Face masks: are they worth the fuss?

Face masks, for me, have always been a sociable skin treatment option.  I wash my face every morning and night with whatever sensitive face wash was last on offer in Boots. I make sure to cleanse after with some facial toner. And, when my face is feeling oilier than normal, I will sit over a bowl of hot water to steam my pores to oblivion whilst listening to the latest Desert Island Disc.

Face masks are a way to pamper yourself when you’re feeling stressed and overworked. However, I always feel a bit silly having a ‘homemade spa day’ by myself. To get around this feeling, I invite around a group of my favourite friends and buy a batch of one-use sheet masks. In doing so, I simultaneously live up to my childhood self’s slumber party dreams.

The newest ‘miracle’ ingredients at the moment are charcoal and algae, and Garnier make a Hydrating Face Sheet Mask with both. But I find Garnier’s product very drying. So, if you already find your skin a little flaky, I would steer well clear of their products. In fact, if you have a drier skin-type I would avoid anything containing charcoal.        

My latest money and plastic saving discovery has been homemade face masks. I usually begin by exfoliating my skin with a little honey and sea salt. This removes any dirt or dead skin trapped in my pours. I usually let that sit on my face while I make my mask – mainly because when I’m on holiday my skin always feels great and I have begun to associate that with the salt from the sea.

For one face mask, I mash up an avocado, whisk one raw egg, combine a handful of oats and stir in a tablespoon of honey. The protein in the egg is supposed to have repairing properties. As a child, I used to use oats to treat sunburn as they also heal the skin. The avocado is difficult not to eat, but most high street face masks contain avo, so I felt I couldn’t leave it out. And, finally, honey helps reduce redness and inflammation.       

I’ve read quite a bit about face masks online and often think they are just a way for the beauty industry to sell products that don’t actually benefit the consumer. This may be true. However, homemade face masks are cheap, and if you’re relaxed and enjoying a calming girl’s night in, then surely a placebo can sometimes be just as effective as the real deal?

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June 2022
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