Face Masks Explained: What, When & How to Use Them

Face Masks Explained: What, When & How to Use Them

We all have something about our skin that needs improving, whether that’s pimples, hyperpigmentation, dryness, uneven patches, wrinkles or excess sebum. But what if I told you there’s one type of skin product that can tackle all of these problems individually?

Face masks are an optional, pampering skincare ritual that’s popular for a reason. There are so many different face masks out there, ranging from sheet to charcoal ones, making it harder for us to choose which one will work best on our skin. Even though the information out there can be quite overwhelming, this article is meant to help you with any doubts and questions you may have regarding face masks.

So, if you’ve wanted dabble into the world of face masks for a while now, but you’ve never been sure of where to start and which products to try out without breaking the bank, then this article is for you.

Face Mask Benefits – What They Actually Do

Before we actually get into all you need to know about the types of face masks that are out there, let’s spend some time exploring what benefits face masks carry with regular usage. Hopefully, this will get you pumped up and inspired to try a couple of different ones!

Face Masks Provide You with a Deep Cleanse

We all know just how useful face cleansers are, right? We use them every day in order to get rid of all the dust, bacteria, and oil that has been accumulating on our skin all day long. On top of that, if you use makeup on a regular basis, it’s a good way to remove all traces of makeup which have the potential to clog your pores. However, face masks amplify this method of deep cleansing and provide you with a thorough cleanse which draws out all the problematic impurities that tackle multiple layers of the skin and not just the topmost one.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re being too harsh on your skin or using too many products at once, try out a face mask and see how much your skin will be grateful for it.

Face Masks are Great for Unclogging Pores

You’re probably familiar with the notion that clogged pores are not good for the skin. when our pores get clogged, oil, acne-causing bacteria, and dirt get trapped inside, leading to a breakout. This, in the long run, causes congestion and acne.

Which leads us to the question: How can we protect our skin so that this doesn’t happen?

Using a face mask regularly will ensure that you don’t have to go through any of this. What it will do is keep your skin and your pores clear, preventing any skin issues.

Pampering and Relaxing

Did you know that face masks can help you relax and reduce your stress levels? It’s all about the whole process itself, not just the way your skin looks once you’re done with them. Once you’re not focused solely on the results, you’ll start to notice how magical the whole process it actually is. Think about it - you’re already dedicating a chunk of your time to yourself, so you might as well go all the way. Light a couple of candles, draw a bath, put a couple of drops of a relaxing bath gel inside and be prepared to enjoy yourself and distress on a whole other level.

Face Masks Give you Instant Results

Are you a fan of instant gratification? Then you’ll certainly love this! Face masks, unlike the majority of face products out there, actually give you instant results and change your skin in a way that will be detectable to you. This, of course, goes for the face masks that actually agree with your skin and are doing what you need them to do.

If you have an important event coming up or if you simply don’t like the way your skin has been looking recently, then put on a mask and get ready to see changes in your skin and your mood in no time!

Face Masks are Versatile

Just like we mentioned previously, there’s a face mask for every single skin concern out there, no matter what your skin type is. You can even pick and choose between using different types of face masks that target the same concern. This idea, although intimidating at first glance, actually enables you to have a lot of choice and freedom when it comes to using face masks. If you don’t like the one you’re using at the moment, there’s no need to worry! There are hundreds of brands and types to explore out there, so you can move on without a problem.

Different Types of Face Masks

Let’s get into the core of this article, which is the different types of face masks, what they actually do and which skin types they’re suitable for.

Cream Masks

This is one of the most common types of face masks and it’s widely sold in most drugstores and beauty supply stores, making it easy to get your hands on. Cream face masks, like the name suggests, have a rich, luxurious and creamy texture and are designed for people who have normal to dry skin. Usually, cream face masks contain a bunch of oils that give your skin the nourishment it deserves. Acids are another common ingredient found in cream masks, making them perfect for targeting certain skin issues such as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

Gel Masks

Gel masks have a very peculiar texture to them which leaves the skin feeling refreshed and cooled down after you’re done using them. This type of face mask is ideal for people with dry and sensitive skin or skin types which are sensitive to trying out new products. Gel masks typically contain many beneficial ingredients for the skin such as collagen and antioxidants, so if that sounds like something you need in your life, then you should definitely opt for one next time you’re shopping for skincare products.

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks have become quite popular during recent years, and for a good reason. Infused with all sorts of beneficial skin ingredients, sheet masks leave your skin rejuvenated and moisturized.

The way sheet masks work is by leaving the mask on your skin for a couple of minutes in order for your skin to absorb all that goodness which the mask has to offer. Sheet masks are great for brightening and tightening your skin without spending a lot of money on fancy treatments. And do you know what the best part is? Sheet masks are suitable for every skin type!

Peel-Off Masks

Probably the most fun type of mask, peel off masks make for the perfect face mask to pick up if you’re having a girls night in or if you just want to add some excitement in your pamper evening. These aren’t just fun though, but they can actually be very effective in removing dead skin cells and exfoliating the skin without damaging the topmost layer, which is essential for healthy skin in the long run. Your pores will be cleansed inside-out and your skin will feel refreshed and smooth even after the first application.

