Skincare is a bit of an obsession for me. I work all day tending to clients’ skin through facials, consultations, or even emergency texts, head home, and as I wait for the water to boil or the salmon to sear, I’m on my phone checking out my favorite beauty blogs or browsing for the latest cure-all skin care product. My favorite part of my rather…extensive skin care routine are my masks. After an entire day of giving and helping others, I feel like it’s time to treat me and, despite my career choice, facials are a luxury I rarely get to have. So I improvise and do them from home. I put on my favorite music, light some candles, and get to work. Here are my favorite tips for getting the most out of your at-home spa experience.
First things first…
Wash Your Face
It seems silly to say because it seems like a given but when you’re in a rush or just stupid tired, it seems like an easy miss. I mean I’m applying a mask right? That’s like cleansing and treating the skin all at once right? Nope! What’s actually happening is you’re trapping those impurities and pollutants from the day into your skin and forcefully pushing them even deeper into the skin. Yuck.
Use Rilastil Daily Care Micellar Solution to rinse away the pollutants for the day and follow with a gentle cleanser like Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs. You’re about to put your skin through mask boot camp. There’s no need to over strip the skin of its natural oils before we get to treating it.
It’s the little things that make all the difference. If the skin is red, irritated and/or breaking out, spread the mask in a down and out motion leading towards the edge of your jawline. This encourages lymphatic drainage, helps remove excess fluid in the face, and reduces redness almost immediately. For someone looking for anti-aging benefits, apply in an upwards direction to encourage blood flood and stimulate collagen in the face.
Get to Making Cocktails
It’s truly a rarity when someone has the same skin care concern that applies to their entire face. That’s why if you don’t have the time to apply several different masks back-to-back, apply the masks where you need them. A charcoal mask on the nose and forehead to treat those pollen clogged pores (like the new Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque) and an antioxidant packed mask (like the Kiehl’s Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque) everywhere else can leave you feeling fresh as a daisy in half the time. Speaking of time…
Watch That Clock
Too much of a good thing can definitely be a problem. Exceeding the five to ten minute wait time of most masks, particularly heavy clay masks, can overly dry out the skin and your skin, in an effort to save itself, will attempt to balance itself by pumping out more pore clogging oil. Even leaving on creamier hydrating masks can cause problems that lead to a rise in bacteria which can leave the skin feeling red and irritated for a prolonged period of time.
Still want to leave a mask on and then forget about it? Try an overnight mask. If you’re more on the acneic side, try Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Purifying Masque. The antioxidants in this mask can help boost the skin’s natural talent of neutralizing free radicals, keeping the pores pristine. If you need a bit more of a moisture boost, give Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque a go. The proteins leave the skin smoother and more supple by morning.
Applying a mask while in the shower (or bath) is another way to multitask your routine. The steam opens up your pores and allows the active ingredients of your favorite mask to penetrate even deeper into your skin. The Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque will leave you glowing after your shower with a big hit of vitamins A, C, and E.
Wash Your Face… Again
It goes without saying that left over mask residue not properly removed would act the exact same way as not taking off the mask at all. Make sure you completely remove all of even the peskiest of purifying masks. For the trickiest of masks, try thinning out the mask as much as possible with wet fingertips and then following with a cleansing oil like Maya Chia The Great Cleanse Nourishing Supercritical Cleansing Oil.
Make sure you follow up with your favorite toner, serum, and moisturizer (plus SPF if you plan on being back in the sun). Just like applying a hair masque, you’ll need to be consistent about using a face masque to get the best results, because these aren’t generally instant fixes. Slow and steady wins the good skin race, mes chères.