I have recently started a skin-care program (cleanser, toner, day and night cream). I do not use a facial mask as I am not sure exactly what it does. How do you know which mask is right for you?

A mask is an important beauty treatment. Depending upon the type, it can deep-cleanse, moisturize, tighten and tone, remove surface flakiness and stimulate the skin, giving it a fresh look and a healthy glow. Masks come in a variety of formulations: some contain earth-baked clay that helps draw oil and grime from the skin; or clear gels that tighten and moisturize as they dry; others contain special ingredients with astringent and stimulating properties, or have a soft creamy texture to soothe and cool the skin. Some masks are quick pick-ups, doing their work in as little as five to seven minutes. Others take from 10 to 25 minutes and may be a two-step operation – starting with a cream and then finishing with a mask. Many masks tighten the skin, clearing away tiny lines and making large pores look smaller, but this improvement is, unfortunately, only temporary. Do some checking before you purchase a mask to make sure you know just what the mask is designed to do for your skin, what is contains, what results you should get, etc. For instance, if you have a problem with dry skin, select a mask that contains a humectant, moisturizer or ingredients that will attract and keep water in the skin. If you have oily skin, pick one that will detoxify, brighten and absorb the excess oil. You could seek some guidance from an esthetician or dermatologist.

To get the best results from any mask, follow the directions carefully. If it is to be left on for 10 minutes, don’t think that 20 minutes will be better. Since most masks are not meant to be used close to the eyes (unless it says so on the package), apply an eye cream in that area and get the benefit of both mask and moisturizer and toning treatment simultaneously.

I have unruly eyebrows. What can I put on them to keep them smooth?

You could try a couple of methods. Run a moist finger over soap, then smooth it on the unruly hairs. You could cover them with petroleum jelly or put a little hairspray on an eyebrow brush and then brush them down.

What is the newest style for short, thick hair?

Hairstyles nowadays are designed to suit the individual’s facial features and lifetyle. It is most important to have healthy and strong hair with lots of shine.

Could you explain to me just what are the effects of products that have cell-renewal properties. What makes them so expensive?

Cells are constantly developing in the lower layers of the skin. They have lots of moisture, but as they rise to the surface, they gradually lose moisture and flatten out and then they slough off. A young skin, as in a child’s, will renew its surface layers every two to three weeks. A mature skin, after about the age of 35, takes about twice as long. The longer the cell-renewal process takes, the more upper layers are apt to develop areas of weakness that can cause loss of essential moisture. Products that have “cell renewal” ingredients will penetrate into the deeper layers of skin and thus different, and more expensive, ingredients are needed.

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