The Skin-Soothing Masks You Need For The Post-Holiday Slump

You’ve done very little over the past week, but you’re still tired. You’ve eaten too much, and you never want to see a bottle of Baileys again. The holidays may be officially over for us, but they're not over for our skin: It takes around 30 days for our faces to recover from the strains — sugar, alcohol, lack of sleep — of the festive season.

But where there’s a will, there's a way, and it comes in the form of the humble face mask. From getting your glow back to busting blemishes, read on for the best tried-and-tested masks around. Fresh-faced 2017, here we come...
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First things first: Exfoliate away any dry, party-worn dead cells on the skin’s surface. Not only will your skin look much brighter, but any serums or products applied afterward will penetrate the skin more readily. As always, Dr. Sebagh knows what’s up. This bright-orange mask contains the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) azelaic and lactic, which dissolve surface grime, reduce pigmentation, help with blemish scars, and firm up skin, all while giving you back your glow. Smooth over skin after cleansing — a tingling sensation is normal — and leave on for 10 minutes. Reactive complexions should try the sensitive version, which is a gentler formula.

Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask, $95, available at Net-A-Porter.
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It’s not just your mouth that’s parched the morning after. For a quick hydration hit, this sheet mask is second to none. Made of biocellulose, it’s a clever "second skin" that pushes ingredients into your dermis faster than fabric counterparts. Hyaluronic acid and rosewater restore moisture, while minerals like magnesium and zinc relieve redness, giving you the ultimate dewy glow. And have we mentioned how cooling they feel, especially when left in the fridge beforehand? Leave on skin for 15 minutes, massaging in any extra serum afterward.

Sarah Chapman
3D Moisture Infusion Mask, $47.81, available at Sarah Chapman London.
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Chamomile is the ingredient to look for when your skin is in need of some TLC. This botanical-based mask has it in spades, alongside lavender and rosemary, so besides soothing angry skin and removing any blemish-creating imbalances, it also calms a worried mind. Leave on for 30 minutes and blot away excess with a cotton pad. If it’s all gone before you’ve taken it off, you'll know how much your skin needed it.

Blue Chamomile Hydrating Masque, $55, available at Aesop.
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Small but mighty, this mask is the ultimate multitasker. A thin layer of the indulgent, creamy formula left on for just 10 minutes makes dull skin bright, sallow skin plump, and tired skin energized. It’s all thanks to the black-rose extract, which combats skin-damaging free radicals and smoothes fine lines. Work into skin with fingers by massaging upward and outward — this motion will help stimulate your lymphatic system, which flushes toxins out of the body. Don’t be put off by the price tag: The unassuming tube lasts for ages.

Black Rose Cream Mask, $162.50, available at Nordstrom.
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Put energy and radiance back into a fatigued face with this antioxidant-packed, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial mask. Turmeric is its all-natural star ingredient, and aside from calming flare-ups, it also fights acne, helps heal scarring, and restores that all-important glow. Apply to skin post-cleanse and leave for five to 10 minutes, then rinse away.

Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, $32, available at Kiehl's.
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Eve Lom’s deep cleanser remedies a world of skin-care sins. It’s clay-based (honey-infused kaolin clay, to be exact), meaning it draws impurities and grime out of pores; it also contains camphor, which has a satisfying cooling sensation on contact. It’s perfect for mornings-after or when your complexion is angry or stressed. Make sure to stir it before application, then be generous. After 20 minutes, buff away excess clay with your fingertips, then wash off the rest with a warm muslin cloth.

Eve Lom
Rescue Mask, $85, available at Sephora.
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They say that eyes are the windows to the soul but, at this time of year, eyes are windows into the food you’ve eaten, the drinks you’ve drunk, and the hours past midnight you've stayed awake. There are lots of different gel eye masks out there, but these reign supreme because they’re infused with retinol. The vitamin A derivative helps stimulate the thin undereye area to create collagen, eliminates that crepe-y look, and brightens dark circles. Either put these on for 20 minutes before you go out — they deliver a hydration hit that lasts for up to 30 hours — or use to revive eyes when you're in recovery mode.

Reviving Eye Mask, $55, available at Sephora.
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Beauty sleep is not a myth: The skin really does get to work on restoring and repairing itself when the lights go down. That's an indicator it’s a good time to ramp up your skin-care regimen. Origins’ Drink Up mask contains Japanese seaweed to help the skin protect itself during the day, and avocado oil to quench any dryness. It’s as creamy as they come, smells like apricot, and really does work.

Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, $26, available at Origins.
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If all else fails, fake it. James Read’s overnight mask not only delivers that perfect faux glow — think subtle and golden, not cartoonish and orange — but also contains ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber to cool and calm, plus hyaluronic acid to hydrate. A multitasker if we ever saw one.

James Read
Sleep Mask Tan Face, $38, available at Sephora.
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