• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Facial Masks- Current Routine and Favourites

I was an avid multi-masker before it was trending. Serious acne for a decade, then, at last, healthier skin: I took my skincare VERY seriously from the age of 19. Every Sunday was masks day: first cleansing, then exfoliating, then hydrating, then nourishing, in that order. Soon, I experienced this as my de-compressing ritual, so I did not limit it to Sundays anymore. At times of extreme stress, my skin was always suspiciously plump. Let it not be said that I look bad under pressure.

Since starting high-strength retinol, though, I have limited need for masks. My skin is, FINALLY, in very good shape and I'm happy with it. That lasts half the year, however, because as soon as I drop the retinol strength, just a few weeks later, I need that extra boost from my masks again. I no longer use the low calibre, drugstore masks, the ones I bought in bulk in the past. Now that I am finally enjoying good skin, I need more results- better. I have a comprehensive skincare regime that covers all my basic skin needs: antiaging, antioxidant, hydrating, restorative, protective etc. The masks I enjoy now all benefit my skin as at-home treatments rather than a quick pick-me-up for the skin.

Quick tip: when I multi-mask on Sundays (or stress-days), before I go to bed, I apply a soothing, nourishing facial oil mixed with self-tanner. That way, I wake up to healthy skin with a sun-kissed glow. Alternatively, if my face is red and blotchy (when the tempratures rise, my skin protests), when I am done with my last mask, I repeatedly spray my face with Avène Thermal Spring Water over the rest of the day. I'll explain all in a following post soon.

Below are my current favourites, all high-end, I'm afraid, except from one. They give you results that last all week.

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask: You might know Charlotte Tilbury is my favourite makeup brand but do you know her skincare line includes some spectacular products? The Tilbury labs don't always get it right (the eye and night cream are misses for me) but when they do.. Oh my! They are on a league of their own. I have tried literally hundreds of clay masks along the years and this is second to none. This is the first step in my mask routine; it leaves my skin sublimely cleansed and plump. Please be careful with keeping correct time, though. If I leave it on for 15 minutes, I get baby skin. If I forget myself and rinse out at 45 minutes, I am dried out: this is potent stuff. You have been warned. The Goddess Skin Clay mask available to buy here

Patchology On The Fly Kit: this brand knows masks, it's certainly better than all the popular Korean brands I've tried. Their different masks are all glorious but this travel set includes my favourites and is a great way to try different treatments. I have one in my suitcase right now, in anticipaton of the summer holidays. It's available to buy here

Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula: There's a milder version but these stronger ones are the best for my weekly exfoliation, as the second step in the routine. So easy to use: apply one tissue on your face until it dries, then the second one to neutralize the acids. You're done. Very effective, yet loving, on your skin and so travel-friendly. Just make sure you're not rubbing that tissue on your skin too harshly, you get a strange urge to work the acids in better. Please don't, it's just irritating. The exfoliating pads are available to buy here

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: Ah, the famous little blood-red bottle of acids. This one certainly lives up to its name. Yes, you look like you have blood on your face but you get impressively effective and sophisticated chemical exfoliation for such a low price. Again, I use this as the second step after clay cleansing. If you're an acids novice, tread carefully. Trust your skin, if your get too much tingling, rinse it off even if it's sooner than the 10 minutes. It is available to buy here

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask (pack of four): Another piece of fabulosity by Charlotte Tilbury. This was the first of its kind: a dry sheet mask, an innovative way to deliver actives to your skin. This is made by the same Swiss lab that makes the products of beauty guru Nanette De Gaspé. Τop of the line. This is my final step in the routine. When you apply it on your face and secure the hoops over and under your ears, it might feel like it's not doing much. Just have faith, gently massage over the mask to activate and take it off at 15 minutes. You'll see a fine layer of emolient product has remained on your skin; do not rinse off, this layer treats your skin for another 6 to 8 hours. You fold it back into its gold envelope, store it in the fridge for up to three months and you can use it another two or three times. This pack of four is expensive, yes, but it lasts me four months at the very minimum. The Instant Magic dry sheet masks are available to buy here

Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask: Zelens, how I love and hate you. I mean I love you but hate your prices, which is quite different. This mask is expensive. It's also my favourite one, ever. Also a last step product, it gives me plump, radiant, strong skin. To get my money's worth, I wear it overnight. The 50ml pot gives me more than 20 applications, so I can't complain too much. Although it's a pearly/creamy consistency, not liquid, I keep it in the fridge for no other reason than I'm terrified the Mediterranean heat will somehow compromise my precious mask. If you can afford it, go for it and apply it on perfectly cleansed and exfoliated skin to get the most out of its potency. The Transformer mask is available to buy here

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photos via cultbeauty.co.uk