MASK IT : OILY & COMBINATION SKIN
Like most, I spent my teen years battling a here-there-and-everywhere complexion. With skin that swung from oily to dry at the drop of a hat [and was more than blemish-prone to boot], I soon discovered that the products best suited to my capricious complexion were those that aimed to calm and neutralise. These masks seek to address the common tokens of oily and erratic skin, without being overly strong or drying - balance is our goal here.
Most masks aimed towards oily skin are clay-based [an ingredient that can prove a little too overzealous in its actions for some], but this REN offering boasts a creamy texture, which is surprisingly gentle and pleasantly soft. Designed to deeply cleanse, purify, and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores; I find it performs all but the latter after a single application [and as far as 'removes impurities' goes, expect to breakout [in this case, a good sign]]. With repeated use I do think it has an impact upon the appearance of pores, but the key here is in applying a sufficient amount of product [this is not a mask to bear frugal on]. Its key ingredient is lavender, so expect skin to feel calm and toned post use.
THE SKIN-SOFTENER : AĒSOP Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque*
This [too often overlooked] Aēsop gem trumps even the Parsley Seed favourite in my opinion. Leaving skin baby soft, calm, soothed, and refreshed, this is the star of my face mask lineup [expect to spend a fair few hours stroking your face after use]. I count this as one of the products that truly got my oiliness under control; and nowadays it's the mask I find myself reaching for most when my skin isn't particularly dry/dehydrated and when my blemishes are under control, because essentially it aims to balance. With a delightfully short and snappy ingredients list [inc. rose, sage, and evening primrose], it never fails the astound me in its performance and is always the first product I recommend to those wishing to explore beyond the hype of Aēsop's skincare.
Call it a fad, but to me there's nothing like an active mask to assure you that your products are well and truly getting to work. This mask heats up immediately upon application [without a doubt one of the most pleasant facial experiences you can sample in the comfort of your own bathroom], and aims to melt [rather than strip] away excess sebum and oil, as well as treat and prevent breakouts. Formulated specifically for oily skin, it contains just the right amount of moisturising ingredients to ensure that skin isn't being treated too harshly [even now [with much more balanced skin], it never leaves my skin feeling tight or dry after use], and also contains both physical and chemical exfoliants. Talk about 3-in-1.
THE MAGIC MASK : REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask*
Another REN favourite, this mask has a sticky and gel-like consistency, which will satisfy the predilections of those wary of clay masks [i.e. if your skin is oily but also dehydrated]. It serves to tackle congestion, blemishes, scarring, and blackheads, whilst evening out the skin-tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines [with prolonged use]. I can't comment for the latter, but this mask has had a profound calming/balancing effect upon my complexion, and almost immediately after removal has the effect of draining the redness from even the most persistent of blemish marks. It's no heavy-duty oil-drinker, but expect this mask to balance your moisture levels as well as work a little bonus skincare magic.
OIL BE-GONE : DEAD SEA SPA MAGIK Mud Mask
To those with the most oily of complexions, allow me to introduce to you the one-stop wonder that you can rely upon to keep those oil levels well and truly under control. Dead Sea mud is applauded for its healing benefits, and [alongside natural clay] takes precedent in this mask's ingredient line-up. Expect skin to feel thoroughly cleansed after use, this ticks all the boxes of a traditional face mask [thick, dries upon application, opaque, etc. etc.], and removes impurities, as well as leaving skin with a satisfyingly soft and silky texture. When my complexion was at its most oily, I found this product most effective in ensuring 24 hours of calm and balanced skin - ideal for use the night before a big occasion.
Which masks do you recommend for dealing with oily skin?