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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. Do you know the Sea Mud Exfoliating Mask from Erno Laszlo? I have been turning to it religiously for years. Not only is it 100% cruelty free but also one of the most effective and gentle masks there were. Unfortunately it s not sold anymore. :-( sob sob do you know an equivalent, something to use as a blackhead emergency remedy? Thanks so much.

  2. love this one. i do use liquid gold every other night. can i still use the manuka bee venom weekly?

  3. Hi Ruth, could you please make a tutorial on that look??? You look simply stunning and this is one of my favourite looks i’ve ever seen! Thanx! xxx

  4. I am obsessed with Anne Semonin masks. Their purifying mask works on everything under the surface without making my face break out(like the the Omorovicza). Plus you can really bespoke them, mixing with oils or gel or cream masks depending on your skin needs! Expensive but I’m hooked. I have quite ruddy skin and it’s calmed it down so much.


  5. Hi Ruth,
    I absolutely love the look you’re wearing in this video. Have you posted the tutorial yet? I can’t seem to find it.

    On another note, I was wondering if you have tried the alpha h rejuvenating cream. I am running low on my liquid gold and was thinking of adding this to my bag when i go to reorder. I thought I’d see if you had an opinion on it. It apparently has glycolic %10, aloe and all these other awesome ingredients..so, very intrigued. :)



    • Yes, I think I have tried it! Let me try and think why I didn’t feature…I’m sure it was really good! Haven’t posted that look yet, no x

  6. Hi Ruth – love the LE but am REALLY loving my Elemis Tri Enzyme Gel Mask, it’s super tingly and really feels like its getting down to business :)
    Also thanks – have just found out about cheap smells.com as I watched your fragrance video and have now got myself some super Elemis bargain, yay! Best one – pro collagen serum down from £90 to £60ish! Love it.

  7. Hi Ruth,

    I’ve just recently started following your blog and just wanted to say I am sooooo glad I did! I recently purchased the Oskia mask and used it for the first time yesterday and my skin is glowing and actually feels like it has some life back! Is there anything else you can recommend I should be using to keep it this way?

    Thanks again


  8. RUTH!

    very urgent question here,
    For quite some time I have been eyeing the KORA skin care line by supermodel miranda kerr. The is supposed to be “high end” and all natural. I want to know if you have had a chance to try some of the products and what do you think? Also if you have not, visiting their website and checking it out? Thank you,


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