Peel off masks come with a myriad of useful ingredients for the skin. However, you should be very careful when reading the ingredients list because some of them also come with high concentrations of polyvinyl alcohol which can be drying to the skin and cause some irritation. If you have sensitive or dry skin, then try picking out a peel-off mask that contains mostly natural ingredients and low levels of alcohol.

Sleep Masks

Sleeping masks are exactly what they sound like – masks which you put on your face before you go to sleep. By leaving them on your skin overnight, you’re giving your skin more nourishment, hydration and time to absorb all the beneficial ingredients in the mask itself.

You might be wondering how sleep masks actually work. Well, for starters, don’t worry about staining your pillowcases, because sleep masks are designed to be lighter than the rest of them, meaning they’ll be less likely to leave any traces behind even if they do have direct contact with your pillowcases. All you need to do is apply the sleeping mask as the last part of your skincare routine, go to sleep and let the mask do all the dirty work for you.

Charcoal Masks

As an ingredient, charcoal has been used in medicine for quite a long time. But can it work wonders for the skin as well?

Actually, charcoal face masks are wonderful at removing dirt and impurities from the pores and tightening them at the same time. Just like it absorbs toxins in the body, charcoal has the ability to absorb the toxins from our skin, which is why it’s so widely used in cosmetic and skincare products. Next time you’re in need of deep cleansing, feel free to reach out for a charcoal face mask.

Clay Masks

Clay masks are a must-have if you have oily or combination skin! Why is this so, you might be wondering? Well, clay masks are made of, you guessed it – clay, which contains ingredients that help absorb all the excess oil which is sitting on top of your skin. It provides your skin with deep cleansing and oil control but without overdrying or irritating your skin in the process, which is where some other face masks typically go wrong.

As for the application process, apply the mask on your skin as instructed so in the label and then wait a couple of minutes. After you’ve noticed that it started to dry out, you can massage it in gentle circular motions on your skin so that it functions as an exfoliator as well. Or you can skip this step and proceed to wash it off with warm water. Clay masks are a bit trickier to remove than the rest, so make sure that your face, neck, and hairline don’t have any traces of clay left before continuing to pat dry your skin.

Mud Masks

Mud masks are quite similar to clay masks in terms of how they work on the skin. This fun mask is full of detoxifying and purifying properties which will help you if you’re going through a rough patch with your skin. And, what’s more, they can help brighten your skin and increase its firmness, making them a great option for people with mature skin.

Mud masks are pretty easy to get your hands on and they can be found in most drugstores and beauty stores.

What about Homemade Masks?

Homemade face masks for acne seem to be all the rage nowadays. But do they actually work? The short answer is that they do. However, you must be careful when selecting the ingredients for your homemade mask. Here’s one recipe which won’t let you down or cause any irritation.

You’ll need:

Mash the banana and mix it with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Once you’re done, apply the face mask on your face and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before washing it off with warm water.

Before Applying a Face Mask

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you actually put on the mask.

Firstly, make sure your hair is out of your face and your hands are clean. Applying a face mask is a messy process, and you’ll need your hair to be as out of the way as possible. In addition, wearing older clothing that you don’t care about staining is ideal. Not all face masks will result in a mess, but for those of you who choose to go for the ones that do, these steps are necessary.

Next, you’ll want to clean your face using the cleanser that you normally use. If you want to make the most out of your mask, it’s best to apply it on a clean face.

The next step is applying the mask directly on your face, following the instructions on the packaging, avoiding the eye area, the hairline, and the lips. Don’t forget to put the mask on the neck area as well. Wait for however many minutes it’s instructed to, and then proceed to wash the mask off with warm water.

How Often Should I Use Face Masks?

Every skin type is different, and there isn’t a definite answer to this question. However, the consensus among the skincare community is that face masks should be applied two to three times per week for most people. Anything beyond that and you risk doing some damage to the skin, particularly to the protective layer which guards your skin against harmful substances. In order to avoid all of this, stick to the recommended frequency of applying a face mask and you’ll get to have all the benefits you’ll ever need without experiencing any side-effects along the way.

Side-effects of Face Masks

While we’re on the subject of side-effects, let’s explain in detail all the possible side-effects that might come with using face masks.

  • If your skin isn’t used to face masks, or if you’re overdoing them without even realizing, then your skin will start to show a few signs that it’s overworked, signaling you to lay off them for a while. Here are the signs you should watch out for.
  • If your skin is starting to break out after using a certain mask, stop using it immediately.
  • If you notice any redness, itchiness or irritation, stop using the face mask.
  • If your skin generally doesn’t feel ‘right’ after using a face mask, if it feels tight, dry or it’s peeling, then it’s probably a sign that you should switch to a different one.

Final Thoughts

Face masks are both fun and practical, making them a perfect go-to option when your skin is in need of some pampering. In most cases, they don’t come with any side-effects. However, you should watch out for any unwanted reactions caused by ingredients your skin doesn’t agree with, particularly when it comes to homemade face masks.

This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.

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