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We think these face masks might just change your life - and your skin

It’s easy to write the best face masks off as non-essentials. After all, you wear them for 10-minutes, watch a little Netflix, then wash your hard-earned pennies down the plughole. Or so you might think.

The truth is, the best face masks for your skin, used in the right way, can work out-and-out miracles on tired, blotchy and dehydrated skin. No joke.

Here’’s why you should use a face mask (if you’re not already that is): beautifying ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and retinol, are able to penetrate further into your skin where they can impact cell turnover, collagen and elastin production and, ultimately, have a huge impact. That’s because face masks literally hold these ingredients captive against your skin for 10-minutes or so, and your face has no choice but to suck all that goodness up.

If your skin is dull and dry, the best face masks can make for a great exfoliator. Grainy scrubs are not only harsh on the environment, but they’’re not too gentle on your precious face either. Look for masks containing mild peeling actions or ingredients like fruit enzymes, which will nibble away on dry, flaky skin to reveal the softer, plumper stuff underneath. No scrubbing involved.

We’’re obsessed with sheet masks. In South Korea women buy sheet masks by the box-load and use them daily. Yes, it sounds a little high maintenance but then again women in South Korea are known for their perfectly flawless, smooth-as-silk faces so they’re probably onto something. Sheet masks come saturated in skin plumping and brightening ingredients and, left on for 10-20 minutes, force all that goodness into the skin. The latest Korean mask trend are fruit slice masks, a fun twist on the regular sheet mask.

And, where would we be without eye masks? They almost instantly plump up dehydration lines and boost brightness around the eye area.

There’s a new kind of product in town and it boosts the efficacy of your face mask even further; it’s a mask primer. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Our skin is designed to keep stuff out, it’s how it protects itself… but we want all these incredible ingredients to get as deep as possible into our skin where they can really make a difference. A mask, by nature, pushes ingredients further into the skin than, say, a face cream but, being the greedy lot that we are, we want our face masks to work even harder.

That’s where mask primers come in; we love Origins Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer, which increases the absorption rate of active ingredients into your skin. Just apply a fine layer onto clean skin before painting on your mask to reap the maximum benefits.

Homemade face mask

If you’re not so willing to splurge on a ready made face mask, chances are you have some of the ingredients you should slap on your skin in your fridge or kitchen cupboards already. That supermarket-bought honey is seriously moisturising, while organic yoghurt is jam-packed with AHAs to dissolve dead skin cells and zinc to regulate your skin’s sebum production. Plus your avocado obsession will do your skin some serious good, as they’re packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that preserve skin’s moisturiser.

Not sure where to start when it comes to making your own face mask? Try out one of these 6 recipes for homemade face masks for an excellent skincare boost that’s on the cheap.

Best face masks for acne

Struggling with acne can make you a bit wary about what exactly you slather all over your face, making it all the more important that you choose from the best face masks money can buy. The last thing you want is a product that causes you to break out, or make existing breakouts even worse.

Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Mask is a medicated, oil free formula specifically designed for acne or spot-prone skin. Use it a few times a week and you’ll notice a marked difference in your complexion; spots wither under its glare as it gets a hand on your skin’s oil levels. It’s no wonder that oily-skinned women rave about the entire range.

Best face masks for blackheads

If blackheads are your biggest vice, seek out something with exfoliating properties to help clean out your plugged pores. Salicylic acid is a well-known hero when it comes to treating congested skin, so if it appears on a face mask’s label, you can put your faith in its ability to help get rid of blackheads. But think twice before trying one of those Instagram famous black face masks, which can potentially ruin your skin.

However, if your blackheads are particularly bad and a mask just won’t cut the mustard, a foolhardy treatment is a professional blackhead extraction facial, in which your skin is given a thorough deep clean to help reduce those pesky pore-blockers over time. This Marie Claire approved treatment is worth paying the extra pennies for.

Best face masks for dry skin

Trust us when we say that the best face masks will completely transform even the driest of complexions into soft and radiant skin. The key is to choose something that’s going to supply your skin with a high concentration of moisturising ingredients. While shopping, be sure to keep your eye out for hyaluronic acid, a mega-hydrating ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Genius.

Scroll through our detailed round up of the best and most brilliant face masks, to suit every budget and skin type.

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