The Masks.

I'm still fairly new to the world of face masks. Prior to my skin care overhaul at the start of the year, I didn't have any masks in my routine that I used regularly.The three masks I introduced into my routine have really helped to turn my skin around, each in their own ways.

Though each mask serves a completely different purpose, if I could only choose one, I would undoubtedly go with the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. One of the biggest changes I made to my skin care was cutting out physical exfoliation and replacing it with chemical exfoliation; in other words, swapping out my Clarisonic Mia for products with exfoliating acid components. 

As you might expect based on the name, the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask mask contains glycolic and lactic acids, as well as tartaric and citric acids, that work to gently slough away dead skin cells, aiding in skin cell turnover and as a result, acne scarring, wrinkles and clogged pores. About once a week, I'll apply a pump of the orange marmalade-like mask all over my face and let it sit for 15 minutes before removing it with a warm, damp washcloth. REN recommends leaving it on for 10 minutes, which I did the first time I used it, but as I noticed my skin was able to handle a bit more than that, I've since been leaving it on for a bit longer without any problems. It tingles just a bit towards the latter half of the 15 minutes, and my skin is often a bit pink when I remove the mask. However, it also leaves my skin feeling incredibly smooth, soft, clear, and the immediate glow is undeniable. I can't live without this!

Depending on how oily and/or congested my skin feels (and how lazy I am, let's be honest), I'll use my Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque up to twice a week. It's a clay cleanser that is unlike any I've tried before. It's far lighter in consistency and less drying than most clay masks, but it still unclogs pores and de-slicks skin like the traditional clay mask. I apply a thin, even layer to my skin after cleansing and while the mask applies more like a clear lotion, it dries down to a grey layer on the skin after a minute or two. It has an lavender scent that is quite herbal and calming. I rinse it off after 15-20 minutes and my skin feels clean and clear but not particularly stripped of moisture, provided I don't use it when my skin is dry. Unlike most clay masks, Aesop's doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and itchy, a result of the stripped oils. It has become my go-to product when I feel my skin needs a bit of deep-cleansing, perhaps at the end of the week.

When my skin is feeling dry or dehydrated, I'll swap out my nighttime moisturizer for a healthy dose of Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. This is my first overnight mask, and to be honest, I thought it was a bit odd at first that you'd apply a mask and leave it on for hours without rinsing it off. Although I do love using it as needed, I fail to identify many differences between it and an incredibly hydrating night cream, if you already have one of those (I don't). Especially when paired with a hydrating serum, the moisturization provided to my skin lasts well into the morning and leaves my skin feeling ridiculously soft and plump.

The REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is available from Sephora for $55 for 1.7 oz.
The Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque is available on their website for $37 for 2 oz.
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is available on their website for $23 for 3.4 oz.


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