Your bridal trial and/or wedding day is just around the corner...is your skin ready for a flawless makeup application? There are a ton of skin prep advice out there, but I find one of the most important ones is to keep your skin hydrated up to your big day, so that your makeup will wear smoothly. Masks are really helpful in up-keeping your skin's moisture levels while treating particular skin concerns - they also feel fabulous on if you enjoy them as much as I do. I'll be honest, I've been happily indulging in masks during my time here in Korea (they help me feel relaxed, look alive, and I can plan/mark/blog with them on). I've tried many, but these two wonders are my current favourites, and have kept my skin glowing and hydrated:
1. Nature Republic Green Derma Real Gauze Peeling Mask (BHA) (appropriate for combination, oily and acne-prone skin)
My current skin is extremely thankful for this two-step process wonder. It is a peeling mask with BHA (beta hydroxy acid), which is known to help shed impurities on and deep within the skin. AHA/BHA products can be confusing, but I find the writers of paulaschoice.com do a clear job of explaining the difference between the two. Personally, I find this BHA mask a good choice if you have some acne you want to get rid of, and/or dark areas you wish to lighten. This mask also helps if you are aiming for more even looking skin for your big day. Since this is an exfoliating product, I use it when there are enough days for my skin to return to its normal state before a special event. For me, my skin is back to normal one to two days after use. The frequency in which you should use this mask (and all masks for that matter) leading up to your big day, would also depend on your skin type and needs.
The package includes a cotton swab and a sheet mask infused with separate ingredients. The first step is to use the cotton swab, which contains 15mg of a BHA ingredient (salicylic acid, an exfoliant chemical), propolis (an antibacterial ingredient that also speeds healing), licorice root and ginger extracts to name a few. The second step is to apply the sheet mask, where all the ingredients can soak into your skin with hyularonic acid (a humectant that keeps your skin plump), and centella asiatica (this fancy named ingredient is basically an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps with skin healing). What I notice most is that my skin appears clearer and more even after use, which means the product is doing its job! There were a couple times where I noticed some skin peeling around problematic or drier areas of my face, but it's nothing that a serum or thicker moisturizer can't fix. I also found that the minimal skin peeling went away after 48 hours, following my regular skin care routine.
For my fellow North Americans, Nature Republic used to be exclusively available in the States, but there are Canadian stores open now too! You can get this mask for $6.99 CDN here. If you want a more even complexion, but BHA formulas are generally too drying for your skin, there is also a combined AHA/BHA exfoliating mask which is more moisturizing.
2. Illiyoon Ultra Repair Mask (appropriate for dry and sensitive skin types)
Illiyoon is a makeup brand owned by Korean company, AmorePacific. The brand boasts the use of indigenous Korean herbs including ginseng, licorice root and other ingredients that help hydrate and improve the skin barrier. I'm not sure what sorts of magic was used to create this formula, but it WORKS; after keeping the mask on for 20 minutes, my skin was noticeably brighter, calmer (it was red and patchy before I applied the mask), and it felt like I drank a litre of honey water (provides moisture, it does)! I recommend using this mask a day before an event and after exfoliation for smooth, glowy, and cushion-like skin the next day. I like to use it one to two days after I've exfoliated with the BHA mask above. It gives my skin time to heal from its last treatment, while this mask offers a seal of love and nourishment post-treatment! This mask claims to be "3-free" with no animal derived products, mineral oil or synthetic pigment. It is also dermatologist tested.
Final thoughts: love it, and because it doesn't cost much, I would definitely purchase it again, and again, and again. It would be helpful, however, if the packaging included English instructions and listed ingredients. If you are in North America, you can purchase the mask for only $2.30 CDN here. I buy it at around $2,500 KRW in South Korea (SKR). Otherwise, this mask is available in Aritaum stores around SKR.
My makeup applications feel and look gorgeous after I use the masks above. I hope they work for you too. Stay glowing, beauties!