So I’m just back from holiday – you may have noticed the radio silence. Anyway – while I was away I casually tweeted this out without giving it much thought, went for a swim and came back to the skincare equivalent of armageddon (OK, a tad dramatic but the replies to this tweet are hysterical).
Some context: I’m not a massive fan of sheet masks. Yes, I’ve used them, we all have. I’ve had the instagram moment with my mum, daughter and I all doing them for the camera, but in all honestly, I can’t be bothered, and haven’t been for a while.
They’re wet, sticky, and don’t give you anything you can’t get from applying a couple of rounds of hyaluronic acid/antiaging serum to your face before your moisturiser. At the risk of completely alienating my entire audience, I find I am hardly using masks at all these days. I’ve got my skincare routine pretty nailed. If you find you are using/needing masks regularly – for anything other than pampering and comfort (not to be underestimated by any stretch) I would always suggest you look at what needs tweaking in your daily routine as opposed to buying another product that you can only use sporadically in an attempt to fix it.
Now obviously there are a couple of notable exceptions:
Travel – I used the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask today as I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the air this past week and was dehydrated from the sun/airplane ‘air’. It’s very nice and has done a good job, but if I had done my usual hyaluronic acid serums with a slightly heavier moisturiser would I have got the same effect? Probably. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed using it – but would I have purchased it if it hadn’t been sent to me? Doubtful. Especially after reading this line on their website: ‘Upgrade your skin to a business-class complexion’. Please stop with the ‘if you have more money and more product you will be better looking’. Please. It’s great marketing and good packaging but the reality is that shea butter is high on the inci so even if you are dehydrated from traveling, if you are prone to spots, it’s not for you, whether you’ve been on a 747 or not.
‘Glow’ – I’m all for the occasional resurfacing boost, whether from a gentle exfoliating mask or an acidic mask, everyone has dull days (I love OSKIA Renaissance and Tata Resurfacing). But if you find yourself reaching for them more frequently, you need to check your routine.
Spots – there is nothing more satisfying than putting a clay mask on spots. My teen daughter and her friends are obsessed with masking. They walk around the house with their clay-laden t-zones like they’re wearing a badge of honour. As they should be at 16. But I haven’t had that kind of skin in a long time. I don’t get hormonal spots anymore. One of the joys of being closer to menopause than the age I started my periods. If I do get a whacking big red angry spot I’m far more likely to douse it in acid and oil as per this cheat sheet: How to pop a spot
Honestly? That’s about it.
Maybe I’m older, I’m definitely busier, and I’m pathologically immune to trends – anyone who has seen my dress sense will be aware of this. Sheet masks aren’t going anywhere, and sales of them are booming. I’m merely suggesting that skincare, especially serums, has evolved to such a degree that you may not need them.
If you work in skin and you’re my age and do what I do for a living, masks should be at the bottom of your list. And they are. Sorry world.
Please don’t hate me. I’ll see myself out.