"Weekly mini-facials help keep skin conditions such as dryness or breakouts under control," says Leanne McCliskie, education manager at The International Dermal Institute in Toronto. "Minimize the fuss by cleansing and exfoliating when you shower, and wear the mask while you do something else."
Choose a creamy cleanser for dry skin, gel for normal skin or clay cleanser for oily skin, and massage gently all over your face for 90 seconds. Rinse well.
Try a gentle, granule-free exfoliant if you have sensitive skin. If you have normal or oily skin, this is the time for an at-home microdermabrasion and/or peel (follow package instructions carefully). "Skip the intense exfoliation if you already exfoliate daily," advises McCliskie. And remember your lips: buff lightly with a bit of scrub or a damp washcloth.
Dab a little eye cream under your eyes and smooth a layer of hydrating balm on your lips. To sensitive or dry skin, apply a soothing, hydrating mask. Maintain normal skin with a gel mask with humectants (which attract and hold moisture) such as aloe, honey, lavender or lactic acid. For oily skin, use a deep-cleansing or clarifying mask. Relax for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat skin dry.
Finish with a light application of moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. Use SPF during the day.
Tip: Eye time
As an alternative to eye cream, try a pair of eye-treatment patches while you do your face mask. Swiss Clinic RX Eye Lift Instant Renew Patches, $45 for eight pairs (can be used twice); or SkinVitals Eye Lift Cloth Eye Treatment Masks, $3.95 for three pairs.
|Products to try|
|Fruits and Passion Radiance Freshening Gel Mask, 100 mL, $25.|
|Olay Definity Illuminating Cream Cleanser, 150 mL, $14.99.|
|Garnier Skin Naturals Nutritionist Regenerating Daily Moisturiser SPF 15, 50 mL, $18.99.|
|Sally Hansen Chapped Lip Repair, 12.5 g, $7.99.|
Where to buy
Olay, Sally Hansen and Garnier, drugstores. Fruits and Passion, www.fruits-passion.com. Swiss Clinic, select department stores, www.swissclinic.ca. SkinVitals, Loblaws; The Real Canadian Superstore.
Product photos courtesy Geoffrey Ross