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  • Farahban

How to navigate the overwhelming world of face masks - These work for REAL!

Let me start by saying, face masks have been around for generations, and while we've moved on to acid peels, and chemical exfoliants, sheet masks & others, there is something to say about an old-school homemade mask! Indians have for generations experimented with the haldi (tumeric), dahi (yoghurt) and besan (gramflour) formula which I swear by! One of the rules I always follow is 'if it's good enough to eat, it's probably good enough to put on your face' - don't put anything on your face that you wouldn't want to eat! When I'm back home I usually use a variation of the haldi, dahi, besan mask adding extra virgin olive oil when my skin feels dry, honey and freshly squeezed lime juice. I leave it on for 20-30 minutes till it's dry and then scrub off, followed by my usual skin routine.

However, after moving to London, I look for things that are more convenient and won't stain my towels (tumeric is a nightmare to get off both white nails & white towels!) but have the same effect. I tried avocado a few times with lime as well (my roommate in college couldn't believe I'd spend £2 on an avocado and not eat it! - in my defence, they go from unripe to overripe in 0.33192 seconds!!! so why not make a face mask? hehe)

Here are a few commercial masks that I think actually work!

1) Fresh Cosmetics - Sugar Face Polish (£21 - 30gms/ £52 - 125 gms)

Fresh as a brand has been blowing up in the last few years! and I cannot tell you how excited this makes me, I discovered it 7-8 years ago when I was at university and trying to find brands/products that are more organic and use real produce in their masks! LOVE it!

This sugar face polish is the best exfoliator ever for all skin types, it has a really small grain which means that it's a deep exfoliant however you can control how much pressure you want to use when massaging it into your face. (Advice: don't use this more than 3 times a week! It's not a daily exfoliator!) You will find such a difference, and you can really use this for all skin types. What I like to do is wash my face with a cleanser, and then use this polish, massage it into my skin with circular motions (can use the palm of your hands to alternate the pressure of the grains - get a deeper exfoliation as compared to the tips of your fingers), leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then wash off carrying on with my regular skincare routine - cleanser toner, moisturizer etc. I am usually heavyhanded with moisturizer if I have exfoliated! Another great tip is using the Starskin The Master Cleanser Detoxing Sea Kelp Leaf Cleansing Foam available here: - unfortunately it seems like it's out of stock in alot of places and this amazon link is the only place I could find it for now! But if you can get your hands on it, it's amazing, it lasts for ages, and if you use the two of them together, honestly your skin feels baby soft!

Incase you want an easier alternative, that's travel friendly (because this big tub of sugar polish is not), they even have a new product which Fresh Cosmetics launched this year that I love! It's a similar variant to the face polish and can be used every single day - again for most skin types (unless you're allergic to strawberries/or any of the ingredients listed on the product). The strawberry exfoliating face wash (available here: retails for £12 - 50 ml/ £26 - 125 ml) - I'd suggest getting the 125 ml because its better value and I really do tend to use it everyday! Though the smaller size is great for travel!

Since sheet masks are a really big thing nowadays & everyone's obsessed with them, I thought I'll take a moment to tell you my favourite brand to buy - STARSKIN without a doubt has the best sheet masks available (you can find them on instagram @starskinbeauty - their website is currently down for maintenance *sad face* *tear*). I personally think sheet masks are a waste because they give your skin a short term boost and do nothing really for your long term skincare routine, I think its great for when you want to have a spa day with the girls or just treat yourself but investing in sheet masks is something you shouldn't do in my opinion! You'd rather invest in a serum/moisturiser that you can use for a few months and actually see whether it makes a difference to your skin or not. If I have to use sheet masks, I can tell you these two work!

- StarSkin After Party Brightening Bio Cellulose Second Skin Face Mask £8.75 (all prices are approx) - This is a great after party mask! I hate putting make up two days in a row, because I genuinely believe taking breaks to re-hydrate and pamper your skin, and so sometimes I use this sheet mask if my skin is feeling particularly rough!

- StarSkin Red Carpet Ready Hydrating Bio Cellulose Second Skin Face Mask £8.50 - As the name suggests, if you have a night out/big event coming up, after your skincare routine put on this mask & leave it on for 15-20 mins to prep & hydrate your skin before you put on any make up! Your make up lasts longer and application is alot alot easier :)

My skin has changed from dry to combination in the last 1-2 years, and so recently I've been trying alot of clay masks for oil-control around my T-zone or around my chin or wherever I break out really! I haven't found an amazing one, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them below. A few that I think are good are: Clinique's Anti Blemish Solution Clay Mask £25 (or INR 3250) 100ml, Charlott Tilbury's Goddess Skin Clay Mask £38 (75ml), and GlamGlow's Supermud Clearing Treatment £16 (15ml) or INR 1750, which is also available in India!

Thanks for reading! :) Let me know if you have any questions about masking in the comments below or DM me on instagram xx Farah

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