Jan 212011

When you’ve been out in the biting cold, aside from a hot shower, nothing feels as soothing as a treatment mask. Winter tends to dehydrate both oily and dry skin, predisposing the former to imbalance-related breakouts and compounding tightness or overall dryness in the latter. Being a treatment product (and not sitting on skin for super-extended periods like your moisturizer or foundation), your mask options are a bit more flexible. Here are five that will restore at least a bit of your skin’s summer suppleness.

1.) Eve Lom Rescue Mask: This British import from cult brand Eve Lom only hit stateside a few years back, and the facials are stuff of legend. (I was lucky to experience one back in 2008, and it seriously lived up to the hype.) The product is uber-creamy, and like the equally nourishing cleanser, leaves skin impeccably soft and smooth, even in the presence of arctic-blast temperatures.

2.) Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask: Dr. Hauschka is a bit of a polarizing brand, but something about chilly weather really brings out my love for crunchy, earthy products. Hauschka’s health food store vibe just feels like skin cuisine, and the products feel unrefined in a good way, like it could have been whipped up in the blender. Wheat Germ Oil and Quince Seed Extract are high up on the ingredients list, along with a slew of natural oils to replace moisture sapped by indoor heat and outdoor winds.

3.) Fresh Rose Mask: Fresh is another line that feels… well, Fresh. The products smell like fancy personified, and Fresh Rose Mask is no exception. The shiny, deep caramel-hued formulation contains Rosa Damascena Flower Water as the top ingredient, with Rose Hip Oil (a fantastic dry oil that’s full of vitamins) and Jojoba Seed Oil not too far behind. The 100ml container should last until the first crocuses make their appearances.

4.) Aspirin and Honey Masks: With a bevy of spa professional items at my disposal as a facialist, I spent one winter using these two masks almost exclusively on clients. Honey masks are sticky- I used a bulk powder and a brush- but this may just be the first treatment product used by humans, and honey is an amazing natural humectant. Aspirin masks are beneficial for all skin types- soothing irritation, exfoliating, and balancing both oily and dry skin. If you’re uninitiated, dissolving 4-6 tabs of uncoated aspirin and re-moisturizing the dry mask after 10-15 minutes creates a natural if slightly messy scrub.

5.) Kiehl’s Algae Mask: Seaweed is one of the most popular treatment ingredients, due to a super-high concentration of vitamins and minerals. This mask also contains Chamomile to soothe, as well as Calendula and antioxidant-heavy green tea.

Do you have a cold weather treatment routine? What’s your favorite elixir for winter dryness?

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