Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

I know that we’ve ALL been indulging in a little extra masking time over lockdown.  With nowhere to go and no one to see us, we’ve had the luxury of putting a face mask on and treating our skin at 11am on a Tuesday, because why not?

I love masks, and my husband is now fully accustomed to seeing me wandering around the house looking like Hannibal Lector or like I’ve dipped my face in a vat of coal.  Does he like it?  Probably not.  Does he like it more when I try and convince him to join in?  DEFINITELY not.

Masks come in many shapes, sizes and formulas.  Sheet masks, clay masks, hydrating cream masks.  Anti-ageing masks, brightening masks, masks dedicated to specific areas of your face.  It’s easy to see how it can be overwhelming!  So, I’m here to talk you through the masks I’ve used, I’ve loved and I’ve found to be effective.


Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

MudMask Sample Kit*

I was super excited to test out this DIY masking kit.  Not only is it packed with natural ingredients, but you get to decide what your skin needs and tailor a mask to that.

The sample kits comes with 2 x essential oils (lavender and tea tree), 3 x clays (kaolin, zeolite and bentonite), activated charcoal, a facial oil and a facial soap (made with tea tree and activated charcoal).  In this photo I have on the Intense Spot Treatment mask, and I loved how it didn’t leave my face feeling sapped of all moisture, and that I also had the facial oil to massage in afterwards.

With the Sample Kit that I received, you can create 3 different masks (the Intense Spot Treatment, the Dry Skin Mask and the Red or Inflamed Skin Mask).  You can actually find the recipes online on the MudMask site too, right HERE.

I loved the DIY aspect of this, it feels so special, like I’m really indulging in some great self care.  I think that the Sample Kit would be a great gift for a teenager, or just someone who wants to test the waters of DIY masking, but I think most people would LOVE the Full Mask Kit.  Don’t forget – you’ll get MULTIPLE uses out of these kits!

Previously mentioned in: 

MudMask – DIY Natural Masking (you can watch my YouTube video here too)

Best of Skincare 2019

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

L’oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask

I love a good clay mask, as it’s the perfect way to soak up any excess oil your skin produces, as well as clean out your pores.  This mask from L’Oreal is probably one of my favourite clay masks ever, as it contains charcoal as well, to truly help detoxify and draw out any impurities.

I’ve gone through countless jars of this Detox mask, and will definitely continue to purchase it, as it’s not only affordable but super effective and gentle.

The best part is as it dries you can see the little dots of oil and dirt coming out of your pores!  Watching for this quickly becomes addictive.

I found that the best way to use clay masks (if you’re concerned about drying your skin out) is to mask with a clay mask to do the detoxing and purifying, and then after rinsing that off use a hydrating mask to replenish any moisture that may have been lost.  I also love  using this as a spot treatment on pimples and general areas that look congested – it’s not necessary to use it all over!

Previously mentioned in: 

February Favourites

TESTED: L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

Best of Skincare 2019


Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Alma K Purifying Mud Mask*

I’ve mentioned this Alma K mud mask a few times on my social media now, but not yet on the blog, as I only received it in December last year.

This mask is not your average mud or clay mask – it’s packed with Dead Sea minerals, seaweed, nourishing plant oils and grapefruit extract.  I find that it does an incredible job at clearing congestion and purifying the skin, without leaving it tight or dry.  It’s very luxurious – you almost feel like you’re at a spa when you use it.

Another thing to note – I know it sounds pricey, especially for something you buy at the drugstore, but I’ve been using this weekly since December and I’m not even halfway through the tube.  You get A LOT of bang for your buck out of this product!

I would love to try some of the other Alma K products after the success with this one!

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Mario Badescu Whitening Mask*

I’d heard about this mask extensively on Tori from Kiss, Blush & Tell’s Instagram page – as it’s designed to help fade pigmentation, minimise old marks from spots and generally brighten and even skin tone.  I’ve spoken about my issue with pigmentation before, so this sounded right up my alley.

It hasn’t disappointed!  I’ve not used retinol since before lockdown began, but I’ve been using this mask a lot more religiously.  Even though I had enjoyed using the mask before this, as it definitely peps and brightens the skin, I’ve now been able to notice how it really evens out the skin tone with consistent use.

