From Cleopatra’s white clay and honey masks to Helen of Troy’s apple cider vinegar face soaks, face masks have been around for centuries. Throughout history, this skincare essential has been used for its beautifying properties. In the West, while often overlooked, face masks are now becoming a staple in people’s skin care regimen. Face masks have worked their way to the forefront of skincare, and we now have hundreds of masks available that cater to a myriad of needs. Masks are terrific because anyone can use them, they’re versatile, and user-friendly. They also possess many benefits including hydration, exfoliation, brightening, anti-aging, and reducing redness. Nowadays, they exist in a wide range of prices and consistencies. Fortunately, you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one type of mask to help make your skin look younger and smoother.
Masks are made for many conditions which is why multi-masking is trending as an exceptional way to treat the different demands of your skin. Not all complexions are created equal and people have been known to combine up to four masks at once. Clay or mud masks will absorb excess oil, tea tree or zinc masks will help the acne prone, aloe and hyaluronic acid will give the dehydrated a drink, collagen and Shea butter are anti-aging, and oatmeal can soothe sensitive skin.
Types of Face Masks
These are the tried and true masks that are a cream that is spread on to the face with fingers or a brush. They are generally a wipe off mask that is left on for 15-20 minutes and they range from smoothing and detoxifying, to repairing and perfecting. You can choose from a variety (clay, foaming, gel etc.) at your favorite cosmetics store or treat yourself to a professional mask at your local spa!
Whenever applying any mask, ensure that you have cleansed your face and removed all makeup. You want clean pores, ready to absorb nutrients. Too busy to mask? Put on the mask before taking a bath or shower and the steam will help the mask penetrate more. Make sure to rinse off at the end.
Sheet Face Masks
These are paper or fabric sheets soaked in serum. This serum is a liquid form of beneficial ingredients that sits on the skin, while the fabric seals it in and ensures proper absorption. Traditionally they are shaped like a face with holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth and can come in one or two pieces (one for the top half of your face and one for the bottom). These can add a powerful punch of vitamins and antioxidants to your routine. Sheet masks are available in a variety of types depending on your skin care need. They are convenient, mess-free, and can even be worn while cooking, checking email, or on the plane as you jet off on to your next adventure!
Since sheet masks are often drenched in serum, be extra careful when opening the packet. Use the extra product at the bottom of the packet for your neck and décolletage. Make certain to fit the contours of your face tightly and don’t wash off any excess product. Instead, gently press in any leftover serum on your face.
As the name implies, these are creamy masks that will dry up and are peeled off to remove. These masks adhere to dirt and dead skin cells, revealing luminous skin on the spot.
Be careful not to get the mask on your eyebrows or hair line. While fingers are ok to use, a brush is often a preferred application method due to the product’s consistency. After removal, use a warm washcloth to wash away any pesky pieces that remain.
These masks are pretty cutting edge. Once applied, a magnet is used to remove them. They are said to aid in the rejuvenation of the skin, because when removed with a magnet, the mask creates a low grade electromagnetic current.
This may not be the mask you want use in your daily routine because the price tag is on the hefty side.
Rubber Face Masks
Also called modeling masks, these masks start off as a goopy substance that hardens into a rubbery texture. To make these masks, a powder is mixed with water. The rubber mask becomes a barrier that prevents the evaporation of active ingredients, allowing them to be fully absorbed by the face. This can include large doses of antioxidants and, as we all know, antioxidants are key in helping protect against environmental damage.
Make sure to give the mask plenty of time to dry before removing. If fully dry, it should come off in one swoop! How easy is that?
Overnight/Sleeping Face Masks
These masks help lock in the ingredients from products used during your nightly routine. Packed with their own powerful properties like hyaluronic acid or essential fatty acids, they are intended to be left on while you sleep. They are lighter than a night cream and won’t mess up your pillow.
Apply to your skin as the last step of your nightly skin care regimen.
DIY Face Masks
For those on a budget, look no further than your own kitchen cabinets. The internet is flowing with recipes to make your own masks, with ingredients like eggs, yogurt, honey, and avocado topping the lists.
With people paying more attention to what goes on their skin, the popularity of masks has grown tremendously. Masks nowadays are not just for facial skin, but also for the eyes, lips, hair, hands, and feet. If face masks are not already a part of your skin care routine, go pick up a few today. Don’t forget to snap a selfie on Instagram and tag it #ExperChat!