With winter weather ravaging your skin, you may notice your complexion fighting back. While dryness is a common cold weather side effect, harsh temps can exacerbate myriad skin issues including acne, sensitivity and dullness. A monthly facial can do wonders for winter skin, but what you do in between each one is just as essential for long-lasting results. Microneedling, dermaplaning, at-home peels, and a weekly face mask can help extend the results of your facials.
One of the best ways to deeply treat your skin each week is by using a mask. Face masks combine ingredients that uniquely target your skin’s issues. As with all skincare, routine is key, and using a mask regularly will enhance the impact of your treatments. So which type of mask is right for you? Check out my recommendations below.
If your skin is oily or you’re constantly fighting blemishes and blackheads, a clay or charcoal mask is a great choice for drawing impurities out of your pores. I recommend one made with kaolin clay—a detoxifying white mud rich in silica that is less drying than other options. Clay attracts sebum and has mild exfoliating properties that can help prevent future breakouts. Another great option for oily skin is a mask enriched with activated charcoal—a purifying ingredient that helps extract the dirt and oil trapped in your pores. Whichever you choose, be sure to apply a lightweight hydrating serum like my HA Hydrating Serum after any clay or charcoal mask to replenish the moisture absorbed during treatment.
If you have sensitive skin, even the mildest skincare solutions can leave you red, blotchy, and irritated. If redness and moisture are your concerns, I recommend a cloth or hydrogel sheet mask to cool and hydrate your skin. These masks are soaked in water-based serum that saturates the skin with moisture. They are generally gentle and often made with with calming ingredients like aloe extract. Although both cloth and hydrogel will soothe your sensitive skin, I typically prefer coconut hydrogel as it creates a more air-resistant barrier that locks in moisture better than its cloth counterpart. Bonus tip: don’t throw away the pouch! While waiting for your sheet mask to work its magic, use the excess serum in the bottom of the pouch on your neck and the backs of your hands for a dose of moisture in these often overlooked areas.
One of the leading causes of dry skin is a compromised lipid barrier. When the lipid barrier is deficient, the skin experiences trans-epidermal water loss or TEWL at night. TEWL causes tightness, dryness, and increased irritation. To combat this trend, I recommend an ultra-hydrating sleeping mask. These overnight masks are great for an intensive treatment over an extended period of time. They often contain both humectants and occlusive moisturizers that seal in the benefits of your nightly serums and trap moisture within the skin.
If you’re over 40 and fine lines and dullness are your main skin concerns, skip the mask and use a gentle at-home peel. As we age, exfoliation and skin cell turnover slow, causing dryness, dullness and wrinkles. Peels like my TCA Multi-Acid Face Peel use a powerful combination of gentle acids to exfoliate skin, brightening and diminishing dark spots and lines in the process. Combining multiple acids at lower concentrations provides the most noticeable results and is less irritating than a single-acid peel. Using a peel in combination with serums enriched with peptides and growth factors will support collagen production and soften wrinkles.
Remember: for best results, you should be using a mask or peel every week. Tell me about your favorites in the comments below!