The popularity of a particular step in a skin care routine can change from time to time depending on current trends on Tiktok and Instagram.
However, one step that continues to be a fan favorite is Face Masks.
Contrary to popular belief, face masks serve a bigger purpose than a silly selfie to post on your snapchat.
The benefits of face masks are countless.
Here are some reasons why you should add Face Masks to step up your skin care routine.
- 1 Benefit 1 : A mask for everyone
- 2 Benefit 2 : Masks are occlusive in nature and can increase skin hydration.
- 3 Benefit 3 : Masks can quickly deliver high concentration of active ingredients to your skin.
- 4 Benefit 4 : Masks brings flexibility to your skincare routine.
- 5 Benefit 5 : Masks can potentially undo sun damage
- 6 Benefit 6 : Masks can help unclog pores
- 7 Benefit 7 : Masks can put an end to oily skin
- 8 Benefit 8 : Masks can help relieve stress
- 9 The different types of masks and our Recommendations
Benefit 1 : A mask for everyone
Gone are the days when the biggest purpose a face mask served was to give you 5 minutes of cooling relief.
Today, one can find a mask for almost every skin concern ranging from dry skin to acne. Intermittent use of facial masks can help deliver specific active ingredients to your epidermis unlike any other skin care product.
Don’t want to spend your paycheck on a luxury mask? Don’t worry!
The boom of masks in the skin care industry has made them extremely accessible and affordable.
Unlike before, one can also find masks to cater to the specific needs of men’s skin.
That’s perfect for some spa time with your beloved one.
Benefit 2 : Masks are occlusive in nature and can increase skin hydration.
What this means is that on application, masks create a physical barrier.
This helps to lock in the active ingredients, allowing maximum absorption by the skin.
The benefits of face masks hence trump those of cleansers and toners as the active ingredient can work on your skin the way it is supposed to rather than being washed off in 30 seconds.
Face masks also can bring ingredients closer for as long as you want, enabling your skin to soak up as much product as needed.
Since most masks have a hydrating component, their longer application time helps deliver the moisture to the skin cells and lock it in there for maximum absorption.
Did you know that oily skin in fact needs more moisture?
What a lot of people don’t realize is that oily skin is a product of dehydrated skin. When the skin cells in the epidermis and fibroblasts in the dermis don’t receive the hydration they need, the sebaceous glands begin to overcompensate for the lack of moisture by producing excess sebum. This results in an oily appearance of the skin which a lot of individuals may attempt to treat by depriving the skin of moisture. The less moisture the skin receives, the more sebum it produces. Hence, a never-ending cycle.
Benefit 3 : Masks can quickly deliver high concentration of active ingredients to your skin.
The other good thing about face masks is that cosmetic formulators usually add much more active ingredient in terms of dosage to the mask, compared to creams.
It is the case with sheet masks such as our favorite here ( on amazon)
These masks are very thin sheets usually made of cotton that are infused or soaked in a serum-like solution which is packed with active ingredients.
So, because we use face masks to get immediate results, formulators do tend to incorporate higher concentrations of active ingredient: that means your skin can benefit from it and get quicker results.
Tip: don’t throw away the excess solution left in the packaging and use it as a serum for other parts of your body (neck, hands etc..) or for your face the following morning.
(Nothing is wasted, and you get the most of your face mask)
Benefit 4 : Masks brings flexibility to your skincare routine.
Masks can really add flexibility to your skin routine.
In other words, masks can boost your skincare routine.
You can really customize even more your skincare routine by using specific masks to your skin’s needs.
- If you feel you skin need more hydration, just use a hydration face mask.
- If your skin is a tad oily, use a clay mask to absorb the sebum. ( our favorite clay mask is here on amazon)
- If you feel your skin needs more glow, use an exfoliating mask to get rid of dead cells and reveal a smoother and glowy skin.
You don’t need to change your skin routine. You simply add the needed mask to your skin routine.
Benefit 5 : Masks can potentially undo sun damage
You’ve had a long day in the sun and you forgot to reapply your sunscreen every two hours! What do you do now?
You could end your day with a mask that contains therapeutic ingredients like Aloe Vera to fight off the potential sunburn.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera gel have been used for centuries to relieve the skin of lipopolysaccharide-induced first and second degree sun burns.
Additionally, masks containing Vitamin A can counteract the photodamage (sunspots, melasma and sagging skin) caused due to exposure to UVA and UVB rays.
Benefit 6 : Masks can help unclog pores
Ever notice those large pores around your nose and feel the urge to squeeze them?
Drop that blackhead remover and pick up a mask with exfoliating ingredients.
From drugstore to luxury brands, there is now a wide range of exfoliating masks that can help to dissolve the excess sebum clogging the pores.
Additionally, masks with exfoliating active ingredients also help to slough off the dead skin cells which ultimately helps to improve the skin’s cell turnover process.
Benefit 7 : Masks can put an end to oily skin
Here, the star ingredient is clay.
Every oily skin or acne-prone skin are grateful to this awesome ingredient because it can attract and absorb any excess oil on your face.
So, clay masks can help get rid of excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt, preventing pore build up and acne.
