PUBLISHED: 23:04 14 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:47 20 February 2013
They are certainly unflattering, sometimes uncomfortable and often appear to involve a lot of messy effort, but the long-term benefits and immediate, cleansing 'zing' of applying a face mask makes it all worthwhile, as...
They are certainly unflattering, sometimes uncomfortable and often appear to involve a lot of messy effort, but the long-term benefits and immediate, cleansing 'zing' of applying a face mask makes it all worthwhile, as Julie Penfold reports
Instilled into every young woman's psyche from an early age is the necessity to care for our faces. Learning to cleanse, tone and moisturise is a morning and evening beauty ritual that should become second nature to us throughout our lives, from eager teens to wrinkle-aware mature ladies. Another addition to our facial pampering routine should also be a revitalising weekly face mask, to leave skin moisturised, glowing and protected against the elements. Facial treatments and masks are often viewed as a pre-requisite for sufferers of problem skin only, while those with normal, dry and oily skin often overlook the benefits a weekly face mask can have on tired-looking, dehydrated, lacklustre skin. Agree a pampering pact with yourself to make the application of a face mask a weekly addition to your beauty regime, perhaps while settling down to watch your favourite TV programme or unwinding at the weekend - and it is a fabulous destressing technique too. When selecting which face mask is right for your skin and budget, look for soothing, anti-ageing, natural ingredients which allow your skin to fully absorb the goodness of the organic nutrients. Creamy formulas work best on dry and normal skin, providing muchneeded moisture and deep nourishment while restoring that fresh-faced dewy look. Facial masks containing honey, cucumber or citrus are particularly good for oily skin, while clay-based facial treatments work especially well on this skin type as they help to soak up and remove excess oil. With hundreds of face masks available to buy from high street stores, online apothecaries and direct from beauty spas, we have tried, tested and selected our favourite facial mask treats below. Balaton Spa Face Mask (19.99 100ml) is a luxury miracle three-minute mask adored by the celebrity fraternity with stars such as Gok Wan, and Trinny & Susannah singing the praises of this wonderful spa treatment. Containing 331 natural ingredients, the moorland peat face mask deeply cleanses, purifies and refines dull, tired-looking skin. Left on for three minutes, the rosy-cheeked radiant facial results are instant, and from the first application it leaves skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated. The Balaton Spa Mask is suitable for all skin types and the results are instant. Balaton Spa claims it is like having a mini face-lift and it's designed to leave you looking and feeling fabulous. Dr Alkaitis Organic Universal Face Mask (53.85 100g) is a luxurious high-end soothing treat for sensitive, irritated and inflamed skin providing the ultimate in skin nourishment by calming, and rejuvenating fragile skin. This mask is particularly excellent for tender skin, post-skin peels or microdermabrasion. The Dr Alkaitis range is biologically active, and made from pre-digested ingredients which make the nutrients active when moisture is applied. This ensures skin ingests the full nutritional content when the dry powder is added to water. Alternatively, for additional hydration and rejuvenation, natural yoghurt or organic honey can be added. The Organic Universal Face Mask is an exquisite treat for sensitive skin in need of TLC and hydration. Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Face Pack (9.90 50g) is a gorgeous-smelling dry powder face mask made with key natural ingredients chosen for their nourishing and beautifying properties, including Raw Chocolate Powder, the highest known source of antioxidants in the world. The powder is simply added to water, mixed into a paste and applied. It leaves skin feeling wonderfully soft with a fresh healthy glow and is suitable for all skin types. The Body Shop's Warming Mineral Mask (7.50 100ml) is a great quick-fix five-minute treat for rejuvenating tired flaccid skin, drawing out impurities and restoring essential vitamins and is suitable for all skin types. The mask warms on application, with an energising ginger and cinnamon oil fragrance, with the added ingredients of kaolin clay to deeply cleanse, and seaweed extract. The secret to a youthful glowing complexion is a regular indulgent face mask session. Make a date each week to treat yourself and your skin.