We know you’ve seen them. Those innocent looking pots of creams and gels winking at you from the shelves. We’ll give you smooth skin, they say. We’ll clear up that shaving rash, they promise. Then you turn the pot over and read ‘apply face mask and leave for 15 minutes’. A lot can happen in 15 minutes. What if your girlfriend comes round unexpectedly? Or your best mate calls after a quick midweek pint? Nope, best just to leave those face masks safely on the shelf.
Except things have changed. There are very, very few silver linings to the coronavirus lockdown but, if there’s one thing the enforced absence of unexpected social interaction does mean, it’s that you’ve finally got a safe stretch in which to test out those face masks you’ve been eyeing up. So where to start? Here are some of our favourites…
The best for: Cleansing
The foundation of any good skincare routine lies in regular cleansing and, even if you’re using a good face wash every day, we recommend you take the time to apply a cleansing mask once a week as well. Not only will it rid your face of spot-causing bacteria and dead skin cells but it will also help those expensive moisturisers you’ve invested in really get to work.
MenScience’s offering features green tea and refined clay to extract impurities from the skin and remove excess oil while Recipe for Men’s blend of willow bark extract and Alpha-Hydroxy acids (AHAs) leaves the skin literally tingling with cleanliness. For those who struggle with sensitive skin, Dr Sebagh’s specially formulated mask uses Azelaic and lactic acid to gently exfoliate the skin and promote cell turnover without any irritation.
MenScience Facial Cleansing Mask
Recipe For Men Peeling Mask
Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask for Sensitive Skin
The best for: Hydrating
Pretty much every grooming brand under the sun offers a hydrating mask so if you’ve found a brand whose products work you, we’d recommend sticking with it. If you are looking to experiment, however, this is where it’s worth investing some real money in your product of choice. Well hydrated skin looks younger, brighter and fresher than its thirsty counterpart so if you’re only going to use one mask, make it a moisturising one.
Landing somewhere between a mask and a day cream, 111Skin’s Day Defence Mask uses the principles of mesotherapy (injecting homeopathic preparations just under the skin) to create a formula you can apply in the morning and leave to do its hydrating magic all day long. If you suffer from particularly dry skin, La Prairie’s high-tech offering also doubles up as a treatment for sunburn with some seriously soothing effects while Aesop’s more wallet-friendly mask contains rosemary leaf, lavender and ginger root to deliver long-lasting nourishment.
111Skin Meso Infusion Day Defence Hydration Mask
La Prairie Cellular Hydralift Firming Mask
Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque
The best for: Anti-ageing
Chances are you’ve only recently considered using a face mask because, well, your reflection isn’t looking quite as perky as it once did. While time gets the best of us all in the end, advances in skincare science do mean there’s much that can be done to combat the effects of ageing – and using a good face mask is a step in the right direction.
Chantecaille’s Bio Lifting Mask may seem pricey but there’s some real science behind it. Blending a rosewater base with plant extracts, botanical and hexapeptide, it tackles wrinkles big and small as well as tightening and plumping the skin for an all-round more youthful appearance. Also big on lab-approved ingredients – but a little easier on the bank account – is REN’s Radiance Renewal mask. Containing much buzzed-about AHAs in the form of glycolic, lactic, citric and tartaric acids, this hard-working peeling mask deeply exfoliates as it soothes and brightens. Finally, slather stressed out skin in Dermalogica’s multivitamin mask to rescue dull, dry and damaged skin and restore it to its fresh-faced finest.
Chantecaille Bio Lifting Mask
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque
The best for: Applying overnight
If all this applying, hanging around for half an hour and then washing off again seems like a bit of a hassle then allow us to introduce you to the overnight mask. Slick it on after you’ve brushed your teeth then go to bed and forget about it – until you wake up with the softest most radiant skin of your life.
Kiehl’s fuss-free take on the formula contains glacial proteins and desert plant for the supplest of complexions and is best used in conjunction with a good day cream while Elemis’ cooling gel mask creates a barrier across the skin preventing overnight water loss to keep skin super hydrated. Sarah Chapman’s much revered Skinesis line, meanwhile, includes an overnight mask bursting with essential oils, vitamins and plant extracts that will get to work on evening out your complexion and tackling pesky fine lines while you sleep.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque
Elemis Peptide4 Plumping Pillow Facial
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial
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