As the weather gets cooler, skin can start to feel dry. But help may be close at hand with a hydrating mask.
These can be effective, quick and less expensive than a spa facial.
Compared with regular face creams, “masks are often thicker, more emollient and even a bit greasy,” says Dr. Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist and dermatology advisor to Youbeauty.com. But they moisturize without clogging pores, she says, because they are washed off as opposed to being rubbed in.
For an effective homemade moisturizing mask, Weschsler recommends a yogurt and honey concoction that will soothe and nourish dry skin. First, mix two tablespoons honey (to hydrate) with two teaspoons of whole milk yogurt (which contains skin-sloughing lactic acid for exfoliation). Warm the mixture slightly in the microwave, then smooth it over your face, lie down (so it doesn’t drip off) and relax for 10 minutes. Afterward, simply rinse with warm water.
If you would rather buy something already prepared, Wechsler recommends reading the back of the package for ingredients. Look for safflower, glycerin, petrolatum and hyaluronic acid, which are key for their hydrating properties. Hyaluronic acid draws moisture to the top layer of skin, so the face stays supple longer throughout the day, she said.
Here are some newly released (and some all-time favorite) moisturizing masks that will leave parched skin plump, glowing and hydrated.
Iroha green tea, aloe & ginseng cloth mask ($5.50 at www.bigelowchemists.com) This all-natural mask is invigorating (ginseng) and comforting (aloe), and the green tea works to help revive skin from the damage caused by pollution and stress.
Clarins HydraQuench cream mask ($35 at www.nordstrom.com) This mask is formulated to balance dehydrated skin, using katafray bark and a hyaluronic acid complex with a chemical structure that enables it to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
One facial paper masks ($1.99 at www.target.com) The masks are designed to moisturize and soothe tired, stressed skin. At this price, why not try them? They’re eco-friendly and come in a travel-friendly package.
Liz Earle intensive nourishing treatment mask ($24 at www.uslizearle.com) This all-natural line of beauty products from Britain has a great range of well-priced, naturally active and effective formulas. The nourishing treatment mask is designed specifically for dry, parched skin, and addresses dehydration with borage (an herb known for retaining moisture) and rose-scented geranium to tone and balance skin.
Kate Somerville Quench ($45 at www.katesomerville.com) has hyaluronic acid to pull moisture deep into skin cells, plus cucumber and willowherb to soothe red or sensitive skin. And for anyone who’s a fan of the Quench line or just looking to target dry skin, Somerville recently launched a Quench lip treatment and in January will introduce an oil-free version of her hydrating Quench serum. This is great for dry skin that’s prone to clogging or oily skin that’s slightly parched from dry winter weather.