The hydrating skin ritual

Expert insight:

Hyaluronic acid and ceramides, two common ingredients in masks, are activated by heat and water, says Ashley Hudson, senior regional manager for EQX Body Lab in New York City. Steam, then, increases a mask’s moisturizing benefits. Plus, high temperatures open your pores so the beneficial compounds, including vitamins and antioxidants, can penetrate deeper.

The bottom line:

Apply your sheet or gel mask, then sit in the steam room for 15 to 20 minutes, Hudson says. To make the ritual even more hydrating, slough off dead skin cells with an exfoliating scrub or brush beforehand.