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Winter is here, and it's arrived with an intensity and force that most Canadians haven’t had to endure in years. The combination of cutting winds, deep-freeze temperatures and thermostats being cranked all the way up has put our skin in serious distress.
Rather than rethinking a regimen, whether it encompasses oils, serums, and nourishing creams, there is a soothing solution that can be found in a single step: a hydrating face mask. Whether your skin feels tight, itchy or is actually flaking off it can really benefit from regular masking.
You should apply a face mask after cleansing and exfoliating and leave it on your skin for 10 to 20 minutes (or longer, depending the product's directions). Most hydrating masks suggest to apply one or two times a week, but when winter is really stressing out your skin you can mask up to three or four times a week. Here is the latest crop of super-moisturizing solutions we fully endorse.
Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask, $75, sephora.com.
Only have five minutes to spare? Bring this creamy mask, designed to get the job done in just five minutes, into the shower with you. It leaves skin feeling supple (we’re looking at you sea fennel extract) and looking radiant (due to a complex including lotus flower extract) and smoother (thanks to a blend of seaweed flakes, red algae and lotus seeds). It’s like a big hug for your skin, helping to comfort and reset your complexion—also great after a long flight.
Riversol Hydrating Antioxidant Mask, $49, beautymark.ca.
Developed specifically for dry to very dry, sensitive skin, this intensely hydrating mask delivers anti-oxidants to the epidermis to help stimulate healthy cell regeneration and protection from toxins, such as pollution. It keeps skin hydrated for 24 hours after use—and it’s made in Vancouver!
Better all the time
Biologique Recherche Masque Visolastine +, $110, biologique-recherche.com.
Have you heard about the cult-favourite, French beauty brand, Biologique Recherche? If you haven’t, it’s hero product is P50, a hybrid of a liquid that exfoliates and balances all skin types. It’s really good! Like great. But we want to talk about the new kid in their lineup that has serious potential, the Masque Visolastine +. This at-home mask not only boosts hydrations moment after use, it reinforces and protects the hydration in the upper layers of the epidermis. Four hour after this treatment your hydration levels actually increase by 16%!
Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydrating Mask, $75, sephora.ca.
Think of this like a heating blanket for your face. This warming mask is a major treat after blustery, bone-chilling winter days. Echinacea is found in this formula because it contains a high concentration of cichoric acid, a potent, natural antioxidant that enhances hydration and the purifying benefits of honey. After jus tone treatment skin is left nourished and revitalized.
Some assembly required
Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask, 4 treatments, $60, sephora.ca.
Not the newest mask of the list, but definitely the coolest. The two-step face treatment pushes active ingredients into the skin, instantly leaving it dewy and healthy. Mix the hyaluronic cushion gel with activating powder in a bowl. Then spread the formula in a thick, even layer on clean, dry skin, it comes with a spatula to spread. After 15 minutes the mask turns to a rubber-like consistency, simply peel it off. The blue colour comes from the medical grade marine algae and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid, the duo gives creates the appearance of plumper skin and seals in moisture for lasting hydration.
Esthederm Intensif Hyaluronic Mask, $69, esthederm.ca.
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule naturally present in the body that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This particular form of hyaluronic acid is in mini which allows it to penetrate the epidermic layers of the skin more effectively, then it re-plumps within the skin when it comes in contact with water. After the first masking session (15 to 20 minutes) skin looks supple, radiant and feels comfortable. This particular mask works great to leave on overnight.
Better with bubbles
D'Difference 5D golden beauty mask, 6 packs for $112, ddifference.com.
This innovative mask doesn’t just give you an uptake in moisture, it also helps refine pores and tones skin. It starts off as a liquid but when applied to your face it quickly turns into a bubbly foam. The oxygen penetrates into the skin, eliminating dirt and toxins while increasing the cell renewal.