A few years ago, nearly overnight, masking became a part of my regular beauty routine. I’ve barely been able to live without them, partially because the masks of today are just so quick. When I think about my beauty routine in, say, 1997, the outward results of a 20-minute Bioré or Neutrogena purifying mask were so… underwhelming. And messy. These days, all I need is 10 minutes of pampering with any one of my masks from anywhere in the world, and I have suddenly eliminated impurities, moisturized, and full of an honest, healthy glow.
The immediate effect masks have on our skin create the perfect base for any treatment to follow, and according to any expert I’ve asked over the years, masks accelerate results. The energy boost and the removal of dead skin cells are also key, but most importantly, they create a barrier against internal aggressors and free radicals. There is now a mask for every type of problem, and I am here to tell you all of the masks that I, dedicated beauty addict, will be using in the coming year.
Exfoliating Foot Masks
Masks are no longer just for your face! Over the past few months all the buzz has been about exfoliating foot masks: they became a must have during the summer thanks to their super powers which leave the skin on your feet feeling baby-soft! For those who aren’t used to this, don’t be alarmed by what happens after wearing your magical “socks” (this is the most popular solution): after a few days, the outermost layers will come away, and calluses and imperfections will become a distant memory. Our favorite products include XERIAL PEEL by SVR, the first ever dermatological exfoliating mask that combines a peeling action with intensive hydration.
Plenty of products coming out of Korea are also definitely worth trying. For example: Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid by TonyMoly, a Korean skincare brand, which is available in Italy at Sephora.
The kit comes with two plastic socks, 2 doses of liquid exfoliant and a sample-sized moisturizer. To apply the mask all you have to do is put on the socks and pour the liquid exfoliant in each sock (one dose per sock). Then, secure that both socks are “sealed” well and let sit for an hour and a half. After that, remove the socks and rinse feet thoroughly, then apply moisturizer. As we mentioned at the beginning, you won’t notice anything immediately but after 4-5 days, your feet will begin peeling (this will last for about a week). The results? Super smooth feet!
Exfoliating Facial Masks
Obviously, a facial exfoliating mask won’t have the same effect on your face as what we described in relation to foot masks – and we can be very grateful for that. Facial masks are very delicate, and eliminate dead skin cells in order to brighten, moisturize and make skin uniform. My favorite three: GLAMGLOW Youthmud Exfoliating and Moisturizing Mask which contains collagen and antioxidants, PATCHOLOGY FlashMasque Milk Peel, a delicate cloth mask that you leave on for five minutes and finally, SKINFOOD Black Sugar Honey Mask Wash Off, containing Brazilian black sugar, which is rich in minerals and moisturizing honey resulting in skin that is immediately softer.
The Latest Trend: Gold Masks
We may have Glossier’s #maskforce to thank for the latest big trend to emerge in the world of beauty: the mask selfie. Stars like Bar Rafaeli and Kate Hudson know this all too well as they post selfies on Instagram while they go through their beauty routines. So what masks to the divas prefer? The gold mask. Just like the Golden Treatment, the mask containing gold leaf and developed by facialist Mimi Luzon, leaves your skin glowing immediately. It is made of ingredients that can stimulate cell renewal, and also contains peach and red tea extracts, along with Coenzyme 10 and hyaluronic acid, all of which ensure hydration. Definitely worth trying at the salon (for example, as a treatment you can gift yourself for Christmas).