Four Face Masks That I Use ALL The Time & Why I Love Them

New Year’s Resolution #1: Do Weekly Face Masks

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This year I decided instead of doing the whole ‘Drink two litres of water a day‘ and ‘Join a gym‘ resolutions, I’d make myself some fun intentions that I actually wanted to partake in and complete. So along with ‘Learn how to make edible pasta’, I thought I’d throw in a beauty one too. It’s been a while since I did such a thing, but over the Christmas holidays I became rather addicted to face masks (along with Quality Streets and Lindt White Chocolate Truffles). I was doing a face mask EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. My jump scares on Mark became completely ineffective as he was so used to seeing me in one. I didn’t go for the hardcore stuff every day, instead I dispersed those throughout the week with some super hydrating ones between and my skin had never looked better. Maybe that’s what we’ve been doing wrong all this time? Maybe a mask a day really does keep the dry complexion away?

As a more realistic pledge I decided that a mask a week (at least) was the way to go and unsurprisingly it’s a routine that I’ve kept up with pretty solidly. I’ve since collected a whole new haul of weird and wonderful masks that keep things fun and interesting, but of course I have my favourites; most of which I’ve used for well over a year and am fully versed in their benefits. So today here are my top four if you too have set yourself a mask-related resolution…

If you need… super-strength exfoliation – Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial (I worked with Drunk Elephant back in September, but I purchased this product myself). As I began writing this section I remembered that I purchased this last April when I was over in Vegas, from the Sephora that was ever-so-conveniently situated across the road, and that it isn’t actually available to buy in the U.K. DOH. But hey, I’ve included it anyway so it’s one to add to your list next time you hit up the U.S. Although Drunk Elephant* made it to our shores last summer, this one didn’t and I’m guessing that it’s because the formula is deemed too strong to pass the regulations to be sold on the shelf over here. I kind of get it because the blend of 25% AHA and 2% BHA is the punchiest formula that I own. It’s not for the faint hearted and if I’m honest my sensitive skin can just about handle it, but I do only ever use it in the evenings so I have the whole night for any redness to go down and I stick to the recommended application times rigidly. It’s not the mask that I use most often, but it’s brilliant if I’ve been slacking on the exfoliation front and I’m feeling like I need to knock off a layer of dead skin cells. Gross, but true.

If you need… a fast train to exfoliation – Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask* (I worked with PTR back in December, but I purchased this product myself). This face mask has long been a love affair of mine. I purchased it from Sephora in New York whilst on holiday in 2014 because I felt like my skin was the texture of sandpaper and it needed some seriously sloughing and I haven’t looked back since. It’s similar to the above in that it’s a straight-up exfoliating formula, but this does so quicker and in a way that’s better for sensitive skins as the amount of time you leave it on for can vary from two to seven minutes. I like that level of customisation you have, you know? Over the years I’ve trained my skin to be able to withstand the full seven minute treatment and when I take it off, the layer that’s left is so darn smooth. It’s the perfect one to use if you can see makeup struggling to sit flat on the skin and bunching up in places. This followed by an oil and a good night’s sleep and the following morning you can see a visible difference. Need even more exfoliation? This course-texture can act as a physical exfoliant, as well as a chemical one, if you massage it on to the skin for application or removal. A nice little two-in-one.

If you need… some serious glow – Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask*. This is a recent purchase for me after I realised that my mask stash was heavily skewed to the exfoliation side of the spectrum and lacked calming, hydration-inducing formulas. It’s actually very unusual and quite unique. The rest of my hydrating masks tend to be thick creams that soak into the skin if you leave them on. However, this is a thick balm that soaks in to an extent, but actually does benefit from wiping the excess away – which is something that I never usually do with masks that have this intended result. It’s like a proper mask! The idea is that you apply it damp to aid with application, leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then remove it with a dry cloth to reduce the amount of epidermal water loss. Sounds great, right? And it works. My skin is SO DARN GLOWY when I wipe it away and just the right amount remains. It doesn’t feel claggy or greasy and my skin is utterly radiant. One thing I would say is that the creases on the side of my nose do not agree with this and a rather gigantic bulbous spot erupts each time I use it on the skin around that particular area, which is just bizarre. So I avoid that space and apply it everywhere else to the skin that drinks it up like the good stuff. Just something to note if you are prone to breaking out.

If you need… a skin calming, glow-giving concoction at the same time – May Lindstrom The Honey Mud*. I will apologise for the fact that none of the these masks have been affordable, which is quite honestly – pants. However I will wheel out that ‘You don’t need much! They’ll last you forever!‘ cliche which again is pants because they are exactly the same size as their more budget-friendly counterparts. However if you are going to go balls-out on one, then I’d recommend making this your purchase. All complexions are different and some that I’ve recommended here might completely agree with your skin, shack up and seal the deal as life-long partners, whereas others might be a breakout-inducing nightmare for you. I reckon this one though is the most people-pleasing formula of the lot. That’s probably down to the fact that it doesn’t really have one sole purpose. It contains active enzymes, but it’s not particularly exfoliating. It contains raw honey, but it’s not particularly hydrating. I know this doesn’t sound like a glowing review, but it does leave my skin exactly that – glowing. It does a little bit of everything and leaves my skin cool, calm and collected and that, I’m here for. I often throw this mask on for upwards of an hour’s if you ever drop in on me unexpectedly at the weekend then there’s a 90% chance that I’d be wearing this.

Photos by Emma Croman

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