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Unmask Your Beauty Naturally

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Face Your Fears

Who doesn't want to look good every day like those models on magazine covers? A lot of prep went into making that possible. Doesn't mean it is impossible. A solid beauty routine is a key to unlock blemish free and healthy skin.

When it comes to perfecting your skincare routine, learning what your skin needs to look and feel it's best, is no easy task. Whether your skin is dry, oily, acne-prone, aged, inflamed or something in between your care routine needs to be tailored to that specific type. It’s no secret that each skin type is unique, and is impacted by the environment, diet, and lifestyle. The skin has different needs to look and feel it's best.

I had relatively good skin growing up till I hit puberty then I stumbled through the pimply skin stage for the better part of my tween years. While I was one of the lucky ones and it lasted only a couple years. I have everlasting school and family pictures to memorialize that time. It cleared up around 14 and stayed that way till I had my second kid into my late thirties. (That story is for another day folks) Let’s just say it has taken me years to understand my skin in a way one should. Now that I do, I plan to spend many more years rolling through its ever-changing needs! And hopefully, I can help you with some of my experiences to keep you clear glowing and youthful.

One of my favorite ways to treat my skin after washing it with my favorite facial cleanser is using a good all-natural face mask. This leaves my skin fresh and glowing.

Face masks can benefit your skin in a variety of ways, delivering the essential nutrients, your skin craves while pulling out the impurities it is clogged with. But with so many options in the market, it’s clear that no two face masks are created equal. The condition of our skin can change based on many factors, from hormonal changes, diet, environment, pregnancy or your periods to something as simple as the weather.

Choosing the perfect mask to combat your skin conditions can be overwhelming.
But you are not without options. In fact, there is a world of possibilities. Today let's break them all down to the basics. From clay masks to exfoliating masks there’s something for everyone and a mask for almost anything. So keep reading to get the scoop on the different types, what they do, and which one is for you.

 Masking it with Clay

Clay masks are the most widely known type of face mask (you know, the kind your mom put on while doing laundry in her bathrobe and yelling at you to clean your room. No wait, that was my mom)

While not every clay is green in color if your skin is oily or blemish-prone, clay and charcoal masks could be your answer. Ingredients like sulfur and activated charcoal are vital in drawing out impurities, detoxifying, and deep cleaning your pores to leave your skin feeling fresh. However, if you have super dry skin, you might want to stay away from clay masks. It tends to dry skin out as it hardens. You can still use clay but make sure to follow up with an emollient moisturizer. 

Scrubby Caffeine Cleanser 

Coffee is my favorite drink. In fact, I am drinking a steaming cup of Java as I write this.

Just like the caffeine in a cup of coffee wakes you up in the morning, caffeine in your beauty products do the same with your skin! If you are a coffee lover, then pick a face mask containing caffeine to promote glowing skin, reduce inflammation, and treat dark and baggy under-eyes. Options such as coffee and tea masks deliver energizing and brightening properties, and also has a firming effect, meaning your skin will be left glowing and smooth. Exfoliating coffee or tea masks remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, leaving a glowing appearance and soft, supple skin. 

Clays, Clays and More Clays

Clays, they come in beautiful colors, from all over the world, and provide a myriad of benefits to the skin.

The most popular and beneficial clays come from France, although many good ones are sourced from Australia, Morocco, the Middle East, India, Southern Europe and even from the US. They contain high amounts of minerals and are explicitly purified for cosmetic use making them skin safe.

But despite their popularity, they are not benign. Learning how to apply a clay mask correctly, is necessary. Let's talk about that a little.

Is a Clay Mask a Good Fit for you?

The assumption that clay masks are for everyone and every skin type is way off base, no one knows where it stemmed from but its time to shed some light on the truth. The truth is only oily or combination skins should use clay masks, while dry irritated skins should stay away from them. They can irritate and dry the skin even more. Those with dry skin have many other more hydrating and milder options to choose from.

The Right Way to Apply a Mask

First, begin the process by removing all makeup. A good makeup remover is vital. I like using Olive oil on a cotton bud for around my eyes because of how delicate the skin is. You can also use a gentle cream or almond oil. Next, cleanse your face with warm water and a foaming cleanser or facial soap to eliminate all traces of makeup remover. I usually don't wash near my eyes leaving the olive oil to soak into my under eye area and lids. (There is a reason for this, I will explain in a minute) You want to apply a clay mask on a clean face. The warm water will soften the grime and impurity clogging the pores.
Second, take two teaspoons of powder clay and mix it with lukewarm water to create a paste or use yogurt if you have mature, semi-dry or mature skin.

Apply the clay mask evenly all over the face, neck and décolleté using clean fingers or a clean brush. Avoid the skin around the eyes making an invisible mental line. Eye area skin is quite thin and can get damaged easily. Remember the olive oil I left around my eyes? This is a great way to protect your eye area in case you accidentally overreach that invisible line you should not cross with the mask.
Third, let the mask completely dry on your skin if you can. Don't leave it on longer. The clays in our combination work quickly. More time doesn't mean cleaner. In fact, it can over dry your skin if you leave it on longer.
Fourth, to properly remove the mask just splash enough warm water on face and with the fingertips give a gentle massage scrubbing in a circular motion until the clay is entirely re-hydrated, rinse off and pat dry with a face towel. I prefer to use a warm moist towel rubbing it in a circular motion until all the clay is gone. Then wash your face with cold water. There is no need for soap or cleanser after removing the clay.

Fifth, apply a toner to prepare your skin for the best absorption of moisturizers or facial oils. Not all toners are formulated equally and some although called toners, are just refreshing waters formulated to provide some temporary hydration to the skin. I prefer using witch hazel which is gentle and natural.

Sixth, after the toner has dried or evaporated from your skin, apply a light layer of moisturizer or facial oil. Don’t overdo it. You should aim to replenish the skin rather than smother it with moisturizer. You unclogged the pores you don't want to clog it with excessive cream.

The best time to do a mask treatment is at night before bed so you won't be exposing your skin to sunlight or applying makeup for a few hours. This allows your skin to rest after the intense treatment and regenerate basking in the therapy and hydrations afterward.

How Many Times A Week Should I Apply A Clay Mask?

Clay masks shouldn’t be applied daily. I suggest not using it more than 1-2 times a week. More often and they could irritate the skin. Less than that and no benefits would be visible.

The Many Shades of Clays

Green Clays: Particularly French Green Clay, is the most absorbent of all clays. This is a strong clay for oily and blemish- prone skin; it helps remove dirt, excess oil and debris from deep down pores.

White/Gray Clays: Bentonite, Fullers Earth, Kaolin and others, are gentler clays, mostly recommended to replenish the loss of minerals in the skin and to remove excess oil. This works for combination skin. 

Red/Pink Clays: Rhassoul, Australian Red, French Pink Rose clay and others, are mostly used to even out complexion.

Black Clays: Like Australian Black Clay, are mostly recommended for acne-prone skin, for its profoundly cleansing properties for combination and oily skin types. 

I know this is a pretty elaborate view on clays, but beauty isn't just skin deep. Delving into the makeup of our skin types and what each clay does helps pair us with the best solution for our skin problems. Unmask the beauty beneath by using some of the wonderful clays around the world. A more extensive assortment will be available as a limited quantity season collection for you to dip your hands into.  Keep an eye out for it at www.lotusandaire.com

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