Find Your Perfect Mask

Mask like a pro! The beauty editors from our favourite magazines reveal the face masks that really work, whatever your skin goals.

For moisture and a dewy look

Fiona Embleton, Senior Beauty Editor, Marie Claire

Sheet masks lock moisture into the skin like nothing else because they stop the ingredients from evaporating. They also make for fabulous Instagram shots! Speaking of which, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask, £16 each, may make you look like the Tin Man but it’s a great pick-me-up for ‘blah’ skin as it’s rich in anti-ageing ingredients plus moisturising hyaluronic acid.

After a long day in the office I’ll apply Origins Flower Fusion Lavender Soothing Mask, £5, just before bed. Lavender is proven to help you relax so you’re guaranteed beauty sleep and dewy skin. And when I travel I swear by Nails Inc 40 Winks Facial Sheet Mask, £5, as it firms and brightens skin with multivitamins, giving your skin an “I’ve just come back from a spa” glow.


To minimise pores and boost smoothness

Stephanie Maylor, Acting Beauty Director, Woman

How many of us really have a one-size-fits-all kind of face? If you have combination skin then you may need a pore-cleansing mask for your T-zone, something thirst quenching for dry patches across the chin, cheeks and forehead and a bag-buster for the eye area. This is why multi-masking is so genius.

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, £42, is a grey clay mask that is ideal for oily and combination skin types. Apply a thin layer over the face – or if you’re embracing multi-masking, just the oilier areas where pores are largest – and wait for it to dry. It’s a bit gross (translation: incredibly satisfying) but you’ll see tiny little dots appear where the mask is drawing out excess oil from your skin. After ten minutes, rinse away. Pores seem shrunken, skin appears smoother and your complexion looks brighter.

To calm and replenish

Lydia Thompson, Beauty Editor, LOOK

When summer comes to a close and the parties start to subside, I, like everyone else, tend to look in the mirror and think, “Eek! My skin looks a bit dehydrated”. And the best way to fix things when you’ve maybe not been so diligent with serums, night creams and the rest is to apply a mask.

The new Clarins SOS Comfort Face Mask, £30, is a real treat. The buttery rich texture, infused with oils and wild mango butter extract, feels like it’s working the moment you slather it on, soothing and replenishing the skin so your complexion looks glowing again. Phew!

For eliminating oiliness

Fiona McKim, Beauty Editor, Woman & Home

If you’ve got oily skin (welcome to my world), the trade-off for a youth blighted by shine is supple skin later on. Still, not much help if you’re feeling slick now, is it? What you need is a mask to help you quash oil from the source rather than pack on layers of claggy powder all day.

My new favourite is Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Double Action Detox Peel Off Mask, £60, which is packed with zingy enzymes that draw oil out of your skin as it dries. Satisfyingly tingly, Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, £25, is good messy fun, working cumulatively to neutralise oil and nuke blackheads. Fresh gel-like Lancôme Energie De Vie Illuminating & Purifying Exfoliating Mask, £44, takes a mere three minutes and contains top pore de-gunker salicylic acid plus exfoliating lemon peel powder.


To even and brighten

Madeleine Spencer, Beauty Editor, InStyle

At the end of summer, skin is usually slightly damaged from the sun – and masks really come into their own. The key to choosing the right one? Take a good look at your skin in daylight and look for patches of dryness, unevenness and acne.

Next, choose your mask. Try Kiehl’s Tumeric and Cranberry Seed Energising Radiance Mask, £29, to brighten pigmentation, the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask, £23.50, on spotty patches, and the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, £31, on parched bits. Once you’ve chosen your mask, it’s worth noting that you can apply it only to problematic parts in patches. Or multimask, so that you tackle all your skin woes at once!

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