What masks can help to perk up my skin instantly?
For women who have zero spare time for a facial or spa session, the next best thing is a good mask.
To save time, slather on cream masks or slap on sheet versions while you reply to e-mail messages, take a nap, or even as you snooze through the night.
Using a hydrating mask just before your make-up routine will keep skin supple and your face paint will go on flawlessly.
It you wish, and especially if your skin needs the extra care, go ahead and use a few masks with different purposes in a row. Putting on a skin-nourishing and hydrating mask, right after a detoxifying and exfoliating one, can do wonders for your skin.
1. Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask
$159, from Sephora stores
A luxurious gel mask that is infused with pure gold flecks to help lift and firm skin and to give it a glow.
It has caffeine to tighten and firm; the magnesium-rich gemstone Peridot to rejuvenate; and hyaluronic acid and glycerin to hydrate and plump.
As instructed, I applied a generous layer on my skin, and left it on for five to 10 minutes.
After removing the viscous mask, I skipped my night cream and went to bed in an air-conditioned room. The next morning, my skin was still surprisingly supple and soft.
2. Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
$144, from Sephora stores
A formula that is made to work in sync with the skin's recovery process, which takes place in the dead of the night.
The creamy mask contains a blend of black tea ferment, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract and lychee seed extract to boost skin elasticity and protect the skin from free radical damage.
Extracts from the belle de nuit, a nocturnal flower, are added to soothe and balance skin. While peptides help to firm and hyaluronic acid maintains the skin's hydration levels.
To be used generously on the face and neck and left on overnight, this mask has a light, refreshing and calming scent. The rich texture was perfect for nourishing my tired skin and the cream sank in easily. The next morning, my skin felt firm and looked brighter and smoother than usual.
3. Sephora Serum Mask
$36, from Sephora stores
Made with a high concentration of collagen and hyaluronic acid, this rich and creamy mask promises to revitalise and smoothen the skin.
Apply a generous layer on skin, let it sit for 10 minutes and massage into skin. Just wipe off the excess; no need to rinse.
The mask has a pleasant floral scent and it turns into an oil-like serum when rubbed into the skin, so it is perfect for relaxing facial massages.
In lieu of my regular serum and moisturiser, I used this before I applied my foundation, and the make-up went on smoothly and easily.
4. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask
$53, from Sephora stores
Contains pink clay, dried grape and coffee extract. The mask is concocted to tighten and cleanse deeply. Just apply a thin layer, wait for five minutes and rinse.
This mask dries really quickly and has a wonderful lavender scent that made me feel like I was in a spa.
The next day, I noticed that my skin was less greasy, and it had a rosy glow.
5. Kate Somerville Eradikate Mask
$85, from Sephora stores
This is one of the most innovative treatment masks that I have seen.
Made with honey extract, rice bran and the boswellia serrata herb, it promises to soothe acne while unclogging pores with collodial sulfur.
Leave a generous layer of this creamy pinkish-beige mask on clean, dry skin. Within 10 minutes, the cream mask will turn into a layer of foam that supposedly lifts impurities from the skin.
The mask left a tingly sensation on my skin as it foamed up. Afterwards, my face looked clearer and brighter.
6. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-tox De-Puffing Eye-Cubes
$120 for a box, from Sephora stores
An interesting take on the traditional iced tea bag remedy for puffy eyes.
Each of the six capsules in the box contain a green watery cocktail of cucumber, arnica, green tea, chamomile, aloe vera, caffeine and hyaluronic acid.
The blend promises to energise and brighten the eyes.
Leave one capsule in the freezer. When it has frozen solid, pop it out of the plastic cover and slip it into one of the teabags provided.
Then glide the teabag-encased ice cube around both eyes to de-puff them. Do this while you are sitting up, so the watery mask is less likely to drip into the eyes.
I found that one capsule was more than enough for both my eyes. I also used the same cube on the rest of my face, especially on my cheeks and T-zone areas, to tighten the pores.
Afterwards, my eye area looked brighter and less swollen, while the skin on my cheeks felt tighter.
7. Sephora Instant Hydrogel Eye Mask
$14, from Sephora stores
Keep this hydrogel sheet mask in the fridge for at least an hour before use for a refreshing experience.
Just peel off the plastic sheet covering the mask, close your eyes and put on the mask, which also envelops the brows, lids and upper cheekbones.
The felt backing of this hyaluronic acid gel sheet mask made it very easy to use; most eye gel sheet masks are sticky and a hassle to apply.
In my opinion, this is the ultimate sleeping mask; the felt backing also blocks out light, so you can enjoy an uninterrupted snooze.
This article was first published on March 6, 2015.
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