How to Get the Most Out of Your Face Masks
Look at beauty trends from the past decade and you’ll find face masks at the top. They’ve worked their way into everything from sleepovers to stress relief, and you’ll find them in almost any drugstore.
With so many to choose from, you might have a tough time deciding which to try first—and yes, it matters. We’ll help you figure out how to get the best cleanse, the brightest complexion, and the smoothest skin by choosing the right ingredients for your skin type.
What Are the Different Types of Face Masks?
There are lots of face masks out there. The one that works for you depends on your skin and how you want to help it.
Just like when you put lotion on your hands, cream masks hydrate your face. They’re ideal for dry skin, and they can even act as a spot treatment for smaller problem areas.
Also called a mud mask, clay masks can do wonders for acne with their drying properties. That said, they can do more harm than good if you already have dry skin.
You also have to be careful about how you use them. Leave the mask on too long, and it’ll become a dry, cakey mess. If you move your face while you’re wearing the mask, it can even cause wrinkles and defeat the purpose of masking.
Like cream masks, gel masks hydrate your thirsty skin. Once it drinks up the moisture from these masks, you’ll feel the difference. As a bonus, gel masks are better for sensitive skin than any other type of mask.
Sheet masks came with the K-beauty trends. Most of these masks have hyaluronic acid and ceramides to hydrate and strengthen your skin. Still, each one is different, so look at the ingredients to find out how they work.
Any skincare enthusiast knows about the importance of exfoliation. These masks smooth and brighten your complexion by removing dead skin cells. In the process, they prevent clogged pores.
The downside of exfoliating masks comes with the ingredients. They use mild acids, like lactic acid, to cleanse your skin, which can cause problems for people with sensitive skin.
If you don’t like taking the time to wash away your mask, welcome to the world of peel-offs. These are multipurpose masks, good for hydration, clearing and preventing acne, cleansing, and more. If you have sensitive skin, be cautious with these—they can cause irritation.
Riding the charcoal sensation are charcoal masks. The activated charcoal cleanses your skin of impurities by absorbing them and washing them away when you remove the mask. Experts disagree as to whether these masks are really that effective, but many people have found that they help with acne and other skin troubles.
Skincare doesn’t stop when you sleep. If your skin gets super dry and taking care of it during the day isn’t enough, try an overnight mask. They give your skin more time to absorb nutrients and hydrate better than those 10-minute masks.
How Often Should You Use Face Masks?
In general, you can use face masks 1-3 times per week. But even with that rule of thumb, it depends on the type of mask you use. For instance, you probably shouldn’t use that mud mask too often if you don’t want to dry out your skin.
Multimasking can help you fill in the cracks (or the wrinkles) between masks. Using different types of masks targets different aspects of your skin. After all, you might not have the same problem on your forehead as you do on your nose, so why not tailor your treatment?
No matter what your skincare routine looks like, don’t overuse face masks. You can cause damage in the form of dry skin, breakouts, and vulnerability to environmental damage.
Are Some Face Masks Better Than Others?
In short, no. The benefits of face masks to your skin depend on your skin type and any problems you want to clear up or prevent.
You don’t need fancy face masks to look your best, either. Look for these three ingredients in yours:
When you use all three, they do the work of clearing, protecting, and moisturizing your skin. You probably won’t find them all in the same mask, since they do different things for your skin. But that’s what multimasking is for.
Before you try a face mask, find out what your skin needs to narrow your options. Not all skin is the same, so don’t treat yours like someone else’s! Check out our face masks and find the one that gives your skin the love it deserves.
Sarah Wood - December 21, 2020
“Do Face Masks Actually Do Anything for Your Skin?” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/do-face-masks-work. Accessed 11 December 2020.
Komar, Marlen. “4 Dermatologists on Whether or Not Face Masks Actually Work.” Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/p/do-face-masks-actually-work-4-dermatologists-weigh-in-46746. Accessed 11 December 2020.
Schumacker, Lauren. “You’re probably making this mistake with your face mask—and it could be wrecking your skin.” Insider. https://www.insider.com/should-you-let-a-face-mask-dry-2017-12. Accessed 11 December 2020.