- The Washington Times
Monday, March 12, 2018


The spring flowers are starting to bud, but your complexion might feel wilted after a rough winter. Freezing temperatures, wind, indoor heat and more can lead to dull, flaky, dry skin that is tight and uncomfortable.

The good news is there are plenty of products on the market to renew your skin for spring, and masks can go a long way in a short amount of time. Thanks to the Korean skin care trend, there are masks to treat acne, masks to lift, firm and luminize, masks to cleanse, clarify, purify and “perfect,” dry masks and concentrated foil masks. That’s just for starters.

Some follow the Korean 10-step skin care routine using makeup remover and oil cleanser, water-based cleanser, exfoliator, toner, essence, treatments, sheet masks, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

If that takes up more time than you want to spend in front of your bathroom mirror, there are simple, fast-acting masks that can rescue your skin. One of them I’ve tried is Clarins’ SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask ($34 for a 2.3-ounce tube), which promises to smooth fine lines, soothe irritations and revive radiance — and it takes only 10 minutes to use.

The mask uses extract from leaf of life, called the “miracle leaf” for its many medicinal qualities. A hyaluronic acid complex draws moisture to thirsty skin.

After I remove my makeup and cleanse my face, I use an exfoliator and toner to clear away any flakiness that would get in the way of my treatment. I do not recommend an exfoliator if your skin is red or sensitive or has any sore spots. Wait for it to heal first.

I apply a generous amount of the cream-gel formula to my face, and it feels better instantly. The mask has a pleasant, light scent. I wait a short 10 minutes and, following my favorite part of the instructions, remove it gently with a cotton ball soaked with lotion. A bit of my go-to face lotion mixes with the nourishing ingredients in the mask, and I gently work it into my skin. My face feels incredibly hydrated, and I’m ready for a good night’s sleep. Even if my sleep isn’t so good, my face looks fresh and awake in the morning.

Whether you want to use a hydrating mask as part of your K-beauty routine or just need a quick fix for parched skin, I recommend giving SOS Hydra a try.

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