A skincare brand is claiming a market first with an innovative, hybrid face mask that combines the benefits of fabric and clay for quicker and easier use.

The two Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa products - Dead Sea Mud Spa and Glacial Clay Spa (rsp: £1.49 per sachet) - roll out to Boots in mid-August and Asda in September.

Made from natural bamboo fabric infused with specially sourced clay, they were “unlike any other face mask in the market”, claimed marketing manager Kate Johnston, and would appeal to time-pressed consumers by providing a “quicker, better and easier” way to cleanse skin.

“The masks provide consumers with a deep cleanse thanks to the clay, while the fabric makes the masks much easier and quicker to apply and remove - saving time and minimising the mess factor,” she said.

They would encourage women to use face masks more regularly - and not just as a treat - a trend already seen abroad, she added. “It’s time the UK caught up,” she said.

However, an industry observer questioned whether the products would hit the spot. “While the cleverly infused fabric is more convenient, the actual face masks bring nothing fundamentally new and perhaps even replace some of the spa experience with a more utilitarian approach,” said Amy Bridgman, director of creative & strategic planning at of brand agency Pi Global.

According to SymphonyIRI data, sales of the Montagne Jeunesse facemask portfolio have fallen 3.9% year-on-year to £4m [52 w/e 19 May 2012], although the company claimed its own figures - which included online sales and sales through high street fashion retailers such as Claire’s and New Look - showed the brand in overall growth.