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The New Reasons You Should Be Using a Face Mask

Woman with face mask
August 15, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 0 Comments

In honor of National Relaxation Day, I decided to give myself a mini-spa moment (or 15) to kick off my morning. I put on a face mask while I gave myself a mani-pedi. Upon rinsing my face, I looked glowing and ready to face the day and that was before I even approached the rest of my beauty regimen. I asked myself why I don’t use a mask more often, which got me thinking more about the pros and cons of face masks.

First, I am just going to come right out with it and confess that I hate sheet masks. Since they are one of the biggest beauty trends, that makes me an outlier. They never fit properly — the mouth hole is too small or off to the side, the eye slits too far apart or it’s sliding down my chin. They are slimy and cold and they fall off if you don’t sit stock-still. Actually, they slip and slide at the merest twitch, making them utterly impractical for multi-tasking.  What’s more I’m not really convinced that they impart much goodness. At best, they are hydrating since the viscous material ensures they stay damp. And just think of the landfill.

Now a good, old-fashioned mask is a very different thing. Although there should be nothing old-fashioned about the formula; it should be made with the very best ingredients to provide real benefits to the skin. I think one of the reasons why many people don’t bother with masks is that they think they are just for imparting glow or tightening pores. That was your mother’s mask.

A good facial mask will deliver minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. But so does a serum, you say? Yes, but your serum has had to be formulated so that it absorbs rapidly. A mask sits on the face for 15-20 minutes (while you multitask without fear — unless, of course, it’s National Relaxation Day) and this gives the formulator freedom with the ingredients to create a concentrated and focused experience.

Consider it turbo-charged skin care. I rather like the analogy used by an editor at Fitness magazine who sees masks as “the deadlift to my squat. A complementary move that offers more benefit when part of a bigger, more elaborate booty-building routine.” Because face masks are occlusive they coat the skin completely and drive ingredients in deeply to deliver higher concentrations of active ingredients to do a wide range of good things — from brightening and exfoliating to hydrating and soothing. Plus, these days there are many well-made masks that deliver anti-aging peptides and vitamins to smooth over lines and plump skin on the spot.

One of my favorites is Expurtise Effective Anti-Aging Selfie Mask ($46 in the shop), a balancing clay mask with a peptide that relaxes expression lines. I’m also testing one of the masks from Your Best Face’s new mask series. Stay tuned for my review. 

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