Beauty experts have been raving about MULTI MASKING – applying several masks at once to different areas on your face, but as SARAH HALLIWELL asks, is the trend GENIUS OR JUST OVERKILL?
We’re hearing a lot about “multi masking” as the latest trend in skincare. While we love a good mask (especially the serum-laden fabric ones), and swear by layering our serums and creams, using more than one mask at a time sounds a little excessive. Not to mention expensive. We’ve also now seen our first “mask primer”, to apply before your face mask. Is it a case of overkill?
The idea of multi-masking is to apply multiple face masks to different parts of your face at once, in order to treat different skin concerns: so you might have an oily T-zone but dry skin on the cheeks, and also want to soften lines around your eyes. Skincare experts are firmly in favour. “We have been doing this on a professional basis in the treatment rooms for years, as we customise facial treatments to suit the client’s skin,” notes facialist Nuala Woulfe. “It is practical and has definite benefits. Obviously for some clients one mask is sufficient, but it depends on your skin type.” According to Mintel’s Facial Skincare and Anti-Ageing report, younger facial mask users are more likely to cite treating acne, pore size, blackheads and oiliness as skin concerns they want to treat, while those aged 35 and older want to treat wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Neelu, facialist at Arnotts, meanwhile, also says that this is a theory she’s used in the salon for a long time: “I specifically target different parts of the skin with different treatments. For example, I might use an LED light for antibacterial issues on the acne-prone part of the skin, and a perfector treatment on visible lines to promote collagen.”
If it’s hydration you’re after, Woulfe recommends the SKINCEUTICALS HYDRATING B5 MASQUE. “It is an excellent weekly hydration treatment containing high concentrations of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. It’s non-oily so is suited to all skin types, and it optimises moisture infusion in targeted areas. This mask is perfect as a quick moisture boost prior to make-up.” I can vouch for the brilliance of the B5 Masque, and also for selected fabric masks, including NUXE SPLENDIEUSE masks and ESTÉE LAUDER MICRO ESSENCE INFUSION MASKS (below), which make a glorious difference in ten minutes, like a huge vitamin-packed drink for the skin: these masks certainly cover a whole lot of jobs in one, from soothing skin to deeply hydrating.
For acne or oily skin, choose a clay mask: Woulfe recommends SKINCEUTICALS CLARIFYING CLAY MASK, and EMINENCE ORGANICS FIRM SKIN ACAI MASK, packed with antioxidants including acai, blueberry and raspberry, and hyaluronic acid to plump up fine lines. “You could layer this with the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Mask Potent, a cream-gel for all skin types,” advises Woulfe. “Citrus, rhubarb extract and avocado oil help reduce the appearance of sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles.” We also love Bobbi Brown’s new Face Masks: the mini trio for €14 means you can try them all out before investing in a full-size, and it’s great for travel.
Before you go piling on a load of masks, though, check you have the right ones for your skin type. A therapist can tell that your skin is blocked with product rather than just oily, for example – otherwise you might add to the problem with your choice of mask, points out Neelu. “The trouble when you do this at home is that one mask can seep into another: it is moderately difficult to keep the products apart on your face without them merging into a homogenous slime,” she says. “Another issue is timing: one mask may need to be washed off after 15 minutes, whereas a different one may be suitable for five.” So proceed, with caution, and maximise the benefits of your home treatments.
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