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At-Home Face Mask Magic

by Rona Berg
at-home face masks

The right face mask can truly work wonders for the skin, and provides
a lovely excuse for you to take time out for yourself.

An at-home face mask can boost your skin and your psyche. It forces you to slow down, relax and take time out for self-care, even if you only have five or 15 minutes.

Once a week, apply a face mask, lie down on the couch with your feet up, and breathe deep, slow, rhythmic breaths, before you go and rinse it off. Your skin will feel fresher and cleaner. The right mask can give you an immediate glow before a night out, take down redness after tweezing, temporarily tighten the skin and plump it up after a flight or a long day in a temperature-controlled office and absorb excess oil. If you make your own face mask, it costs next to nothing. And you don’t need to make an appointment, or plan in advance.

As Helena Rubinstein—now portrayed by Patti Lupone in the Broadway hit musical War Paint—so famously said, “If you take care of your skin, your ‘complexion’ will take care of itself.”

Face Food

Depending on the ingredients, face masks can cleanse and detox, firm, clear up blemishes, exfoliate and hydrate the skin. Here is a quick ingredient guide, adapted from my best-selling book Beauty: The New Basics (Workman Publishing).


Look for masks with mineral-rich muds or clays, like kaolin, bentonite, fuller’s earth, algae and seaweed, probiotics


Look for enzymes (papaya, pineapple or pumpkin extracts), beta hydroxy acids, probiotics, charcoal, Manuka honey, milk, oats


Botanicals like aloe vera, plant seed oils, hyaluronic acid, avocado, coconut oil are intensely hydrating

Blemish Busting

Ingredients like tea tree oil, kaolin, bentonite, mud, charcoal, green tea, apple cider vinegar, plain yogurt, probiotics, turmeric help clear blemished skin


Look for soothing chamomile, lavender, probiotics, blue tansy

Tip: Don’t forget that your skin doesn’t stop at your jaw. Apply the mask to your neck and décolleté

There is no end to the range of beautiful face masks that are ready-made and available. Here are a few favorites.

Alaska Glacial Essentials Glacial Clay Mask Powder

A mineral-rich glacial clay powder is sustainably sourced from the Copper River Delta on Alaska’s Pacific coast. Mix with water, yogurt, honey, or your favorite ingredient to create your own nourishing mask.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask for Instant Glow

With a base of aloe leaf juice, along with willow bark extract, fermented extracts and kaolin clay, this elegant beta hydroxy mask will clear up dull or blemish-prone skin and is a pleasure to use. 

One Love Organics Charcoal

Spend 15 minutes with this mask and you will fall in love forever! It is cooling and detoxifying, and takes care of any little breakouts or blemishes. Plus, the thing I love about charcoal, is that it reminds me of being a little kid and writing in the street with chalk and charcoal briquettes!

Osmia Detox Exfoliating Mask

Powerful yet gentle, with clay, raw cacao and Manuka honey, along with bamboo charcoal to detox, and walnut shell and olive leaf powders to resurface the skin.

Soapwalla Phosphorescence Facial Mask

With a gel-like texture, this refreshing mask soothes inflammation, and hydrates thirsty skin with algae and natural sea kelp bioferment, rich in minerals: magnesium, copper, iodine and raw grape-seed oil.

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