Mask It Up!

Let’s just say my skin’s been in better shape. Partying (or is it networking?) too many nights, crashing on couches and in random (hey, not THAT random) beds and being a full-time student, blogger and freelance writer (not to mention getting pancaked for TV appearances) means I’m dealing with more blemishes than I ever did as a reclusive woods-tramping teen. PLUS I turned 30 this year and the wrinkles are arriving on schedule despite my family’s excellent genes in that department.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a good facemask, which besides detox teas and lots of leafy greens seem to be my only saving grace. There’s something transforming about them, the way they tingle and harden on the face, their delicious aromatherapy while you wait, and the fact that (does this defeat the purpose? I say no….) you can get some work done while you’re also helping your skin look a little less like…you work so much! NO JOKE- I have one on as I type this! Here are my top three picks for the best all-natural masks out there.

facemask Starre

This is me with LUSH’s Sacred Truth mask on. So cute, no?


OK, not everything from the UK-based-but-available-worldwide LUSH store is totally natural; they use some artificial colors in some of their products. I’m over it. BUT their face masks are totally natural, so much so that they need to be kept in the fridge, and even then only last so long (a bit longer than they advise in the store, FYI). And you can’t buy them online- you need to go to one of their stores to get the fresh stuff. I like the Sacred Truth mask for regular weeks, and the Brazened Honey, which smells so divine I want to dive into a vat of it, is for hardcore skin repair, but ask in the store what’s best for your skin type.

I’m a total whore for their soaps too, which are cut off huge blocks and are wrapped in paper- in fact all their stuff is very minimally packaged and they ALWAYS ask if you really need a bag, since you probably don’t. This seems to be company-wide policy, as I regularly visit the LUSH stores on the Upper West Side in NYC and Greenwich CT. When I was recently in London, they asked there too. If you’re a nice, polite human being (and maybe make the salespeople laugh a bit), they’ll give you all sorts of free samples, so you can figure out what you like.



I’ve used Origins makeup for years; they make the least pore-cloggins stuff I’ve found anywhere, and it all smells fan-freaking-tastic. When I need a pick-me-up I use their anti-blemish Out of Trouble mask, which has camphor for a wake-me-up-right-now! scent, oil-abosorbing zinc oxide and sulphur (don’t worry, you can’t smell it) and salicylic acid.
Oh, and they have a new organic skin care line that looks yummy- I haven’t tried it yet though.

neal's yard

Neal’s Yard

Another UK import, Neal’s Yard is the ne plus ultra of organic beauty products, with great partner organisations and a commitment to organic products wherever they can make it work in their products. I like the Organic rose antioxidant mask for a mellow, feel-good, smell-better mask that reminds me to take it easy.

And if you’re looking for natural wrinkle-erasers, check out this piece on The Daily Green about my favorite eye creams/serums.

Want to make your own HAIR-revitalizing mask out of fresh, organic ingredients? Try this one!

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.