Whatever your face, hair and scalp needs, there’s a mask for the task.
WOULDN’T it be dreamy to have a weekly appointment at the spa for a long, relaxing facial?
While that kind of luxury remains an occasional treat for most of us, a DIY indulgence is well within reach — and can make a real difference, too.
Because they have longer to seep beneath the surface, the ingredients in masks work their magic where it’s needed most, while giving you instantly visible results.
And, right now, there’s a slew of new, soak-in saviours targeting everything from sullen skin and frazzled hair to clogged pores and acne. So, block out an evening, light a scented candle, run a bath and get ready to ‘mask in’ glory...
The latest addition to Origins’ line-up of bestselling masks is the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright, Dark Spot Correcting night mask, €70 ( www.arnotts.ie ), a leave-on cream packed with vitamin-rich, botanical extracts and dark spot-fading actives. Massage it in, leave for 10 minutes, then rub in any excess, so nothing goes to waste.
THE PORE PERFECTER
There’s a reason charcoal has been a trusted cosmetic ingredient for generations — powdered carbon (that’s all it is) loves sucking up icky stuff from our skin. Likewise, Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions charcoal mask, €29 ( www.brownthomas.com ), works like a Hoover on pores and mattifies oily patches.
THE WRINKLE SMOOTHER
Sheet masks — face-shaped patches saturated with complexion-boosting serums — originated in South Korea, the home of so many skin innovations. Unpeel the two transparent parts of the SkinPep Collagen Growth Factor Face Mask, €27.75 for five, plus P&P ( www.skinpep.com ), and smooth them over your face for 30-40 minutes for a plumping, peptide-rich skin infusion.
THE FACE FIRMER
Promising to mimic the action of Botox, Shiseido Benefiance Firming Massage Mask, €64 (Boots), is an ultra-firming mask that tones, tightens and exfoliates.
It offers outstanding hydrating and re-texturising benefits for a smoother, more radiant complexion and exfoliates skin gently with conditioning treatment granules that melt during massage and refine surface texture.
THE SCALP SOOTHER
Tea tree oil is well-known for its calming properties, but apply too much and it’ll really sting. The Australian Bodycare Scalp Treatment Mask, €20 plus P&P ( www.australianbodycare.co.uk ), gets the blend just right, resulting in a cooling sensation that soothes itching and flakiness. Apply when your hair is dry and leave overnight for maximum effectiveness.
THE SPOT STOPPER
Unclogging pores and reducing sebum are key to preventing spots. From the new acne-targeting range, the Avene Cleanance Mask, €19.99 (Boots), does both, plus it contains kaolin clay for a matte finish.
THE HAIR HYDRATOR
Bleach, heat and stress can really take it out of your hair, but a weekly moisturising mask will counteract the damage. New from the Pantene Expert Collection, the Hydra Intensify Masque, €5.73 (Boots), floods locks with a triple whammy of nourishing nutrients in just three minutes.
THE CULT REBOOT
To mark its 15th anniversary, REN have rereleased their classic Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, €28 plus P&P ( www.beautyboutique.ie ). This cult favourite harnesses a cocktail of fruit acids to exfoliate dead skin cells and flush out pores when rinsed off.
THE BOTANICAL BOOSTER
French brand, Aloree, uses chlorophyll, the key component of photosynthesis in plants (ring any bells from biology lessons?), which also has anti-ageing properties.
The pearlescent green Skin Rescue Radiant Face Mask, €21.76 plus P&P ( www.mademoiselle-bio.com ), oxygenates cells and leaves your complexion with a subtle shimmer.
THE HYALURONIC HERO
Indeed, Laboratories’ Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask, €26.99 for four (Boots), is soaked in moisture-maximising hyaluronic acid.
In 15 minutes, the key ingredient seeps in deep, leaving your face fresh, plumped and dewy. Sheet masks can be slightly scary looking, so make sure you’re not expecting any visitors when you pop it on.
THE TAN ENHANCER
A thorough exfoliation is a must before you slap on the fake tan, and James Read’s Enhance Tan Perfecting Enzyme Peel Mask, €16.58 plus P&P ( www.QVC.com ), does just that. The clear gel smoothes on and dries, and then peels off 20 minutes later, taking a layer of dead skin cells with it.
THE POST-SUN QUENCHER
To stop your tan fading faster than that blissed-out holiday feeling on your first day back at work, a major dose of moisture is in order.
Phytomer Sun Soother After-Sun Mask for Face, €34.59, free postage (FeelUnique.com), drenches skin with hydration and protects against the free radicals that threaten your tan’s long-term potential.
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