Ruth Griffin - beauty: The ultimate multi-tasker
How to get the best results from the multimasking trend
Bizarre images of celebs sporting multi-coloured skin masks and creepy-looking facial sheets - all at the same time - have been flooding social media for the past 18 months, under the multimasking hashtag.
But this seemingly odd phenomenon is not an online fad - multimasking is actually the well-known professional skincare technique of applying masks with different skincare properties to various parts of the face, in order to address skin requirements such as dryness or blemishes.
Why not have a rummage around your bathroom cabinet, dig out a few mask options and give it a bash yourself on your next pamper night? I think this is such a worthwhile multitasker. By stealing this salon skincare methodology, and using some of the excellent products featured on these pages, you can really fast track your way to a bespoke "just had a facial" skin.
Treat vs cheat
Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
is the charcoal-based cult beauty product that launched a thousand masking selfies - but comes with a hefty price tag - €52.95.
From selected pharmacies
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
Try instead this more modestly-priced option from The Body Shop. I actually prefer it, it's not so harsh on the skin and more wallet-friendly. Win win. Nationwide - €25
6 of the best - multimasking products
We're seeing neck and chest wrinkles in younger and younger women, attributed to the constant downward gaze because of our use of phones and tablets. If neck wrinkles are becoming pronounced, check out this sample sachet of Rodial's Snake Neck Mask Sheet, €10 from Space NK. If you love the results, you can invest in a pack of six for €56. Available from Space NK and M&S Beauty
Heat Basking Mask
This self-heating mask contains charcoal, which is particularly efficient at sucking out impurities (look out for activated charcoal products as they are outstanding for blemish-prone skin). Together with kaolin clay and myrrh essential oils, this is put on damp skin to purify. Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask, €13.99, Boots nationwide (If you want to sample this first, there is also a trial-sized option for €1.30 in Boots)
Best for cheek, neck, décolletage and forehead areas
This light but deeply-hydrating mask is ideal for smoothing stress lines, adding radiance and firming areas that lack tone. Ideal for cheeks, neck and the décolletage area - I leave this on as long as possible (45 minutes plus). Clarins Extra-Firming Mask, €60
Prep Your Skin
Origins is the ultimate beauty brand for skin masks. But this product is actually a mask primer - spray this on before masking and its hydrating qualities increase the spreadability of your masks and helps to prep the skin - making your mask more efficient, while using less product.
Origins Maskimizer, €25, pharmacies nationwide
Best for the T-zone
With Dead Sea mud, honey and salicylic acid to purify and cleanse, this is a really great option for the areas that need decongestion - for most women that's the nose and chin area, sometimes the forehead and hair line (more mature women rarely need detoxing of their forehead area however, they usually need hydration there). An excellent product for sensitive skins that needs clearing but not stripping. Super Facialist Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Clay Mask, €13.99, Boots nationwide
Best for eye area
This freaky-looking little number actually only covers the top half of the face, so you are free to apply a detox mask to your nose and chin and a moisturising mask to your neck and chest area. This is a seriously gorgeous injection of moisture with lots of retinol to soothe crow's feet. Ideal for seriously dehydrated or mature skin.
Shiseido Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalising Face Mask, €75 (set of four), available at department stores nationwide. (A low-cost option is Masque Bar Eye Puffiness Minimizing patches, €13.50 from Boots)
Ask the expert
Jennifer Rock, aka The Skin Nerd (@theskinnerdire), is an award-winning beauty therapist and facialist. Here, she demystifies multimasking and gives us her top tips for fast-tracking our way to gorgeous, glowing skin without a trip to the treatment rooms...
What exactly is multimasking?
It's a buzzword that has become popular in 2016, but for qualified facialists, it has been a key strategy in the treatment room for decades. The theory behind multimasking is that one mask does not fit all; different areas of your face may have different concerns and require different treatment.
What are the benefits of multimasking?
Everybody tends to have different concerns in specific areas of the face - for example, dehydration on the cheeks, congestion on the nose, preventative or corrective anti-ageing needs around the eyes and jowl, perhaps an element of sensitivity on the neck, and so forth. By applying various masks to different parts of the face you are targeting that specific region's problematic concern, thereby fast tracking results for the whole face. If you are treating your own skin, it is worth noting that you must know your skin type and skin condition prior to purchasing a product. Remember, too, that masks offer a short-term solution; a long-term skin health programme will include serums, eye creams and professional treatments.
Would you recommend multi-masking for specific skin issues?
If I have a client with an oilier t-zone, then I believe it is key to have a clay-based, salicylic acid-based or oil-free mask for that problematic region. Similarly, an oilier skin will not always benefit from many hydrating masks as they may contain fat-based, emollient (aka thick) ingredients that could cause blockages if not removed efficiently - so if you have oily areas, avoid these with your hydrating mask.
Is it time-consuming? Or are there ways to multimask quickly?
I would suggest asking yourself your top three concerns, eg anti-ageing, dehydration/taut skin and redness on the cheeks, and limiting yourself to using three masks to address those three issues. Cleanse as normal, then use a mask brush (a child's paint brush bought solely for this purpose will do) to paint a thin layer of each mask onto the relevant areas. I believe people are possibly over-doing multimasking at present with little to no benefit! If you purchase a mask that is results-driven, then that is of more benefit to the skin than having 15 masks that are never used and just make your bathroom cabinet look Instagram-ready!
What products would you recommend for multimasking?
I recommend IMAGE Skincare Ageless Resurfacing Mask (€40.50) for an all-over microdermabrasion buff and polish to guarantee that pre-event glow; Yon-Ka Masque No1 (€47.50) for a sleep-in quench-thirsting glow to plump and volumise the skin; IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Mask (€41) to hydrate while being gentle enough for a rosacea-prone, reactive and sensitive skin; see renaissance-skincare.com for stockists.