Mask It! 12 Top Face Masks

For most of March I was exfoliating my skin all the time, the results recorded in this post on this blog. Last month it was the turn of hydrating face masks. Face masks and exfoliators are extra additions to your skincare routine that you really should embrace.

I learned a lot from using them over the last few months, mostly that my skin loves it! My skin feels great. Adding a mask and an exfoliator to your weekly rotine is a must. Either that or go get pampered at one of 5pm Spa & Beauty’s salons, of course!

I tried out 12 masks, most of them with hydrating the key benefit, as my skin can be dry. I then remembered one more – so it’s a bonus review at the end!

 Crystal Clear Face Lift in a Box, £22, crystalclear.co.uk

Okay, this is quite an experience, this mask. It’s a bit of a faff, to be honest, but it is a salon-style treatment, so there is some effort for the rewards! You mix the lotion with the powder, and apply. I would suggest wearing a dressing gown, or a towel to do this, and then, once the mask is on, lie down, for 30 minutes. It is quite runny, and it can drip. It solidifies after a while, and feels quite tight on the face. After half an hour, you can peel this mask off from the corners of your face, pulling upwards – something I quite enjoyed! My skin felt smooth afterwards, and continued to feel smoothe and hydrated for days after. It contains wheat proteins and amino acids for moisturizing, algae gel active to help create a film on the skin’s surface and provide the lifting effect. Oh, and diatomaceous earth, perfect for drawing impurities from the skin.

Crystal Clear and Chanel masks

Chanel Hydramax + Active Moisture Mask, £33, chanel.com

This is the kind of mask you should always have in your bag, ready to just apply whenever you need a little bit of extra hydration. At your desk, on a plane, on the train, whenever you have a moment. I love this mask so much. It smells fantastic, it is a lovely, icy blue colour, and it hydrates beautifully and sinks into your skin. You can uses it one to three times a week, just apply a thick layer, and leave for 10 minutes, then remove with a cotton pad, unless it has all sunk into the skin as it does with me sometimes!

Clarins, Payot and Weleda Hydrating Masks

Payot Hydra 24 Masque, £27.50, beautybay.com

This mask didn’t agree with my skin. I had to wash it off after only a few minutes, which was a real shame, because I wanted to love it. It smells like an old-school beauty smell, and contains scutelleria, a powerful anti-oxidant, imperata extract, a revitalizing plant extract to help with moisture retention, and natural honey extract, which also helps with hydration. You apply this one for 10 minutes, then remove with a cotton pad.

Weleda Iris Hydrating Mask, £13.95, weleda.co.uk

This contains biodynamic Iris Root Extract to stabilize dry skin, cucumber and birch bark plant extract to cleanse, refresh and invigorate, Witch Hazel to combat inflammation, and Sweet Almond and Jojoba Seed Oils to care and nourish. You just apply, leave for 30 minutes, and then rinse off. It doesn’t dry, or tighten. I loved the feel of this mask, and the effects on my skin, which felt smooth and nourished afterwards.

Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask, £33, clarins.co.uk

I use the moisturuser from Clarins’ Hydraquench range and I love it. The mask I am not so keen on, but it’s still good for hydration. I just found it dried in a bit,and had to be removed, when really I wanted it to just sink into my skin, like Chanel’s similar mask. A wee bitty disappointing, but skin feels good after your take it off, and that’s the main thing, I guess.

Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask with Lavender, £48, alphah.com

This mask isn’t strictly hydrating, but I had to include it because I absolutely love it. It does tingle when it’s on, and your skin may experience a wee bit red afterwards, as you can see from my pictures below, but it feels brilliant. It contains Macadamia nut oil, Rose and Lavender extracts which do provide essential hydration. But it really comes into its own acting as a powerful once- a-week, at home, mini-peel. The 15% Glycolic Acid exfoliates dead surface cells whilst Manuka Honey, Lavender and Vitamin E hydrate and plump the fresh new cells underneath to leave your complexion visibly more supple, dewy and radiant.

Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask

Zk’in Brightening & Hydrating Masque, £29.90, lovelula.com

Wow, this mask is hardcore! It’s dark brown for a start, thanks to the cocoa, and it really does smell like you could eat it. Don’t! Although it is pretty organic, so am sure it wouldn’t really hurt you. It tightens on the skin, and I am not sure if I was so in love with this. You need a wet cloth to remove this one, and it is a bit messy. But my skin certainly felt smoother after use.

Balance Active Formula Snake Venom Mask, £2.50, amazon.co.uk

Not a hydrating mask but if you want to tone, purify and refresh your skin, you will love this. It contains Syn-Ake, a snake-venom like neuropeptide that softens the look of wrinkles, as well as natural clay for absorbing pollutants and excessive sebum, and orange oil for moisturising. It smells great, dries quickly, tightening as it dries, and when you was it off, your skin feels and looks very clear. And look how cheap it is! Brilliant bargain beauty.

Balance Active and Zk'in Masks

 

Aurelia Cell Revitalise Rose Mask, £65, aureliaskincare.com

I have to hold my hands up and say I am biased here, because Aurelia Skincare is one of my new absolute favourite brands. Claire Vero has created something so special here. This mask is another great product. Soothes and replenished the skin with glycoproteins, botanical nutrients and probiotics. And that damask rose absolute smells amazing. The mask soothes, tightens, hydrates, refines and brightens. Apply to clean skin, leave on for five to ten minutes, and then remove with one of Aurelia’s antibacterial bamboo muslin clothes soaked in warm water. Use this a few times a week for best results.

Antonia Burrell and Aurelia Masks

 

Antonia Burrell Mask Supreme 7-in-1, £57, antoniaburrell.com

All-natural, multi-tasking mask, with a lot of natural beauty science involved as well as ingredients like Mango Butter, essential oils, and Bentonite Clay. It uses something called ‘Oleosome technology’   which is to do isolating plant oils, and using them in the product. I can’t explain the science properly, but the website will! The mask is meant to deeply hydrate, brighten the complexion, slow down the ageing process, reduce the number of sun damaged cells, deep cleanse, smooth and firm the skin, and reduce blemishes and other imperfections. I had a tiny sample to try, so it’s hard to say after that whether the mask did any of the above. My skin felt nice after using it, and it has that real salon, botanical smell known to all beauty fans! You apply, leave for 10 minutes then remove with a warm cloth, and can leave it on overnight if you want.

 

Racinne Delicare Soothing Mask, £26.99, for 12 sachets, racinne.co.uk

I quite liked this, and I like that it comes in sachets, so you know how much you need to use for one application. It’s antioxidant skincare; the mask soothes dry skin, so it’s great if you have over-dry skin, or dry skin conditions. I found it a little bit runny, and not that easy to apply, but it certainly softened the skin.

SKII and Racinne Facial Masks

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, £83 for pack of 10, net-a-porter.com

I love cotton masks that are soaked in the product and you just lie them on your face, lie in the bath looking a bit like Michael Myers from Halloween, and they work their magic. This SK Origins Drink Up MaskII mask is a fave of all those I tried. My skin felt fab afterwards.

Brilliant way to hydrate your skin. Each mask is packed with anti-aging Pitera – a rejuvenating yeast-derived ingredient found in Saki. A fusion of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids work to revitalize your complexion. Japanese skincare at its best.

 Bonus Review  – Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, £23, origins.co.uk

One of my old favourites – if you need a shot of hydration, use this mask. Brilliant for the morning after a heavy night as well, when your skins needs rehydrated! This intense moisture replacement mask deeply quenches compromised moisture reserves, therefore hydrating your skin short and long-term. It contains Japanese seaweed to repair the skin’s barrier. And did you know that Origins is the UK’s best-selling mask brand? I didn’t!

Best used before bed, twice a week, or more if needed.