If you follow me on Instagram, you know I mask. A lot. With summer here, longer days often mean more time to mask. Or should I say, with waking up earlier and going to bed later, there is finally enough time to fit in a proper mask treatment. And as much as I love summer, it usually means more travel, sun, and booze. And less sleep, kale and water…which sadly shows in the face.
Masks are super important. The right formula boosts the efficacy of your entire skincare regimen.
Following are summer mask favorites that will benefit every skin type. Full disclosure: am mid 30’s, combination, dehydrated, dealing with congested pores and occasional ruddiness. In other words, in constant need of a makeover.
Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask
A skin saver during travel, after late nights, or anytime my face looks particularly dull or rough, the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask smooths out bumpy, uneven texture, and softens and visibly brightens the skin in a single application. Featuring the spa grade patented Tri-Enzyme Technology, this formula exfoliates gently and revives lifeless complexion with a much appreciated boost of radiance.
Bordering on a peel, this powerful British import also highlights anti-aging peptides, antioxidants (Amazonian Acerola Cherry, Great Budrock) and rich in essential fatty acids White Truffle Extract. Major bonus: TSA friendly packaging. $78.50 (50ml) timetospa.com, nordstrom.com, lookfantastic.com
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque
If your skin is oily, congested, and temperamental, the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque will be your go-to during summer months. Genius at unclogging pores, fighting unwelcome blemishes, and absorbing excess oil, it works in just fifteen minutes but I’ve also managed to wear a thin layer on my T-zone overnight to bump up the already impressive benefits.
The creamy, soft drying base is loaded with fruit derived skin refining Beta Hydroxy Acids, calming Chamomile and Aloe Extracts as well as mattifying and decongesting Bentonite and Kaolin Clays. $51 (60ml) skinceuticals.com, bluemercury.com.
May Lindstrom Problem Solver
Iconic in the eco-luxe segment of the beauty industry, the May Lindstrom Problem Solver consistently generates hype among editors and influencers even after its launch. It lives up to the hype. This fine powder medley consists of various Earth Clays, Raw Cacao, Red Sea Salt, Vitamin C, Bamboo Charcoal and countless herbal extracts to detoxify, tighten, and rejuvenate the skin.
Mixed with equal parts water, this treatment mask turns into a mousse and while it tingles ever so slightly upon applying, there is no discomfort. Only incredible results. Yes, it does take around 45 minutes to an hour to dry, which I measure in an episode of ‘Orange is the New Black’ or ‘Real Housewives’ but the glow is worth the wait. While never drying, make sure to apply a moisturizer immediately after rinsing. $90 (250ml) beautylish.com, barneys.com
Somme Institute Boost Mask
Formulated to complement the unique Somme Institute 5-Step Regimen, the Boost Mask is an excellent addition to any non-exclusive routine as well. Fueled by the brand’s proprietary blend of Vitamins A, C, B3 and B5 known as MDT5™, this innovative warming treatment nourishes, protects, and energizes the skin. Besides the impressive core of minerals and antioxidants, Boost features pumpkin enzyme to increase microcirculation, Zeolite to warm the skin, and Kaolin to draw out impurities and excess oil.
Lush and creamy, it goes on dry skin and works in just five minutes to leave your complexion glowing and invigorated. The first time I used Boost, I could not stop touching my face afterward–the softness is astounding. If you are a Somme Institute devotee, slot it between the Nourishing Cleanser and Transport Pads. $40 (3 oz.) sommeinstitute.com, nordstrom.com
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask
There is not a summer (or winter for that matter) that my skincare arsenal doesn’t include a tube of Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Mask in rotation. Irreplaceable for those dealing with sunburn (or windburn during cold months in Connecticut), this rich, thick, and perfectly creamy formula soothes, repairs, and calms skin suffering from weather (or product) impaired dryness.
Completely unscented and chock full of nourishing plant oils and vitamins, this emergency solution comforts and heals irritated skin. Simply wipe off any excess after twenty minutes or wear it overnight for maximum performance. Best deal in the biz and the tube is massive. $21 (4 oz.) paulaschoice.com
An ever present jar on multiple vanities and medicine cabinets for fifteen years, the Fresh Rose Face Mask is a non-negotiable skin treat for yours truly. The posh glass container filled to the brim with rose petal studded gel gets the most face time (literally) during the summer. Cooling, soothing, and magically revitalizing, the fluffy texture is packed with skin loving pure Rose Water as well as Aloe Vera, Green Tea, and Cucumber extracts. Keep it in the fridge for mornings when overindulging the night before leaves you looking a bit puffy. In just five minutes, you’ll be glowing and refined. The aromatherapy element has me reach for this pot of magic every other day. $62 (3.3 oz.) fresh.com, sephora.com, nordstrom.com
Because it’s 2016, I learn about some brands on Instagram. Such is the case of @omgbart and @mudmasky. This Dutch treat from the land of canals, bicycles, and coffee shops is a multi-tasking skincare beast and I am a huge fan. If you’ve ever used the original GlamGlow formula, you may experience deja vu when you try MUDMASKY. The clay base is familiar down to the specks of green tea leaves, it feels almost the same, but… the similarities end there. MUDMASKY is all natural, free of parabens, pH balanced and packaged in a slim triple layer airless tube (because traveling with jars is a nightmare).
Though the ingredient deck resembles that of the “other” brand, I was informed this is a whole new proprietary blend that is safe to use even on sensitive skin. If you’re after a fantastic skincare import that is pore refining, hydrating, anti-aging, brightening, and smoothing, check out mudmasky.com. €69 so roughly about $78 (2 oz.) – free international shipping and score 11% off with code Instagram11
CLINIQUE Charcoal Mask
Part of the Pore Refining Solutions, the Clinique Charcoal Mask is an amazing budget friendly option for anyone struggling with all things annoying that stem from having an oily complexion. Lightweight, creamy, and fast drying, this charcoal powder infused treatment delivers a deep cleanse, purifies the pores, detoxifies, and rebalances the skin.
Oil and fragrance free, this Clinique mask is a quick fix and ensures your face stays clear, matte, and radiant. Leave it on for fifteen minutes twice a week and you’ll notice how this small change in your routine boosts the performance of other products you’re currently using. Did I say a minimal investment? $25 (3.4 oz.) clinique.com, sephora.com, nordstrom.com