Whenever you see a beauty pamper scene in a movie, it always involves characters being slathered with a face mask, complete with some cucumber covers for your eyes. But do everyday mere mortals need to mask? What type is best for me? And what’s with the cucumber?
There are a number of super excellent benefits to slapping on a treatment and leaving it to really get down in your pores. Here are the reasons you should be masking regularly.
It compliments your beauty routine
A good mask is like a weightlifting session added in to your regular workout of cardio. It might not always do the hard yards, but it will ensure maximum benefits of all your hard work are given an extra little boost. A mask can’t replace a good, regular, skin care regimen, but it can add a boost and extend the benefits of your regular routine. Also, it acts like a blanket over all the good stuff you put into your skin, and helps drive products further below the surface. Masking on a regular basis can ensure your expensive beauty products really get absorbed more effectively into your skin.
It unclogs pores
Getting your mask on with a product that contains clay extracts or charcoal is excellent for removing toxins and zapping impurities out of your pores. Which is great because clogged pores combined with bacteria lead to nasty breakouts. Getting rid of the toxins in your skin leaves a good blank canvas for your regular serums and moisturisers to be able to penetrate more deeply, without as much risk of you spreading nasties to other areas of your face and hitting mass breakout territory.
It can treat specific skin concerns FAST
Masks can give you an instant hit of something your skin may be sorely lacking. Breakouts, dry skin, inflammation, redness, oiliness... there’s a mask out there to ease all your cares away. What’s more, it does it in double-quick time. Here’s a quick guide to what to look for based on your skin concerns. Salicylic acid treats acne; hyaluronic acid is good for skin dryness; vitamin C is good for dark spots, pigmentation, and fine lines; niacinamide is best for rosacea and skin redness; charcoal and clay are excellent for removing and retinol is also good for fine lines and pigmentation. Masks give your skin a concentrated hit of these goodies to back up the products you’re using in your regular regimen. It packs a powerful punch!
It feels damn good and relaxing
There’s a REASON people who are getting pampered in movies always seem to have a mask on: because it feels bloody excellent. The nice, cool feel of product being slathered onto your skin. Knowing that as you sit there, relaxing, all your skin concerns are being treated one by one. Even the process of applying a mask yourself can be a very soothing, zen moment. Why not treat it as a mandatory time out? Apply the mask and force yourself to lie down and do nothing while it works its magic on your face. Why not pop a couple of cucumber slices on there while you’re at it? Yep, there’s a reason for this that’s not just aesthetic. The cool, watery makeup of the cucumber makes them an excellent candidate for de-puffing eyes and helping to banish dark circles. Cold tea bags can also be used for the same purpose (and mould brilliantly to your eye socket).
Top mask tips
1. Before whacking a mask on, dab a little eye gel or cream around your eyes to prevent them from drying out during the treatment.
2. Start with a freshly cleansed face; you don’t want to lock any nasties in under your mask.
3. Apply masks with damp hands to already damp skin.
4. When the time comes to rinse off, hold a warm, wet face washing cloth over your face for a few seconds. Repeat. This little trick will help loosen up the mask so you can wipe it off more easily.
Elizabeth Best is a beauty expert and writer with more than a decade of experience working for some of Australia’s most prolific media outlets. She enjoys long romantic walks along the makeup aisle, and fully expects for her profound love of travel and food to bankrupt her one day. You can follow her never-ending obsession with food and makeup on Instagram.