Come winter weather we get two extreme opposites of temperature. Outside cold weather, wind adding to chill factor. Inside central heating, fan heater in car. The air is drier, less humidity and, unless we have plenty of oils in our skin, the water that is in there can evaporate and leave our skin just that little bit tight.
What can we do? 1) Ditch low fat foods and eat more vegetables and nuts; 2) add a serum to our skincare regime; 3) change moisturiser; 4) use a mask.
We can do 1 of these, or all of these. Right now, I’m talking about #4.
When I was younger, much younger and I didn’t trust commercial masks, I used to make my own. I love the smell of honey but when you’re eating it, you’re not normally up close and personal with it on your nose for 20 minutes. The same goes for bananas. I went off honey and bananas (separately) for a while after using them as masks. The food masks were pretty intense and worked quite well but the scent and yukky feeling was just overbearing.
Many years later and I’m so relieved that I don’t need to use food as masks because cosmetic masks are just so much more sophisticated, scientific and efficient than they ever were. These aren’t just rich emollients you slap on your face to moisturise, they give extras.
Epionce’s Enriched Firming Mask has a texture that is very like the masks of the French cosmetic houses of the 1980s and 90s. As the name suggests, it is very rich. Applied over cleansed skin, it calms like magic and dampens any inflammation. At the same time, it strengthens the skin’s natural protective barrier. In clinic, this mask is recommended to be used after peels, microdermabrasion and laser procedures, so at home it is great for inflamed skin and very dry skin that needs hydration.
Environ’s Hydrating Exfoliant Masque (used to be Claytech) works for all skin types. You apply a thin layer and leave it initially for 10 minutes before you wash it off. The next time you can leave it for longer, gradually working up to 20 minutes and, if you so wish, overnight, although for most people 20 minutes is sufficient. It gently exfoliates the skin and balances the oils so if your skin is dry, it will be left hydrated. If your skin is oily, it will be left less oily. The trick is when you apply it, to imagine the front door bell goes. If you’re too ashamed to answer it with this mask, you’ve got too much on.
Dermaviduals Enzyme Renewal works a little like the Hydrating Exfoliant Masque above. It exfoliates the skin and is very effective for rosacea and reactive skins. This is freshly made up for you and is part of the Dermaviduals range of bespoke treatments.
When Dr Des Fernandez brought out his Intensive Revival Masque last year (Nov 2014) the beauty press loved it. Dr Des wanted to create a face lift in a bottle and his dream became reality. A blend of Asiatic, lactic and mandelic acid, the ingredients penetrate gradually into the skin and induce renewal by lowering the skin’s pH. In short, it brightens and smooths the skin. For a summary of press reviews, see this..
Best used in the evening, apply a small amount (20p size) to cleansed skin and leave for 10 minutes before washing off. Gradually work your way up to leaving it on for up to 20 minutes and then overnight. If you have a home dermal roller, you can needle your skin before applying this masque.