With so many at home face masks on the market, choosing one can be overwhelming. Often we purchase a face mask to address one skin issue but then start to ask ourselves, are we using it correctly?  How frequently should it be used and is it even worth the time and money?  Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board certified dermatologist and clinical professor at Mount Sinai in New York City, offers some fast facts to help us get the most from a face mask.

When it comes to face masks, the products with the most expensive price tags are not necessarily the best. As consumers, we are often swayed by sleek packaging and seductive advertisement. We are also more attracted to expensive products, because we associate a higher price with a superior product. “Do your homework before making a purchase. Read reviews if available. Also know that certain face masks work best for certain specific skin conditions or results, so look to see what kind of face mask will work best for you,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.

According to Dr. Papantoniou, “face masks definitely serve a very useful purpose but in order to get the best result it’s important to know what ingredients address certain skin issues.”  For acne-prone skin, she recommends a mask with charcoal, kaolin, or salicylic acid, which help to draw out impurities, excess oils and unclog pores.  For those who struggle with rosacea, masks which contain green tea, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, sulfur, and aloe vera can help soothe and reduce redness.  A rejuvenating mask is great for more mature skin, where wrinkles are a concern.  A hydrating mask with antioxidants can help to plump lines and rehydrate skin cells; look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, vitamin C, CoQ10, retinol, vitamin E, coconut oil and glycolic acid.

Applying a mask to a clean face is a requirement.  Dr. Papantoniou suggests using a gentle facial cleanser such as Cetaphil, Ceravé, or Vanicream, which will not dry out the skin.  However, if a mask is applied to skin which has remnants of make-up or product, a barrier can be created and the mask will not work effectively. “You want to make sure your face is clean so the mask can fully penetrate. Exfoliating prior to applying a mask will be too irritating on the skin, and the chemicals and active ingredients in the mask may be too intense, remember that the mask will be staying on your skin for a while,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.

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We started hearing about Slow Food in the early 1990s.  The movement was first promoted as an alternative to fast food, seeking to preserve traditional and regional cuisines, while encouraging sustainable farming within local ecosystems.  Today, we are experiencing a similar revolution in beauty.  Why?  According to Shel Pink, founder of  SpaRitual, we are living in a time where beauty, health, and wellness are now intersecting.  A lifelong practitioner of mindfulness and meditation, Pink experienced a Satori moment (or “seeing into one’s true nature” in Zen) nearly six years ago, and named her lifestyle, Slow Beauty.

The Slow Beauty Movement is the “antithesis of the fast-paced world of the beauty industry that sells us immediate results and invasive options.”  It takes beauty to a more authentic and personalized level, while embracing enlightenment and holistic rituals.  “This convergence supports our need for sustainable self-care in a fast world that shows no signs of slowing down,” shares Pink. “We are going deeper, identifying resources from within to strengthen and become more resilient, and empower ourselves to act more powerfully on behalf of our self, others and the world.”  And like the Slow Food  movement, we just need to slow down in beauty.

SpaRitual provides spa treatment products and resources to help design and sustain a Slow Beauty Practice.  Its body care products are made with vegan ingredients, many of which are Certified Organic and Fair Trade.  Its Four States of Slow Beauty, contains signature scents and color palettes to create a multisensory experience: Close Your Eyes, Look Inside, Instinctual, and Infinitely Loving.


Sunday night brought out some of the recording industry’s biggest divas for the 59th Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Staples Center.  The red carpet shone with unforgettable looks, including those worn (from left to right) by Katy Perry in Tom Ford, Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell, Rihanna in Armani Privé, Adele in Givenchy, and Jennifer Lopez in Ralph & Russo Couture.