It’s the weekend, so treat yourself to a beautifying facial mask. French facialist Christine Clais has over 20 years’ experience in the beauty industry and knows the importance of facial masks.

Facial masks can make a noticeable difference to the way our skin looks, improving it greatly.

In order to achieve positive results, it is important that one knows how to select the appropriated formulation for your skin. Depending on their ingredients, masks can achieve a broad variety of effects, including purifying, soothing, healing, hydrating, nourishing and stimulating.

Here are some common facial mask ingredients and their actions on the skin:

Clays (kaolin, aluminium silicate, bentonite or Fuller’s Earth) have various degrees of potency (kaolin being the most gentle). Clays have the ability to absorb excess oil and can be beneficial to an oily skin, and/or a skin that is prone to breaking out or developing blackheads.

Hyaluronic acid is a highly effective humectant and as such, is a wonderful ingredient for boosting the hydration levels of the epidermis (hydrated skin will always appear younger!)

Jojoba oil. Because jojoba’s chemical composition closely resembles that of the skin’s natural sebum, it is easily absorbed and acts as a wonderful moisturiser and barrier for the skin. Jojaba also contains many important nutrients such as vitamin E, B complex, zinc and copper; all essential to keeping the skin healthy.

Chamomille has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can benefit an irritated skin, including when experiencing eczema or dermatitis.

When and how should I use a facial mask?

A mask should always be applied on a clean skin and preferably after exfoliation (with a gentle product), once to twice a week being a good frequency of use.

You might particularly want to use a mask just before going out for a “beauty flash” effect (see recipe below). Whether you use your fingertips or a brush, apply your chosen mask to the entire face, neck and décolletage. Leave on the skin for about 10 to 20 minutes. Remove with plenty of tepid water and a face washer. Follow by moisturising your skin.

Please note that some masks can be very stimulating and should not be used too close to the eye area (always favour the use of a specifically designed eye mask for the delicate eye contour).

So, 1) cleanse, 2) exfoliate, 3) apply the mask, 4) remove the mask, 5) moisturise and voila!

Can I make my own facial mask?

You will find most of the ingredients you need in your kitchen! Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Honey mask (for a dehydrated or mature skin): Add a few drops of orange juice to a spoonful of honey and mix well.

Egg mask (for an oily skin): Add a few drops of lemon juice to a beaten egg white, mixing thoroughly to create a frothy consistency.

Beauty flash mask (for all skin types): Select a combination of vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, carrots or cucumber. Place in a food processor, adding a few drops of jojoba oil.

Please note: These home-made masks are for external use only and should be used immediately following their preparation. Some people might react or may be allergic to some ingredients/products. Christine Clais cannot be made responsible for reactions/allergies to ingredients/products mentioned in this blog, and resultant ailments if any.

What’s your favourite facial mask?