Face Masks, But Do They Really Work?

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I have become somewhat obsessed these last few weeks with finding a dehydrated and dull epidermis quick fix. And with all the hype surrounding miracle masks across social media I thought I would be able to find a wonder product that I could subsequently recommend.

Unfortunately I haven’t been that….impressed. By anything. And I’ve even tried some uber expensive “highly recommended” tubes of alleged magic in my quest. My sister loves Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask which seemed to be the most effective for me too – I did notice my skin looked softer and dewier by morning. But it is sticky and greasy looking, so not one to wear if you’re keen to embark on getting up to no good between the sheets. Although perhaps some folks are into that sort of thing, I’m not judging. Personally I didn’t feel the results lasted any longer than until the following afternoon, so I’m not sure how bothered I would be to make the effort in the future.

Lottie rates Clarins SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask – I haven’t tried it personally but she says it noticeably reduces parched patches and doesn’t irritate her sensitive skin.

Of course not everyone is looking for a mask that targets dryness, Laura favours the Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask which draws out impurities and focuses on clearing your pores using charcoal and Kaolin clay. It’s also only a tenner, and I do like the idea of the self-heating action. Perhaps because this would make me feel as though it was doing something. Placebo and all that.

I’ve seen many a Garnier Tissue Mask modelled on instagram but I’m never sure if that’s because they actually work or whether it’s because Garnier are clearly going hell-for-leather on the whole “hashtag ad” shebang. Boots currently have them on special offer for £1.99 each so probably worth a whirl, you never know!

What I have found to be far more effective than any mask I’ve tested recently is a few drops of The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalene applied before moisturiser in the PM. It has a very unsexy sounding name but it’s only £5.50 from ASOS so if it works who cares. I’ve noticed my make-up has looked much fresher since using it. And whilst you are purchasing your Squalene you can treat yourself to this very cool mustard chunky knit cardigan. Unfortunately this hue looks terrible on me which makes me endeavour to persuade everyone else I know into wearing it instead. I figure I can live out my mustard knitwear dreams vicariously via those with a less sallow complexion.

Do you mask? Is there a mask out there that really does make a noticeable difference to the condition and appearance of your skin? Please do leave your recommendations and reviews in the comments section below!

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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29 thoughts on “Face Masks, But Do They Really Work?

    1. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Antipodes Leanne, and I know that honey is supposed to be an amazing ingredient for calming skin – sometimes these things are definitely worth the investment x

  1. Sack the masks, put on some hydraluron pre moisturiser before bed and your thirsty skin will drink it right up! 💦

    On the slouchy cardi front, I recently bought a chenille number from Boohoo and I love it! So 90s.

  2. I love a hydrating serum. Currently The Ordinary Buffet in the evening and Hyalauronic Acid in the day.

    I also love Clarins Blue Orchid Oil when it’s getting properly dehydrated!

    Cream wise I’m a lover of the Clinique moisture surge range (mask and intense moisturiser) and also Garnier’s Moisture Bomb range (day cream and night cream-which is quite light and gel like,less sticky than Clinique) which is about £5 a pot! Possibly £8.

    I’m also a fan of La Roche Posay or Avene’s dehydrated range.

    As an extra boost I use Clinique Mousture Surge mist and/or Clarins Toner (it’s an orange lotion, quite thick almost gel like!).

    Sheet masks, I’ve used 2 garnier Ines. The moisture bomb one was rubbish but they did one in a pink packet which was really soothing and moisturising!

    I always put a mask on or thick cream quite early in the evening so it can soak in and not be too sticky/greasy by bed time!

    Phew, off for a lie down after that list!

    1. Vicky you are the skincare queen! I am still yet to find an oil that doesn’t irritate/block pores but I’m determined to find one x

      1. Not a mask, but I’ve recently started using Bobbi Browns cleansing oil. Having spent a lifetime purchasing oil fee products because I am prone to break outs and an oily t zone alongside dehydrated skin (I have no idea whatsoever what possessed me to sink a small fortune into this but) I’m completely taken! Hands down the best cleanser I’ve ever used – not only does it remove every ounce of make up which even Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth could never do unless I double cleansed (because it’s a slippery oil you can really work it into your skin without it being at all abrasive) but my skin feels all gorgeous and dewy once finished and my skin has been massively less dehydrated generally! I decided to plump for the vitamin face base cream too which is massively more thicker than any cream I would usually go for and despite easily day suggesting it wasn’t gong to agree with me I’m loving this too x

  3. 100% agree with Lynsey that hyaluronic acid is the way to go for sorting out dry skin. If my skin is sensitive and dry, I stick some oats in the food processor, mix them with homey and warm water and put it on like a mask. It good for dryness and irritation/redness.

    Oh, and now I can’t decide whether to get that cardigan or the burgundy Mango one from your knitwear post the other week. I’ll be needing both to see me through winter, right? 😊 x

  4. I’m not one for a proper face mask – too much effort, too much time sitting around – but can wholeheartedly recommend Origins Drink Up Intensive, I use it instead of night cream one or two nights a week.

    1. Ooh just the name sounds excellent, I haven’t tried any Origins for years – I used to use their eye cream which was excellent and then they went and discontinued it (eye roll) x

  5. I’ve recently tried the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Mask (turquoise). They have quite a few different ones, but I picked the turquoise one, since it fits in my bathroom’s colour scheme ^^ I have to admit though, that I was impressed. I love the smell and next morning my Skin was really plumptious and dewy in a non-greasy way! It’s not that cheap so I use it as a treat rather than a regular.
    I love the sound of the The Ordinary products, I’ll definitely do some research!
    I also looove Knitwear, that’s what I love about autumn/winter. Mustrad doesn’t suit me either, but I do fancy the bordeaux one from Mango!

