If you ask me, autumn is the trickiest time of year for skin. There's something about going from hot to cold (summer-winter, inside-outside) that can provoke a full-on face sulk unmatched by any other season. And what with the weather being a bit yuck, now's as good a time as any to utilise evenings in by sorting knackered skin. What we need, is a good face mask. So here are six of the best.
BEST FOR HYDRATING: SUPERFACIALIST BY UNA BRENNAN ROSE MASK
Una Brennan's Superfacialist skincare is one of the most effective and well-priced lines out there. Whilst not strictly new, the rose mask is absolutely brilliant. If masks tend to leave your skin feeling tight or dehydrated, this one's for you. Add a fairly thick layer for five minutes. There's no tightening or tingling – just a deep moisture hit. But, if you're after whopping levels of hydration, Liz Earle launched her Superskin Overnight Mask, £42, at the end of last month. Seriously thick stuff, you may well wake up still glistening, but man, does it leave skin soft. Both are brill for rescuing trans-seasonal skin.
Best for blemishes: CLINIQUE CITY BLOCK CLAY MASK
This comes out charcoal black and can be used as a speedy mask – it only takes 5 minutes to set, turning pale blue as it dries. However, if you can't be bothered to wait, you can use it to wash your face by just adding water to make a foam. It leaves skin really soft and is excellent for calming spots (the clay helps absorb any oiliness), plus it improves skin texture too. Use a couple of times a week.
BEST FOR LOLS: BIOAQUA EGG FACE MASK
Because life's too short not to put a sheet mask covered in egg protein on your face. A white sheet complete with eye and nose holes, it's an excellent choice for scaring family members or housemates. Alongside pig-snout shaped nose strips and panda eye sticks, it's part of the korean skincare craze for brilliant formulas housed in bonkers packaging. The fact that it leaves your skin, bright and plump is just a bonus, really.
Best for calming: Origins RitualiTea Matcha Madness Mask
Sure, this will calm your face, but the herbal scent is a great one for relaxing too. Mix two teaspoons of the powder formula with two teaspoons of water in a cup to make a paste, apply all over (avoiding eyes) and leave for 10 minutes. Skin is left feeling refreshed, smooth and healthy-looking. There's also a rose version for dry skin and an oolong one if you're oily.
Best for balancing: Dr Hauschka clarifying clay mask
A great mask for combination skin types, the clay helps to clarify by loosening and absorbing dirt particles, while nasturtium works to soothe dry, knackered faces. All Dr Hauschka products are organic and gentle enough to use on different skin types. Leave on for 5-10 minutes for normal skin or tweak to 3-5 minutes if you're sensitive.
Best for radiance: L'Oreal Paris pure clay glow mask
Fuss-free, easy to apply and under a tenner, L'Oreal's clay glow mask is outstanding at perking-up dull skin. Complete with gentle exfoliating grains, it lightly buffs away dead skin cells, for fresh, glowy skin. Use with warm water and a flannel. Alternatively, out on Friday, is Paula's Choice's Radiance Renewal Mask, £35. With a thick, slightly tacky texture, is not the most comfortable mask to wear overnight (as recommended). But the results are excellent – skin immediately looks brighter and more even-toned. It even helps with clearing spots. 'Radiance' can be a bit of a vague, 'emperor's new clothes'-style claim in skincare, but these two properly deliver.