Tag Archives: cosmetics

Hello, Gorgeous: Why You Need a Sheet Mask

Do try this at home… when you’re alone! The sight of you in a sheet mask could wilt the ardor of the most enthusiastic suitor.

(Think somewhere between Hannibal Lechter and The Mummy.)9547364_fpx

Scary factor aside, I’m addicted to these soft cloths for quick pampering and especially love the ones from Japanese brand SKII.

Reviewers consistently give them high marks for addressing concerns such as:

  • Dryness
  • Dullness and uneven texture
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Loss of firmness and elasticity

Admittedly, SKII is pricy, but I can get at least two uses out of each sheet since they’re well saturated. (Definitely worth it to buy the larger quantity and use monthly.)

How They Work

While traditional cream or gel masks sit on the skin and slowly sink in, a sheet saturated in the same active ingredients increases absorption by pushing them in more deeply. Soft cellulose masks including many cost-friendly Korean brands drape over facial contours  like a second skin. After you’ve removed the mask, rub in any excess liquid and apply a moisturizer to lock in the treatment.

Power Up

Always “add” to a mask by layering extra treatments underneath, say the experts. Before you slip under the sheet, prep your skin with any of the following:

  • Vitamin C, for general skin brightening and radiance
  • Hyaluronic Acid or any hydrating serum, to add instant moisture
  • A few drops of oil for dry, jet-lagged or post-sun skin

Lighter textures tend to work more efficiently, as the active ingredients are more easily absorbed into your skin.

Apply Pressure

Pressing down over the mask – or using a massaging beauty roller — helps the ingredients penetrate the top layer of skin smoothly and evenly.

Chill Out or Warm Up

Store your sheet masks in the fridge, as anything cool will quickly de-puff, smooth and firm up your face, which is ideal first thing in the morning or before an event. Conversely, using a warmed mask helps release tension and relax the face, and can even smooth out expression lines (temporarily of course). Fill your sink with warm water and submerge the packet before opening.

On My Wish List

Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask sounds intriguing. One reviewer wrote: “Infused with glow-giving, skin-plumping ingredients, the real beauty of these is that you can also wear them over makeup (unless your skin is very oily) to give the most incredible radiance to makeup and an almost porcelain finish to skin.”  She suggests wearing the mask for ten minutes over your finished look – even while being driven to a dinner or party, and whisking it off as the car is parked.

Personally, I’m not sure anyone should take the Hannibal Lechter look out in public – wet or dry – but I’ll bet her skin looked fabulous.

Beauty Round-Up

As a public service to those of you who don’t have the time, inclination, or mind-numbingly long plane flights to read magazines, here are seven items that caught my eye recently.

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  • A hot bath burns as many calories as a 30-minute walk. This one really resonates with my inner sloth.
  • Cure for cellulite? The BelleCore Body Buffer, $149, is said to reduce water retention while buffing the skin to release tension and stretch the tough tissue that holds fat cells in place, creating that dreaded dimpled effect. I’d try it myself except that 1) I’ve spent far too much money this month, and 2) my butt and thighs are already flawless. Yeah, right.
  • The Big Five ingredients we need to improve our skin:
    1. Vitamin C, the powerful antioxidant that supports healthy collagen and fights free radicals that break it down. Check the concentration; anything cheap probably has too little to be effective.
    2. Retinol, the “miracle” ingredient that fights acne, smooths and reduces wrinkles and works wonders on sun-damaged skin. Best used at night and be sure to use sunscreen daily.
    3. Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which acts like a sponge to pull moisture from the air into the skin. Caveat: In a really dry climate, it can work in reverse, so slather on a rich moisturizer on top to prevent water loss.
    4. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid increase cell turnover and inhibit enzymes that destroy collagen and elastin to treat fine lines, dullness and blackheads. Without SkinMedica’s GlyPro line, I’d probably look about 80.
    5. It may seem counterintuitive but oils work on both oily and dry skin. On oily complexions, face oil can signal the skin to stop overproducing sebum. For dry skin, layer oil over your HA serum and massage it in. Look for one that’s cold pressed (like a good olive oil) because heat can destroy its active properties.
  • A cluttered environment decreases self-control, increasing the likelihood of impulsive spending, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research. I’m cleaning up my desk RIGHT THIS MINUTE.
  • More vitamin D correlates with longer telomeres, the protective DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes. Shortened/broken telomeres are linked to blotchy skin, grey or thinning hair, deep wrinkles and other age-related consequences. Salmon, anyone??
  • Layer skin care products in order of “heaviness”. After cleansing and drying your skin (to reduce potential irritation), pat on your serum and let it dry before you layer on anything else. Next, massage in your facial oil. Then apply a rich moisturizer to lock in hydration. Sunscreen is your final product during the day, of course.
  • Tips for growing stronger nails:
  1. File in one direction from the outside to the center on both sides, using a file with 240 to 600 grit. Never metal.
  2. Don’t peel off your gel manicure or chipped polish. But you already knew that.
  3. Dry nails are more likely to break. Rub lotion and cuticle oil in throughout the day to get blood flowing and help stimulate cell regeneration.
  4. An almond shape is the strongest.
  5. According to dermatologists, the only supplement proven to work is biotin (2.5 mg/day, but check with your own doctor). Some recommend MSM, a form of sulphur, to help bind keratin in hair and nails.
  6. It takes six months for a nail to regrow.

By the way, people who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s beauty sleep.

Stay gorgeous! xx