Woman applying a face mask

“I don’t really believe in face masks, but these three are the exception to the rule”

Posted by for Beauty

Face masks have hit peak popularity in the last few years but beauty editor Lucy Partington only has three in her skincare stash. Here’s why. 

I bloody love skincare. It’s all I harp on about and SPF is my favourite subject; I love talking to dermatologists, discovering new ingredients and refining my own routine – and until a few years ago face masks were very much a part of it.

Since then, the face mask industry has grown massively. There’s so much choice out there now and whether your skin is oily, dry, dehydrated, acne-prone, or a combination of just about everything, there is definitely something targeted towards your very specific skin type – and if there isn’t? Well, you can just multi-mask.

But despite all that, I really don’t love face masks and that’s been the case since a dermatologist once told me that, actually, apart from helping to instil a self-care routine, they don’t actually do much for skin. Instead skin prefers consistency, so I tend to stick by that rule – although I switch between brands and types of products, the ingredients I use daily tends to stay the same (which are namely cleanser, vitamin C, SPF and retinol) just so I have some balance.

Of course, some days my skin does feel like it needs a more intense hydration hit or I wake up with stubborn blemishes that won’t shift, so it’s during those times that I turn to a mask – but the ones I use are very specific.

In fact, despite having an extremely vast collection of skincare, I only have three masks, each one has a different purpose and I know I can really rely on them to work their magic. Plus they slot into my daily routine easily and I don’t usually need to switch anything else up which makes things a whole lot easier. Here are the ones that have made the cut:

  • The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Masque

    The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Masque
    Best face masks: The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Masque

    My skin is prone to breakouts – sometimes they’re worse than others, but this mask really helps to dry out blemishes, and it’s also infused with charcoal and clay which are known for their deep cleansing abilities, and they also help clear out pores and keep oiliness at bay. Although it can be used all over the face, I tend to apply it in specific areas or dot it onto individual blemishes for a more targeted approach. I also learnt the hard way that it’s best to only use it once a week otherwise it’ll seriously dry out your skin.

    Shop The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Masque at Deciem, £9.90

  • Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask

    Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask
    Best face masks: Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask

    These require a little bit of DIY; in each box there are little bowls, sachets of activating powder and sachets of hyaluronic gel that need to be mixed together before slathering all over your face. The texture is a bit weird, and the masks are bright blue, but when I say I’ve never used anything that makes my skin feel as seriously hydrated and refreshed as these do, I mean it. This mask also gives me the most impressive glow so it’s one that I tend to use before an event rather than being wasted on a Sunday afternoon or pre-bedtime.

    Shop Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask at Cult Beauty, £49

  • Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask With Saffron Flowers

    Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask With Saffron Flowers
    Best face masks: Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask With Saffron Flowers

    OK, I know this one is expensive but it’s honestly such a joy to use and it really does make a visible difference to the appearance of my skin. It’s not a product I use all the time, it’s more something I reach for a couple of times a month whenever my skin feels really parched or dry and when it’s in need of a little pick-me-up. I apply it after cleansing right before I go to sleep, the texture is seriously velvety and it’s actually comforting to use, and when I wake up my skin looks really dewy and glowy. I’m a big fan – but for obvious reasons I have to use it sparingly. 

    Shop Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask With Saffron Flowers at Space NK, £97

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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.

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