FAVORITE FACE MASKS

It's Halloween today, and chances are you will encounter many folks donning festive face masks. But face masks aren't just for dress up...

I think face masks are a fabulous way to treat specific skin issues, and a very proactive approach to skincare. There are a multitude of masks out there, and they come with a range of benefits. Depending on your skin concerns, you can finds ones that will moisturize, draw out impurities, brighten, revitalize - you name it. I think it's ideal to have 2 or 3 on hand to target different needs. I aim to use a mask 1-2 times a week.

Always wash your face thoroughly before applying a mask. Cleanse with warm water; you want your pores open for the treatment. I like to apply masks after a shower. Use warm water again to remove the mask and finish with cold water to close the pores. Follow with your regular skincare routine.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

DETOX
The Clear Improvement charcoal mask from Origins is great for decongesting pores. It is reasonably priced compared to many competitors and one tube will last you a long time. The active charcoal in the mask will draw out dirt and debris, and the White China Clay and Lecithin will combat any impurities left behind. Apply to a clean face and leave on for long enough to dry; I usually keep it on for 15-30 minutes. 

RENEW
Does your skin ever feel dull or tired? Tata Harper has your solution. Her Resurfacing Mask will rejuvenate your skin, leaving you feeling radiant. It's great to use before a night out or at night - I've slept in it before (Tata told me she does from time to time, so I was eager to try it...)! The mask contains pomegranate enzymes, French Pink Clay, and White Willow. These ingredients help to purify, reduce pore size, and promote skin cell renewal. It's great for most skin types.

HEAL
Manuka honey is the product of bees who feed on wild Manuka trees, which are native and exclusive to New Zealand. The honey has been used by natural healers for years to treat burns and minor cuts. The honey contains methyglyoxal, an antibacterial compound found in the Manuka nectar and transferred to the honey through the bees. Because of its antibacterial properties, the honey is often used as a natural cure for acne and for treatment and prevention of facial scars. I like to spray a facial mist onto clean skin before applying the honey as a mask; this helps the honey to spread evenly. I find the mask to have a very balancing effect on my skin. My face never feels tight or dry after use. It always feels clean yet moisturized. And Manuka honey is not just for topical use! Enjoy a 1/2 tablespoon or more a day; it is thought to improve digestion, promote a healthy immune system, and protect against free radical damage. I buy Raw Manuka Honey Active 15+ from Y.S. Eco Bee Farms at the Whole Body shop of Whole Foods, but you can also find it online.

I often multitask while wearing my face mask, but you can also treat your mask as an at-home spa experience. When in need of some R & R, apply your mask, light an aromatherapy candle, put on some relaxing music, and garnish with fresh cucumber slices over your eyes. Enjoy!