The Masked Avengers: 3 Great Skin Masks

There is nothing I like more than a good face mask. I try to make a whole routine of it when I get the chance to useone: run a bath with my favorite bath salts, pour myself a good glass of wine, grab the latest issue of Lucky magazine so I can drool over all the clothes and shoes I can't really afford. It's such a nice way to de-stress and forget everything in my life that's waiting to be dealt with while I also help out my skin at the same time. I've tried a ton of different masks lately (I guess I've needed more de-stressing than usual!) and here are three of my current favorites.

If you only have a short amount of time to do a mask (as in, while you're getting ready for bed or maybe first thing in the morning) and you've been breaking out, my go to product is AHAVA's Time to Clear Purifying Mud MaskAHAVA's products are great because most of them have Dead Sea minerals in them and Dead Sea products are really good for you. This mask has a combo of natural Dead Sea Mud and minerals and you only have to keep it on for two minutes to get results. (Full disclosure here: I usually leave it on for five minutes, just because my skin is fine with that and it gives me a little more time to do other things while it works). The mask helps to clarify and purify your skin and clear out extra oil and blackheads, plus it has soothing antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to calm your skin down. You can even use tiny amounts of it on blemishes you already have or are about to get to treat and heal them. Plus, it smells all clean and fresh so it's really relaxing. This one has a place of honor in my bathroom because it takes so little time to get great results.

If you've recently had a facial peel or spent too much time in the sun or your skin is just plain sensitive for some reason, Peter Thomas Roth's Cucumber Gel Masque is a great choice. It's a super duper gentle mask that they recommend you use daily as a hydrating and calming mask. My skin is really sensitive and gets red and irritated easily, but this one helps to soothe it and keep the redness under control. It also doesn't require a lot of time—you only have to wear it for ten minutes. And you can even refrigerate it so the green gel is cold to the touch when you put it on for an even more refreshing experience (especially good during the heat of summer). It also has a ton of natural ingredients in it, if that's important to you (it's not a deal breaker for me, but I do appreciate it). It has cucumber, papaya, pineapple, sugar maple, sugar cane and orange and lemon extracts, so you know that you're not putting a lot of chemicals on your face. The directions even say that you can use it on your face and neck while working out, but I haven't quite worked up the nerve to try that yet since I work out at a gym and that seems like it could look kind of ridiculous. But if you do try it, let me know how it works!

For those of you who like the satisfaction of using a peel-off mask, I recommend Boscia's Black Mask. Peel-off masks always remind me of being a teenager, for some reason, but I kind of like that about them. This one is chock full of minerals that help detoxify, purify and brighten your skin. It also helps to take off dead skin and get rid of excess oil (you can actually see the dead skin sometimes when you peel the mask off—kind of gross, but also kind of cool to know that it's actually working). This one takes a little longer—I usually leave it on for twenty minutes or more—so this is probably the one I use in the tub the most since it needs to dry and doesn't have to come off right away. Just be careful if your skin is super sensitive. My skin seems to be okay with the peeling off, but since that can sometimes be kind of harsh, you should test it out on a small part first just to make sure it won't backfire on you and actually irritate your skin instead of help it.  

All of this mask talk is making me long for the weekend and time to actually test out another one in the tub.  Calgon, take me away! 


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