Masking /// Fresh Beauty
There is a special place in my heart reserved exclusively for skincare.
I like to imagine it as a bright, white and very clean corner.
And yet, my body doesn't always agree.
This of course, is very frustrating.
Over the course of the last year, I've been working on a skin guide.
Mostly because I'm starting to witness some best practices in the skincare community that aren't exactly best - in my opinion.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of differing opinions.
For the most part, my skin is relatively clear. I don't suffer from regular, adult or hormonal acne - and for a long time I thought I did.
And that's kind of my point here.
Some women do.
We've all felt that helplessness... That terrible feeling one experiences... When we find ourselves moving through our thirties and forties with a more negative view of our skin than we had in our teens.
It can be beyond hard.
And yet my skin story is a little different - which forced me to do a lot of research.
In my years as a beauty professional, I've witnessed, worked with and discussed this topic with many clients, colleagues and other professionals, as well as doctors and experts - and the theme throughout is that everyone feels a little differently about skin - and ultimately about what works.
Don't worry, I've got a lot more skincare information coming your way in the future.
But in short, what I thought I was suffering from was not at all the case. I was applying the wrong solutions to my problems because I didn't really know the route of my problems in the first place.
And that's all too common.
I think a lot of us are all doing the same thing. We're rummaging around in the dark for answers to our biggest skin questions, and I'd like to shed some light on the situation.
What I'm going to talk about today is the difference between hydration and moisture, and why treating your skin is different than caring for your skin.
And I'm going to tell you why I love treating my skin with Fresh Beauty masks.
Are you with me !??!?!
I've been working in the beauty industry for well over a decade. Without a doubt, the most common skin concern I've run into and witnessed on a regular basis is dehydrated skin. The only problem is that most people don't know they're struggling with it.
In general, I struggle with dehydrated skin on a daily basis.
The reality is that people do.
And there is a big difference between hydrating your skin and moisturizing your skin.
There are so many varying factors that contribute to this common concern.
For example - our environment, stress, overall level of health, air pollution and the products we use, but essentially - and if I can describe it in the most basic way possible - dehydrated skin lacks water.
It means your skin is thirsty.
I can't tell you the amount of times I've heard people describe their skin as combination - meaning dry in the cheeks / eye area and oily in the chin and t-zone. When in reality, their skin is actually relatively normal but moderately or severely dehydrated.
So, what is the best thing you can do for dehydrated skin?
Let it drink.
Our bodies are constantly trying to maintain healthy water levels, and the best way to do that is by drinking a lot of water. This sounds too basic, doesn't it.
You should always start from the inside out.
And while drinking water to purposefully hydrate your skin takes patience and consistent effort - because the water you drink has a series of other responsibilities to take care of before ultimately reaching your skin - it's worth developing the discipline.
Drinking water should be part of your overall daily care regime. Not only for your skin, but because it helps your body accomplish so many other important tasks.
Care for your skin by feeding it lots of water, and watch it change.
Then re-asses your skin type.
Moisturizing your skin is another task entirely.
It's important to note that you shouldn't have one without the other.
Hydration and moisture always go hand-in-hand. Together, they form a pretty fabulous protective team for your skin.
Dry skin lacks oil - not water.
This is one of the reasons - among many - why adult and hormonal acne can behave so differently than teenage acne. It can also help to explain why these two conditions are often so difficult and time-consuming to treat.
Dry skin usually means your moisture barrier is degraded in some manner, and this can cause a whole series of complimentary issues.
Think of your moisture barrier as your outer most protective layer of the skin.
Without a healthy moisture barrier - and a healthy dose of oil in your skin - any hydration you feed your skin with will quickly evaporate.
Dry skin can feel lacklustre and tight - no matter how much product you apply.
Not only that, but it can feel really uncomfortable.
It can become flaky and textured in the more sensitive areas of the face. From there, microscopic abrasions can form on the skin's surface - creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria or fungus to grow.
In my experience, dry skin leads to irritation more often than dehydrated skin does. Although, because they are so closely reliant on each other, one is always experimenting and trying to find the balance in both.
If your moisture barrier is in jeopardy, you run the risk of aging more quickly and any irritation you might experience will heal more slowly.
Skin loves a tepid, moist environment for healing purposes.
The two most common factors that cause dry skin are our environment - whether you're suffering through a harsh winter, for example - and our body's own chemistry.
