Masking is my hobby.
Some people enjoy puzzling in their spare time. Others run marathons (Logan would probably like me to remind you he ran a marathon once), or study birds, or play an instrument. I try different face masks. It’s my thing. I like it. I’m good at it (very smooth applicator, always wait the full amount of time, etc.). I TAKE PRIDE IN IT, DAMMIT.
Today, I’ve decided to share my passion with you. I have experimented with many, many masks—the good, the bad, and the mediocre—and I feel it would be a disservice to continue hoarding my knowledge of the real game changers. A good face mask is a beautiful thing, friends, and I can only hope that one (or more) of my favorites will help you look and feel like your best, glow-iest self.
I’ve provided details on my top 5 skin saving masks below, but I want to preface this list by stating the obvious: Everyone’s skin is unique and benefits from different products. To give you a baseline for my recommendations, I have dry, sensitive skin that’s prone to eczema and Rosacea. I don’t often get large zits/breakouts, but my pores do clog easily.
Now that we’ve gotten that (creepily personal?) information out of the way, let’s talk masks. I’m excited. You’re excited. We’re all excited?!
My 5 Favorite Face Masks:
1. Sephora Clay Masks. These are hands down my favorite masks, people. They’re sold in travel-friendly squeeze packs with screw tops, and one pack contains about four masks. (They also happen to be super cheap!) The clay comes in eight different colors—each one with different fancy benefits—and I like all of them, but I’m particularly partial to the green, red, and blue, which we shall briefly break down below.
- Green: This one is my go-to when I want a lil bit of pore-cleansing action. It’s purifying and exfoliating without being overly drying (this is HUGE for me), and it definitely has a pore-minimizing effect. Big fan of using this one before bed before slathering my face in serum and Goop’s nourishing face oil. Just saying.
- Red: The buzzwords on the packet are “anti-fatigue and energizing” (which are basically the same thing?), but I’d describe it as calming. I gravitate toward this hydrating bad boy on mornings when my skin is feeling a little dull and/or I have some redness I need to soothe.
- Blue: This “oxygenating” mask is my pick of the clay litter for a little extra radiance and plumping. I dig it before a big day/night.
*Since we’re talking Sephora masks, I’m gonna throw out an honorable mention to the Green Tea Sheet Mask, which was my clarifying favorite pre-clay. It’s fabulous and works like a charm, but sheet masks upset me because they’re so messy, and I can’t drink coffee or alcohol while wearing one.
2. Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial. I only started using this mask a little over a month ago, but I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my glow recently, and I’m pretty sure this is the source. I don’t use any physical exfoliants (i.e. grainy scrubs) because like I said, my skin is super sensi. I’m also bad about remembering to use a chemical exfoliant on the reg, so my complexion can dull easily, especially in winter. Enter: Babyfacial. It contains a blend of powerful acids that have magical exfoliating powers and leave your skin feeling unbelievably silky. It burns a little bit for the first five minutes, and I’m a little pink afterwards, but it’s really not that bad. Pain is beauty, people. (Fan yourself with a magazine, dammit!)
Sidenote: I’m almost fully on the natural skincare wagon these days, and it feels good, so I appreciate that Drunk Elephant products only use clean, non-toxic ingredients. They’re Goop-level expensive, but if you’re considering investing in a holy grail skincare product, this should maybe be it…
3. Dr Hauschka Hydrating Cream Mask. I actually discovered this mask in Whole Foods while in search of natural remedies for my crazy dry/rashy winter skin, and I’m now a devotee. It’s incredibly soothing, so if you’re feeling itchy, this can help, and I love that you can put it alllll over your face, eyelids/undereyes included. I use this once a week to keep my skin as hydrated as possible, but you can also rub a little on particularly dry patches and sleep with it on! (Oily peeps, beware—this will likely clog your pores.)
4. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This clay is the ultimate pore cleanser. Like, really, really, ridiculously deep cleansing, friends. I use it on my t-zone when my skin is congested, and it works some serious magic. It’s also gloriously cheap! It will run you about 9 bucks on Amazon, and the tub will probably last you a full year. With all of that said, there are some important tips/disclaimers to note:
- You need to mix the clay with apple cider vinegar. For whatever reason, it simply doesn’t get completely smooth when mixed with water. Trust.
- Mix the mask with your finger, wood or plastic. Metal reacts with the clay and reduces its healing properties.
- The mask is extremely drying!! I only put it on my T-zone, and I never let it dry completely. I leave it on for about 5 minutes, and that’s plenty. It will tell you that you can leave it on for 20 minutes to feel the “pulsating action,” but I’d advise against it, especially if you have sensi skin—you’ll get verrrrry red.
5. Meder Hydra-Fill Deep Hydration Mask. This sheet mask was recommended to me during my rashy phase earlier this winter, and DEAR GOD, it’s a game changer. It provides major relief for dry and/or chapped skin (great for winter, and post travel), and it has a majorly plumping effect. When I use it at night and follow it with moisturizer, I wake up in the morning looking all kinds of dewy. And although I don’t like sheet masks, this one hooks behind your ears (what mad genius invented this?!), so it stays in place much better than your average mask.
p.s. This one is pricey, but my facialist told me that you can actually use each one twice because there’s so much serum in the packet. Just fold it back up after you use it, put it back in the packet, put the packet in a Ziploc, and store it in the fridge. The second use isn’t quite as good, but whateva. We are milking this!
Happy masking, friends! Don’t hesitate to leave questions (or recommendations) in ze comments!