If you want to trust someone, especially your skin, it should probably be Lesley Thornton. Her line of products, Klur, began as a skin care studio named after the Swedish expression “klura”, which roughly translates to “find out”. And, as a beautician, clients have loved the way Thornton always took the time to listen to their problems and come up with effective solutions. Essentially, it approaches skin care the way we all would like it, but doesn’t always have the time: with budget, sustainability and effectiveness in mind. She even redesigned the masking you probably haven’t thought of: “slap in the face, wash up”. Even if you think you’ve figured it out, you’ve never heard tips as clever as Thornton’s, and they will completely change the way you approach masking. Here’s her best advice:
How you apply an exfoliating mask is important
While you may already know that your skin type is mostly dry or mostly oily, pretty much all skin is a tiny piece of both. The pores on the forehead, nose, and chin tend to be slightly larger, which is why this area (often referred to as the T-zone) is more prone to shine. The outer perimeter of your face may have slightly smaller pores, which means these areas get dry and irritated easily. So, while you can use an acid-based mask all over your face, the T-zone can sit on the skin a little longer. “An exfoliating mask should be applied to the T-zone first and then to the cheeks last,” says Thornton, who emphasizes that your cheeks are more sensitive than the rest of your face.
Don’t hold a clay mask on for too long
How long is too long Well, Thornton’s rule of thumb is that after 15 to 20 minutes the mask does more harm than good. “If you wear a mask for more than 20 minutes, your skin becomes dehydrated and there is a risk of transepidermal water loss,” she explains. For clay masks in particular, Thornton recommends rinsing before you think it’s done. “I never recommend customers let the product dry completely,” she adds, as does most people using clay masks. If you think about it, giving a clay mask time to dry out completely means your skin will also dry out. “If your skin is tight or uncomfortable, the mask has been on for far too long.” You can steam a clay mask (in the shower or with a portable steamer) to prevent dehydration. However, Thornton does not recommend doing this if you have sensitive skin.
Follow moisturizing masks with moisturizer or oil
A soothing moisturizing mask is great when you want to add moisture to your skin. Since many moisturizing masks are meant to be used overnight, you don’t have to worry about leaving them on for too long. Whenever you’re ready to wash it off, Thornton insists that the work doesn’t stop there – to make sure these added benefits don’t go away, quickly seal in moisture with a cream or facial oil right after you’ve washed your face. “The key to getting the most benefit from a moisturizing mask is having proper occlusion,” she explains. A moisture sealer can also help you use clay masks in the winter when you are less oily but still want a deep cleanse. Thornton is known to apply a thin layer of facial oil under a clay mask to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier as well. Of course, “You should always use the correct moisturizing and skin-freshening products afterward,” she adds. Her favorite refills include Maras Universal Face Oil, Klurs Symmetry Fluid, and Aura Cacias Grape Seed Oil or Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore if you prefer a cream.
Be gentle while you take off a mask
“I’m a huge fan of cold water rinsing and clean hands,” says Thornton of removing a mask once it’s finished. Especially with a clay mask, it helps to make small circles over the skin as if you were a cleanser to slowly melt it away. After removing most of the mask, Thornton takes a damp, soft cloth to wipe off the rest. If the mask is dark or colored, you can also use a damp paper towel (Viva brand is Thornton’s favorite) to avoid staining. No need to rub, puff, or scrape a mask – it slowly and steadily wins the race and saves you a mess in the bathroom.
And remember not to go overboard
Masks can charge your routine up, but they shouldn’t be relied on – leave the heavy lifting to daily skin care products like toners, serums, and sunscreens. The more pressure you put on your masking routine to clear up a breakout or even out your skin tone, the less likely you are to see the results you want. In fact, Thornton doesn’t recommend masking (with anything!) More than once a week. “Masks can be powerful treatments, but they are often overused,” she tells me. By keeping your skin healthy and keeping your moisture barrier in contact, you will minimize irritation and imbalances in the long run. And maybe you don’t have to use that many masks after all! A woman of my own lazy heart.
Would you like to try something new? Buy Lesley Thornton’s all-time favorite masks here:
Photo via ITG