I think I'm forming a habit by starting the first paragraph by stating 'I love masking' or 'I love cleansing/eyeshadow/blush/etc'. But life is a joy when you love many things with passion? I've talked about some masks in my rotation before, but the evidence in my cupboards say I can't get enough of masking (thanks to Black Friday and other sales). Today I'm doing a chatty post about my thoughts on masking - the routine, ritual and efficiency. The idea for this post came when I started to re-evaluate my love for masking and how I haven't been super impressed by a wash off/overnight mask in a while. Sheet masks I'll discuss in a different post!
Goals in masking
- Treating a current issue (dryness, congestion, dullness etc)
- Instant results
- Pampering experience, me time and relaxation
I choose the mask I use by what my skin needs on the particular day using common sense: I glance at the mirror and feel my cheeks if I'm particularly dry or congested that day. Multipurpose or 'glow' enhancing masks I leave for the days I just need a pick me up or want to relax. With skincare I tend to be patient and not believe waking up the next day with a perfect complexion, but when it's a mask I want to see results and I'd want to see them now. I'm not expecting long-lasting miracles, but let's say I have an event tomorrow and my skin is a havoc - I want masking to provide instant help when needed. After all, I'm reaching one particular mask only 1-2 per week.
Problems in masking
- Rarely drastic results
- Too much unrealistic claims
- Using too irregularly
- Worth the price?
Please note I'm not stating that all masks were ineffective, but due to skin's natural renewal time the results with over the counter products are rarely instant or drastic. I've noticed you can quickly soothe and moisturise the skin, but at least my blackheads don't get zapped away in a blink of an eye (I wish). This is the mental image I get from advertising: magic in a jar, which most of the time is completely untrue.
Even with excellent masks, there are questions raising in my mind: Is the bi-weekly use of a facial mask enough to upkeep the results? Especially if you wash the mask off after 15-20 minutes. How beneficial is it to splurge on a product you're only going to use once or twice a week for a brief time? I've heard investing to your daily necessities would be the most practical as you'll get the most use (and benefit) out of them. On the other hand, a face mask can last longer than other daily products and bring you joy for many months ahead. We're getting down in your preference: Do you prefer investing on a mask or a daily product?
Lately my skin has been behaving well, I dare to say it's in the best shape it has been years. The acne scaring, dryness and some congestion hasn't vanished, but my skin is far more manageable than it was last year. Sometimes I wonder are the masks I use "ineffective" due to the OK condition of my skin or have I just chosen the wrong products? Even if my pore size doesn't resemble craters of the Moon I want my skin look smoother, even and free of random bumps.
My tips for masking
- Reach for them regularly
- Go for calming and moisturising masks
- Look at the ingredients
- Try powder formulations
Don't let your masks dust in the cupboard – use them up! For beginners I recommend calming and moisturising masks as I find them most efficient. If you have a combination, oily or congested skin clay based masks are a good option: muds and clays tend to be very affordable ingredients but effectively draw out impurities. For best results try masking at least couple of times a week, you should see some results. If you're busy and not a fan of fuss, apply the mask just before shower and leave it on while you're doing other chores. Or, you can do like me and pour yourself your beverage of choice and enjoy the moment on the couch while playing games or watching your favorite show. I don't save masks for a particularly big day, but add them to my routine for the extra boost.
You can also look for dry masks in a powder form, as they stay good for a longer period of time than pre-mixed masks. Also you can customise the mask by adding water or honey to the powder (DON'T use lemon juice) and make a thinner paste to double use the mask as a gentle face wash. I'm not a huge fan of thermal water sprays as they're just.. water, but you can easily "re-activate" a mask by spritzing your face before the mask dries. This works wonderfully with the May Lindstrom Honey Mud for example by keeping it sticky and smelling delightful for longer.
If you want to save on something, skip the pretty branded mixing bowls and brushes. They do look pretty and decadent, but a small soy saucer and fingers or old foundation brush works just as well. Unless you want to have a special experience, of course. Also look if the ingredients are "worth the price" (again, clays are cheap), how are they sourced or are you just paying for the name or pretty packaging. Higher quality ingredients do cost a pretty penny and again it comes down to your personal preference if you like to splurge on a daily serum or bi-weekly mask.
I hope you found this post helpful! What are your thoughts on face masks? Do you have a current favorite? I'm so curious to hear!