There is something so rewardingly therapeutic about slathering rich, creamy clay masks and sticky sheets drenched in serums on your tired skin after a strenuous day of long commutes to school, less-than-lively lectures and dealing with the crazy French lady at the UC food court checkout.
We all have our own ways of rewarding ourselves after a particularly rough day, or week, (or year, or life), and while most people my age do so by going out to grab drinks with the gals and get hit on by creepy drug addicts at the club like normal university students, my anxious ass prefers to de-stress at home. My “treat yo self” regime starts with the basics: skincare! So, I’ve composed a list of my favourite face masks below!
Everyone knows that the hype for Korean skincare originates 50% from the product, and 50% from the packaging, right? I’ve sampled just about the whole line of Tony Moly’s “I’m real” masks and I’ve found that all of them kick ass! Whatever my skin concern, whether its a pesky breakout or dry skin, I always gravitate towards these to sort shit out.
If you don’t feel like buying a ticket to go to Korea to grab one of these, you can actually find them at Urban Outfitters (or, order them online). Mind you, they mark the prices up quite a bit at UO, so I suggest waiting to buy them in bulk along with other Korean skincare products off a variety of Korean websites, or buying a few at a time at Urban, seeing as they often have “4 for $12” deals for facemasks and what have you.
When I found out that Ottawa has a “The Face Shop” at the Rideau centre I literally screamed. It’s so lovely to see these Korean stores and brands integrate with the rest of the American beauty scene. We could learn a thing or two from their natural-ingredient-based remedies and rigorous cleansing rituals.
I highly recommend any of The Face Shop’s sheet masks for affordable and quality results! After I use these sheet masks, I find that a lot of the serum (aka, the GOOD STUFF) sits at the bottom of the package. Thus, after using the mask I like to try and seal up my package as best as I can so I can preserve the serum for another usage (usually the day after) to make the most out of my purchase!
Ingredients: Hydrogen Sulphide, A Haiku
This mask has Sulfur.
You know what else has Sulfur?
Farts. Farts have Sulfur.
That’s right, this mask smells worse than that neglected ladies bathroom in Southam Hall that has all the toilets that don’t flush properly and all the attendees that wouldn’t normally flush even if they did work properly (#justcarletonthings). Oh, the sacrifices that we must make for the wellbeing of our skin! But that, of course, is because of one of its active ingredients: Sulfur. The Zinc Oxide and Sulfur in its formulation absorb into the skin and work in rhythm with the Camphor to soak up unwanted oils and slough off dead cells and debris, which ultimately refines the texture and appearance of your skin!
If you follow me on Instagram and peep my stories from time to time, you may already know that, despite the foul stench of its formulation, this is my HOLY GRAIL face mask. For those of you unfamiliar with internet-beauty-guru-language (or unadept with the way of the metaphor), this simply means that it is my favourite face mask, my ride-or-die. It HAS to be doing something right if I keep repurchasing it at a whopping $34 bucks a piece.
The consistency is rich and creamy, and it lathers on quite nicely. As the packaging suggests, it dries up in about 10 minutes and is ready to wash off then. I definitely notice a vast difference whenever I use this product. Whenever I’m surprised with a cluster of hormonal acne that normally doesn’t respond well to topical treatments I always use this. With fairly consistent use (about once every 1-2 weeks in circulation with other products) this product typically lasts anywhere from 6 months to a year
This place actually has a location just down the street from where I live! Naturally Vain is a local Ottawa business that sells naturally sourced, vegan, and cruelty-free bath and skincare products! To know more about Naturally Vain’s Story, check out their website!
This mask is incredibly intense. It dried in mere minutes and makes it so that you can barely move your skin at all. Don’t even think about watching a vine compilation on youtube or anything else that might make you laugh with this mask on or else it will feel like your skin is literally cracking apart!
The consistency is rather THICC, so I like to add a splash of water to make application a little easier. This stuff really gets the job done, so much so that moisturizing afterward is a must! You want to make sure you re-introduce some good oils back into your skin after all the other oils have been sucked out.
I actually feel like out of all the masks, this one yields the greatest results the quickest, but it needs to be used sparingly, and if you don’t moisturize you could really run the risk of having your body produce too many oils to try and recompensate for the oils lost. It’s risky business no doubt, but what can I say, I like living on the edge.
If you are looking for something more accessible (tho you lowkey should be supporting small Canadian businesses yo) then I recommend The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Clay Mask!
Much like my holy grail mask, this mask also has a really satisfyingly thick texture to it and it’s really easy to spread. It also has a really nice cooling effect to it, which is a definite added bonus. Like most of the products above, this mask is optimized to help reduce the appearance and effects of breakouts and smoothen out your skin’s texture!
I really love the unique format of this mask from The Face Shop! Allow me to provide you with some instructions since, like all Korean products, the instructions are written in…well…Korean. :’)
Firstly, press the little handle on the side there and then this sticky, maple syrup-looking substance flows out of the textured brush at the top. You then gently rub this bristled brush all over your skin to gently exfoliate and spread the product around. As it suggests in the packaging, the formula is self-heating, so it warms up quite a bit as you scrub it in.
Make sure you wash your face with warm water beforehand to open up all your pores so the deliverance of this product into your skin is optimized! It does a great job at removing the gunk from all of your pores and leaves your skin feeling refreshed! The “Jeju Volcanic Lava” nose strips that they make are also pretty spectacular, so I would recommend those as well!
What are your favourite skincare products? I’d love to hear! Peep one of the suggestions that I got from a good friend the LAST time I made a “favourite masks” post on an old blog that I had in high school below :’)
I hope you guys have been well! Until next time!