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Face Masks that Actually Work!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a soothing, pampering, rose-scented face pack or a chocolate-orange peel-off mask. I’m all for a bit of relaxation in a steamy bath, slathering my face in something that feels rich and unctuous and thoroughly decadent. But don’t you sometimes feel that face masks are a bit pointless? I swear that some of them are just exactly the same formula as a moisturiser – except that you don’t even leave it on, you rinse it off!

I am always on the hunt for masks that “actually do something” – instant results, visible difference, immediate improvement. Masks that cleanse and purify and renew and resurface and all of those things that – added together – equal glowing, smooth skin. I’ve already talked about Deep Cleansing Masks quite extensively (you can see some individual reviews here) but now I want to move on to Renewing and Resurfacing masks. Masks that will slough off the dead skin cells and really give the skin a good kick up the arse so that you see a proper difference in a short amount of time.

Some of these are perhaps best avoided by very sensitive skin – always do a patch test if you’re unsure – but all are brilliantly effective. Most of them use AHAs (acids that take off the dead skin cells and help cell turnover) so don’t go overboard with them – once or twice a week is plenty, especially if you use Liquid Gold. Don’t use the masks after using any kind of skin scrub or after cleansing with the Clarisonic – it’s just too much in my opinion!

These masks are all great for skin that is starting to lose it’s freshness and glow – mid to late twenties and above, perhaps, although if you’re younger do feel free to give them a try and see how you like them! They can help to improve clarity and keep breakouts to a minimum, but if that’s your main concern you might want to take a look at deep cleansers for your mask of choice.

Watch the video for more details on each mask – the REN Glycolactic and Elemis Papaya are, I think, brilliant “starter” masks whereas the Liquid Gold really packs quite a hefty punch. The Bee Venom mask is excellent – see the individual review here – but doesn’t work with AHAs so far as I know, just with bee stings. Normal. The Liz Earle is a lovely little quick fix – it only needs about a minute to really get going, and you don’t leave it on for more than two, so perfect if you’re in a rush. All of the links are below the video pane if you need pricing, stockist details and any more info!

Products Used:

(My face is fake-tanned with Glam Glow! http://tinyurl.com/bondo3v)

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Mask: http://tidd.ly/debd5b1d

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel: http://tidd.ly/ca731ef0

REN Glycolactic Mask: http://tidd.ly/23cc33e2

OSKIA Renaissance Mask: 5SALE code at the moment gets £5 off! http://tidd.ly/a0d706a4

Dr Manuka Bee Venom Mask: http://tidd.ly/3d0b8fd8

Liz Earle Brightening Mask: http://goo.gl/mzfvH


  1. Two questions: I’ve debated getting the Liz Earle but there are so many warnings on the website about sensitive skin. I love LE and I’ve not had problems with the Alpha-H Liquid Gold products either so I’m “funny” sensitive. How about the Liquid Gold mask? I do love the Elemis but am ready to try the “harder stuff” and haven’t had problems with some of the clay masks either. Any suggestions or guidelines? Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Ruth, great post as always! Just have a mask related question…with deep cleansing masks are they supposed to bring you out in spots? I imagine if you use one on a weekly basis then its eventually benefitical but I can’t seem to get past the initial first use and the break out of spots that it brings! Should I persevere with it? Also…I would love to try the bee venom one but I’m worried about getting a bad reaction! I might consider buying some of their cheaper venom products just to test if I react!! Sounds brill though, I’m really keen to try anything with manuka honey in because I imagine its good with preventing spots!!

    • Yes, at first you can break out (a bit like when you’ve been for a facial) but if you use on a regular basis I find that it evens out after a month or so! Are you allergic to bee stings? x

      • I’ve been stung when I was younger with no ill effect but I know you can still have a bad reaction to a bee sting even if you’ve been stung before and not had a bad reaction (I’ve seen it happen to a friend). I think I’m going to try the liquid gold first, it sounds like a good all-rounder for clearing occasional conjestion and keeping skin nice and smooth!

  3. If the product says to leave it on for a very short time (like the Liz earle) is it okay to leave it on a tad longer and will it work better? :) x

    • I wouldn’t. It’s not like hair conditioners where the longer you leave them the better they are! They do their stuff then get them off – you don’t want to irritate the skin! A little longer won’t hurt, but don’t go sleeping in them or anything! xx

  4. Hi Ruth! Lovely post. Was wondering if you would answer a few queries.
    Do you use the masks after cleansing and then follow with toner and moisturiser? Also which of these masks would you say are best to use the night before a special occasion to give a glow?
    And would you also do a post about hydrating masks when you get the chance? Thanks so much.
    P.S: Absolutely love your blog

  5. I looove face masks–I just really like doing at-home treatments in general. I have been really, really wanting to try the Ren one for a while now. Also, the bee venom one sounds so interesting–I’ve never tried anything like it!

  6. Hi Ruth,
    I have combination/oily skin, but luckily don’t get many spots. I’m 34 now so I’d hope not! Anyway, I do get some little bumps under my skin with highlighter or anything shimmery just loves to cling to. Would the Alpha H one do the trick do you think? Thanks :)

  7. Hey Ruth,
    really informative video, thank you!
    I have the Elemis mask aswell, but I feel that it doesn’t do much. So would the liquid gold be the next level or would you recommend something else between the Elemis and the liquid gold one?
    Also, I was missing the Sisley Mask in the video!
    Have a lovely weekend,

  8. Hey Ruth) do you know good products for dry skin and clogged pores???

  9. Hi Ruth! Love ur blog! I was just wondering if you had tried Murad’s intensive resurfacing peel and if you had any thoughts on it? I can’t seem to find any reviews on it which doesn’t inspire much hope. I purchased it before I read your post about peels and masks so I’m not sure wether it’s worth trying or sending back! Hope you can help!!



  10. That is a Good collection, I’am a Beauty and skin care fanatic and I was searching for a good skin product which would at least restore some beauty, youth and attractiveness to my neck and décolleté. I’ve seen here the NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention review. Any ideas?

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