The Whitening Mask is a very gentle and AHA-free way of slowly helping to ease away the appearance of pigmentation and leave your skin looking fresher and more even.

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Nuxe Insta-Masque Exfoliating & Unifying Mask*

Another mask that I don’t seem to have mentioned all that much, but love is this offering from Nuxe.

Designed as a super quick treatment for the skin, it enables you to mask in just 2 minutes, with 2 natural ingredients and 2 amazing benefits.  There are 3 variants in the range, but I’ve only used this exfoliating and unifying mask.  It contains gentle natural micro-grains to buff the skin, and the 2 natural ingredients are rose floral water and macadamia oil, that leave skin soft, nourished and pampered.

I didn’t believe that a mask that only goes on for 2 minutes could truly make a difference to my skin – but it does, an really nicely too!  I can pop it on quickly while getting ready in the morning before work, do a quick pamper before applying makeup for a night out or a big event, and it would be incredible for moms with very little time to themselves!

Previously mentioned in: 


Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Optiphi Hydra-Derm HA Masque*

I am OBSESSED with hydrating masks.  In much the same way I’m a big fan of hydrating serums/moisturisers, and am determined to find and try as many as I possibly can.  Hydrating masks usually pack a whopping punch in terms of plumping skin and keeping skin soft and boosted with moisture.

This one from Optiphi is simply superb, and I am in fact far into my second tube.  It contains hyaluronic acid and Imperata Cylindrica Extract, and through this combination it can not only provide 24 hour moisturisation, it also helps your skin’s ability to retain water.

I love how soothing this mask is, and I use it in a few different ways.  I either apply it and leave it on for about half an hour (I don’t often do this to be honest), I leave it on overnight, as I would a night cream (this is my most used method, and the key to waking up with fresh skin – AMAZING after a late night or a big party), or I’ll use a little of it as I would a serum, under my day cream and SPF when my skin is battling a bought of dehydration.

Previously mentioned in: 

Empties January 2020

Best of Skincare 2019

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Avène Soothing Radiance Mask 

I REALLY need to purchase some more of this Avène mask!  It’s been so long since I owned a tube, that they’ve changed both the packaging and name!

This was my first real trip into the world of hydrating masks, and it was a beautiful start.  Not only does it contain the thermal spring water that Avène is known for, but it was perfect for when I was still trying to work out why my skin was constantly dehydrated and right around my nose and chin.

An incredible offering for even the most sensitive of skins, you can even apply this when travelling, as it helps to maintain the skin’s barrier.  This was my go to when my skin was red and irritable, and was so soothing that I could almost hear my skin sigh with relief as soon as I applied it.  It’s also incredible applied after too much sun exposure.

Overall, if you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, or you’re on the hunt for a gentle mask that will soothe as well as hydrate, then this is the one I’d recommend for you.

Previously mentioned in: 

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Avène Eau Thermale skincare

Best of Skincare 2017

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

Full disclosure – I’ve not owned a full size of this mask.  I have, however, been through 2 of these deluxe sample/travel size ones from free gifts with purchase or value sets at Clinique counters over the years.  This does need to be remedied though, as wowzers this is a beautiful product, as is the whole Moisture Surge line!

This is sensational when used in place of my usual night cream, and my skin looked so glowy and plump the following morning.  I even used this some mornings when my skin was feeling tight due to seasonal changes or when travelling.  Not only does it instantly hydrate the skin and calm any tightness, it even sits nicely under makeup.  I used it in place of my day cream a few times when I really just needed the extra hydration, and my makeup looked so dewy and glowy!

This product makes me want to try out the entire Moisture Surge range!

Previously mentioned in: 

Best of Skincare 2018


Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

KiKi Beauty Pink Velvet Supercharged Deep Hydration Cream and Mask*

I’ve mentioned this newer product in the KiKi Beauty skincare line a couple of times on my social media, and CANNOT understand how I haven’t mentioned it here on the blog.  Shows how some things can really slip under the radar!

