face mask

Face masks are an essential part of a beauty regimen. A face mask can provide deep nourishment in a purer formula than most serums. A daily serum has tough requirements that a mask doesn’t have: a serum must absorb instantly into the skin, not feel greasy and be thoroughly blended. So ingredients are added just to ensure that a serum behaves like a serum. Not so with a mask. A facial mask remains on the surface of the skin for 15 minutes or more, before being rinsed away. The formula, therefore, can just focus on ingredients that will benefit the skin and the task at hand.

By task at hand, I am referring to the fact that most masks specialize – there are masks for dull skin, tired skin, dry skin, masks for acne prone skin, masks for delivering antioxidants, maturing skin, sensitive skin, open pores… Confronting all those face masks to find the right one for you doesn’t have to be scary. And as you peruse my face mask guide, remember that the biggest benefit of all is that they give you an excuse for a bit of “me time”.

Face mask for skin lightening

Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel ($78/2oz) can be added to your arsenal of dark spot treatments. There’s zesty orange, red mandarin and grapefruit, but what will really refresh your skin is Sepiwhite, a breakthrough age spot fader. Read the full review of Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel

Rejuvenating face mask for tired skin

Royal Nectar Bee Venom Mask ($65 in the shop) gives my skin a wake up call whenever I use it. On those mornings when my skin doesn’t look as if it got its requisite beauty sleep, a slick of this bee venom facial mask gives me a rejuvenated glow. Bee venom has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and avocado and apricot oils offer nourishment. Royal Nectar’s mask has been a must-have for well over a year now. Read my review and see the video of Royal Nectar Bee Venom Mask

Face mask for open pores

Suki Renewal Bio-resurfacing Facial Peel ($82.95) brings the esthetician home. This isn’t really a peel, despite the name. Fruit enzymes are used to exfoliate and there are other fruit extracts to provide antioxidants. Pores are closed with efficiency and the skin is gloriously tightened and smoothed. Read the full review of suki Renewal Bio-resurfacing Facial Peel

Oil control mask for acne-prone skin

Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask ($42) has been my blemish control mask since 2008 and I still find it’s hard to beat. Even its Alpine blue color soothes me. It is wonderful for desensitizing unhappy complexions, clarifying the T-zone or dabbing on a stubborn zit. This mask controls sebum and is great for my somewhat oily skin as it is drying. Very skins may not like it. Read the full review of Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask

Face mask for dry skin

Arcona’s Wine Hydrating Mask ($38) and I were reunited this past summer and I am very glad to reacquainted with this hydrating mask for sensitive skin. The clay base is cooling and comfortable, hyaluronic acid brings moisture and wine and resveratrol do their anti-aging thing. Read the full review of Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask

Face mask for sensitive skin

La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop) defies that frustrating oxymoron – a glycolic mask for sensitive skin. With a 5% concentration of glycolic in a soothing base of organic aloe, this mask is both effective and gentle. Glycolic’s brightening and smoothing effects are given a helping hand by exfoliating bamboo grains, licorice and bearberry extract. Leaves the skin dewy and this light gel is almost transparent, so won’t frighten the kids. Read the full review of La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask

Face mask for anti-aging

Your Best Face Prep ($80 in the shop) is smoother and creamier than might be expected from an exfoliating mask. But for my money Prep is all about the antioxidants. Peptide packed Prep has Tego Pep 4-Even for brighter skin, Tego Pep 4-17 for smoother skin and Relistase for increased elasticity. And if that wasn’t enough, YBF couldn’t resist throwing in their signature free radical scavengers spin trap and Lipochroman-6. I feel younger just looking at the pot. Read the full review of Your Best Face Prep.