Masks are perhaps the ultimate skincare indulgence. We love that feeling of relaxing on a Sunday (or let’s be real, a Friday) night with a mask on and some reality TV. For a while they were clay masks, then we jumped to sheet masks, but lately we’ve been seeing powder masks popping up everywhere. To learn more about powder masks, we turned to Justine Kahn, found of Bay Area beauty brand, Botnia. She founded Botnia after teenage struggles with acne lead her to become an esthetician. She says, “I always felt like I was compromising on the skincare I was offering in some way – never truly being able to treat each client with the care and gentle ingredients they deserved. So I thought, you know what, I’ll just make my own products!”

Botnia’s whole line is made in-house and they grow many of our own botanicals on our micro-farm in Sausalito (editor’s note: it’s so cute!) Justine says, “We use a handful of ingredients that actually work instead of the kitchen sink approach where you might have a reaction to who knows what in your skincare. We also have a spa in San Francisco, Skin Remedy, where we work super-closely with these products, making sure that every batch and ingredient meets our strict professional standards. Most importantly, Botnia works and will help the long-term health of your skin by taking down inflammation and offering organic, plant-based ingredients that your skin already recognizes.”

To make their powder masks, Botnia dehydrates and then blend pure botanicals, like chamomile, for example, without any other fillers or additives. Justine says, “We grind the ingredients in a noisy flour grinder! The reason why our masks are powered and not wet (or water-based) has to do with preservatives. The truth is that non-powdered masks have to rely on a strong preservative so they don’t spoil. With a powder mask, you can count on very few ingredients offering your skin more of what it craves and fewer ingredients overall.”

Plus, powder masks are quite long lasting since there aren’t any liquid ingredients to spoil. And you can customize the catalyst! Justine recommends goat’s milk yogurt for an added glow and topical dose of probiotics, coconut water for dehydrated or stressed skin, or honey for oily skin. Here’s her step by step guide for powder

How to Use a Powdered Mask
1. The first step is to determine the right powder mask for your skin. At Botnia we don’t believe in clays due to the naturally occurring lead in the earth, so instead we use anti-inflammatory dehydrated and powdered plants to accomplish a range of skin goals.

2. Creating a masking ritual you can get excited about is half the fun, so begin this special time by taking three to five deep breaths to center yourself.

3. Draw a bath or throw on your most comfortable pj’s and then wash the day off with your face wash of choice, really spending time to make sure you are getting your skin prepped and clean to lay that mask on top.
4. Then in a small bowl mix equal parts powder to liquid with a brush or spoon (the mixing ratio is not an exact science–basically, you want the mask to be the consistency of thick pancake batter so it spreads easily but doesn’t slide off your face).

5. Starting at your forehead and moving down, apply the mask to your face, neck, and chest.

6. Then let the mask sit until you start to feel it becoming dry or when your skin feels tight–generally not longer than fifteen minutes. Every skin type has a different amount of tolerance for masking, and so it’s really important that once you feel your mask drying out to wash it clean. If the mask dries on your skin, it will potentially leave your skin dehydrated (the biggest pitfall in my professional opinion when it comes to face mask usage).

7. Rinse your mask off with warm water or a warm damp washcloth.

8. Follow with your favorite toner, serum, and moisturizer and enjoy that glow for weeks to come! I suggest masking on a monthly basis if your skin is pretty regular.

Select the Right Mask for You
Flower Powder Mask: normal to sun-damaged and wise skin types
Kale Yeah Mask: normal, sun damaged, acne, and dry skin types
Fix-Zit Mask: acne, rosacea, sensitive skin types
Gentle Hydration Mask: dry, normal, sun-damaged and wise skin types *note that this is a gel mask that can be mixed with our other powder masks as the liquid element or simply used on its own