    1. Anja you need the Mango one! I have received so many compliments and folks are really surprised when I mention it’s only twenty quid. I love that you buy skincare to match your bathroom colour scheme x

      1. Well, Charlotte, I’ll be off to hunt the Mango one then! Especially with the growing bump it’s beautiful to wrap yourself in!

        Thanks a lot, Lynsey!

    1. The packaging on BB is just gorgeous isn’t it? and I do love a tube. Yes I find the vast array of Ordinary products very confusing, as I’m expecting I’m not trying anything too active but I would like to really test some Vit C products and retinol after the baby has arrived x

  6. Hi Lovelies,
    I am a keen bean masker… and have a few go to’s depending on my skin needs (buckle in)

    When I need a big dose of smooth skin (ie before any wedding or event) – Fresh CRÈME ANCIENNE ULTIMATE NOURISHING HONEY MASK. Yes it is expensive, but ohhhh so very worth it. I have re-purchsed this twice as it is sooo good. http://bit.ly/2ifWrZx

    When I need to look like I’ve had a weeks worth of 12 hour sleeps and want to remove any trace of motherhood (ie knackered grey skin!) – SKII Facial Treatment Mask – http://bit.ly/2ysdDk2. One of those hannibel lecter white masks… leaves your skin looking the most hydrated, dewy, glowing… i could go on! Buy these at Heathrow Term 5 airport (top tip)

    When I have some breakouts – I use the Aesop Parsley seed cleansing masque. It is a clay based mask, you don’t need to use much as it goes a long way and you also don’t need a thick layer (good tip as very easy to waste product by caking it on) – http://bit.ly/2yNes8B. I have also re-purchased this several times.

    When I need to get rid of grey dull skin and have a radiant glow (love this feels like it has a built in exfoliator) – Glam GLow Mud mask. I find this quite tricky to apply. For people with sensitive skin I can imagine this might be a bit of a no-goer as your skin might get a bit red after using this as I think it feels abrasive compared to my other masks – but when i feel i need a good face polish – this is my go to- http://bit.ly/2gmUcmk. (M and S stock this so good to get on their 20% off days)

    Finally (I told you I was a keen bean!) – when I want a leave in mask, I use the Espa overnight hydration therapy – i love the cooling gel-like-texture and feels really hydrating to go to sleep in. Next morning skin looks more plump and even! http://bit.ly/2gkZI94. On my first pot but really enjoying it

  7. After almost 20 years of acne, I love Temple Spa’s range, particularly their purification mask! My skin feels beautiful and clean, and actually glows for the first time in my life. Great for a busy mum who hardly has time for makeup, but can go for a mask with a g&t on a Saturday night with Strictly!!

    1. I love it when I hear someone has found a product that really works for them and it transforms their skin – there is nothing quite like feeling super clean and glowing x

  8. Bobbi brown have an excellent face mask the pink one. Their extra range has sorted my skin out and the woman said it’s one of the driest they have seen!

  9. Hi!

    My husband and I (he will kill me for saying that) are obsessed with the Garnier tissue masks! They really leave my dry and dull skin soft and glowing!

    They are a little pricey in some shops so if I am feeling particularly dry in one area, I will cut it up and save the rest for another use! Then I feel a bit better because I can use it over the week.

    We love them so much that I am planning on taking one on the plane to Vegas next week! I don’t care if I get funny looks!

    I also love the Temple Spa range!

  10. Bit late but on nights! So I went to a skin clinic yesterday to have it looked at cos it’s a bit of a mash up of dry and then can get oily in the pm and then hormonal spots are being a massive bitch! I told her my current regime of liz Earle cleanser then some Clinique stuff and the moisture surge mask (agree not the best) and I have some fine lines and crepe skin under my eyes too! So, she said basically all the cosmectic brands just aren’t good enough if you want to invest in skin care as they don’t have active ingredients in because they would need prescribing. So she said cosmeceuticals or full on prescription creams are the way to effevtivel solve skin woes. Hence now I am eyeing up an eye cream from Obaji and some glycolic cleanser a day cream and night cream which she says looking at my skin is all I need to help clarify and hydrate! About £240 all in all! However if I’m paying for botox and various other things it seems wise to invest in a proper routine even if all I end up with is being skint at least I tried!
    So she also said Clinique was the worst stuff to use chemical wise and would only dry out my skin in the long term! She was quite happy with the ordinary products I use (acid and plant based oil you mentioned) and Aveeno which she said she was the best thing I used! X

    1. I love Aveeno Alex, I stray because it doesn’t do anything miraculous but it doesn’t irritate and it’s very moisturising so I always have a tube in my bathroom cabinet. I really rate the Bobbi Brown intense eye cream, I’ve heard of Obaji and cosmeceuticals, I’m tempted to try some more active products after pregnancy x

  11. Emma hardie cleanser is brilliant for drier skin.
    Drink it up by origins is a brill mask too
    .Bobbi brown gel moisturiser is great for dehydrated skin.
    Look on space nk website under skin treatments and see the best sellers- Sunday Riley stuff is good.
    God I could spend all my time and money on skin care and make up 😍
    Good luck with your search! X

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