Product education series: Masques

Product education series: Masques

The application of a face masque is a sure-fire way to improve the overall appearance of your skin, especially at times such as this when a professional treatment isn’t an option. Masques have been designed for a variety of purposes, including deep-cleansing, hydrating, brightening and exfoliating.

Many commercial masques are formulated with a great amount of water which will feel cooling and soothing but do not offer your skin much more benefit beyond that! The real benefits of a face masque come from the response of the vascular system in the dermis to active ingredients in the masque. Combined with the physical drying of the masque, cellular activity is stimulated and circulation is boosted.

With so many masque options it can be tricky deciding which one is right for your skin. Here is a guide to a selection of the masques we stock, love and recommend:

Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask

A decadent, thick chocolatey paste that combines cacao, herbs and oils. I recommend this one for skin prone to congestion, breakouts and post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (stubborn marks left behind after a pimple). Cacao effectively stimulates and triggers circulation which assists in nutrient delivery, and supports the skin’s natural healing ability. The constriction of tissue coupled with the stimulating properties of the masque puts your skin under a healthy amount of stress to provide a fresh, flushed look. Skin will look a little pink but also plumped, smoothed and pores will be less visible.

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Masque

This masque has a texture similar to an ointment. On contact with the warmth of you skin, it turns into a thick, luxurious oil. It is specifically designed to hydrate and does so by forming an occlusive barrier which prevents moisture from escaping. The addition of Indian Senna Seed, a botanical source of Hyaluronic acid, encourages the tissue to soak up and store the trapped moisture. It can be left on for 20 minutes, a few hours or even overnight for an intense moisture boost! If you like to multi-task, why not massage some in before taking the dog for an early morning walk?

Odacite Bioactive Rose Gommage

A soothing gel that combines resurfacing enzymes with hydrating hyaluronic acid for a professional, french-style treatment. I recommend this masque for those who are prone to congestion but are also dehydrated. This product can be left to set on the skin before removing with warm water or you can buff it off with your fingertips for further exfoliation. This product is also a great alternative to a physical exfoliant if you have sensitive or easily stimulated skin.

Odacite Synergie{4} Immediate Skin Perfecting Beauty Masque

A traditional clay based, powder masque that required activation with water. While I know most of you love the convenience of a premixed masque, it can be a really nice ritual to mix your own. And this one is worth the extra minute of effort! Combining the benefits of enzymes, vitamin C, clay and probiotics, this masque offers brightening, tightening and purifying in one application. This masque is suitable for all skin types, particularly those concerned with uneven skin tone. If your skin is on the drier side, try mixing in a few drops of your favourite facial oil.

Living Libations Green Papaya & Lime AHA Mask

In the treatment room, this is my go-to mask for sensitive or fragile skin. In saying that, all skin types can benefit from this lightweight aloe and jojoba based gel. Horsetail and Comfrey fortify and strengthen capillaries while rosewater hydrates. Massage onto the skin to activate the exfoliating activity of fruit enzymes which breakdown rough patches of skin. Suitable for use a few times weekly or can be left on as an overnight treatment. To enhance it’s cooling and soothing properties, pop it in the fridge about half hour before use. Being clear, it’s the perfect travel companion too!

Lesse Bioactive Face Masque

A unique product in that it is a purifying wet style masque. I tend to recommend this one for congested, dehydrated skin that is also sensitive. Charcoal and Kaolin clay offer mild astringency to deep cleanse the skin and improve the appearance of larger pores but because it doesn’t set/dry, skin feels soft and supple after removal. Tea tree oil is antibacterial and tackles active breakouts while the addition of Calendula encourages healing.

A few notes and tips:

  • If you are really pressed for time, you can apply a masque while cooking or cleaning. However, I strongly suggest you sit or lie down for 10 minutes instead! Use your masque time as an opportunity to rest. Relaxation allows the skin to heal, gives our adrenal glands a break and boosts our immune system.

  • The frequency of masque application will really depend on your individual skin. Consistency is key with a skin care routine but it’s also important not to be too rigid. It’s better to assess your skin on a weekly basis and determine if it feels like it needs a masque and if so, what type. Every 7-10 days is a good time frame to work with.

  • Do not overuse exfoliating masques as you risk removing healthy cells which can increase redness and lead to dehydration.

  • If using a clay based masque, it’s important not to leave it on too long. To avoid drying out your skin, remove the masque just as it starts to set.

  • To remove your masque, I recommend using a damp, very warm muslin cloth. Gently compress your face with the cloth to allow the steam to loosen the masque for easy, thorough removal. If traces remain, rinse the cloth, compress and gently wipe face again.

  • Remember to extend the application of your masque to your neck too. If using a hydrating masque, you can even apply to the decolletage.

  • Following the removal of your masque, I recommend misting the skin with a facial hydrosol or applying a gentle toner to break the surface tension of the skin. This will allow your moisturiser to absorb more effectively. For a mini at home facial, try massaging in about 3 drops of your favourite facial oil for a few minutes. Try a combination of small circular motions and long strokes. This will further stimulate circulation, tone muscles and assist with lymphatic drainage (toxin removal).

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