Our best face masks for winter

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It’s the time of year for cocooning… snuggling up and pampering yourself. Here’s our guide to the best face masks, available in pharmacy, to help your customers get gorgeous glowing skin this winter…

By Shonagh Walker

Mud Masks

Detoxifying and soothing, mud masks are nutrient-dense and serve to purge impurities, whilst correcting issues of excess sebum and rebalancing the skin.

Advise your customer to apply this to still-damp skin after cleansing. Exfoliation prior to applying this type of mask shouldn’t be necessary, as mud masks will whisk away any dead skin and debris that may cause the skin’s surface to become blocked.

Once the mask begins to feel tight on the skin and feels dry when you tap your finger on it, it’s ready to remove. To do this, they should gently press their face into a warm, damp facecloth, rinsing and repeating several times until the mask is completely removed.

This helps to liquefy the mask again, so they won’t need to rub at their skin, which might cause irritation.

We like:

Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Anti-Stress Mud Masque

This handy single-dose sachet is perfect for at-home use, or to take when travelling. It uses seaweed, Dead Sea minerals and lavender to draw impurities and refine the skin.

Davinci De-stress Mud Mask

A great one for the guys, this has seaweed and chamomile, which gently draws out debris, dirt and dead skin cells, while soothing the skin.



This type of mask is perfect for customers who present with oily, congested and blemished skin types, as they are able to draw debris and solidified oil from deep within the pores.

Again, the mask should remain on the skin until it is dry to the touch, but not to the point where the skin feels overly tight. Remove with a warm, damp cloth, or by rinsing under the shower.

Be sure to warn your customer that the mask might initially seem to intensify the problem. This is simply the deep-seated impurities being purged from the skin. With continued use and diligent skin care, the congestion will be cleared and skin will come back into balance.

We like:

Biore Self Heating one Minute Mask

This is a self-heating thermal mask that warms to open the pores, dissolving dirt, oil and blemish-causing debris.

Yes To Carrots Softening Facial Mask

An exfoliating mask designed to tone, revitalise and purify clogged and fatigued skin, this is enriched with carrot seed oil, carrot juice, magnesium salts and antioxidants.


Deep cleansing

If your customer comes in to store complaining of fatigued, sallow skin and uneven texture, they will benefit from these masks.

Within a few weeks of use, they should notice a smoother skin surface that is better able to reflect light. Think, enhanced radiance.

Remind them to remove the mask with warm water or a damp towel once it begins to feel slightly tight. If left to become very taut, it can actually dehydrate the skin.

We like:

Dr. Lewinn’s Puressence Purifying Masque

This wonder mask leaves the complexion looking and feeling brighter and healthier. It contains kaolin and bentonite clay to tighten, cleanse and tone, together with black walnut extract to purge deep-seated debris within the pores.

A’Kin Kaolin Clay and Lemongrass Express purifying Facial Masque

This absorbs excess oil as it draws out the impurities that can clog the skin and lead to blemishes. It also has the effect of refining open pores, thanks to witch hazel and lemongrass.


Oil control

Oil slick skin is never welcome, especially when it presents as through-the-day shiny T-Zone. Suggest that your customer uses a mattifying mask up to three times weekly, depending on the extent of their problem.

Their skin should rebalance fairly quickly.

We like:

Avène Cleanance Mask

With Avène Thermal Spring water to soothe and heal the skin, this also contains AHAs, BHAs and absorbing clays, to gently and effectively regulate and balance the complexion.

Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask

With pink clay, this non-drying mask gently absorbs excess oil and helps to rebalance the skin, thereby preventing clogging and blemishes.



Deeply hydrating and nurturing, these masks are designed for random dry skin conditions and also for people who consistently have very dry and dehydrated skin. Together with correct skin care and healthy, hydrating food and drink choices, they can help to remedy the problem within weeks.

Unlike many other masks, such as decongesting or deep cleansing, these masks can be left on for quite a long period of time, for extra soothing and comfort.

We like:

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask

This is ultra-replenishing, boosting moisture levels within the skin. It also helps your skin to better maintain moisture, thanks to high levels of omega-three fatty acids and naturally occurring plant butters.

Avène Instant Soothing Moisture Mask

With 74% Avene Thermal Spring water, this instantly soothes as it quenches parched skin. It’s absorbed quickly, so works a treat under make-up.


Radiance enhancing

Great for dull, muddy skin that needs pepping up; radiance-enhancing masks are all about infusing skin with vitamins to restore its health. Look for products containing vitamins A, C and potent antioxidants.

We like:

Natio Restore 10 Minute Moisturising Mask

Natio Restore 10 Minute Moisturising Mask is a refreshing face mask that helps to brighten, tighten and refresh dull, tired skin. It has been formulated with hyaluronate, shea and sesame, which provide hydration, while lavender extract soothes the face.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

This iconic cream is famed for its instant brightening and tightening effect. A thick layer smoothed over skin is soothing, calming and beautifying, especially if you’ve been storing it in the fridge.



Targeting crepiness, lines and wrinkles and sagging, anti-ageing masks are typically packed with peptides to help strengthen and smooth out mature skin.

Also, the two cloth masks mentioned below are soaked in a generous amount of serum, of which the excess can be applied to the décolletage and the backs of the hands.

We like:

Lancôme Genefique Youth Activating Second Skin Mask

Packs a radiance infusing, skin-smoothing punch thanks to a patented complex that kick-starts the skin into behaving as though it were younger.

Olay Regenerist Facial Treatment Masks

Drenched in a concentrated anti-ageing serum, this mask molds to the face to deliver firming and smoothing benefits within 15 minutes.



This type of mask helps to remove layered discoloration of the skin, thereby smoothing mild pigmentation and sunspots, while clarifying the complexion.

We like:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Purifying Enzyme Mask

Contributes to a brighter, clearer and more refined complexion by whisking away debris using kaolin clay and tightening pores with papaya enzymes. Suitable to all skin types, it has an anti-ageing effect, leafing a younger, smoother finish.

Sukin Purifying Facial Masque

Rich in antioxidants and purifying kaolin clay, this gently lifts away built up dead cells and debris that can cause the skin to appear dull, all the while infusing it in brightening and strengthening antioxidants.

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