Thursday, 5 June 2014

Perfect Partners: Masks

Everyone loves a good face mask for a little pamper session. Recently I've been finding that layering up different face masks has been making a huge difference to my skin. I've found a couple that work really well used one after the other and wanted to share my thoughts and results in a post. 

Before I get started on the masks, I'd like to say that before I apply any mask I make sure my skin is clean and makeup free. I'd do this by using my usual cleanser of choice, either the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm or The Body Shop Silky Camomile Cleansing Oil. These melt away all dirt and makeup leaving a nice clean base for the mask.

Okay, firstly I use the Una Brennan Tea Flower Pore Purifying Clay Mask.

About the mask: 
This is your classic clay based mask. Clay masks are great for detoxing the skin as they pull out impurities and toxins from the skin that lead to breakouts and blemishes. They also remove excess oil from the surface of the skin, this particular mask is great as it does that without stripping the skin or making it feel dry.

It contains salicylic acid, one of my favourite ingredients. This ingredient is great for congested/blemished skin as instead of just working on the surface of the skin, is gets down into the pores and flushes out dirt, impurities and congestion, so your skin isn't clogged up from underneath. This means spots are less likely to form and your skin will be much healthier and pure from within the deeper layers. Its great for flushing away pesky blackheads, which I have noticed a visible difference in since using this mask more regularly. 

Once this mask has set, you can actually see where it has sunk into the pores and flushed them out. If you look around your nose/cheeks or anywhere you suffer from larger pores or blackheads, you'll see dots that are a slightly darker colour to the rest of the mask. That is where the salicylic acid has gone into the pore to flush them out. It's really cool to see.

It is then balanced with lots of lovely plant derived oils, that keep the moisture and balance within your skin. These include avocado, orange extract, honey and nettle. These include essential vitamins such as A, D and E to help keep your skin balanced and healthy. 

My results: 
After using this mask, my overall skin texture is much smoother. Pores around my cheeks are less visible and blackheads around my nose have been flushed out. Everything just looks much smoother and more flawless. Even though I always follow up with a good moisturiser and recommend that if you use this mask yourself to do so too, I don't feel like my skin has been completely stripped of moisture or feels uncomfortable and tight. 

Now, on to the mask I like to follow up with. This is the Vitamin E Sink In Moisture mask from The Body Shop. 

About the mask: 
This works perfectly for injecting moisture back into your skin after using a detox mask, or if your skin just needs a pick me up. I find this one works amazingly for dehydration. It would also work well for dry skin but the fact that it sinks in and really gets moisture down into the deeper layers of the skin is what makes it so great for dehydration. It is suitable for all skin types.

Vitamin E is a great ingredient to have in skincare. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your skin from damage caused by toxins and free radicals, while also replenishing and repairing skin cells that already have been damaged. 

After detoxing my skin and getting it as pure as possible, I move on to this mask. I see this as the chance to give my skin back everything it needs. The moisture in my skin is restored and overall my skin gets the chance to be nourished and replenished.

There are a few different ways to apply this mask, depending on how much you feel your skin needs it. 

Firstly, always apply a thin, even layer. You don't need much and the consistency is very thin. Don't be tempted to layer it on. 

1. Pop on for 10-20 minutes, the average time you'd apply a mask. Then simply wipe away with warm water and a flannel (always use a flannel, don't just splash your face with water), for a quick boost of moisture.

2. Leave on for a few hours. This is what I like to do. It really gives your skin the chance to absorb how ever much it needs. Again, washing away excess with warm water and a flannel. 

3. And lastly, sleep in it. Apply to a cleansed face before bed and sleep in it. It will sink in over night and in the morning you'll just have to wash your face as normal as there will probably be a small amount left over on the skin still. 

I find that when I apply this after using my detox mask, it has a really cooling effect on the skin that lasts the entire time you have the product on. It's really soothing and comforting. Ater using the detox mask, I feel this mask is able to do its job better and really sink down into the deeper layers of the skin. It really feels like a true pamper! 

I love that it really is doing good for my skin as well. I feel like detox masks or masks along those lines, just work on the appearance of the skin, working on spots and pores, whereas this one gives you the chance to really treat your skin from beneath and take care of it from not just the surface, so your skin is genuinely healthy instead of just looking it. 
My results: 
Super plump, fresh looking skin. My skin feels and looks much healthier after using this. You can really tell the mask has just given the skin everything it was lacking and restored it to the best condition. Overall appearance of the skin is so fresh and healthy. It's hard to describe really but everything just looks.. Better!

Results after using both: Your skin is detoxed and pure, blackheads removed and pores visibly reduced. Your over all skin texture is super smooth and soft. Then your moisture mask just treats your skin, giving it everything it needs and leaves it super nourished and fresh looking. You basically have a new face. Seriously! 

I really recommend trying these masks. Whether you want to use then separately or together, they work amazingly either way. But for the best benefit to your skin, pairing them up does it wonders! Both masks are suitable for all skin types. 
The Una Brennan mask costs about £7-9 and is avaible in Boots. 
The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink in Moisture mask is £12 and is avaible from Body Shop stores and online.

If this "Perfect Partners" post goes down well I think I'll start it as a little series because I've got a few skincare duos that work really well together and thought it would be helpful to share them. 

I hope you found this post interesting and helpful and try out these products for yourself! 

Thanks for reading.

Zoe x 

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