As the weather gets cooler, skin can start to feel dry. But help may be close at hand with a hydrating mask.
Compared with regular face creams, "masks are often thicker, more emollient and even a bit greasy," says Dr. Amy Wechsler, a dermatologist and advisor to Youbeauty.com. But they moisturize without clogging pores, she says, because they are washed off instead of being rubbed in.
For an effective homemade moisturizing mask, Weschsler recommends yogurt and honey to soothe and nourish dry skin. First, mix two tablespoons honey (to hydrate) with two teaspoons of whole milk yogurt (contains skin-sloughing lactic acid for exfoliation). Warm the mixture slightly in the microwave, then smooth it over your face, lie down (so it doesn't drip) and relax 10 minutes. Then simply rinse with warm water.
If you would rather buy something prepared, she recommends reading the ingredients. Look for safflower, glycerin, petrolatum and hyaluronic acid, which are key for their hydrating properties. Hyaluronic acid draws moisture to the top layer of skin, so the face stays supple longer throughout the day, she said.
Here are some moisturizing masks to try:
Iroha green tea, aloe & ginseng cloth mask ($5.50 at www.bigelowchemists.com). The all-natural mask invigorates (ginseng) and comforts (aloe), and the green tea works to help revive skin.
Clarins HydraQuench cream mask ($35 at www.nordstrom.com). Formulated to balance dehydrated skin, using katafray bark and a hyaluronic acid complex with a chemical structure that enables it to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
One facial paper masks ($1.99 at www.target.com). The masks aim to moisturize and soothe tired, stressed skin. They're eco-friendly and travel well.
Liz Earle intensive nourishing treatment mask ($24 at www.uslizearle.com). The nourishing treatment mask is designed for dry, parched skin, and addresses dehydration with borage (an herb known for retaining moisture) and rose-scented geranium to tone and balance skin.
Kate Somerville Quench ($45 at www.katesomerville.com). It has hyaluronic acid to pull moisture deep into skin cells, plus cucumber and willowherb to soothe red or sensitive skin. And for anyone who's a fan of the Quench line or just looking to target dry skin, Somerville has a Quench lip treatment and in January will introduce an oil-free version of her hydrating Quench serum. This is great for dry skin prone to clogging or oily skin that's slightly parched from dry winter weather.