May 2, 2014

Top 12 Facial Masks | When to Use Which Type of Mask

Shiseido Face Masks · Ulta Face Masks · Peter Thomas Roth Face Masks

Face masks. People either love 'em or leave 'em. Personally, I've had a weird obsession with them since back in junior high when I would slather one on, pop in a Mariah Carey CD and flip through the latest copy of YM magazine (remember that one, ladies??) I was spoiled because back in those days, my dad worked in HR for The Bon Marche (now Macy's for those of you too young to remember the glory days) and he would bring all SORTS of freebies and samples and "gifts with purchase" bags home for my mom and me to have. I had more luxury makeup and skincare than a 45 year old woman. I loved it. The cool thing was, my mom and I were both such different color families that we would just give the other whatever didn't work for her (and I would skim over anything anti-aging *le sigh*). I think that's where my love of beauty products and vast knowledge of different lines and brands stemmed from. I have a very distinct memory of trying Borghese Fango Active Mud Mask for the first time, dipping my fingers into the thick, goopy, mud-like mask and smearing it all over my face. I felt so grown up. Back then I don't think I had a clogged pore to my name, but it was still a fun little beauty ritual that grew into wanting to try each and every facial mask out there.

To say there are lots of different types and brands of face masks would be like saying there's a lot of junk in Kim Kardshian's trunk. IT'S AN UNDERSTATEMENT. No joke, if you don't know what you're looking for or what you're trying to correct, it can be as intimidating as a guy in the "feminine care" aisle. Not only have I listed my top 12 all-time favorite face masks (and a brief description why) but I've pinch pointed out for y'all on what mask type is best to address various skin issues. Let's first cover what's pictured above, shall we?

