Making a Habit of Relaxing:
We all lead very busy lives, with lots of commitments and things to accomplish, especially on the weekend. In recent years, my weekends have been packed full of activities I don’t particularly enjoy (grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry…), and I find that I sometimes feel quite burned out when Monday rolls around. One of my goals as I start this school year has been to carve out some relaxation time.
Certainly, there are many ways to relax. For example, working out can help your mind rest, but I sometimes associate working out with a necessity or with my “To Do” list. Fortuitously, while attempting to use sheet and modeling masks, I realized that I was totally out of commission for about 30 minutes since I had to lay down and keep quite. I don’t know about you, but it actually felt relaxing and centering. So let’s talk about using masks to enjoy some “me” time.***
***A Small Caveat: Before I jump into it, let me just say I’ve been debating writing about any of these products for quite some time. I feel that masks are one of the most subjective items in any skincare regime in terms of what they actually do. Rarely have I seen or felt amazing and immediate results, and I can’t prove any effects were a direct result of using them. Therefore, my reviews will focus on the experience of using them rather than mainly on their effects.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay:
The cheapest and most long lasting of all of these masks, is definitely Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. It comes in a plastic container, weighing 1 pound, and costs $7.70 on Amazon. This mask is supposed to clean out your pores, and I find that it does just that.
I like mixing it like so: 1 tablespoon of local honey, 1 tablespoon of Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the clay. It fizzes, and becomes liquid-y and totally clump free, a feat which I could never achieve when mixing clay with water. I leave it on for about 10-15 minutes, and when washed off my skin feels clean but not extremely tight and dry. I have found that it helps reduce the overall redness that my face seems so fond of breaking into, but I do get mild “pimplage” the morning after using it.
Recommended method of use: Prepare your tub for soaking with your favorite bath related product (I absolutely love Level Naturals Bath Bombs!), and prepare the clay mask. When you have about 10 minutes left to soak, put the mask on and swish around. When you are done, you can rinse off the clay, moisturize, and hopefully be all relaxed while smelling nice.
Lindsay Modeling Masks:
Glow Recipe sells these masks as set, which is the way I decided to try them (I got Collagen, Vitamin and Calendula). I threw in one more mask, due to curiosity, and stared out by using the Calendula mask.
The preparation of this mask is as simple as making the clay mask above, only you really just need some water. The powder becomes rubbery, you slather it on, wait for it to set, and peel it off. No muss, no fuss. It doesn’t drip*, smells pleasant enough, and prevents you from doing much talking for about 10-15 minutes.
By now, I’ve tried all masks but the Collagen one. No mask has stood out as being better or worse than the rest, and none of them has made any noticeable difference on my skin. They do seem to create a cooling sensation when applied, a slightly smoother skin once removed, but that’s about it. I also don’t appreciate the amount of product I have to make each time, since it seems you have to mix the whole packet to use. I get left with lots of mask after I apply it to my face, and it turns into full hard rubber soon thereafter, so don’t count on using more of it later. I tried to divide the powder and mix it with water, only to create a huge dripping mess, so if you figure out the correct ratio of making it, do let me know!
Recommended method of use: If you have a flexible spouse, nearby siblings, offsprings, roommates, friends, etc., you can make it into a group activity and use up all the mask! It’s also quite hilarious to see them applying it, and then with the mask on, and finally it’s slightly weird to see them peel off their face. Since talking makes the mask dislodge before it’s time, I recommend grabbing a book or some piece of electronics and futzing while you wait. Quietly.
This mask is made out of the softest and most luxurious mask material I’ve ever experienced. Apparently, it’s made of TENCEL which is an eco friendly natural fiber that ends up feeling similar to rayon fabric. It is supposed to help calm down your skin (and breakouts), and I can honestly say I felt it do just that. Will you experience the same thing? I have no clue. What I do know, is that having a soft moist cloth on your face can be extremely relaxing. It can drip a bit, and the serum did take a bit of time to absorb, but I think it’s worth it.
Recommended method of use: Cleanse your face, and put sheet mask on. Lay down in bed or on your favorite sofa, and watch something funny or cheerful. Personally, I can watch Parks & Recreation or 30 Rock a million times, and laugh each time, but anything that puts you in a good mood works. Enjoy the next 30 minutes with a cooling sensation, humor, and generally laying down.
A Date With Yourself
Finally, I hope you make this into a Saturday/Sunday habit. The idea of spending some time out of commission because you have something on your face can be oddly liberating and hey, maybe it will help your skin along with being totally soothing for the mind.
What do you do to carve out some relaxation time? What’s your favorite mask? Share below!