Unmasking Winter Beauty

From chilly outdoor air to indoor heating, our skin loses moisture during the colder months. Winter is the perfect season to hydrate from head to toe and pamper your skin by adding facial masks to your skincare routine.

Whether powder, liquid, cream, or sheet masks, these versatile treasures can be used at home with DIY options, ready-made products, or professional facials.

My combination skin has been unusually dry and dull recently. I had a choice between a DIY avocado and honey mask and a sheet mask. I opted for the hydrating sheet mask, which quickly restored radiance and hydration with its functional ingredients.

Masks have an occlusive or blanketing effect, meaning that they stay on your skin for a long time, allowing the active ingredients sufficient time to work. Depending on the ingredients and purpose, a mask can trap moisture and create a film that hydrates, moisturises, dries, or exfoliates.

You may have to try a few to find the one that works for your skin. The frequency of use depends on your skin's needs and the mask type.

Let’s explore some different mask options…

  • Hydrating cream masks are great for dry skin. For even deeper nourishment, apply overnight to replenish while you sleep.
  • Exfoliating masks remove dead skin cells. Typical ingredients include apricot kernel, coffee, clay, seaweed, and walnuts.
  • Gel masks work well for inflamed, dehydrated, sensitive, or mature skin. These hydrating gel formulas are based on water or aloe vera. When paired with antioxidants like vitamin C, niacinamide, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, they can offer anti-ageing advantages.
  • Peel-off masks contain purifying agents, vitamins, and tea extracts. As you peel off the mask, dirt, dead skin cells, and oils are gently removed, which is ideal for acne-prone skin. Avoid these if your skin is mature or irritated (opt for gel masks instead).
  • Sheet masks are wonderful little mini facials! Convenient, with no prep needed, and immediate results. Common bases for the sheets include hydrogels, cotton, and bio-cellulose. Cotton is breathable and suitable for sensitive skin. Some bio-cellulose masks derived from coconut water excel at moisture retention, adherence, and delivering ingredients. Bubble masks foam up due to oxygen during application, and the oxygen combats bacteria, rehydrates the skin, repairs, and helps to boost collagen. Serum infusions in sheet masks can include glycerine, acids, vitamins, minerals, collagen, peptides, antioxidants, tea, and herbal extracts. Where possible, opt for eco-friendly, biodegradable sheet masks made from tencel, microfibre, cellulose, or hydrogel.
  • Hydrogel masks are thick sheet masks made from a jelly-like substance infused with serums. The hydrogel melts and hugs your face, providing deep moisture in dry winters. Target fine lines by using an undereye hydrogel eye mask with retinol A or collagen.
  • Mud masks like dead sea and silica muds hydrate, exfoliate, heal, fight bacteria, and remove impurities. For sensitive and sun-damaged skin, opt for calming Moor mud.
  • Clay masks absorb oils, brighten skin, calm inflammation, and prevent acne. Rich in minerals, clay masks cleanse the skin, boost collagen, defend against breakouts, refine pores, and enhance facial radiance. Commonly used clay types in masks and cosmetics include:
    • Kaolinite to help boost elasticity and reduce fine lines
    • Bentonite to detoxify
    • French green clay to tighten
    • Rhassoul clay to fight acne and impurities
    • Pink clay to brighten all skin types
    • Yellow clay to correct sun-damaged and dull skin

Prefer DIY? Here are some ideas:

  • Avocado and honey mask
  • Yoghurt and oatmeal mask
  • Turmeric and yoghurt mask


For optimal results, cleanse and tone your skin before application, then moisturise promptly afterward.

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