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GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment | Okay now, this mask is NO joke. It's Sephora's #1 selling product for damn good reason. It works. It really does what it says it will, which is to "help fight all common skin concerns including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps, and in-grown hair." Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Vichy NormaDerm 3-in-1 Cleanser+Scrub+Mask | Here's another killer multi-tasker. This product is really amazing because it's essentially 3 different products in one tube. You can use it as a regular cream cleanser, a scrub, or apply and let it sit for 5 minutes to dry as a mask, then rinse off. This product is KILLER for getting rid of excess sebum (oil), and it has been shown to actually control shine for up to 3 days!! I love how it smells and how clean my skin feels afterwards.
Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask | Oh how lovely is the Fresh line? It's SO lovely in case you were wondering. This mask is incredibly expensive, let's just get that out of the way. Would I normally spend $90 on a mask? No. I've only ever used this one when I've had a deluxe sample or have received a ridiculous discount on it. It tingles slightly when applied (which I love) and it makes my skin feel really refreshed and energized. Kind of like your face drank 4 cups of coffee. This mask is PERFECT for mornings after you've been up too late partying or binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix.
Philosophy 'Purity' Made Simple Mask | There couldn't be a more perfect name for this mask. It is a fantastic "starter mask" for people that want a bit more glow but don't want all the bells and whistles of other masks. It is simple yet effective and it makes me feel like I'm at the spa every time I use it. Very deep cleaning and detoxifying.
The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask | Oooooh this mask is so fun. It's a clay mask, so it's a bit thicker than a mud mask but it's fun to smear on. It has negatively charged ions in it that actually work to pull out all the gunk from your pores. Plus I giggle every time I read the ingredient "Bladderwack Seaweed". This mask is only available online but it is SUCH a cool gift idea for natural beauties in your life. It's: Vegetarian. Not Tested on Animals. Contains Community Fair Trade Ingredients. No Phthalates. No Triclosan. No GMO.
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Repair Gel Mask | I received this as a gift a while back and I almost didn't want to use it because it was so pretty! I mean...LOOK at it! I'm sure glad I did, however, because it instantly cooled my face (would be PERFECT in warmer months after sun exposure). This is a great anti-aging mask that helps stimulate cell turnover which we all should know by now is MUCHO importante for younger looking skin.
Borghese Fango Active Mud Mask | I think I made a goof and pictured the hair and scalp mask above (which I have not yet tried) but the link here is for the correct face mask. This was the first face mask I ever tried and it is your classic, spa-like mud mask. The jar will last you FORRRRREVER and looks so posh displayed on your bathroom counter or the side of your bathtub. This can be used all over the body. Yep, you read that correctly...apply to neck, chest, arms, legs, tummy, wherever you want seriously insanely soft skin. Just be warned you're going to look like a Creature from the Black Lagoon until it is rinsed off (and your bathroom will be a mess). You were warned.
Mario Badescu Drying Mask | Mario Badescu is known for their "Drying Lotion" but they have some really incredible masks in their line as well. I sampled this mask back when I was working in the cosmetics department at Nordstrom, and liked it so much I bought it. It's a great mask to have on hand when your skin decides to flare up. It contains sulfur (kind of stinky but get over it if you can) and calamine so it is really ideal for those times you get one of those painful undergrounders (we ALL get those bastards from time to time).
Formula 10.0.06 Deep Down Detox Mask | I picked this lil cheapy up on a whim while at Ulta a few months ago and I gotta impressed my socks off! It smells soooo good and it really brightened up my skin and pulled out all my clogged pores on my nose and cheeks. If you see it, grab it! It's only $6!
The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Mask | This was another "on a whim" purchase because the little packets are only $2.50 and I thought it would be a cool thing to have on hand for when my face felt particularly parched. You apply it to dry skin, let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off (well, I like to rinse it off, you can tissue it off if your skin is SUPER dry but I never feel like my face is clean when I do each her own, eh?)
Freeman Feeling Beautiful Pineapple Enzyme Mask | Ohhh man...this mask smells like a pineapple dream. Seriously, here's another one that everyone should own if for no other reason than it costs $4 and it smells like a Hawaiian vacation. The bonus is that it sloughs off dead skin and exfoliates with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) which we all know I am a BIG fan of. This is a great mask to use between seasons when our skin needs a little refresher. Truth time: I wouldn't recommend this to sensitive skin types as it can be a bit harsh. If you're feeling left out over this, get it and use it on your feet. No one needs to know.
Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask | Hehehe, I have to laugh a little about this mask because I always feel a little bit like Hannibal Lector when I use it. If you don't get that reference....well...we probably wouldn't have much to talk about over coffee. No harm no foul...just sayin'. Anyhoo, I digress: the mask. You slip the actual mask out of the package, find the eye and mouth holes and line it up with your eyes and mouth (and nostrils, don't forget those important guys). Then, you sit back MAKE SURE THE NEIGHBORS CAN'T SEE YOU (because they will straight up call the cops on your ass) relax, and let the magic happen. This is one of my faaaaavorite masks for anti-aging benefits. It has pure liquid retinol (retinol is my homie) and it makes the skin look so young and dewy and refreshed. This is pricey, too BUT you really only need to slap one of these bad boys on once every week or two. Make sure you give yourself enough time to relax in a semi-reclined position. Also important to note: because of the retinol, make sure you are using sun protection during the day (you should be doing that regardless, but especially when using retinol products as they can make skin much more sensitive to the sun).

There. Now that my favorite children have all been called out by name, let us quickly go over what to grab when you're experiencing different skin dilemmas shall we?

Mud masks: Great for multiple different skin issues including clogged pores, dull skin, acne and detoxifying skin. Often they contain minerals and can improve circulation in the skin.
Peel-off masks: Great for brightening dull, lifeless skin and removing dead skin cells.
Anti-again masks: Depending on the formula, these can either address fine lines to deep set wrinkles.
Cooling gel masks: Great for inflammation, calming irritated skin, de-puffing the under eye area, cooling sunburn, mild acne flare ups, refining pores and shrinking blood vessels.
Sulfuric masks: Great for drying up acne and treating deep set cystic acne.
Clay masks: Fantastic for oily and acne prone skin. They dry up all the extra oil without drying out your skin. Clay masks also do wonderfully at tightening sagging skin.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely have to do this more! I've got a restless skin, it's good for me to use a mask some times.


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