About 18 months ago, to my dismay I started noticing "signs of ageing" on my face (I did try finding another phrase that didn't make me sound like a TV ad). I've always taken meticulous care of my skin so I'd naively assumed it would stay wrinkle-free and even-toned forever. But now I'm noticing fine lines around my eyes that don't go away after moisturising, expression lines (especially the ones running from my nose to my mouth), and freckles that remain permanently after a tan.
The "signs" that I'm working on the most at the moment are the fine lines around my eyes that look worse when my skin is dry. I figured they're the easiest to tackle.
So... my arsenal of anti-ageing products now includes a pack of Olay Total Effects Masks. These masks are the wet cloth type with holes for your eyes, nostrils and mouth. The masks are "infused with concentrated anti-ageing ingredients" (i.e. completely dripping and sodden in a gel/serum lotion which helps the mask stick to your face), and claim to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, smooth skin texture, even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of pores, diminish blotches and age spots and intensively hydrate dry skin.
Wow that's a lot of promises! I was only looking for a mask that would give my skin a moisture boost, but hey, I'll take all the other benefits too!
This sheet mask is really quite comical. Once it's pressed on, it makes you look like something out of a horror movie. And I must have an abnormally short face because the nose and mouth holes were really low down, cue my nasal complaints of "Can't. Breathe." But once I'd nudged the cloth around a bit (it's not as stretchy as Olay make out), the mask was very comfortable and relaxing. I left my mask on for quite a lot longer than the suggested 15 minutes - it felt too nice on! I also liked the fact that the eye holes are narrow, meaning that the cloth can go right up to the base of my eyes. The following photo is of me trying to look serene with the mask on, but still looking like I'm about to go on a killing spree.
Compared to a traditional mask applied from a tube, this cloth mask stays wet the whole time it's on, and the pressure of the wet cloth on the skin helps the lotion to sink into the skin. The sogginess also feels nice and refreshing.
Once the cloth mask is removed, it leaves behind a layer of the lotion which you're meant to massage into your skin. I found this layer a bit too tacky on my skin, so I wiped a little off with a dash of Liz Earle Skin Boost Tonic on a cotton wool pad.
I did actually notice a big difference in my skin with just the one treatment... my skin looked more "bouncy" and radiant. The fine lines were still there but looked less dry and line-y. There was no real difference in my freckles (a.k.a. my age spots) but I obviously wasn't expecting them to fade after one treatment (or even multiple treatments. Sadly, I think my sun-induced freckling is here to stay).
These masks would be great after a long flight to get "aeroplane" skin back to normal. Heck, they'd be great during a flight if you're brave enough.
I really liked using this mask and I'm interested to see whether the effects are cumulative, so I'm going to continue using a mask at least weekly. I bought a box of 5 masks for £10.99 from Boots (currently on offer from £16.99) but I'll be cramming as many boxes as I can into my basket next time I'm in Boots while they're still on offer.
The full ingredients in Olay Total Effects Masks are:
Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis, Pisum Sativum, Carnosine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Isopropyl Isostearate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional.