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By Alex Orfila

Spending more time at home? There’s never been a better time to indulge in masking. Incorporating masks into your skincare routine is the perfect way to take it to the next level. However, like all things self-care related it can be a somewhat time-consuming activity and not ideal for those on the go.

After all, all too often our skincare routine is limited to a few precious minutes in the mornings between breakfast and teeth brushing. That just leaves us with the evening – but after the stresses of a long day time has a magical way of quickly evaporating, and before you know it your bed is calling. Once sleepiness takes over the thought of a half hour masking session suddenly sounds like the most laborious of chores (although to me, it would still sound like pure bliss).

Like all things in life, timing is key. Schedule in your masking time, perhaps set a day in the week or weekend (or twice a week if you’re feeling adventurous) which best suits you and try to stick to it. My preferred times for masking are Sundays because that is generally the day when I have least to do and #SelfCareSunday is a great tag on Instagram! I also like to mask on a random night in the week because for a beauty nerd such as myself is a nice distraction from the busy working week.

There are a range of masks to cater to all skin concerns. Whether your skin is dull and lacking a little lustre, parched and in need of a little hydration, or you’re after some serious cleansing to unclog pores. Allow me to introduce you to some masking heroes who can come to the rescue. All you have to do is:

Take a deep breath. Unwind. Mask.

Sheet Masks
Sheet masks have taken the beauty world by storm, perhaps cause they’re so accessible, cost effective and easy to use. You can even find some of them in your local supermarket with prices starting from a couple of pounds. These masks are infused with serums and are perfect for giving skin a hydration boost.

Garnier Vitamin C Shot: Garnier has a range of really effective and good value sheet masks. I particularly enjoyed their Vitamin C infused offering. £2.66

Dr. Jart: Korean beauty is a hot trend at the moment and Dr. Jart is at the helm. They have a whole range of skincare products but are best known for their fun and brightly coloured range of rubber sheet masks.

Pictured: Bright Lover Rubber Mask £10

There’s never been a better time to indulge in masking. 

Clay Masks
Clay masks are perfect for congested skin. Renowned for containing natural properties and for their pore unclogging capabilities, there are few things as deep cleansing as a clay mask.
Origin’s Clear Improvement: £22.50

This offering by Origins is packed with pore unclogging goodness. White China clay is said to absorb toxins whilst bamboo charcoal draws out dirt, the perfect recipe for troubled skin.

Peels
Peeling masks are great for reviving dull looking skin as they slough away dead skin cells to reveal a smooth and radiant glow. However as is the case with all acid-based skincare, tread with caution, always start gradually and wear a high factor SPF when you next go outside.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: £6.30

This potent mask by The Ordinary is a 10 minutes exfoliating mask. Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) exfoliate the skins top layer whilst beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) penetrate to clear congested pores. A great combination to clear blemishes and to freshen skin.

Exfoliating masks
These are a great option for those who prefer a physical scrub to a peel. Exfoliating masks are great at deeply cleansing skin and washing away dead skin cells.
Fresh, Sugar Face Polish: 21g £21

This sugar scrub is packed with plum seed and grape seed oil to hydrate skin, with some added brown sugar – a great natural exfoliator. This product offers a gentle exfoliation and is a great option for those starting out on their masking journey.

Like all things in life, timing is key.

Hydrating masks
Deep hydration masks are to dry skin what a pint of cool water is to an exhausted athlete who has just run a marathon. Thirst quenching, invigorating and refreshing. They lend themselves best to days spent at home as the majority of these tend to be overnight masks. The reason for this being that they are usually quite thick and heavy so it’s best to leave them on all day if you’re staying in or just before bed to absorb overnight.
Summer Fridays: Jet Lag Mask 28g £22.50

This brand has acquired cult status in the beauty world. This cool blue tube has been photographed by thousands of bloggers throughout Instagram but there’s definitely more to this mask than cool packaging.

Espa Overnight Hydration Therapy: £37

An absolute life saver when it comes to dehydrated skin. This thick mask is beauty sleep in a jar – it nourishes your skin whilst you sleep and you will most definitely see the difference in the morning. Calm and wellbeing is at the heart of this brand and it is no surprise that this product has a heady lavender scent that will send you off to sleep in no time.

This thick mask is beauty sleep in a jar.

Mask Technology
Beauty tools are a new and exciting way in which technology and beauty are coming together. The most notable beauty devices out there are cleansing devices such as electric brushes. Now technology has stepped up to enhance masking too. Meet the Foreo UFO mini (pictured), which works by emitting LED lights which target a range of skin concerns. Red light is renowned for being collagen stimulating, blue light is bacteria battling whilst purple light is said to be anti-inflammatory and radiance boosting. The Foreo UFO also releases T-Sonic waves to relax facial tension and enhance the absorbing of the mask’s essence.

All you have to do is attach a sheet mask disc to the device, which links up to your phone. You then select which mask you are using and the device will start the masking routine. You then navigate it across your face and voila, you have just given yourself a fabulous 90-second facial.

Foreo UFO Mini: £159
Glow Addict- UFO Activated Mask (pack of 6): £19.99
Call it a Night – UFO Activated Mask (pack of 6): £9.99

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