Yet another weekend in? No problem, we’ve got the perfect thing to do. Skin care masks have never been more popular, and that means there are more options than ever to choose from, allowing you to narrow in on specific formulas designed to help with everything from stressed, dry skin to breakouts to aging. To help you plan your Saturday night, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, with a wide variety of benefits.
We once again enlisted a cross-section of women and one man, to test a variety of masks, from drugstore to higher-end brands. We have kept our selection to cream, clay, or gel masks, leaving sheet masks for another time (any excuse to do this again). Our testers’ skin types ranged from youthful combination, to mature dry skin, and one who claims to have no issues at all - lucky him! All products had the same instructions to start with, apply to a clean, dry face. From there, our testers just chilled or slept even, until it was time to rinse and report. Here are the results.
ORIGINS Original Skin, Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay, 75 ml, $34.00 at Sephora or Hudson Bay
Description: A Rose Clay mask that retexturizes skin and deep cleans to perfect pores for a naturally flawless look, 100% Vegetarian*, Vegan*
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from combination, mid-twenties to mature (enough said), dry skin.
Ease of use and results: This formula comes in a tube container so it is easy to use and apply to the skin. It is quite light and smooth for a clay mask and a little goes a long way. The fragrance is mild and really beautiful, it was a shame to rinse it off. You leave it on for 10-15 minutes, it dries quite quickly so there is no mess or product transfer while you wait and it doesn’t make your skin feel like it’s going to crack if you smile. After rinsing, both testers noted their skin felt soft and slightly on the dry side, with a noticeable decrease in poor size - a true bonus.
Verdict: “If with continued use it helps decrease the size of my pores, I am all in”.
LANEIGE Special Care- Water Sleeping Mask, 70ml, $33.00 at Sephora
Description: An overnight, moisture-recharging gel mask that quickly absorbs while you sleep to deeply hydrate skin.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from combination, mid-twenties to mature, fine lines and age spots, combination skin.
Ease of use and results: They provide you with a tiny spoon to scoop out the product which is nice in order to avoid contamination. You only need to use a small amount, as a little goes a long way. The gel-like formula spreads easily, has a very faint fragrance, and dries quickly. You really don’t feel like you have a mask on and it was a breeze to rinse off. Once dry, both testers thought their skin felt softer than usual.
Verdict: “I would recommend this as it is so easy to use, makes me feel luxurious, and I think over time it will have a cumulative effect, making my skin feel more hydrated and dewy with each application.”
GLAMGLOW Youthmud Glow Stimulating Treatment, 50g, $75.00 at Sephora
Description: A skin-transforming clay mud mask that intensely exfoliates for softer, smoother, and more glowing skin in as little as ten minutes.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from combination, mid-twenties to mature, dry skin.
Ease of use and results: The product is on the dry side so it is hard to apply a thin layer as instructed. It isn’t a “pretty” mask, it leaves small black pieces of product on your face while you wait the required 10 minutes. The fragrance is nice, maybe a bit strong for some. To rinse it off they suggest using a circular motion to work the exfoliator into your skin. Afterwards, the testers' skin felt very smooth, clean, and looked refreshed, almost glowy. One tester reported a noticeable pore size reduction.
Verdict: The testers all would recommend this product. It is a bit pricey, but worth every penny to improve the appearance of large pores.
LUSH Cup O’Coffee - Face and Body Mask, 150g, $12.95, at Lush
Description: Good for dry, dull skin looking for an invigorating, exfoliating and cleansing weekly mask to restore a healthy glow and leave you feeling fresh.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from combination, some acne, mid-twenties to mature, dry skin.
Ease of use and results: The mask has a nice coffee scent, contains small exfoliating granules (one tester had to be careful around areas with acne) and was easy to apply even though it was quite thick. There was a cooling sensation when applied but it never felt irritating throughout the 15 minute application. It was easy enough to rinse off and everyone’s skin felt quite smooth.
Verdict: “I would use this primarily as an exfoliator. I like how it has all-natural ingredients and the container can be recycled or returned to the store.”
THE BODY SHOP Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask, 15ml, $6.00, at The Body Shop
Description: This mask warms and gently exfoliates your skin to help reduce the signs of fatigue. This leaves skin feeling awakened, cleared of impurities, looking more radiant and pores looking refined.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from youthful oily to combination skin.
Ease of use and results: The scrub contains small exfoliating bean granules and is very sticky to apply so be sure to keep your hair and clothes out of the way.. It was easy enough to rinse off though and everyone’s skin felt fresh and exfoliated, with no irritation.
Verdict: “The mask smelled great and left my skin feeling quite fresh. Worked great for a short term pampering session.”
YES TO Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, 59ml, $16.99 at London Drugs.
Description: This mask is formulated to assist in cleaning up and reducing the severity of acne by helping rid skin of impurities.
Tester’s skin type: Combination to oily
Ease of use and results: Thanks to the supplied applicator, the mask is very easy to apply. The instructions tell you to add extra gel to the outside edge which probably helped in removing the mask. Our testers reported the mask felt cool on their skin and they didn’t experience any irritation. This is a peel off mask and it came off fairly easily and our testers reported that their skin felt dry afterwards.
Verdict: We would recommend this mask for anyone with oily skin. Plus it was quite fun to apply.
BIORÉ Rose Quartz & Charcoal Stress Relief Clay Mask, 110g, $10.99 at London Drugs
Description: This deeply detoxing formula rinses away stress, eliminates impurities and energizes your skin---all with an added dose of self-love.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from late-twenties, normal to oily skin.
Ease of use and results: The mask smells like you’d expect a clay mask to smell, but with a touch of rose. We found it to be a bit runny compared to other clay masks but it dried quickly without being messy . It felt cool and had a refreshing tingling sensation. While it took a while to rinse off using only water, a face cloth would have helped speed up removal. Afterwards, the testers' skin was on the dry side, but also felt refreshed.
Verdict: A great option for those with oily skin. Went on smooth and felt great.
OLAY Masks Brightening Overnight Gel Mask, 50ml, $31.99 at London Drugs
Description: It’s specially formulated with Vitamin C, an antioxidant known to help brighten skin, as well as Orange Blossom Flower Extract, a natural ingredient that can refresh tired, dull skin.
Tester’s skin type: Ranged from combination to mature, dry skin.
Ease of use and results: This overnight gel mask is fairly sticky when applying but after a few minutes it seemed to absorb nicely and was fine to sleep with on. The fragrance was almost undetectable and it felt nice on the tester’s skin. The directions state to apply after moisturizing but testers felt the mask itself was sufficient. It washed off easily the next morning and left their skin feeling very soft with no tightness.
Verdict: Olay Overnight Gel Mask is a nice alternative to using a moisturizer at night and left the tester’s feeling skin quite smooth. “This will be an effective tool in combating the dry winter months”.
From treating oily, acne prone to dry, winter ravaged complexions, we found some amazing choices to make everyone feel satisfied and pampered. We have discovered that there is a mask out there for everyone. Next time you are in the Centre, browse the great choices we tried or ask a sales associate in your favourite store for their advice.