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How to Multi Mask to Really Improve Your Skin's Healthy Glow

11 Jul, 2017
By Daniela Massenz
Winter's the perfect time to catch up on beauty maintenance. And you can max out your efforts with this year's biggest skin-care trend - multi masks!
 
Funny thing - winter can be almost more taxing on the skin than summer. Unless we protect it, it looks worse as it becomes dry, flaky - even cracking - in the cold, dry air. But this is a good time to recharge. Firstly, the exposure to UV rays is reduced (although in SA, it's still pretty up there), so you can do some serious repair to the damage from summer living.
 
Google have rated masking as their top searched item for beauty this year, nogal. Small wonder - what's better than cocooning your skin and yourself with a weekly masking session? Your hair wrapped in a turban, your face smothered in delicious layers of cream, the bathroom door closed... giving yourself a little time, gentleness and silence is more than just indulgence. It's a time when you can centre yourself and get away from the demands of your life.
 
So which mask do you choose and how do you use it? And why is multi masking the best thing for your skin? Let us help to, er, unmask everything for you.

On your masks

Masks play a very important role in skin care. These intensive treatments are concentrated cocktails of active ingredients that give the skin a deep boost, and they cater for all skin problems, and improve the effect of your regular skin care.
 
The biggest trend now is multimasking - customising your masks to suit your skin's personal needs, after all, one mask doesn't fit all - your cheek area may be dry, and your t-zone oily and prone to breakouts. Using different masks for different purposes in layers or together is the best way to create a tailor-made solution that works for you.
 
There are many options available - creams, gels, patches, sheet masks, peel-off masks - even magnetic masks.

Masking taped - how you do it

The reason for the effectiveness of masks is simple: with creams and sheets, the layer that covers the skin creates a seal that helps the active ingredients to penetrate. Contrary to a regular skin cream, the contact time of a mask on the skin is short but intense, with rapid results.
 
  • Always read the instructions for method of application as well as for the length of time it must stay on your skin.
  • Plan your mask after your shower or bath, as the warmth and steam helps to soften pores and melt any clogging oil.
  • Apply your mask to clean skin, after exfoliating to remove dry patches, etc.
  • When layering, the order is also important. Soft masks should always go first, followed by a clay or mud-based mask. Apply masks that take longer to work first, shorter ones after.
  • All skins, including oily and problem skins, can become dehydrated, especially in winter, with heating and dry cold, especially if it's become sensitised because of the chilly weather. So everyone should use a hydrating, soothing mask as their starter mask to relieve dryness and tightness. It also preps your skin and makes it less prone to irritation if you’re using a very active second mask. Then apply your other masks either to specific areas (like your oily t-zone or eye area), or over the entire face to brighten and work on pigmentation, sun damage, etc.

Hydrating and soothing/calming masks

For which skins: All skins, expecially those that are dehydrated, dry or sensitive, showing signs of fatigue (ashiness, redness, dry lines) or 'mature'.
Nourishing and hydrating masks contain lipid-rich plant oils (safflower grapeseed, flaxseed, etc.), and moisturizing ingredients like glycerine and hyaluronic acid.
Soothing masks are rich in soothing and anti-inflammatory actives such as camomile, cucumber, allantoin and milk protein, calming irritation and redness. Their texture is as calming as to their concentration of ingredients.
 
For which problems: These masks help to rebuild hydration reserves in the skin, relieve signs of tension, leaving the skin soft and supple, softening lines and relaxing the features.
 
How you use them: Apply the mask generously, avoiding the eye area (don't go closer than the eye socket bone unless it says you can). Massage it for a few seconds. Follow application time instructions.
 
Once the time is up, remove the excess by blotting off with a tissue, but let the rest be absorbed into your skin.
 
Take note of the speed at which the mask is absorbed into your skin. This is a good indicator of the state of hydration of your skin. The faster it absorbs, the more dehydrated it is.
 
Frequency: for dehydrated skins: once a week until skin has regained good hydration, then twice a month.
 
Our choice:
Hydrating: Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque, Avène's Essential Care Hydrating Mask, IQ Dermatreat Rescue Mask.
Sensitive skins: Bioderma Sensibio Masque, BioNike Defence Rosys Soothing Mask.
 
Related: How to Seriously Improve Your Skincare Routine in a Few Easy Steps

Purifying, deep-cleansing and exfoliating masks

These are vital if you have oily skin or an oily t-panel, as they remove build-up in pores. Most deep-cleansing masks contain clays, muds and charcoal, that 'vacuum' impurities, stale oil and cell debris from the pores, preventing black heads and pimples. Or use exfoliating masks with chemical exfoliators like salicylic or glycolic acid.
 
For which skins: Combination or oily, shiny skins, and acne prone skins.
They also suit people who have dull and deoxygenated complexions, so they're great for smokers and for those who battle with adult acne and an oily t-panel.
 
If you have sensitive skin, use a clay-based mask, but test it first with a patch test on your forearm if your skin is very delicate and dehydrated, if you’re worried about a reaction.
 
Frequency: Once or twice a week, following instructions. You can use it on the whole face if your skin is very oily and congested (blackheads, pimples, etc.), or apply it only on your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) if you have a combination skin or have stress-related shine and breakouts. If your skin is very delicate, apply it once a month for 10 minutes.
 
Our choice:
Purifying, deep-cleansing masks: Dermalogica MediBac Sebum Clearing Masque, L'Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask, Young Solution Deep Clean Purifying Charcoal Mask, Freeman Clay Mask Avocado and Oatmeal, Clarins Normalizing Facial Mask, Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask.
Exfoliating mask: Clarins Gentle Facial Peeling, Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Peel and Reveal Revitalizing Mask (with grapeseed oil, glycolic and salicylic acid), Yardley Oatmeal Brightening Scrub/Mask.
 
Related: All About Acne: Myths, Facts and Best Advice

Ageing repair masks

These contain ingredients that counteract signs of ageing (retinol, fruit acids, powerful antioxidants, peptides, etc.) and which help to recapture the radiance, firmness and lift of a youthful skin. Using them will help to give the skin a serious boost and help it to attain those desirable qualities - at least temporarily.
 
They can also treat uneven skin tone and lighten dark pigmentation with ingredients like licorice, vitamin C and kojic acid.
 
Our choice:
Anti-Aging Masks: Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Mask Boost, Environ Intensive Revival Mask, Clarins Extra-Firming Mask, Clinique Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask, Gatineau Melatogenine Futur Plus Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Mask.
Skin brightening: Skin Republic 2 Step Brightening Vitamin C & Collagen Face Mask.
 
Related: Pigmentation and Dark Spots Explained: Everything You Need to Know

Eyes bright

Your eyes show up tiredness, poor circulation and bad lifestyle habits as puffiness, irritation and dark rings. A few early nights, drinking lots of water and reducing stress will help, but in an emergency, try a disappearing trick. The magic makers? Eye masks work in minutes to soften lines, decongest puffiness and constrict blood vessels to get rid of dark rings.
 
Patches designed for the eyes will have been tested stringently to be hypo-allergenic.
 
Put your eye masks in the fridge as this helps to relieve puffiness and feels fantastic.
 
Our choice:
Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash, Dermactin-ts Eye Renewal Concentrated Dark Circle Treatment, Skin Republic Collagen Under Eye Patch 18g, Skin Republic Brightening Eye Mask.
 
Related: Expert Advice on How to Totally Fix Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Instant fixes

These little miracle workers wipe away signs of fatigue and strain, deflating under-eye pouches and illuminating dull skin in a few moments. They are emergency fix-its for sleepless nights or overworked days, and they have an immediate and long-term restorative effect.
 
For which skins: All. They're great for an express beauty treatment before a night out.
 
How you use them: Apply them in a thick layer and leave to act, following instructions. Wipe off any excess and apply make-up immediately.
 
Frequency: as often as necessary.
 
Our choice: Clarins’ legendary Beauty Flash Balm, Freeman Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask, L'Oréal Pure Clay Facial Mask 50ml Glow.

And now the caution

Please don't overdo it in your enthusiasm. Less is definitely more, as overuse of masks can lead to irritation, blocked pores and skin stress, especially if you're doing purifying treatments or using highly active anti-ageing ingredients. Follow the guidelines and feel and see the difference on your skin.
 
Happy masking!

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Avene Essential Care Soothing Moisture Mask

Bioderma Sensibio Mask - Sensitive Intolerant Skin

BioNike Defence Rosys Soothing Mask

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream

Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask

Dermactin Eye Renewal - Dark Circle Cream

Freeman Diamond Mineral Rinse Mask

Freeman Facial Clay Mask Avocado and Oatmeal

IQ Dermatreat Rescue Mask - All Skin Types

L'Oreal Pure Clay Mask - Detox

L'Oreal Pure Clay Mask - Glow

L'Oreal Pure Clay Mask - Purity

Skin Republic Brightening Eye Mask

Skin Republic Brightening Vitamin C Mask

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patch

Skin Republic Collagen Infusing Mask

Yardley Oatmeal Brightening Scrub Mask Even Skin

Young Solution Deep Clean Purifying Charcoal Mask

How-To Multi-Mask with L'Oréal® Paris Pure Clay Masks and Katerina Williams

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