. Again, it’s a Korean formulation – which I’ll be talking about in a post soon – and is packed with Hyaluronic Acid, which is another ingredient in my most used post. Hyaluronic helps the skin retain moisture, and this is great for prepping skin for a more hydrating, moisture-focussed routine.
skyn Iceland Hydra Cool Brightening Face Mask
If you’re going anywhere you’re going to be photographed, you need to use a brightening mask beforehand. And even if there won’t be cameras, prepping your skin in this way will ensure you’ll stand out and look totally radiant. skyn Iceland is one of my favourite ranges, and their eye masks are also great – but this brightening mask is one of my favourites.
The best thing with brightening masks, as far as I’m concerned, is that they’re totally cosmetic. Yes, they’re packed with ingredients that fuel and enhance the skin, but all in all they’re designed to make you look good – and the majority of them do a fabulous job. And this is one of my favourites, because it’s a) affordable and b) bloody good at what it claims to do.
Sesderma C-VIT Eye Contour Patches
Eye masks are a godsend when you’re looking to fight away dark circles and brighten up your eye area – and these Sesderma masks are brilliant. They’re packed with vitamin C, which is naturally brightening and will will work wonders on the eye area. They’re also so cooling, that you really won’t want to take them off. Honestly, I love these masks.
Vitamin C is also full of anti-pollution properties, which will help keep the skin around your eyes – which is particularly sensitive – clear and fresh. I use these masks whenever I’m looking particularly tired or fatigued, and leave them on for longer than they say. Sometimes I even put them on my eyelids after. But, they’re great, and will brighten the skin around your eyes up in no time.
Anyway, to be in with a chance of winning the 5 masks above, make sure you sign up to the mailing list here – and I’ll be announcing the winner at the end of July!