Is your face mask killing you? Lol, no. It’s not. But if it’s a pore-cleansing clay mask that you’re using independently, it’s probably not doing you any favors. This alarming fact was something I learned over the two hours I spent being steamed, massaged, accupressured(?) with Tourmaline, peeled, extracted, and moisturized for the Freaky Friday experience known as the Energy Lift Facial from Ling Skin Care. After which, I kid you not, I saw my 16-year-old self reflected in the mirror. My skin was glowy with that “What are pores?” innocence, my eyes were brighter, and my face had lost any hint of sag. It was kind of insane. The face lift didn’t last long (maybe 48 hours?) but the glow carried on and on and on.
And my facialist told me how to hold on to it for good: give myself an at-home facial once a week, by using not one, but three masks in succession to mimic the once-every-six-weeks in-office facial.
1. Start with an exfoliating mask. Ling’s facial kicks off with her signature Triple Peel Facial—a glycolic peel, papaya enzyme peel, and an acid-free peel, which removes dead skin and draws out impurities. But, in the interest of saving time and money, at home you can stick to a physical exfoliator like Sanctuary Spa’s Warming Microbrasion Polish. It warms the face while you massage in upward circles—Ling suggests giving extra attention to the T-zone. The warming action gives a similar effect as a steam treatment, but for those without a warming mask, simply lay a warm washcloth over your exfoliating mask-covered face and keep it on until the washcloth cools. Then massage the mask in, rinse, and dab your face dry. According to Ling, you can exfoliate with a mask like this as often as every other day, after washing with a simple cleanser.
2. Follow with a pore-refining mask. Ling uses her own signature Herbal Clay Clarifying Mask to detoxify the pores and refine skin's texture, and I like Origins Clear Improvement Mask because it uses charcoal to draw dirt out of pores, absorb excess oil, and improve blood circulation. Leave the mask on for five to 10 minutes. Ling says, "The minute it feels tight, rinse it off." Then towel dry your face. Ling warns against using a pore-refining mask on its own because it will absorb your skin's oil, causing your face to feel dry, and, in turn, overproduce oil in order to compensate. Instead...
3. Finish with a hydrating mask. "You need to replenish your skin with water," says Ling. The humectant, skin-plumping power of Ling's own aloe vera-heavy Ginseng Therapy Moisture Mask layered over a mix of Dual Moisture Emulsion (an ultra-hydrating toner) and Moisture Plenish Hydration Solution (a plumping, silky serum) was heavenly. You can wear this mask as long as you'd like, and use it as often as you'd like because, says Ling, "It's just rehydrating your skin. You always need that." Then rinse, towel dry, and re-apply the Dual Moisture Emulsion as a toner, followed by your favorite moisturizer.
Once a week, 30 minutes of Me Time will supply you with totally clean, clear, plumped, toned, and firmed skin. No joke.