LOUIS, Mo. ó In the quest for better skin thereís a step
that most people skip, chalking it up to an overrated
indulgence. But if youíve got a skin complaint ó too dry,
acne, too oily, uneven, big pores, fine lines, whatever ó
you should be using a mask.
mask is more than something you spend $100 on at a spa,"
said Dr. Lawrence Samuels, chief of dermatology at St. Lukeís
Hospital. He said that some masks get a bad rap because people
think of them as strictly a relaxation ploy.
the right mask can be a powerhouse on your skin.
fighting the effects of sun damage can benefit from an enzyme
mask, which does the work of the enzymes that are depleted
during UV exposure.
at-home masks arenít going to be as rigorous as the
professional grade products youíll get from a certified
aesthetician, but you can use them more often and still get
on their skin problem most people can benefit from using a
mask at least once a week," Samuels said. And some people
would do well to work a mask into their daily routine, if
their skin condition tolerates it.
that itís worth the consultation to see a medical spa
professional first to diagnosis exactly what your biggest
complaint is before you invest in a pricey mask treatment.
a good way to avoid the bathroom cemetery" of unused
skincare products, Samuels said.
biggest benefit of masking is that it helps slough away debris
or provide hydration so that your skin can start repairing
are in the business of selling makeup, but great makeup starts
with great skin," explained Marcus Monson, Guerlainís
national makeup artist who was recently in town for a store
about four flights a week for his job, so heís constantly
battling the effects of the dry air and changing climates. And
because of his job, heís religious about skin care. Masking
is an essential part of his routine, and among his favorites
is a Super Aqua Sheet Mask ($123 for six at Neiman Marcus), a
hydrating sheet with holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. He
said that sometimes itís an excuse to relax for 5 minutes to
is a huge factor in skin care," Monson said. "Stress
is one of the biggest exacerbating factors of aging
itself." And the only way to combat it is to relax.
that there are masks "that pretty much do everything ó
cleanse, moisturize, lighten and tighten ó and there are
some you can leave on called sleep-in masks, so itís the
laziest version possible."
latter are typically hydrating masks that you apply near
bedtime. You allow them to sit on the skin for a while and
then rub in the excess before bed. Monson swears that the
treatment will make you look like you drank eight glasses of
water in your sleep.
is more cautious in his descriptions. He said that skin damage
doesnít occur overnight and it isnít corrected overnight.
So commit to a routine and stick with it for a while to see
true results. But if you start experiencing negative effects,
eliminate that product immediately.
that he treats many patients who bought some fancy potion
because someone at a beauty counter told them that it was the
best thing ever.
a lot of talk out there, but I like to see the science behind
things," said Samuels, who developed a line called
RXSystemsPF. Most of the people behind the beauty counters canít
even tell you what the normal pH-balance of the skin should be
or how this product affects that, he said.
want me to verify if this new wonder thing they heard about on
television or from a friend is true, and I always tell them to
look around," Samuels said. "When Botox was approved
and working, it was on every network and every station and
every newspaper because it was true and it worked. If you hear
about some secret, revolutionary wonder treatment or herb or
whatever from one person itís probably not worth it. Things
like that donít remain a secret."
applied to freshly washed skin thatís still damp)
Ceuticals: Divine Brightening Mask. Addresses uneven skin tone
and dryness ($48.75) at perfectiveceuticals.com for set of
Glacial Mud: The Glacial Facial Purifying Mineral Mud Masque.
Addresses clarity and exfoliation. Recommended one to four
times a week ($35) at alaskaglacialmud.com, choose unscented,
Refreshing Lavender-Peppermint or Relaxing Vanilla-Lavender.
Blackhead Remover. Addresses exfoliation and acne care.
Recommended as a spot treatment as needed ($49.50 part of a
set including a Pore Refining Sealer) at murad.com or Sephora
Kerafole Mask: Addresses skin exfoliation and skin tone. Use
seven consecutive days for intensive treatment and then
recommended twice weekly ($48) at bioelements.com.
Fender: Holistic Skin Care Custom Blended Formulations, Epi
Peel. Addresses enlarged pores, dull skin, dryness and oil
complaints with micro-exfoliation ($80) at tammyfender.com.