Skin-Care Tips

I’ve Tried Hundreds of Hydrating Skin Products—This Is the *One* Mask I Use Down to the Very Last Drop

Photo: Getty Images/Globalmoments
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Of all the beauty gadgets and skin care goodies I get to test as a commerce editor, few fill me with as much delight as hydrating products. With perpetually thirsty skin, I am a diehard hydration habitué constantly on the lookout for anything "moisturizing" or "quenching." Serums, moisturizers, night creams, lip balms, speciality ointments—if it promises Hailey Bieber-level dewiness, I've probably tried it, for better or for worse.

But, if I had to narrow it down to my one, holy grail product I use down to the very last drop, it has to be the Intense Hydrating Mask ($35) from Sand + Sky. It's so consistently hydrating that it's become my go-to for instant refreshment multiple times a week.

What's in it

Now, if you're not familiar with Sand & Sky, the Australian beauty brand is all about harnessing the power of Oz's naturals, so your skin can say, "No worries, mate." All of the products feature Aussie-native ingredients like Australian pink clay (a potent detoxifier), kakadu plum and emu apple (which are loaded in antioxidants) and fermented sea kelp (excellent for elasticity) that are better for the body and planet Earth.

The star in the Intense Hydrating Mask's show? Fresh Tasmanian spring water that's fortified with minerals to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier. Like the famous French thermal springs or icy Icelandic glacial waters, Tasmanian spring water is literally bursting with goodness to balance the skin's pH (aka, what makes your skin oilier or drier, depending on how it fluctuates.) That's because, as Rachel Maiman, MD previously explained, spring water (be it thermal or cold) has to go through various layers of rock and sediment, picking up minerals as it flows along.

"The most common soluble minerals found in thermal water are calcium, bicarbonate, silicates, iron compounds, sodium and magnesium salts, sulfur compounds, and metals, along with trace elements like selenium,” she said. "Many of the minerals in thermal water also appear to have antioxidant properties that some studies suggest help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation.”

Photo: Sand & Sky

But these aren't the only hero ingredients—Sand and Sky's Intense Hydrating Mask is also loaded with two other mega-moisturizers beloved for their skin-quenching superpowers: hyaluronic acid and squalane. Surely by now you've seen hyaluronic acid somewhere in your medicine cabinet—it's derm-approved for retaining moisture in the skin. As for squalane, that's a humectant that also retains moisture while keeping skin bouncy without clogging pores. Together, these two are practically a swimming pool for your face, only its hydration lasts way beyond the first splash.

Why I love it

As you can imagine, all of these ingredients feel very good on the skin and do, indeed, hydrate it. But what keeps me coming back is its consistency. Like I said, I try a lot of hydrating products, and I've found while most of them are hydrating at first, my skin seems to get used to them over time, and they (again, *seem* to) get progressively less moisturizing.

Not the Intense Hydrating Mask—it's remained deeply quenching for months now, leaving my skin happy and healthy every time I wash it off. I also love that I can use it in different ways.

Since it's a mask, I mostly use it a few times a week to give my face a burst of freshness. I smear it on using the little rubber spatula it comes with, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, wash it off, and my face feels like I've just dunked it in an actual Tasmanian spring.

But I also love using it as an overnight mask, or what the kids these days are calling "slugging" (which is not a new concept in the slightest, but it does have a new, TikTok-ified name, and plenty of videos to go along with it). There have been a few times this summer when my skin has gone into SOS mode from too much sun and salt. In these cases, I've rubbed a smidge more of the stuff on my face before bed and slept with it on overnight and have woken up with silky, glossy skin each time. It just feels so healthy—no wonder I've used it down to the very last drop.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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