If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why facial masks are a skincare must, what kind of facial mask you should use or how to choose a facial mask, you’ve come to the right place! Get all your questions about facial masks answered right here.
Do Face Masks Really Work?
In a word, yes.
If you're new to skincare, you may have asked yourself if the hype around face masks is justified. As someone who has been masking up since I was a teen, I can tell you that I love a good face mask for several reasons.
First, face masks can be a cost-effective and effective way to treat skin care concerns. Not all face masks are equal, but there are many good (and relatively inexpensive) options available. Whether your skin is oily, dry, acne-prone, or you're looking to brighten your complexion or diminish the appearance of fine lines or hyperpigmentation, there's a face mask out there for you.
Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Allure, "[Face masks] are designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to your skin. Generally speaking, masks are used intermittently to help give your skin a boost when it needs it."
Different Types of Facial Masks and their Benefits
Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask - These masks are typically hydrating and nourishing, and often brightening. The sheet is saturated with a concentrated serum (often a combination of hyaluronic acid and vitamins). The sheet helps to prevent the serum from evaporating quickly off the skin, allowing it to penetrate the skin barrier for a longer period of time. You can find sheet masks loaded with various serums to address different skincare concerns.
Acne Clay Mask - Masks enriched with clay can be beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin. According to cosmetic chemist Peter Konish, the Director of Product Development and Strategic Product Innovation for the Prestige Beauty at Johnson & Johnson, “Clays help to detoxify the skin and draw out impurities and oils from the surface of the skin.”
Cleansing Mud Face Mask - Mud masks are similar to clay masks, but they tend to have gentler formulas, making them better suited for those with dry skin. Mud masks can also be less drying than clay masks.
How to Choose a Facial Mask
If you're wondering how to choose a face mask, the key is to know your own skin and choose a mask based on your skincare needs. For example, if you live in a cold climate and have been fighting dry winter weather, you might want a moisturizing sheet mask. On the other hand, if you live in a warm, humid climate and are battling shiny skin, you might try a detoxifying clay mask to combat excessive oil production.
To fight fine lines, dull skin, and enlarged pores, I would reach for the . This high-grade sheet mask was formulated with vitamins, trehalose, caffeine, and other brightening, anti-aging ingredients to prevent dryness and reduce fine lines.
How to Use Facial Masks
Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water before applying your mask. Warm water will help open up your pores, making it easier for ingredients to penetrate your skin barrier.
Using a toner before a mask can help calm irritation and prime your skin to receive all the beneficial ingredients.
Apply the mask and let it stay on your face for the specified time, as indicated on the container.
If you're using a mud or clay mask, wash it off with warm water and a gentle cloth, then top with a moisturizer.
For sheet masks, which are typically loaded with serums, there's no need to rinse off. Simply rub the remaining serum into your skin after removing the mask.
How Often to Use Facial Masks
When it comes to facial masks, more isn't always better. In fact, overdoing it can irritate your skin and worsen the issue you're trying to treat. A good rule of thumb is to use a particular face mask about once a week.
Hydrating masks could be used more often, but no more than a few times a week. Pay attention to your skin and you'll get a good feel for what it needs and how often.