The Jump Start month continues. Today’s simple piece of holiday/summer prep is to use a face pack or mask/masque to give your complexion a boost. It’s also a nice opportunity to relax and take it easy while it does its work.
Different face masks have different effects, but they usually do one of the following:
- Absorb excess oil
- Help to hydrate the skin
- Moisturise or add oil to the skin
- Exfoliate / brighten
They can’t do much more than that, because, unlike moisturisers, they aren’t on your skin for hours at a time. Anyway, this is one of the areas where you can use home made products and get good effects, although I would say that if you’re prone to breakouts then you’re best to stay away from any food-based recipes. Also, if you have sensitive skin, it might be better to avoid the exfoliating products.
If you have oily or combination skin, try using an oil-absorbing mask for 10-15 minutes. The best ones have clay, mud or activated charcoal in them, and the cheap ones work in the same way as the expensive ones. I’ve had really good results with Superdrug’s Aloe Vera Mud Therapy mask, £2.59 for 75ml, which I’ve found better than products costing £15 and over. Simple Deep Cleansing Facial Mask, £3.99, also works for most people.
To hydrate the skin, try honey, mashed banana, thick Greek yoghurt, or fine oatmeal mixed with a little water. These are all gentle, as well a being cheap, and they add moisture without adding grease. Apply and relax for up to 30 minutes, then wash off thoroughly. You could also buy a hydrating mask, but the home remedies are easier and more cost effective.
For a moisturising mask, you can try half a mashed avocado, a few drops of olive or almond oil, or just a thick layer of your most gentle moisturiser. Smooth on, wait for 10-15 minutes, then tissue off.
Exfoliating or brightening masks usually contain enzymes or other ingredients that remove dead skin cells and other impurities. Don’t leave them on for longer than the recommended time as that can cause irritation, and keep the product away from the eye area. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Renewal Face Mask is a gel product that’s good value at £4.99, and it’s regularly on offer for £2.49 (stock up this week while it’s cheap).
And of course, your face mask experience is only complete if you remember to sit back and completely relax for a few minutes while the mask gets to work. Cucumber slices or cold tea bags over the eyes are optional extras, but they do seem to work.
Do you have any favourite cheap face masks? Or is it better to make your own at home?