Thursday, July 8, 2010

Masks (Masques)

I love my weekly mask. It isn't always easy to fit it in, but my skin always looks and feels great afterward, that I really try. The biggest bonus for me, is that it is 15 minutes where I will sit and do nothing. I take that time for me and I enjoy it. I also like that I can customize my masks to suit my needs. There are some wonderful masks on the market and I tend to prefer the dry masks that you mix each time you use it. This way I can use different liquids to make the mask depending on what my skin says it needs that week. Just be sure to choose a mask that will not dry out your skin. The purpose is to revitalize, not leave you feeling like this.

The main purpose of most masks is to draw out toxins in the skin for a deep cleansing. However, they can also serve as mild exfoliants or to increase circulation depending on the other ingredients. Most masks contain clays to help draw out toxins and tighten the pores. There are a variety of clays available and they serve different purposes. My favorite is kaolin clay because it is great for all skin types. It absorbs excess oils and is known for its healing and skin softening properties. People with very oily skin may prefer bentonite clay instead.

You can also make a mask out of fruit, dairy products, and even eggs. Many fruits contain acids that help dissolve dead skin cells and pore clogging nastiness. Full fat dairy products contain lactic acid which has a similar effect; the fat helps to replenish skin and restore skin "full" appearance. Eggs contain proteins and fat to help tighten and restore skin. Honey and egg is my favorite mask, but what a mess it will make; be sure to get your hair out of the way and do this one in the tub. Your cupboard is full of ingredients to make a super mask, so just look around.

The point is, you DO NOT have to spend a lot of money on commercial masks! You can make safe, economical masks in your own kitchen. Always be sure to use whatever you make right away, do not store these masks because of their perishable nature. If you do prefer to purchase your masks, please check the ingredients to make sure it is right for your skin and follow the directions carefully. Keep in mind that in product you dip your hand into should be used within a few months, so make your product last longer by using a clean popsicle stick to remove as much mask as needed. Always make sure your hands are clean and DRY, added water will cause mold to grow and that is not pretty!

Would you like to share your favorite homemade mask recipe?

Photo from courtesy of dreamglow pumpkincat210