I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
As someone with rosacea and skin that's very fair and sensitive, it's a constant effort to keep my face from flaring up into a dry, red, angry mess. One of the top triggers for my skin is hot showers. I try to keep my showers short and sweet, but once or twice a week in the winter I can't help but succumb to the comfort of a longer-than-usual, hotter-than-usual shower.
Unfortunately, hot showers make my face look like this after more than five or ten minutes:
Luckily, I've come up with the perfect solution. (And no, it's not taking shorter, cooler showers. Don't underestimate the benefits that the occasional long hot shower has for my mental health in the winter!)
I've started wearing sheet masks in the shower once or twice a week, or whenever I take a shower that's not just the jump-in, scrub, jump-out kind of deal. This is actually the first time that I've ever used face masks regularly. I've had a few bad experiences with face masks until I realized that the only kind of mask I can use is the sheet variety, since rinsing a dried mask off my face usually just irritates my skin.
Sheet masks, however, are gentle and hydrating. I now have a huge collection of sheet masks that I save exclusively for hot showers, and my skin has never looked better.
Check out how my skin looks directly after taking a long, hot shower while using a sheet mask:
Compared to the first picture, you can see how drastically my redness is reduced and how my skin looks hydrated and glowing instead of horribly dry.
If you have a similar weakness for hot showers but you fear it's damaging your skin, I highly recommend investing in a few sheet masks every winter. Below are a few of my favorites.
I love the affordable price of this mask and I love the inclusion of calming ingredients like aloe and green tea.
I've become a total sucker for anything with snail mucus (there's a sentence I never thought I'd write). These masks come in a cute box set of 5, and they're incredibly hydrating. This was the mask that I wore in the shower before taking the "after" picture above.
I impulse-bought these because of the price and the fact that I love everything I've tried from Tony Moly. I like that there's a whole line of these I'm Real masks, so you can choose whatever your skin needs. I picked Aloe and Avocado because my skin needs gentle hydration most, but they also have masks for pore-reducing and purification.
This was another impulse buy, at ULTA. Although it's pricier than the I'm Real masks, like I said, I just can't resist snail stuff. Perhaps one day further research will either justify my obsession or reveal me to be a trend-following dummy, but either way, this mask is extremely hydrating. I also like how it comes in two halves, which makes it much easier to fit onto your face comfortably.
Yep, another snail extract mask. This one also comes in two halves for your face, making me realize that every mask should be like that. The snail extract is the third ingredient in this mask, so you know it's very highly concentrated.
You might recall that I wrote about how much I liked the Karuna Hydrating+ Hand Mask. These are basically the same thing except for your face. You can buy one sheet for $8 or a pack of four for $28. It contains hydrating and calming ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin B.
So far I've only noticed two downsides to these sheet masks (and I'm talking about all of the above masks). One is that they all have added fragrance, varying from noticeable to extremely strong. Is it so much to ask for fragrance-free sheet masks? Apparently it is. My skin hasn't suffered any irritation yet, but I'd prefer to avoid fragrance if possible.
The other, pettier downside is the horribly cold, slimy feeling when applying these masks. It's low-grade torture in the winter. I imagine it'd be soothing in the summer, but for now I have to grit my teeth during the first few minutes of putting a sheet mask on. Maybe I just keep the heat in my house too low though. OK, I definitely do.
Finally, I leave you with this terrifying image.
Between that and my habit of dumping out my menstrual cup in the shower (TMI?), I'll never be able to cohabit with someone should they walk in while I'm showering and I scar them for life. But that's a small price to pay for perfect skin.
Anyway, give this little trick a shot the next time you take a hot shower. I promise your skin will thank me.
- Do you use sheet masks regularly? Ever use one in the shower?
- What are your favorite sheet masks?
- Can I please say it just once? Just to get it out of my system? OK cool, here goes: SHOWER HACK! I LIFE-HACKED MY SHOWER EVERYBODY!