No matter what your skin type, a weekly face mask is an essential part of your skincare regime. But don't just take our word for it; we've caught-up with cosmetic scientist, Heather Ansell, to reveal how incorporating a weekly face mask into your routine can reveal a bright, beautiful and glowing complexion.

Do you give yourself a weekly face mask treat?

Do you give yourself a weekly face mask treat?

Heather Ansell - Cosmetic Scientist at 7th Heaven

Heather Ansell is an expert in cosmetic science with over 20 years in the industry. Graduating with a degree in chemistry and pursuing a further diploma in cosmetic science, Heather has worked on product innovation across haircare, bath & bodycare, skincare and, fragrance.

Heather has worked in the Montague Jeunesse, which is now the 7th Heaven skincare development laboratory for over 11 years, where her day-to-day role spans deciphering industry trends, exploring ingredients, innovation and product development.

With a passion for finding the latest advanced skincare ingredients from around the globe, Heather's role places her at the forefront of face mask innovation.

7th Heaven has just launched three brand new face masks to its range. Which common skin problems can be targeted with each of the NPD masks?

  • Tea Tree Peel-Off Mask: "We've harnessed low-levels of the natural essential oil, tea tree in the mask, which acts as a natural antimicrobial agent, to naturally cleanse and deep clean problematic blemishes and spots."
  • Banana & Honey Mask: "Honey is a gentle ingredient, which is made up of natural sugars, that works with your skin to draw moisture from the air and back into your skin, increasing moisture retention and hydration. Combined with Banana, also known for its high levels of hydrating and moisturising potassium, and oatmeal, which is a new and really exciting ingredient for us, the mask works to gently peel away dead skin cells, resulting in soft, smooth and mattified skin."

"Plus, the new gel texture of the Banana and Honey mask compliments our wider range of face masks by trapping the goodness of banana and honey in an ingredient matrix which forms a gel like structure. This structure harnesses the ingredients unique regenerative powers allowing them to soak through the outermost layers of the skin leaving it moisturised, soft and supple."

  • Argan Oil Mud: "Argan is a tropical fruit which naturally grows in Morocco. Inside the fleshy fruit is a nut, which when ground down produces a nutrient rich oil. Widely known for its haircare benefits, Argan is increasingly becoming known for its skincare benefits thanks to its nutrient rich oil which can plump and revitalise dull complexions."

Argan Oil is known for its haircare benefits. Do you expect other haircare ingredients to transition into skincare products too?

"Abyssinian Oil is a really exciting new oil we're working with at the moment. The Abyssinian plant is native to Ethiopia and holds numerous skincare benefits when its oil is extracted. The oil is naturally light and soft in texture, allowing for deep moisturising benefits without a tacky or heavy feel that some oils have, leading to clogged pores."

"I also see vegetables such as kale and beetroot having an increasing importance in skincare innovation in the future thanks to their anti-oxidant benefits. We have seen fruits such as blueberries, acai and cloud berries establish themselves in the skincare market. However the huge benefits in vegetables have so far not been fully harnessed. I see this changing in the future."

How can those with sensitive skin benefit from a weekly face mask?

"People can often be nervous if their skin is sensitive to certain ingredients or new products. Our peel-off range is targeted towards those with sensitive skin who benefit from manual cleansing. The action of physically peeling away the mask to remove dead skin, dirt and excess oil, does all of the cleansing, which allows for the mask formulation to include gentler ingredients."

"For those with an oilier complexion, our mud range is targeted towards removing excess sebum and oil effectively with ultra-absorbent clay forming the base of the mask."

What skin care innovation trends are you most excited about for 2015?

"We've been working with 'sucrose esters' for the past few years and I expect to see this ingredient trending the next year or so. Sucrose esters from natural sugar essentially work to compliment oils, making them less greasy. This enables us to use highly moisturising ingredients that previously would have been too oily for many complexions. Thanks to sucrose, we can now harness the moisturising benefits of high levels of oil, without the grease, which can often lead to clogged pores."

"Another development we're really excited about is liquid crystals. Essentially, we have utilised this technology to create skin products from olive oil which work in harmony to compliment the natural skin sebum, leaving the skin soft smooth and deeply moisturised."

In your opinion, what should every woman include in her skincare regime?

"Every woman, no matter how busy she is, should include daily and weekly cleansing as part of her skincare regime. Daily cleansing removes dirt and pollution, which can lead to skin ageing, and a weekly deep cleansing face mask reaches deeper down into pores than nightly cleansers, helping to remove dead skin cells, unblock pores and excess oil to allow skin to breathe and revitalise itself."

Have face mask ingredients changed over the last 30 years?

"Over the past 30 years, people have become increasingly aware of what they eat and where their food comes from. With the rise of 'super foods' such as blueberries, acai, kale and broccoli, women have a growing awareness of how what they eat affects their complexion and they want to harness the benefits of their favourite superfoods in their skincare too. This trend has hugely influenced our face mask development and led to some of the most popular masks in the 7th Heaven range, such as our Very Berry Mud Mask, Superfruit Mud and Manuka Honey Peel-Off and will continue to influence our face mask innovation."

What are the main benefits of incorporating a face mask into your weekly skincare regime?

"Incorporating a weekly face mask into your skincare regime allows for a much deeper cleanse than that achievable with a daily foaming or gel cleanser. Thanks to the formulation of ingredients, a face mask can reach deep down into pores, drawing impurities out and cleansing away stubborn dirt, to reveal really clear and fresh looking skin."

Is it possible to use a face mask too much?

"Women can often see the benefits of using a face mask and can be tempted to incorporate it into their regime too often. For an oiler complexion, a face mask may be suitable every few days. However, if you have dry skin, using a face mask more than once a week can remove too much of the naturally occurring moisturising sebum, leaving skin dry and dull looking."