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Beauty A week in face masks, or: how to do the most with your skincare routine

Oct. 15, 2018
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Of late, I’ve been reading some slanderous pieces online claiming that face masks are over. Personally, I find this offensive and an attack on my character. I love masks. If I could wear face masks as my daily makeup, I probably would. And I really can’t see what’s not to like. Masks represent a moment of relaxation plus productivity. You’re doing nothing whilst at the same time improving your skin, and they really require no more effort than washing your face. You may have to get up twice rather than once, but for a clearer, smoother, brighter complexion, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

While for some people, masks represent a special occasion, masks are the pillar of my skincare routine. I sometimes do a mask per day. It sounds extravagant—and it probably is—but it’s also easier than you may think. Here’s my typical week in face masks.

Monday – Dr. Jart Ceramidin Sheet Mask

Mondays are well renowned as the assholes of the week. On a Monday, I require soothing and protection, both for my soul and my face. The Ceramidin Sheet Mask (a star of Dr. Jart’s excellent Ceramidin range) does just that. Unlike other sheet masks, this isn’t a sheet soaked in a sort of clearish, watery goo (sorry) but a light, opaque lotion. It truly does help skin out in times of need, successfully soothing any irritation while hydrating and plumping. It also soothes the soul to take fifteen minutes out of a Monday.

Tuesday – Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant

After giving your skin such a treat on Monday, you’ve earned the right to kick its ass a little bit on Tuesday. The Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant does this in the best possible way. It basically tackles any potential skin issues (mainly blemishes and dullness) before they really have a chance to start. The skin immediately looks bright and glowy, and makeup goes on amazingly afterwards. One caveat is that it absolutely stinks—but that’s how you know it’s working, right?

Wednesday – Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Something to cleanse your pores will be needed by midweek, and the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask is an amazing bargain. For around $3, you get a bigger tube of minty green paste than you’ll ever need. In terms of tightening pores, speeding up blemish healing, and giving a smoother, clearer appearance, it totally stands up against the big (more expensive) dogs. The mask also gives you the best traditional, mom-in-a-cartoon “face mask” look for any potential selfie moments.

Thursday – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask is the mask to do when you just want your skin to look better. It really does everything for me—tackles active blemishes, prevents new ones from coming in, moisturizes dry patches, adds glow, smooths, and soothes. It also smells good enough to eat. If your skin is extremely irritated or broken out, you can even wear this overnight. I promise things will look better in the morning! 

Friday – Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

Ready for a big party tonight? Ready to hang out in bed watching a documentary about murder? Either way, it’s nice to have good skin for the occasion. The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is the quickest way to achieve this goal. It basically gets rid of the top layer of your face, revealing a brand new, much cuter face underneath. The scrubby particles get rid of any flakes, while the enzymes munch on any invisible dead skin. Afterwards, your skin will be clearer, smoother, and glowing—perfect for a Friday night, regardless of your plans.

Saturday – Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay Mask

Saturday is often known as a hangover day, but even if you’re not actually hungover, it’s still a good opportunity to boost your skin. I’ve recently really been enjoying the Australian Pink Clay Mask from Alya Skin. Clay masks are well known for pulling dirt out of pores and clearing up blemishes, and this mask combines clay with AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids). This helps exfoliate skin gently and effectively, making this mask a two-in-one exfoliant and blemish-buster. Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t feel harsh on the skin at all, and in fact leaves behind a moisturized, bouncy complexion.

Sunday – Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Sunday is the day for the big guns. If you’re in the internet skincare community, you probably already know about this mask. There are claims online of it being the most effective acne treatment without prescription, and, to be honest, I buy it. You mix the powdered clay with apple cider vinegar and apply with a brush. After a few minutes, you’ll notice the mask tightening and literally vacuuming out your pores. After rinsing, your face will be a little red and dry, but immediately you’ll notice how clear it looks. Apply a moisturizer or oil, and come Monday morning, you’ll be ready to face (quite literally) the week ahead.

Bonus – Petitfee Gold & Snail Hydrogel Eye Patches 

Interspersed throughout the week, I’ll apply dedicated under-eye patches as and when necessary. While I’m not sure eye patches have any long-lasting effects on the structural integrity of your under-eyes, they do have an immediate (if temporary) smoothing and firming effect. The Petitfee Hydrogel Patches are all pretty fantastic (and similar to each other), but I favor the snail ones, mainly for the grossness factor.