Sometimes, our body just doesn't make enough sebum - and this can be especially true as we get older. It could also be that your body is struggling to balance itself because there is an underlying health condition you're not aware of.
This was my experience, but more on that later.
I describe caring for your skin as essential.
Your daily - and hopefully consistent - routines mixed with a balanced collection of essential products.
Your cleansers. Your hydrators. Your basic moisturizers - preferably with sunscreen.
From there, everything else is treatment.
Treatment is a targeted act.
A regimen that varies depending on the time of year, the time of your monthly cycle, your age and stress levels, where you live and your current life state.
It means zero-ing in on a specific issue that isn't so basic.
It might sound a little self-indulgent, but really good skincare requires an in-depth level of self-awareness. I studied my skin intensively for about a year before I really started to understand how it was speaking to me.
AND I MEAN IT
Your skin is speaking to you.
It's telling you all kinds of really interesting stories.
You just have to listen.
One of my favourite treatment methods is to mask. There is just something so restorative about masking.
Not only that, but it's simple and convenient.
You can get other things done while you're doing it.
You don't necessarily have to lie down or fall asleep or even meditate - although, that's my favourite time to mask.
There are so many great options on the market for masking - and I'll be sharing some of my homemade DIY treatments shortly as well - but Fresh Beauty masks are some of my absolute all-time favourites.
They are intensive, but not intense - which means they perform according to their promise and treat your skin quickly without being too harsh.
I've never reacted from a Fresh Beauty mask - and I've used a lot of them.
MY FAVOURITE ASPECT
You can use a lot of the Fresh Beauty masks daily - and some of them take as little as ten minutes of treatment to see real results.
A mask is THE perfect way to increase your overall levels of moisture, and the right formulation can greatly help increase your hydration levels as well.
Masking can be especially effective for those of you who might be struggling with winter-induced skin. Maybe your skin isn't dry all year round.
Maybe you just need a little something extra.
Or maybe you're aiming to target a specific frustration besides dry skin - like the smoothing of wrinkles and laugh lines, or the healing of irritation.
Either way, think of a mask as a treatment injection without the needle.
It's a perfect conduit.
Fresh Beauty is a gorgeous skincare line.
From the logo design and product packaging to the product formulations themselves, it's a brand and skincare company after my own heart.
My first love was the Rose Face Mask with soothing rose petals and antioxidant-rich green tea. This mask also contains cucumber extract and porphyridium cruentum - a "smart" algea that delivers a calming effect to the skin.
I received a sample of this mask in a Sephora birthday kit a few years ago and have been purchasing it pretty religiously ever since.
I could literally use this mask every single day. It is one of my favourite products to apply as a treatment before makeup - especially when I'm getting ready for a special occasion or am about to do a photo shoot.
It visibly tightens and smoothes out the skin, delivering a good dose of hydration.
The best time to use this mask is before you apply your moisturizer.
It's a great option for dehydrated skin.
I also love Fresh Beauty's Black Tea Overnight Mask.
This mask was originally developed to aid in the anti-aging process, and while it definitely does make your skin appear more firm and supple by morning, I personally love this mask because it deeply moisturizes my skin.
The texture and consistency of the product is rich and robust.
It covers my skin like a dream, and works with my body's natural recovery process to balance moisture levels while I sleep.
I like to use this product when my skin feels particular dry or damaged.
I've used natural oils to try and accomplish this treatment in the past, but they usually end up spending more time on my pillow than on my skin.
The formulas are just too raw.
This mask stays on the skin.
In the morning when I wash my face, I can still feel it working.
We're wired to want to fix our problems.
And when it comes to our skin, our biggest organ and most presentable layer to the world, we're often sensitive to how it makes us look, and that affects how we feel.
But good skin takes time.
You have to be patient and study your habits.
Once you know the root cause, and have covered all your bases, treatment can be a very powerful tool - and trust me when I say your skin can change.
These are - of course - just my opinions.
Either way, Fresh Beauty makes some of the best masks on the market.
I highly recommend them because they've never let me down.
And I trust in the results.
When it comes to paid content and product exchanges, I try to remain as transparent and honest as possible with both my sponsors and my readers. I have very strict testing and review guidelines. I always test new products for at least 21 days before deciding my opinion. I only post articles on my blog about products that are in my life on a regular basis. I do not endorse products or work with companies I do not feel a personal connection to or absolutely love.
In the case of Fresh Beauty, I was already familiar with their products, so the collaboration was an easy decision.