Anyone who knows you will tell you that I’m a skincare addict. It’s part and parcel of the job of a beauty editor – lecturing people about SPF, interviewing dermatologists, researching ingredients, and trying new products. Face masks are a big feature in my own personal skincare routine – I have dehydrated but breakout prone skin, so I rely on them to help clear lurking congestion and to give my skin instant moisture boosts.
Since lockdown began and I started working from home, my skin has massively benefited from the extra time I’ve been able to spend on my skincare routine – ice rolling every morning, eye patches during Zoom calls, and of course, face masks at any and every time of the day. As a beauty editor, I get sent a lot of products to try, but don’t always have the time to try them.
Since I set myself the challenge of working my way through my extensive mask collection, here’s what I’ve tried so far…
Yes To White Charcoal Mud Mask
This has to be one of the best masks I’ve used so far – if not this year. Far more than just your average clay mask, it’s made with white charcoal (a softer alternative to the black stuff, which makes it more suited to skin that’s prone to dryness and sensitivity). In fact, I’d recommend it to any skin type, since no one wants to strip their skin of its natural oils and risk damaging their moisture barrier. The applicator is great too – you squeeze it out of the middle of a sponge which you can then use to paint the mask onto your face, no fingers required.
Gallinee Probiotic Face Mask
Another mask that I’m obsessed with and recommend to everyone I know. Since learning about the skincare benefits of probiotics last year, I’ve become obsessed with using products that contain them. This is part mask and part scrub, so a good all-rounder for clearing and smoothing skin, but won’t irritate sensitive skin or acne, or damage your skin’s barrier. In fact, it’s one of the few clay-based masks that’s gentle enough to use a few times a week.
Upcircle Face Mask
I’m a big fan of Upcircle’s face scrubs so I had high hopes for this mask, and guess what? It did not disappoint. It’s perfect for combination skin types because it contains hydrating ingredients like coconut, olive, and cocoa butter alongside cleansing kaolin clay, which helps to draw out buildup, impurities, and excess oils.
Mario Badescu Rose Hips Mask
We all know and love the benefits of rose hip – balancing oil production, fading pigmentation, and healing scars, but not everyone is a fan of using an oil on their skin… Thankfully Mario Badescu have saved the day (once again) by packing the vitamin-rich ingredient into this calming clay mask. I observed all the benefits of rose hip (softer and brighter skin) alongside an immediate reduction in the inflammation of my active blemishes.
Elemis Superfood Vital Veggie Mask
Applying this mask reminds me of the DIY masks I used to concoct out of ingredients from my mum’s fridge as a teenager. It smells like veggies (in a good way) but has the refined, creamy clay texture that you’d expect from a boujee brand like Elemis, and makes light work of smoothening and softening skin.
Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay Mask
If you like that satisfying face-about-to-crack feeling then this mask will be right up your street. Thanks to two different types of clay, witch hazel, lactic acid, and vitamin C, it has quite a tingling effect – but is 100% worth it for the end result – brighter, smoother skin. Top tip: This one was quite stubborn when it came to removal, so soak it off with a warm flannel rather than rubbing.
Rodial Pink Diamond Mask
I don’t think I’ve ever used so many sheet masks as I have during lockdown – not wearing any makeup really does lend itself to ‘round the clock hydration. I love Rodial’s sheet masks because they’re not too big, don’t slip down my face, and give me the kind of glow it normally takes five different highlighters to achieve.
Dr Jart Shake & Shot Rubber Firming Mask
I’ve had this rather unusual packaging sat staring at me (literally) from my bathroom shelf for some time now because I knew it would require some DIY – but what better time like now to get hands on? The process was relatively simple – combining the two formulas then shaking them together (like a skincare cocktail) before applying to skin, leaving for twenty minutes, and then peeling off. Not only the most fun I’ve had with a face mask in ages, but it really plumped up my skin.
Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mask
This one was totally not what I expected it to be! Thick and buttery, you apply it all over before massaging in with wet fingertips to activate the heat. Without a doubt the closest I’ve got to a spa treatment in my own bathroom and it made my skin feel insanely soft afterwards. Worth the price.
Dr Hauschka Clarifying Clay Mask
This one also requires a bit of DIY – it’s a finely milled powder so you just need to mix in some water to create a more familiar mask texture. It takes some trial and error (learn from my mistakes and don’t add too much water!) but results in a lovely formula that makes skin feel clean but calm afterwards. You need to use so little that I can imagine it will last forever.