We’ve come a long way since the DIY mayo masks of the ’70s. Here, five new face masks offering upgraded TLC
THE LUXE ANTI-AGER: Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Revitalizing Mask Noir
THE PROMISE: A facial massage with the accompanying dry brush stimulates microcirculation and preps the skin for the youth-enhancing, floral-scented mask. Used weekly, it lightly exfoliates skin, restores glow and minimizes signs of fatigue.
THE TECH: This latest addition to Lauder’s Re-Nutriv line combines purifying bamboo charcoal and exfoliating jojoba esters with extracts of skin-calming 24K gold, radiance-boosting South Sea pearls and cell-energizing black diamond truffle.
THE TEST DRIVE: “For a spa-at-home experience, it doesn’t get any better than a delicate dry brushing followed by this intensely rich mask. The exfoliation left a refreshing, tingly sensation while still being gentle enough for my reactive skin.” —Caitlin Agnew, contributing beauty editor, Cosmetics
THE PURIFIER: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque
THE PROMISE: According to the brand’s research, most women spend, on average, only 20 seconds washing their face—not long enough to fully oust pollutants and surplus sebum. This mask aims to remove buildup to reveal a bright, fresh surface.
THE TECH: Activated charcoal bonds to debris, while sulphur promotes cell turnover. A combination of physical and chemical exfoliators, including volcanic ash and lactic acid, clears away dead skin cells, then vitamin B3 calms redness.
THE TEST DRIVE: “I especially liked the fine granules, which gently exfoliated as I washed off the mask. My skin was left with an ultra smooth, squeaky-clean feeling and—most importantly—zero redness.” —Vanessa Taylor, style director, Chatelaine
THE DOUBLE DOSER: AmorePacific Moisture Bound Intensive Serum Masque
THE PROMISE: This two-step treatment—a sheet mask accompanied by a serum-filled ampoule—hydrates while improving the skin’s barrier function, making it naturally better at holding onto moisture. The result: a healthier-looking complexion with a soft texture.
THE TECH: Both the serum and mask contain the Seoul-based brand’s 5-Hydra Complex—a blend of cactus, soybean, lotus, green tea and bamboo leaf to soothe and restore skin—along with bamboo sap, known for its healing properties.
THE TEST DRIVE: “Having a separate vial of serum, which you apply directly to your face before layering the gel mask on top, means no goopy fabric messing up your hairline. I did this mask start to finish from the comfort of my couch—no rinsing required!” —Caitlin Kenny, beauty editor, FLARE
THE REVIVER: Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque
THE PROMISE: This fast-acting mask was born after parent company L’Oréal found that the majority of women in the U.S., Japan and France consider dullness a top skincare concern. It’s formulated to smooth skin and boost radiance for a near-instant glow.
THE TECH: Crushed cranberry seeds gently exfoliate, then turmeric, a staple in Ayurvedic, Chinese and Egyptian medicines, brightens skin with its antioxidant, antiseptic and sebum-balancing abilities.
THE TEST DRIVE: “The product’s bright yellow shade is a tad alarming (and slightly emoji-esque), but the combination of turmeric with the exfoliation left my skin incredibly soft, with a healthy I-didn’t-just-Netflix-binge-for-seven-hours glow.” —Kelly Clark, editorial assistant, Cosmetics
THE RESURFACER: Bobbi Brown Radiance Boost Mask
THE PROMISE: In line with her belief that makeup is only as good as the canvas it’s applied on, Bobbi Brown has just launched three new masks, including this brightening option. It exfoliates, nixes oil buildup and hydrates, leaving skin silky and luminous.
THE TECH: Fine walnut grain beads gently buff and massage skin to improve microcirculation. Kaolin clay soaks up excess sebum, while algae extract and sodium hyaluronate (a mega-humectant) give thirsty faces a hydrating boost.
THE TEST DRIVE: “As soon as I put this on, I could feel it working. In less than three minutes, it transformed my dull skin, giving it an ultra-smooth brightness. Bonus: the delightful citrus scent.” —Erinn Stewart, contributor, LOULOU
This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of Cosmetics magazine. For more, download our iPad edition.