While serums and creams are effective, a mask will work harder to seal in moisture while serving double-duty on problems like dullness, acne, and fine lines. Masks always work just a little bit harder to get your complexion calm and glow-y in a short amount of time. Because the outer layer of your skin has to work to keep up with the extra water loss, your skin gets drier than the desert and makes your rosy glow fade because of the dead skin cells that accumulate on the outer layer. While it's important to keep cleansing, moisturizing, and hydrating with cleansers, serums, and lotions, masks can restore and protect that outer layer of your skin that's always so effected, and can even defend against further damage if used regularly.
I use all sorts of different masks that are both drugstore-bought and from specialty beauty stores, but here are the five that I've found to help me the most when my skin is at its thirstiest. As I've said time and time again, everyone's skin is different - so if you're looking for something specific and one doesn't work, just remember that practice makes perfect!
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask ($48). Get this ASAP if your skin has got a serious case of the mean reds. Made from the healing red sap of the sangre de drago tree in the Amazon (how it gets it's name), it soothes inflamed skin by drenching it with moisture and infusing it with antioxidants. The hyaluronic acid immediately firms skin and plumps up fine lines, easing the appearance of wrinkles. Bonus: This mask is clear, so it can even be worn overnight and washed off in the morning if you need some extreme help with dryness.
Fresh Rose Face Mask ($62). This little tub packs a major punch for dull skin. It hydrates and tones with a cooling gel that's skillfully infused with rosewater and real rose petals (two and half roses per jar!) - and it quickly became a favorite among beauty addicts. It uses cucumber and aloe vera to reduce inflammation and redness, calming the skin to leave it looking dewy and refreshed. After using it over and over, my skin is as soft as a baby's bottom and looks brighter and more even overall.
3. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55). I'm sorry (#notsorry), but I can't stop recommending Tata Harper products. As I've mentioned before, the entire line is 100% natural, making it ideal for sensitive skin. This incredible jar of jelly goop - because that's what it looks and feels like, no joke - always leaves my skin with an amazing rosy radiance. It minimizes the appearance of pores, sloughing off dead cells and leaving your skin smoother and brighter, and feeling massively fresh. Love, love, love this, and I cannot imagine living without it now.Consonant Skincare DHE Mask ($45). The three majors of the skin world: Detoxify, Hydrate, and Exfoliate. It's all in the name! This 100% all-natural mask is a serious multitasker, and can be used just once a week over a six week stint in order to see results. Manicouagan Clay from an asteroid crash in Quebec (what in the world?!) is full of minerals that clarify skin, while a variety of oils nourish and hydrate. Add in a batch of fruit enzymes to gently exfoliate, and you get the appearance of your most healthy and refreshed skin ever.
5. Dr. Jart + Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask ($48). Why not get a mask that works for you while you sleep? Made from a quick-absorbing gel that strengthens skin and delivers insane amounts of moisture, this mask gives new definition to the term "beauty sleep." While a mixture of essential oils aids you in getting your best night of shut eye in weeks, hyaluronic acid replenishes and locks in the added moisture deep throughout the dermal layer of skin. You don't even need to rinse it off! Just let it sit for 10 minutes, and slip between the covers to catch some Z's. Oh, and by the way - the fact that you don't have to splash water all over your face also makes this mask perfect for jet-setters on long layovers.
How do you survive winter weather and dry skin? We'd love to hear what masks you're using! Leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay warm out there, hippies!