In the 1920s, fashion designer and international trendsetter Coco Chanel was photographed by paparazzi upon her return from a Mediterranean cruise. The ordinarily alabaster beauty had accidentally fallen asleep on a yacht, and the dazzling sun over the French Riviera had given her a decidedly tawny glow. Culturally, at this time, a tan was considered a mark of the working class; pale skin told of a leisurely, privileged existence –– one lived primarily indoors. Chanel’s blunder caused a sensation around the Western world, changing beauty standards and our relationship with the sun. We now crave those clear, dewy, sun-kissed complexions that we’re told an afternoon at the park or beach will bring.

We know by now, of course, that too much sun comes with dangers. Otherwise, we tend not to think of summer as a problem season for skin –– it’s a far cry from the dryness and dullness of January, after all. Summer, however, comes with its own unique threats to the epidermis. The heat can leave a rosy glow, but it also opens our pores, leaving them susceptible to blockages as toxins in the air, perspiration, oils, and product residues (especially sunscreens) wreak their own kind of havoc.

Deep in these dog days of summer, it’s important to show our skin the attention it so badly needs, and one of the best ways to do so is with a high-quality mask. We work hard to curate our retail products here at Rosewater, stocking our boutique strictly with products we believe in. Our newest addition is a line of masks known as MAGICSTRIPES, and yes, we believe in them. When I invited several members of my staff to try the product for themselves on a recent Saturday, they raved about the results. (So much so that we ended up selling several masks that day to clients who were visiting our spa for non-skincare-related services!)

MAGICSTRIPES is a German brand with an A-List origin story. Natalie Franz, a celebrity makeup artist with names like Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift on her resume, discovered a new kind of skincare product while travelling in Japan. Known as “stripes,” these tiny, invisible patches worked to rejuvenate the skin with impressive results. Franz decided to introduce this method to the Western world, and in 2013, MAGICSTRIPES was born.

I specifically chose this brand for its superior ingredients. Simply put, these are not your drugstore masks; ingredients have been carefully curated for their unparalleled quality and proven health benefits. We currently stock four different products from the line: the Magnetic Youth Mask, the Hyaluronic Intensive Treatment Mask, the Deep Detox Tightening Mask, and the Wake Me Up Collagen Eye Patches.

The Magnetic Youth Mask uses the unique properties of magnets to accelerate the circulation of blood and fluids in and on the skin. These integrated magnets work in tandem with hydrolyzed collagen to improve skin elasticity, hyaluronic acid to promote the creation of a healthy skin barrier, and antioxidant-packed aloe barbadensis leaf juice. This lightweight sheet mask ultimately works to slow the skin’s natural aging process.

The Hyaluronic Intensive Treatment Mask is all about moisture. This mask nurtures the skin with a powerful recipe of aloe vera leaf oil, trehalose (which prevents moisture loss at the cellular level and prepares the skin for shifts in climate –– perfect for this time of year), and Kassou Ekisu, a brown algae that promotes suppleness while detoxifying and warding off inflammation. This mask is made from all-natural cotton fabric, which has been soaked in vegetable ingredients.

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The Deep Detox Tightening Mask is comprised of ultra-fine particles of Amazonian White clay, which help to purify and detoxify while removing the build-up of bacteria and toxins. They also get rid of lingering dead cells that threaten to clog the skin. Unlike the clay masks of yesteryear, this mask represents a breakthrough in its ability to tighten and shape the skin. Its pore-minimizing properties and soothing, regenerative ingredients like macadamia nut oil and apricot kernel oil make it ideal for our heat-weary complexions. This one will leave your cheeks feeling taught and refreshed.

MAGICSTRIPES is perhaps best known for its products that improve the eye area, and we’re pleased to carry the brand’s Wake Me Up Collagen Eye Patches. If the balmy evening air has tempted you to stay out a little too late, then these patches reduce the appearance of dark undereye circles and leave you looking (and feeling!) a lot more alert. Hyaluronic acid provides a surge of moisture, while collagen works to improve the skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

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Each of these products is meant to be worn for 20–30 minutes. Our favourite thing about this line as a summertime staple? Masks can be placed in the fridge for a cooling and refreshing experience.

We can’t stress enough the importance of practicing a regular skincare routine at home; regular visits to our spa are great for intensive treatments by a well-trained professional, but a single spa session is never a magic solution for achieving healthy skin. Real magic can only be achieved through complementing these appointments with consistent maintenance at home. So, if you, like Chanel a century ago, find yourself soaking up a little too much sun or suffering in the middle of a heat wave, MAGICSTRIPES can help.

Rosewater is currently the only spa in Oakville that carries this sophisticated German brand, so be sure to pay our boutique a visit to help keep skin summer fresh.

Liz Belford