Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Welcome to Esther Tested, where Racked contributor, surfer, equestrian and blogger Esther Hahn shares the beauty and fashion products that stand up to her stylishly rugged lifestyle.
Planes, trains, and automobiles take a toll on skin
I spent the majority of last week in bi-coastal travel. From the dry airplane cabins to the brisk Northeast weather (and all the modes of transit in between), my skin needed to be refreshed upon arrival both away and back home. Sheet facial masks are the most effective way to transfer moisture into the skin, immediately resulting in dewy complexions and eyes without a trace of puff. Katie Holmes revealed to Elle back in February that she sleeps in an SK-II Treatment Mask every night. Although my routine is less stringent, I see the benefits of weekly applications. And with holiday travel around the corner, these masks will be my secret beauty weapons for arriving impossibly fresh regardless of crossed time zones and jetlag.
Korean brand Leaders makes one of my favorites: the Clinic Melting Gel Mask, $50 per pack of 12. My mom and her friends were the first to tip me off to the magic of these sheets that are like dipping into the proverbial Fountain of Youth. The directions on the package are in Korean, but the pictures show the basic steps of application onto a clean face. After the mask dries out (about 30-40 minutes), remove the sheet but do not rinse or wash. Instead, the product's essence should be patted into the face. The major deterrent to this treatment is the full coverage over eyes and lip that prevents any type of multi-tasking. Tip: for immediate use, this product can be found at Kukje Super Market in Daly City.
The SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $125 per pack of 10, is the one that Katie Holmes uses nightly (although the directions say to wear for only 20 minutes). Cooling and refreshing, this luxe sheet mask soothes irritated skin and evens out the complexion. And if you're not sure if this is the right facial investment for you, then visit the SK-II counter at the Union Square Saks for a complimentary treatment at the store. But careful, you'll be hooked after just one and prone to a Holmes-level addiction.
The Dior Diorsnow White Reveal Cooling Gel Mask, $95 per pack of 6, decreases the temperature of the skin and slows the production of melanin, making skin positively glow. The coolness of this treatment makes it ideal for those days when you need to eliminate puff from your eyes and face. And the Icelandic glacial water in the ingredients helps to brighten and renew. For best results, Dior suggests using twice a week for six weeks. For my budget, I use sparingly in times of absolute need.
Karuna's Hydrating Sheet Mask, $28 per pack of 4, uses a biodegradable, natural cloth for the sheet that feels nicer on the skin than synthetic materials. My skin feels hydrated and nourished after using the treatment, but the true perks of this sheet mask are the holes for eyes and mouth, making this the ideal mask for multi-tasking. But on the flip side, eyes and lips are an afterthought without any product transferring to these regions. This is the best pick for the eco-conscious consumer.
· All Esther Tested posts [Racked SF]