Do you associate face masks with relaxation and retreat – like this idyllic picture above? But most of you like me can only dream about a bath without interruption, somewhere with a fabulously relaxing view and a glass of something soothing. Even if you don’t have to dream, it would probably still be a once in a blue moon opportunity and certainly not something for everyday.
I have a confession to make…. I never used to be very organised about my masking & it is still a work in progress.
Working for big beauty brands I always had masks in my bathroom cabinet, but I wasn’t very good about using them regularly.
Like anything it is a habit but you have to be determined to make a habit….it takes time for something to become second nature and therefore easy. I bet like me, you have had this problem with exercise…new year’s resolutions rarely work.
But I do now have a lot of lovely masks and I am really enjoying adding them into my routine – it’s very little effort once you get into the swing.
So I thought I would do a post dedicated to masks – looking at the different types and my picks of the best natural face masks on the market.
Why should you use natural face masks regularly?
In Asia masks are super popular – many Korean women use sheet masks every day….this is not great for the environment but their skin certainly looks fabulous.
Consistency is important I have come to learn – using a mask now and then will not have the same type of skin transforming results as regular consistent use. Many experts recommend using masks as part of your daily skincare routine like your moisturiser – I am not at this level of sophistication yet…but we all need to have goals!
5 reasons that will make you use masks more often
1. Deep cleansing
So you probably cleanse your skin every day but in order to get a deeper clean masking is the way to go. It can help draw out impurities that are hiding beneath the surface of the skin. And you will see a visible improvement in your pores.
2. Unclog pores
We all get clogged pores from time to time and we need something that is going to help remove the dirt and excess oil – clay masks are great for this, drawing out all that bacteria and debris to the surface!
3. Glowing skin
This is everyone’s ultimate goal, to look super healthy and glowing. Of course what you put into your body is a very important factor – here are some of my favourite quick healthy meals, exercise is also very important but masks can provide that finishing touch!
OK this one depends on how and when you mask. I have been masking in the morning whilst getting my little one ready for the day so not totally relaxing but this is the only way I can make sure I mask more regularly. If I wait until I have time for a relaxing bath it might only be once every few months.
But having said that even if you are masking whilst doing other things just the natural aroma can be quite relaxing – they are often infused with essential oils which can lift your spirit by stimulating your senses.
5. Helps your overall regime
Masking helps all of your other skin care products work more efficiently. If you want your day lotions, serums and night time products to be absorbed by your skin quicker and deeper, then a face mask is a must.
Different types – which is the best natural face mask for you?
This is all down to your primary skin concern. Of course, you can use several types of masks and you can even use different masks on different parts of your face but let’s keep it simple for the moment:
Dry & tired skin
Hydration masks need to lock in moisture, this will help the skin condition and improve circulation which in turn protects and supports healthy dermal function and slows skin decline. Cream masks are often best for hydration if you can find one that you leave on and don’t rinse off that is even better to help keep all the moisture in.
Congested & clogged pores
Clay masks naturally detoxify the skin. They can hydrate without oil which is a great option for oily skin types. If your skin is inflamed, look for a clay mask that also has clarifying enzymes and/or sulphur to treat breakouts and soothe redness. Enzyme masks are wonderful for dull-looking skin, combination, oily or acne skin types. They are often not great for sensitive skin so make sure you choose something suitable for your current skin type.
Dull & lack lustre skin
Exfoliation masks are great for removing dead skin cells and unlodging deep-seated dirt in your pores fruit enzymes (typically from papaya and pineapple). They also have natural skin-brightening properties, which will give you that healthy glow!!
Also you might have a preference for sheet masks over cream or gel masks – but this is really down to personal preference. I feel most sheet masks are a bit wasteful in terms of their environmental impact although there are now many more environmentally friendly options coming onto the market.
My current favourite Natural Face masks
Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask – to replenish and rehydrate your skin
I got this mask in one of my Beauty Heroes boxes and it is a great way to experience Josh Rosebrook brand. The mask has Aloe Vera, whole organic actives and rich plant oils to support the skin regeneration. It also has a very interesting ingredient – Indian Senna Seed which is also known as botanical hyaluronic acid.
How to use: Apply to a damp face and spend a couple of minutes massaging the mask into skin (I normally manage 1 min…), leave on for 15 – 20 and then remove with a dry or damp cloth. It can be used daily.
Verdict: The texture is a mixture between a cream and gel – quite unique. The smell is delicious, certainly makes you want to use it often! I like this mask but I am not yet blown away like I am with the Josh Rosebrook exfoliating one below but it is still a good hydrating mask option.
Where to buy:
Ships internationally: Beauty-Heroes
Naveen Hydrating Sheet mask
This is an interesting, little known brand from Taiwan. I came across them at the NOPA expo in Hong Kong a couple of months ago. As it is an Asian brand it has to have a sheet mask! I really admire what they are trying to do with this product – it is made from 100% Organic cotton that is not treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and GMOs.
The mask uses Organic rose damascene water, Chamomile flower water, Aloe Vera extract and Sodium Hyaluronate to calm and hydrate the skin.
How to use: apply for 15-20 mins and then remove the sheet and pat excess moisture into the skin, no need to wash off
Where to buy:
They ship internationally from their website: Naveen
Honua Skincare – Moana Mask – this is a clay mask with some fabulous Hawaiian super botanical ingredients
It has three different types of clay French Green Clay and Kaolin Clay and Bentonite Clay – all very good for detoxifying the skin. Also, as this is a Hawaiian brand it has some special local ingredients – Limu Ko’a or Hawaiian Spirulina, a blue green algae that is high in antioxidants and is known to boost cell regeneration to help with premature aging. Also Aloe vera makes the skin feel soothed and comfortable, and the whole macadamia nut oil gives a feeling of nourishment and hydration to parched skin
How to use: This one is great after a day in the sun. It is hydrating as well as clarifying. Just smooth onto face and neck and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Verdict: The scent is relaxing, like an aromatherapy spa. This is a great all round product that will definitely work on oily skin but I found it worked well on my normal to dry skin as well. The price point is accessible and I love the Aloha vibe of this lovely brand.
US & ships internationally: Beauty-Heroes
Honua Skincare also ship internationally too: Honua Skincare
Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator – for dull and lack lustre skin
It has two ways of exfoliating – enzyme exfoliation and physical exfoliation from walnut shells. Enzymes from Papaya help to gently remove dead skin cells combined with finely ground walnut shells to physically reveal new skin. It’s also made with honey to restore moisture, anti-inflammatories to calm antioxidants to help regenerate and plant oils to feed.
The brand say that it is suitable for all skin types and conditions including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and sensitive skin.
How to use: I use these 1 -2 times a week. Apply with gentle circular massage motion and then I leave it in for ideally up to 1 hour but normally around 30 mins. Rinse off with warm water.
Verdict: It smells delicious, is easy to deal with…no mess and has visibly brightening results. Pretty impressed. This is a high-end luxury skincare product so comes with the subsequent price tag, but it is definitely good value in terms results and quality of ingredients.
Where to buy:
UK & ships internationally: Content Beauty
US & ships internationally: Beauty-Heroes
On me to try list:
True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask. This one has a great reputation and only needs to be left on for 2-5 mins I mean talk about quick!
Well I hope that I have convinced you to mask more often. I still have some more masks that I am waiting to try so will keep you updated on any new super discoveries. But for now, the best natural face mask I have found is definitely Josh Rosebrook’s exfoliating mask.
Let me know if you have any great masks that you think I should try.