How to mask like an expert
A facialist divulges her insider secrets
One of the greatest pleasures, when it comes to skin care, is applying a face mask and waiting for your skin to reap the rewards of a hard-working formula. But similar to serums or moisturisers, it’s important to have a repertoire of masks in your beauty kit to cater to how your skin is behaving at any given moment, which is often influenced by the season, weather, environment or your diet. Anna Field, facialist and founder of The Paddington Beauty Room, reveals the right ways to mask to ensure your skin gets ALL the benefits from your pamper session.
Use a ‘taking’ mask
A ‘taking’ mask is one that unclogs, degunks and smooths skin. “There are factors like humidity, pollution, heat and diet that can clog, congest and make the skin sluggish, which is why a ‘taking’ mask is important to rebalance the skin’s function,” explains Field. Masks that contain charcoal, clay or salicylic acid generally fit into the ‘taking’ masks category. Field loves Murad’s Pore Extractor Pomegranate Mask, which contains clay to exfoliate, but has a creamy texture that is soothing and won’t strip skin of moisture. “Besides pomegranate, which acts as a natural astringent, the mask has volcanic clay that acts like a magnet to help extract impurities and excess oil,” says Field.
Use a ‘giving’ mask
In addition to a ‘taking’ mask, it’s important to also use a ‘giving’ mask to replenish skin. “Lack of sleep, illness, stress and alcohol can rob the skin’s health and vitality,” explains Field. “Therefore, it’s important to maintain optimal skin by replenishing skin with a ‘giving’ mask.” Typically, you’ll find ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamins A C and E, oligopeptides, peptides and/or niacinamide in ‘giving’ masks. The Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask is full of vitamins “that can establish skin health and strength while minimising line and wrinkles,” says Field. “You can apply a ‘giving’ mask straight after a ‘taking’ mask if you feel your skin requires it, but it does not need to happen.” Instead, feel free to alternate between the two, depending on what your skin needs.
Remove it the right way
Tempted to hop in the shower to remove your mask quick-smart? Turns out that there’s a special way you should be doing it. When washing your mask off in the shower, splash your face with water rather than putting your face near the shower head. “The water pressure and heat destroy the acid mantle, which is the skin’s natural protective barrier,” explains Field. “When the barrier is impaired like this, the skin will start getting more dehydrated, dry and can go sensitive. Also, the same heat and pressure can break capillaries.” Who knew?!
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.