So here we are: stuck inside, wondering why our skin looks so lacklustre and thinking about how we can take up some time doing something about it. The answer? Apply a face mask.
It’s a step in your routine that is usually deemed a luxury, but in these trying times, it is practically a necessity, least of all because it gives us something to do in the strange limbo that floats between finishing work and having dinner.
There are many to choose from depending on your budget and skin concerns. The good thing is that with face masks, more expensive doesn’t always necessarily mean the best.
You can, for example, spend upwards of £80 on a mask that will last just 10 applications. Nonesuch products have been included in this list, which features a range of facial-worthy skin saviours at varying price points.
Those at the higher end are worth it thanks to their high-quality ingredients and longevity, while those at the lower end are truly excellent value for money. Give your skin the treat it deserves by investing in a face mask to enjoy during these testing times.
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Charlotte Tilbury goddess skin clay mask
This mask is award-winning for a reason – and it’s not just because its marketing has you believe it will give you “baby skin”. Luxuriously soft and creamy, this clay mask is a treat to apply. It also smells delightfully spa-like, which adds to the sense that it must be doing something truly wonderful to your skin. Like many of Charlotte Tilbury’s products, this one is based on a formula that was passed down to the namesake founder in Ibiza, which is where she’s from. It combines Spanish clay and sweet almond oil, hence why it feels so sumptuous on the skin. It also contains vitamin C, a rising product in the skincare world that is known for its brightening effect. We’ve awarded this our best buy as it was one of the few masks we tried that gave us instant results, immediately brightening our complexion and giving us that lockdown glow-up we were after. It’s not cheap (none of Tilbury’s products are), but it’s worth every penny and lasts longer than you think it will.
SkinCeuticals clarifying clay mask
When your skin is looking congested, look no further than this mask. The formula is rather paste-like on application (as are most clay masks) but it leaves a wonderful glow after wearing it for just 15 minutes. You do need to apply a rather thick layer in order to see the benefits, so use this product sparingly as a treat rather than on a weekly basis as the packet suggests.
Sand & Sky Australian pink clay porefining face mask
Cleansing and detoxifying, Sand and Sky's clay mask is great at giving the pores a deep clean and brightening the complexion. Yes, a lot of face masks do this, but this one contains the magic ingredient of Australian pink clay, which is renowned for its skin-boosting properties given how effective it is at drawing out impurities. Plus, this mask works its wonders in just 10 minutes, during which time it is busy regenerating skin cells and stimulating collagen. The result is a healthy and fresh glow.
Malin + Goetz detox face mask
This oxygenating gel mask deeply cleanses the skin in just five minutes, making it ideal for those who can’t be bothered to spend too long sitting still with a mask on (although, thanks to the lockdown, many of us have nothing but time on our hands). It strips your face of dirt, impurities and unwanted oils without leaving your skin feeling dry, thanks to the inclusion of vitamin E which makes the formula deeply hydrating. It is suitable for all skin types, but will really benefit those whose skin is feeling especially dry and dehydrated.
Dermalogica charcoal masque
Thanks to the charcoal, this mask’s main benefit is that it is ultra detoxifying. You can feel it penetrate the skin on application and the best part is you only need a small amount for it to work. Unlike many face masks, this one works best when a thin layer is applied, making it worth the high price tag. You can leave it on for just five minutes, too, and it will work well. Once removed with warm water, it should leave your skin feeling much cleaner and brighter. This is thanks to its myriad niche ingredients, such as volcanic ash, Chilean wild mint and bamboo extract.
Avène soothing radiance mask
This is an excellent choice for particularly sensitive skin, as Avène’s products are renowned for being gentle. This mask is hydrating and calming on tired or dehydrated complexions, so it is a good one to use after spending an afternoon basking in the spring sunshine from your garden. You can either leave this one on for 15 minutes or apply it as an overnight mask – we’d suggest the latter for very dehydrated skin in need of a moisture boost.
Organic Pharmacy enzyme peel mask
This gel-based mask is loaded with vitamin C and papaya – yes, the fruit – which combine to create a fresh brightening and exfoliating mask. Like all of Organic Pharmacy’s products, this one is organic (the clue’s in the name) and can be used twice a week. It can feel a tad tingly when applied, but that’s the enzyme peel working its magic. This leaves your skin looking brighter and clearer which was just what we were after during lockdown.
Biore rose quartz + charcoal stress relief clay mask
Bioré rose quartz + charcoal stress relief clay mask: £5.99, Feel Unique
This creamy clay-based mask is excellent value and combines natural charcoal with rose quartz, resulting in a rose gold formula that will look perfect on the ‘gram. Like all clay masks, it’s quite thick and can be a little gloopy when you are applying it, but it washes off easily. It left our skin looking dewy and bright, which is all one can hope for from a face mask. We’d definitely buy this one again.
The verdict: Face masks
Overall, Charlotte Tilbury’s clay mask has to take the top spot. While this product is on the more expensive side of the scale, it definitely has the biggest impact in terms of giving your skin an instant glow after application. So for those needing a quick pick-me-up during lockdown, it couldn’t be more perfect.
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