If there’s one thing I gained when I moved to Iloilo—well, aside from a husband and a new home—it’s more time. Now that I’m a freelancer and homemaker full time, I actually have a lot more time on my hands than I ever had when I was living and working in Manila. After getting over my boredom and loneliness about leaving my home and my career, I decided to put my newfound luxury of time to good use. And among the many ways I now make use of my time when I’m not blogging or finishing a writing assignment is taking better care of my skin—and reading a new book while I’m at it.
As I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog, my skincare has always been barebones—cleanse, tone, sun protection in the morning; cleanse, tone, moisturize at night. Sometimes I even forget toning and moisturizing when I’m too tired. But ever since I moved to Iloilo, not only do I religiously follow my daily and nightly beauty rituals, I also added a few more steps: eye cream, face mist, serum, and face mask. I can’t believe I used to take face masks for granted; now I hoard them! I do my masking once to three times a week, sometimes even daily when I have a new pack of mask sheets. Recently, I’ve been using five different face masks from Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care, which I discovered on my last visit to Manila.
Who is Peter Thomas Roth, anyway? Well, Peter was born to Hungarian parents and a heritage of skin care. His family owned and operated two spa resorts in Hungary in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so it was no surprise when Peter launched his own clinical skin care company in 1993. He started by developing products with the basic soothing and healing properties of the many muds and minerals found in Hungarian thermal springs. He continues to honor these old school remedies by improving on them with 21st-century ingredients, innovation, and technology.
Together with his team, Peter strategically sources and develops innovative products with groundbreaking natural ingredients from all over the world—including 9,000-year-old Irish Moor Mud, which he uses for its purifying effects; Cucumber Extract for its detoxifying, hydrating, and calming properties; rose plant stem cells to help repair and rejuvenate the appearance of aging, damaged skin; and Antarcticine from Arctic glacial ice that creates an eco-bubble barrier to help fight environmental aggressors.
Masks continue to be a key product for Peter Thomas Roth, and I love the brand’s catchphrase to boast of this: “A mask for every task.” They offer a range of innovative masks to address a full spectrum of skin challenges at any age, and I also find myself multitasking while I’m masking. Sometimes, I watch Netflix, browse or post on social media, or even just listen to music while I sip some wine. Most of the time, I read. I must admit I’ve never allowed myself this luxury very often before when I was too busy working, but I really wish I did.
I’m so glad to be able to catch up on both my reading and my masking. Here are the masks I’ve been using and the books I’ve read lately:
One of Peter Thomas Roth’s cult classics is the Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme De-Tox Hydrator—with one pot sold every minute around the world! It’s great for detoxifying skin (all types), and I love its cooling, refreshing, ultra-calming feel, especially this hot and humid summer. It helps moisturize, detoxify, and soothe dry, irritated skin with extracts of not just cucumber, but other delicious botanicals like papaya, chamomile, pineapple, sugar maple, sugarcane, orange, lemon, bilberry, and aloe. I leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
Tip: Pop it in the fridge for an even cooler treatment! You may also opt to apply a thin layer and leave it on overnight.
I used this soothing Cucumber Gel Mask to calm my nerves while reading this suspenseful nail-biter hahaha
When my skin feels extra dirty and grimy—and when blackheads and whiteheads start to appear—I use the mineral-rich Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask for intense purification. It helps detox and decongest pores to make them appear smaller, thereby refining the look of my skin. It contains Hijiki seaweed that hydrates, volcanic ash that revitalizes, and activated charcoal that draws out toxins and impurities and minimizes the look of pores. I love that it even addresses fine lines and wrinkles! I leave it on for 10 minutes, then remove it using a warm, damp washcloth, thoroughly rinsing the remaining residue.
When I feel my skin is making me look like the Wicked Witch of the West, I use the Irish Moor Mud while I read the book about this particular character.
There’s no denying that my face is starting to succumb to the pull of gravity and the passing of time, so in an effort to fight back, I use the 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask, the ultimate luxurious anti-aging treatment. I leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Besides containing, yes, 24K Gold and colloidal gold that help lift and firm skin, it also has caffeine that helps tighten the appearance of skin to make it appear firmer and smoother. It even has the semi-precious mineral peridot that reenergizes skin so it appears brighter and refreshed. This mask imparts an opulent glow on skin—so you look crazy rich, even if you aren’t. At all. Haha!
I use the 24K Gold Mask while reading the third instalment of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Rich People Problems, to feel extra luxurious, pretending I’m living like one of the characters, haha
The Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydration Mask is our best ally against aging. This nourishing, refreshing, and hydrating gel mask contains nutrient-rich glacial lake blue marine algae that delivers maximum anti-aging moisture. It also has energizing Jeju Island tea from Marie Kondo’s Japan’s neighboring country, Korea; as well as Arctic glacial antarcticine that creates an eco-bubble barrier to help defend skin against varying environmental aggressors and help smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles. I leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
When I’m feeling extra chill, I give my skin a hydration boost from the Blue Marine Algae mask while I read Marie Kondo’s hypnotic bestseller whose lessons I have yet to apply in my daily life.
Last but definitely not the least, I use the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask when I really want to give my skin some good exfoliation. This three-in-one intensive skin resurfacer treatment has triple exfoliating power: It exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, peels with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), and polishes with aluminum oxide to reveal smoother, younger-looking, radiant, and revitalized skin. You can leave it on for 3-7 minutes, depending on how your skin reacts to the AHA, then rinse it off thoroughly.
For that cozy, homey vibe, I use my Pumpkin Enzyme Mask while reading this homemaking gem from the same author that brought us Eat, Pray, Love
According to a dermatologist, Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino, the best time to use all of these masks is at night, as this allows nutrients to be absorbed faster, and also because you have more time to keep the mask on.
Because of my more luxurious beauty routine, I often get compliments that I look great and that married life seems to be agreeing with me. Well, the secret is, moving to Iloilo and having more time on my hands just allowed me to take better care of my skin—I simply have no excuse left to neglect it!
I hope my beauty ritual inspired you to create your own. Don’t forget to share with me what books you read while masking—post them when you comment!
Peter Thomas Roth masks are available at the SM Megamall Beauty Section and on Sephora.