Beauty & Health

A Face Mask to Solve Any Problem

by Adriana Donnola, expert beauty stylist

How to choose the perfect, problem-solving face mask for you 

 Like a turbo boost for your skin, the right face mask is a one-way ticket to better-looking skin in under 30 minutes.

Any age and skin type - dry, oily, mature, acne prone, sensitive or congested - will benefit from a weekly face mask, so make sure it becomes an essential step in your skincare routine.

With a plethora on the market right now, trying to select the perfect fit for your skin type can be tricky. Remember, if you feel any heat or prickling of your skin, remove the mask immediately with cool water.
Follow this guide to choose which one will suit you - and your budget - best, and happy Self-Care Sunday (or any other day!) 
First up, there is a choice of styles:

Jelly or Gel:  The newest kid on the block, these are moisture-rich and cooling so just perfect for hydrating skin in the hot months ahead. Keep in the fridge for an added cooling sensation. 
Clay: Clearing and detoxifying, a good choice for teen skin that’s congested and spotty. Best painted on with a brush.  
Cream: Soothing and deeply hydrating for more mature, dehydrated skin types. Use at night and don’t wash off. 
Peel-off: Exfoliating and illuminating for dull skin to brighten without scrubbing.
Sleep: The best style of all (I think) Apply, go to sleep and wake up with better looking skin.
Sheet: The beauty 5-star all-rounder. Super convenient and not as messy as the others, and you can find one to address specific skin conditions. The bonus is that you are forced to lie down with this one.  
Here are a few of my favourite results-driven, road-tested masks that are worth your time and money: 

Problem:  Tight + Dry

Solution: Deeply hydrate to slow down the ageing process with: Luxe: Bioeffect Hydrogel Face Mask (single) $30, David Jones; Less: The Body Shop Drops of Youth, Youth Concentrate Sheet Mask, $9, The Body Shop.

Problem: Blackheads + Oily

Solution: Mop up excess sebum and detoxify skin to prevent breakouts with: Luxe: Dermalogica ClearStart Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask, $33, Mecca Maxima; Less: Sukin Sensitive Pink Clay Mask, $19.95, Priceline Pharmacy.

Problem: Large Pores

Solution: Decongest, tighten and smooth the texture of your skin with: Luxe: Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask, $49;  Less: Lush Mask of Magnaminty, $17.95, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.


Problem: Sensitive skin

Solution: Soothe and reduce redness with: Luxe: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, $71, Mecca Maxima; Less: Skin Republic Hemp Seed Oil Biodegradable Sheet Mask, $7.99, Big W, Woolworths.

Problem: Dull Skin

Solution: Exfoliate and brighten with: Luxe: L’Occitane Radiant Mask, $55, L’Occitane En Provence; Less: The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask, $35, The Body Shop.

Problem: Breakouts

Solution: Fight spots but don’t skimp on hydration (often acne-prone skin is dehydrated) with: Luxe: Mario Badescu Healing Soothing Mask, $ 32, Mecca Maxima; Less: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, $21.90, Priceline Pharmacy.

Also, keep in mind:
  • You can often leave a hydrating mask on for a lot longer, and if it’s a sheet mask, rub excess product from the packet onto your neck and decolletage. Don’t waste a drop!
  • Typically, mature skin will benefit from more frequent use (2 -3 times a week).
  • A mask should form part of a regular 5 -step skincare regime. 
  • Better skin begins with what you are putting in - as well as on - your body, so drink plenty of water and make good food choices 80% of the time.
Top tip: Next time you run a bath, don’t forget to prep a face mask before you slip in, for a top-to-toe body overhaul.

Adriana Donnola has been writing about all things lifestyle for over 25 years on magazines including New Idea, Who, InStyle, TV Week and New Weekly. She has interviewed the world’s top celebrity makeup artists, skincare specialists and hairstylists loves to help women become a more beautiful version of themselves. For more information, please click here to visit her website 'Shop With A Beauty Editor'.