FORGET the fright night mask this Halloween. Face masks of the beautifying variety are the costumes to covet this autumn.
Thicker and more intensive than your average moisturiser, they’re the unsung heroes of at-home pampering that deliver an instant face fix. Think of them as a facial in a tube.
Givenchy has even managed to pretty up the image of caked mud faces with Le Soin Noir Lace Mask, a Calais lace mask infused with black algae sap that’s too beautiful to wear indoors.
But before you scream at the £220 price tag (www.harrods.com), there are less decadent options available for an autumnal glow.
So slather on a transforming face mask and unveil beautiful skin.
“Masks are often designed for instant effect as opposed to a normal skincare routine which can take time for you to see cumulative results,” explains Sarah Chapman, facialist and founder of Skinesis.
“Clay masks can decongest by drawing out impurities, gel hydration masks can add a thick layer of moisture that the skin can absorb, and masks with ‘tighteners’ literally create a film which gives instant lift – not long-lasting but good for a quick fix.
“Masks can be very useful as an intensive treatment when your skin is really crying out for some TLC,” Chapman advises. “They’re designed to tackle anything from dullness, dryness, uneven texture and congestion.”
Winter is an especially good time to get into a weekly mask habit and repair distressed, dry skin.
“You should use masks as part of a regular at-home facial once a week,” suggests Chapman.
“Or, try using them if you want to give your skin a pick-me up when it’s looking a little dull, lifeless or is being especially problematic.”
Celebrities often indulge in a mask before red carpet appearances, so try one out before a big event or party – either a few days before to clear and calm stressed-out skin, or on the day itself if you want a firmer, brighter looking complexion.
Chapman says: “Masks should be applied on to cleansed skin and it’s wise to exfoliate first for maximum absorption.”
“Use a mask that suits your skin type,” says Caroline Frazer, Simple skincare expert.
“Even on our own face, there can be different types of skin (combination) so if you feel you only need to apply to a certain area such as the oilier T-Zone section, don’t be frightened of just using it on that problem area.”
Experiment with DIY masks too if you’re a fan of raiding the kitchen cupboard.
“Milk masks are great for dissolving dirt and nourishing the skin. Just sweep a cotton wool ball dipped in the milk across the skin for instant results,” Frazer suggests.
“Grapes also make an excellent natural exfoliator – slice in half and gently rub in circular motions on the face, avoiding the delicate eye area as the natural enzymes get to work on dull, lacklustre skin.”
YOUR MASK MATCH
Choose your best skin transformer:
Congested skin: Clay-based masks are great if you suffer from breakouts to detox and purify. They’re also a real radiance booster for skin.
Dry skin : Look for a mask with humectants in it, either a natural one like honey or a product containing hyaluronic acid.
Dehydrated skin: Try a cooling mask to combat the inflammation of the skin cells. Gel hydrating masks are particularly good during in-flight travel.
Dull skin: Slough off dead skin cells and revive sluggish skin with an exfoliating face mask.
Instant fix: Seek out a mask loaded with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for flash-perfecting results.