Your Stylist: Hydrating beauty masks to save dry skin [UPDATED]
I find that most masks claiming to moisturize skin are pretty effective when it comes to hydrating my face after a long flight or during a mild L.A. fall. And a mask can be a quick treatment without the time (or dollars) needed for a facial at a spa.
"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 provide moisturization without clogging pores, she says, because they are washed off as opposed to being rubbed in. Wechsler has a recommendation for an effective homemade moisturizing mask.
Her yogurt-and-honey mask is soothing and nourishing for dry skin (and easy if you already have these simple ingredients in your kitchen).
First, mix two tablespoons honey with two teaspoons of whole milk yogurt. Warm the mixture slightly in the microwave, then smooth it over your face, lie down and relax for 10 minutes. Afterward, simply rinse your face with warm water. [UPDATED Nov. 8: This post originally omitted the yogurt and said to use honey with whole milk.]
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 works to balance dehydrated skin, using katafray bark and a Clarins hyaluronic acid complex with a chemical structure that allows it to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
ONE Facial Paper Masks ($1.99 at Target stores, Target.com) The masks are designed to moisturize and soothe tired, stressed skin. At the price, why not try them? They're also 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 remedies 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. Also, for anyone who's a fan of Somerville's Quench line or just looking to target dry skin, she recently launched a Quench lip treatment and an oil-free version of her hydrating Quench serum (available in January). This is great for dry skin that's prone to clogging or oily skin that's slightly parched from dry winter weather.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photos: from top: Iroha green tea + aloe + ginseng cloth mask / Irhoa; ONE Facial Paper Masks / Target; Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask / Liz Earle; Kate Somerville Quench mask / Kate Somerville