Question: Do I need to use a mask?
Masks are applied to help improve skin texture and other skin issues. In my experience, they don’t do a whole lot because they are not left on your skin for very long. However, most people use masks once a week as a skin refresher or to supply the skin with additional nutrients. You don't need a mask, but they could be something extra to include in your skin care routine.
There are different types of masks and each type of mask aims to do something different for your skin:
Clay Masks:Clay masks usually have kaolin or bentonite clay as the main ingredient. They are very similar to mud masks and are applied onto clean skin and left to dry. You wait until the mask dries and hardens before rinsing off. Clay masks help remove impurities from your skin, but since they can be a bit drying, they are more suitable for those with oily skin types.
Peel-Off Masks:Peel off masks are similar to clay masks, except they are usually clear and have an Elmer’s glue type of consistency. You basically apply the mask and wait until it’s dry. However, instead of washing off the mask, you peel it off, pulling out any impurities in your skin. This type of mask is more suitable for those with drier skin types.
Moisture Masks:Moisture masks are usually very heavy creams you apply on your face to help seal in extra moisture. To use, you slather a moisture mask thickly on your skin and leave it to sit for a few minutes before washing off. Moisture masks don’t remove any impurities from your skin. Instead they try to feed your skin extra hydration and nutrients. These masks can be used with any skin type but they might be a little too heavy for those with oily skin.
Paper Masks:These facial masks are very common and popular in Asia. They are basically masks made out of a thin fabric that have been soaked in a solution or toner of some sort, folded up, and inserted in individual packets. To use the mask, you unfold the cloth mask and apply onto clean skin. There are holes for your eye, nose, and mouth areas. You wait for about 30 minutes, remove the mask, and rub in any leftover residue. You can also rinse your face if you want. In my opinion, these paper masks are ideal for hydrating your skin because the solution they are soaked in is mostly water. Also, these paper masks are very flexible. Whatever solution they are soaked in can be targeted for different skin types and different skin treatments. For example, you can have a BHA paper mask that would be great for acne-prone skin or one with Vitamin C that gives extra oomph in skin brightening.
In Asia, you can also purchase paper masks that aren’t soaked in any solution. You can then saturate these masks in a toner, lotion or treatment of your choice and use accordingly.
Home-made Masks:Home-made masks are also very popular because they are skin care product alternatives straight from your kitchen cupboard. Some of them are as simple as mashing up bananas and mixing oatmeal with avocado. I’m not sure how well they work, but it definitely is fun to make your own mask! Check here for some great recipes.
When selecting facial masks, choose one that is appropriate for your skin type in order to get maximum benefits from the mask. Masks are definitely optional in anyone's skin care routine though.
Last updated: September 23, 2012
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