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With paper, bubble, and magnet masks being all the rage, we wondered why masks were so popular— and if they were only limited to your face. (Hey, when we see a good thing—we want more!) Esthetician Gina Mari says: “Masks are a great way to get an at-home treatment with concentrated ingredients to target exactly what your skin needs. Whether you need a hydrating mask infused with hyaluronic acid, a regular preventative anti-aging mask, or a clarifying clay mask to pull out impurities, there is something for everyone.”
Karuna founder Linda Wang says they work so well because: “Masking simply means deep conditioning your skin. The cloth of the mask creates a barrier and allows your pores to open up and take in the serum deeply.” Hmm. So, if masks are so amazing, should you be using them on other body parts as well? Wang thinks so. “Hands are the most used part on our body—they go through so much daily. It's very important to care for your hands and feet like you would your face. Aging shows through these body parts as well.”
And in case you’re wondering, you can change up your mask usage depending on the kind of week your skin is having. Mari says: “Your skin may need something different one week than it did the last. With simple sheet masks becoming so accessible at even grocery stores, you don't have to stick with just one treatment. If your skin is clogged one week, but feels dry and irritated the next, don't repeatedly use an intense clay mask. This will exacerbate any dryness.”
Also, unlike some complicated skincare regiments, masks are dummy-proof. “Simply apply the mask and let your pores start to do all the work,” says Wang. And, here's a quick pro tip: Use masks weekly for maximum hydration, and lightly exfoliate before use for best effects. Now, check out some of our picks for masks for nearly every body part:
Eyes: With all the holiday merriment, the windows to your soul could probably use some TLC. Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask channels the power of Retinol to target fine lines and dark circles. Don’t expect long-lasting results, but using this before a meeting can perk up your entire face. Want a cheaper solution? Peel and finely grate a potato and place into two cheese cloth squares and apply to eye area. The starch and Vitamin C work well to de-puff and gently fade undereye circles.
Lips: Remember when lip plumpers claimed to include sketchy ingredients like snake venom? Today’s versions offer safer ways to perfect your own Kylie K pout. Patchology FlashPatch Lip Gels packaging claims to enhance not only volume, but lip shape as well, using hydrogel patch technology. If you’re not quite ready for the full effect, Filorga Nutri-Filler Lips is a three-in-one lip treatment that you can apply on and around lips for a nourishing boost of shea butter. A peptide collagen booster offers a subtle plumping effect, while a cocktail of proprietary ingredients is said to revive the natural color of lips.
Décolletage: If your cleavage can use some help after too much sun exposure over the summer, SiO SkinPad offers below-the-collar wrinkle relief in the form of an overnight patch worn between the boobage. The figure-eight-shaped SkinPad is made of pure medical-grade silicone with an ultra-thin coating of adhesive cleared by the FDA, and you can wear it for up to eight hours. Warning: We tested one out and were left with bright red and blotchy skin that took a few hours to fade. But, our skin was definitely smoother and softer afterward.
Hair: With all that teasing, flattening and floofing, hair can take a real beating this time of year. Art Naturals Argan Oil Hair Mask is formulated to help improve texture and manageability. Buzzy ingredients include argan oil, green tea, and sage leaves. Want to cheap out? Nothing beats coconut oil for either a deep mask or quick split ends fix. Carrington Farms makes TSA friendly individual paks so you can slip one into your overnighter.
Booty: Oh, yes. Fanny facials are a thing. If you’re not ready for a “Tip Top Tush” procedure (one New York City plastic surgeon performed medical-grade butt facials under that catchy name for a while), you can request a butt-boosting treatment at some spas, or try your own at home. After exfoliating or dry-brushing your bum, slather on a treatment mask and rinse off in the shower. Perricone MD’s brand spanking new Cocoa Moisture Mask is infused with cocoa-enriched microcapsules, which change color during use. In addition to the cocoa extract which helps smooth skin, DMAE (sometimes nicknamed "facelift in a jar) helps firm skin and can give your bottom a more sculpted appearance.
Feet: If you’re over the perverse pleasure of peeling off strips of old, dead skin with Baby Foot, you can try Lush Volcano foot mask, which softens and deodorizes even the most Hobbit-like feet. Or, while you put your feet up, multi-task. Karuna Girls Night Out kit includes three of their most popular sheet masks, including a face mask and masks for your hands and feet.
Everything Mask: If you're just too lazy to decide what goes where, you can't go wrong with Origins RitualiTea Feeling Rosy Comforting Cleansing Mask, which is part cleanser and part mask. Use in the shower and massage into skin for a gentle exfoliating treatment that leaves even the driest skin looking smoother and feeling softer. Especially great for elbows! Note that the product is extra thick, so you might want to soften it by running the entire (closed) tube under warm water before using.
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