As with a lot of hydrating masks, this can be used as a night cream or a mask.  It’s quite a lot richer in texture than the others I’ve mentioned.  The mask has little liposomes bubbles that will pop as you massage the rich, pink cream into your skin, overall leaving a lovely, comforting layer of moisture on the skin.  I find it’s almost oily as it starts to sink into the skin, but not in a greasy, sticky way – a way that feels comforting, like a hug for dehydrated skin.

I have used this a few times as a night cream, but my absolute favourite way is to massage a thick layer onto my face and neck, and then just go about my business at home (I did this multiple times over lockdown).  I left it on for a couple of hours at a time, and then just tissued any residue off if I wanted to apply makeup.   My skin was left so so happy!

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Skin Republic Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Sheet Mask

Skin Republic have long been one of my steady go-to’s for sheet masks.  They’re affordable, they’re effective and I love how the mask fits my face.  So much so, that I’ve tried almost all of the sheet masks they sell (bar those fancy patterned ones in the shapes of animals that I now see on Superbalist).

Of all the face sheet masks, this Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen one is my absolute favourite, and I used 2 a week in the run up to my wedding day.  Super hydrating and plumping!  I also really like the Brightening Vitamin C one, which gives skin a real pick-me-up and is fabulous when you feel your skin is looking dull.

Previously mentioned in: 

Best of Skincare 2017

June Favourites 2017

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Skin Republic Brightening Eye Mask

I know eye masks are very touch and go.  You can often spend hundreds on a set of eye masks, just for them to provide a little hydration and nothing more.

The only eye masks I TRUST to really show a difference are also from Skin Republic.

This Brightening Eye Mask is actually a sheet mask for all around your eye area – almost shaped like a pair of sunglasses.  I leave these on for a good 30 min, and I’ll see instantly that my eye area looks less puffy, brighter, dark circles are faded and the skin is smooth and hydrated.  Each pack contains 3 eye masks too, and these are incredible if you leave them in the fridge.

There is another eye mask from Skin Republic that I love, and it’s one of their newer ones – the Retinol Hydrogel Under Eye Patch.  The packaging says just leave on for 15-20 minutes, but I did this once and while my under eye area did look smoother, I didn’t notice a big difference.  So, the next time (each pack contains 3 pairs) I left it on for the duration of a whole movie.  You’ll see when you take these out of the packaging that they have a thick layer of gel to them.  When left on longer, the product is absorbed more, so when I take them off after an hour or 2, the patches are much thinner.  After this, I always notice a BIG difference in how smooth my under eye area is, how hydrated it is, and how I look like I’ve had a good night’s sleep!

Previously mentioned in: 

April Favourites 2018

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks

Honestly, these Garnier masks have become my absolute favourite sheet mask to use.  The tissue is really thin and shaped so well that they fit your face like a glove.  Plus, the sachet is PACKED with serum – there is actually a week’s worth of hydrating serum in each mask.

Currently we have three variants in South Africa – the Revitalising mask with Pomegranate Extract (my favourite), the Soothing Mask with Chamomile Extract (amazing for when skin is irritated or very sensitive) and the Re-Balancing Mask with Green Tea Extract (for hydrating skin that is prone to breakouts, enlarged pores and excess shine – these skins still need hydration after all).

These masks contain a serum that is the perfect consistency – not so thick that it’ll absorb too slowly or won’t sit nicely on the face, but not so thin that it drips everywhere, so your clothing absorbs more than your face does.  In the words of Goldilocks, it’s ‘just right’.

When my skin has felt it’s most dehydrated, and the barrier around my nose and chin has been red and tight, this is my go to solution.  A series of Garnier masks every other night until I feel my skin is normal again.  I leave the mask on as long as it takes for the serum to really be absorbed, and when I remove the tissue, my skin is not as red or as tight as before.

Previously mentioned in:

Best of Skincare 2018

Best of Skincare 2019

Empties April 2020

Masks – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice
This is how perfectly the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks fit the face!


You can head over here to catch up on all the other posts in this series – there’s only one more left: –

Cleanser/Makeup Remover


Serum & Facial Oil

Eye Cream






What masks are you obsessed with?  I’d love to try some others!

*DISCLAIMER – while some of these were sent to me as gifts in PR, all opinions are honest and my own.

























Beauty and Lifestyle blogger, wine addict and all-round lover of all things beautiful and sparkly!

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