Facial masks are having a moment, thanks to fast results and fun social-media
With a boom in face masks in the last few seasons, that old-time ritual of putting on a face mask in the privacy of one’s home is seriously passé.
“Masking” is well out in the open, and Lev Glazman, a founder of the Fresh skin-care line, credits millennials on Instagram for the proliferation of face mask products.
“When you look at what millennials love, they like to see something that happens quickly. That’s what you can get with a mask: the instant effect,” he says.
Such popularity has spawned a truly diverse range of offerings: sheet masks, mud masks, overnight masks, bubbling masks, splash masks and more. Below, we’ve done the legwork (facework?) and put together a facial mask primer.
The newest on the block, splash masks originated in Korea and are meant to play nicely with your in-shower lineup. Simply do your usual regimen, then splash on the mask and rinse off. On a trial run, the Blithe Soothing and Healing Green Tea Splash Mask ($45 at Sephora) offered a refreshing quality and, surprisingly, an exfoliating effect courtesy of its concentrated lactic acid content.
These are novel for their texture — they actually froth — and claim oxygenating benefits. The effervescent Dr. Brandt Oxygen Flash Facial Recovery Mask ($70 at drbrandtskincare.com) produces a noticeable brightening effect.
When even Justin Bieber posts on Instagram about his sheet mask experience, this is a beauty trend that has gone pop. Slap on an individually packaged, serum-soaked sheet mask and come away with a more glowing countenance.
Daring souls will want to try the Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro Gel Mask ($8 at Ulta). It contains snail secretions (yes, it feels a little slimy) and offers nice skin softening and balancing benefits.
Mud or clay masks
The category has been around for awhile, but keeps mixing things up with new features. One recent arrival, GlamGlow’s GravityMud Firming Treatment ($69 at glamglow.com), boasts glacial clay to sop up oil and boost tone. And the mask turns from white to chrome (hello, Instagram!) after application.
Often found as creams, they can more recently be found in gel form, like the pretty translucent pink of the Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Mask ($52 at peterthomasroth.com). Hydrating masks are generally straightforward: They offer a boost of moisture for parched skin.
Though the idea of sloughing away sun damage sounds enticing, be cautious about strong ingredient like glycolic acid. Something with a vitamin C base might be a little safer, like Fresh’s newest offering, the Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask ($62 at fresh.com). The gel-paste is so citrus-heavy (a blend of oranges, lemons and clementines) you’ll actually feel the pulp as it goes on.
If moisture is what you’re after, it’s usually best to leave the mask on longer. That’s where sleeping masks, which profess to revitalize complexions while you snooze, come in. The Dior Hydra Life Jelly Sleeping Mask ($69 at dior.com), particularly, produced admirable skin-plumping.
If you’re willing to put your pillowcases to the test, these overnight self-tanning formulas, like the James Read Sleep Mask Tan for Face ($38 at Sephora), promise gradual (i.e. believable) results without staining bed linens.
When just one product won’t do, Origins offers a new mask primer, with the name Maskimizer ($22 at origins.com). The spray claims to prep skin for mask treatments, though we can’t say for certain that a long hot shower wouldn’t do just as well.