Masks have come a long way since the peel-off masks that many of us probably used as teenagers. Now, with the invention of sheet masks and the increasing popularity of putting active ingredients into mask form, you can find a mask treatment for just about everything.
While masks are not the most important part of your routine, or even critical to it, we do believe in using masks to optimally treat the skin. A mask treatment can boost exfoliation and/or hydration. Masks these days can also be brightening, tightening, detoxifying, oxygenating or some combination of the above. They can effectively provide big results in a short amount of time, as well as provide additional nutrition and support around your skin's needs.
We also love that the ritual of masking is something that feels indulgent but needn't be complicated or expensive. This simple act of self care can be a great way to lower your stress levels, while enhancing healthy, happy skin.
HOW TO MASK:
Masks don't have to be used every day. Or even every week. Masking once or twice a week is ideal, but will depend on your specific needs and the type of mask you are using. Even using them occasionally can reap great results.
Always follow package directions or the advice of your skincare professional. It's important to know to how long to leave them on, as well as any instructions for how to apply and remove them. Generally, you will want to apply about a quarter to walnut-size amount of product to your face (and neck and chest if desired). You can apply with your hands or a simple fan brush and leave on for the specified amount of time. Do this after cleansing, exfoliating and toning. Immediately after removing your mask, I recommend toning again and applying a light moisturizer. Occasionally you will come across a mask that can be left on and absorbed or worn overnight. These are typically for hydrating and are a good choice for dry or aging skin. More commonly you will see masks that need to be removed and fall into the categories talked about below.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Depending on your needs, there are a number of types of masks to choose from. You may want to keep a couple of masks in your arsenal for different times of the year or month.
Cream masks tend to be the most common for dry skin but can be beneficial to all. They provide deep hydration, moisturizing and softening the skin. They can also deliver powerful antioxidants and other potent active ingredients into the skin. Use these when your skin is feeling depleted, dull or dry.
Clay masks are the more drying kind, that may crack when you move your face near the end of the treatment. These are best for oily skin types or acne prone skin. They help balance out excess oil and can also be used to spot treat problem areas.
Gel Masks are great for calming sensitive or inflamed skin. They can also provide water to the skin without the oil component of a cream mask and are great for almost any skin type. Use a gel mask when your skin is feeling chapped or sunburned, or just in need of some soothing.
Sheet Masks are a newer trend in which various hydrating and active ingredients are applied in pre-mixed form to a thin cotton material. They come in individual packets and can be applied directly to the face, then easily removed and disposed of. They are usually a quick and easy treatment and can be a great way to freshen up on the go, if you are traveling.
TIPS & TRICKS:
For best results with a mask, we always want to prep the skin by performing cleansing, exfoliating and toning. This ensures that the skin is clean and ready to absorb all of the nutrition from the mask.
You can also experiment with applying a light layer of hydrating or antioxidant serum onto the skin prior to applying your mask. The weight of the mask will help infuse the ingredients from the serum and drive them deeper into your skin.
For Oily/Acne Prone Skin
For Normal/Combination Skin
For Dry/Aging Skin
For Sensitive Skin
Photo by @gagewoodphoto courtesy of Sorella Apothecary