In our Rehab Your Skin series, we’re taking things back to basics to help you reset your skincare regimen in the New Year and reclaim your divine right for good skin.
If December is the season to be jolly, then January is definitely the season to pay for it. Generous amounts of sugar/butter/chocolate and cocktails over the holidays can make the body act out in the new year, and the skin is usually where it first shows, either in plain tired, saggy skin or more brazen pimples and blotchiness. While most of us can reverse the trend soon enough by sleeping better and eating better, nobody enjoys dealing with zits and rough texture while waiting for the reset, and that’s where a handy face mask can work wonders. Here are five tried and tested favourites that are excellent at returning your skin to a workable base again within just a couple of uses.
The Fresh Start
If all that day-drinking and playing in the snow has left the skin craggy and uneven, a quality exfoliation goes a long way in clearing the path back to good skin. The Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay ($34) contains jojoba beads as exfoliators, as well as rose clay, which is the kindest of the purifying clays: while the beads slough off dead skin, the clay draws out impurities for a clean slate soon after.
The Smooth Operator
If oiliness and dryness has sprung up in alternating patches, a quality re-balancer is required, and Lush’s BB Seaweed ($9.95) is lovely because it’s both ultra-gentle and effective. Seaweed reintroduces nutrients to the skin, almond meal mildly exfoliates and a generous helping of honey and rose seals in some anti-inflammatory moisture for immediately calmer skin within a single use.
If your skin is just awash with oil or gaping pores for no reason you can actually pinpoint, it’s important not to apply anything too harsh to try to “fix” that. Instead, a gentle multi-action product would work much better, taking a few layers of slick off the top while your body reverts to a manageable oil level as you start eating better. Consonant’s DHE Mask ($45) is antioxidant-rich and even exfoliating in effect, but its true superstar ingredient is Manicouagan clay, which is mineral-rich and therefore deeply calming even as it soaks up excess dirt and oil like a charm.
If your skin is just looking inexplicably tired and lined, what you might need is a burst of glow, and nothing says glow quite like the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($68). This mask is one of the closest things to getting a derm-level facial peel at home. Pineapple and papaya extracts exfoliate and help resurface a new layer of skin while omega oils ply the new layer with some love to nourish it deeply. *Sensitive skin types should stay away or consult their trusted authorities before using this!
The Bright Stuff
Anyone looking for a peel-type exfoliation at home but with skin too sensitive for the REN Glycol number up above should consider the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask ($47) instead, which packs a respectable resurfacing punch but truly shines at resetting the oil balance and pore size of the skin instead, thanks to a blend of eight oils (including lavender, bergamot and parsley oil) which are excellent at oil regulation, tightening and cleaning pores.