With a clay mask once or twice a week, you will be able to manage your skin excess oil. ( check our article about vit C serum for acne prone skin here )
Benefit 8 : Masks can help relieve stress
When you feel mental stress, your skin likely experiences stress too. This could be in the form of dull appearance, redness, zits, uneven skin or even fine lines due to dehydration.
While masks can address these individual concerns, they can also help your skin unwind at the end of a taxing day.
Of course, ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Green Tea along with a wide range of essential oils have proven to relax and de-puff the skin with their antioxidant properties.
But using face masks encourages to take time for yourself and just relax while leaving the face mask on.
They serve as a reminder to think about your well-being and dedicate some essential “Me time”.
The different types of masks and our Recommendations
Now that you know all about the facial mask benefits, let’s focus on each type of face masks, what they specifically do and and our recommendations for each type :
Clay and Mud Masks
Did you know that the use of mud masks can be dated all the way back to Cleopatra? It is believed that she maintained her glowing skin by using mud from the Dead Sea.
Researchers believe that clay masks can help with oily skin, acne, white heads, and even blackheads.
While there are several kinds of clays available in the skincare industry, the common beneficial minerals found in them are bentonite, kaolinite, palygorskite, smectites and talc. ( Don’t worry, you don’t need to learn them by heart lol )
A clay face mask mixed with warm water activates these minerals which can then suck out dirt and excess oil.
It also penetrates through the pores in the epidermis to stimulate perspiration and secretion by sebaceous glands. All this helps to unclog the pores which is the leading cause for acne.
It also helps to exfoliate dead skin cells to give you glowing skin and can help to alleviate redness and inflammation.
Clay masks or mud masks can literally detoxify your skin and give you clean pores, fewer breakouts, and smoother skin texture
How to choose between clay mask vs mud mask?
Mud masks and clay masks are very similar, but they don’t suit the same types of skin.
- Mud masks are water based and are suitable for people with dry skin, who wants to gently detox their skin. it is more hydrating and soothing.
- Clay masks is perfect if you have oily skin or breakouts / blemishes as they absorb more oil and dirt and leave your pores cleaner. It could be too strong for dry skin. (The longer you let it sit on your face the more “drying” it is. so, if you have dry skin don’t leave the mask on too long, what you don’t want is let the mask get dry)
My favorite mud mask is this one HERE (on amazon). This is a must have. Just give it a try and you will be hooked. Anyone I know who tested it can’t live without it because it is effective and affordable. (I hate spending my hard earned money on pricey stuff that is useless….)
My favorite clay mask is this one HERE (on amazon) I am also in love with it. I use it when my skin gets super oily… After using it, your skin will feel fresh and clean…. The other plus is that it comes in powder form. So, it is easy to have some with you when travelling…. (I keep some in a plastic zipper bag such as this one here also found on Amazon.)
tip: to remove your clay mask, don’t rub with force but use a warm washcloth for one minute to soften the mask and gently massage your face to remove the clay.
A few years ago, activated charcoal became the biggest trend in the beauty world. From toothpaste to cleansers, there is no dearth of this wonder ingredient.
When common coal is exposed to high heat, it forms a fine black powder, activated charcoal. The exposure to heat makes the charcoal extremely porous and hence, it is able to absorb and trap toxins and impurities.
By removing the dirt that may be trapped in the pores of your skin, these masks can improve your skin’s complexion and texture.
yep, if the way these masks work rings a bell, you are right, it is similar to clay and mud masks, but charcoal masks are a tad “stronger” when it comes to absorbing dirt and getting rid of dead skin cells especially with charcoal peel off masks.
- if your skin is oily, acne prone skin, go with clay masks or charcoal mask (keep in mind that charcoal is a bit more drying)
- if your skin is sensitive, or dry, then stick to mud masks.
- if your skin is normal then you can choose whatever you want but be moderate and use clay masks or charcoal masks once a week.
In fact, my best piece of advice is to listen to your skin. You know it better than anyone else.
Now that things are clearer for your, time to reveal my favorite charcoal mask which is HERE (super cost effective on amazon).
This one is another must-have in your beauty bag. If you need a charcoal mask that really traps excess oil, dirt and get rid of dead skin cells, then this is the mask to get (be careful though as I told you: if you have sensitive skin, or very dry skin, skip this one and check the clay or mud mask I talked about above)
Facial Sheet Masks
It is hard to find a place to begin when talking about the benefits of Sheet Masks.
The convenience of sheet masks is one of the prime reasons for their popularity. You can reap the benefits of a sheet mask without the hassle and messiness of a clay or cream mask.
yeah, I admit I can be lazy sometimes (ok all the time lol) I want it to be quick, easy and effective and these sheet masks tick every box.
Sheet Masks originated from South Korea, the hub of skincare innovations. As the name suggests, sheet masks are extremely thin sheets made of either a gentle fabric like cotton ( most sheet masks) or coconut pulp.
These sheets are dipped in an active or hydrating serum-like solution and then packed individually.
These masks are cut out in the shape of a face leaving openings for the eyes, nose and lips.
So here is my all-time favorite sheet mask that you can find HERE on amazon. ( I test every sheet mask I can find, I think I would need several lives to be able to test them all lol).
This is probably the mask that I use the most to make sure my skin is super hydrated. (Yeah, trust me, hydrated skin means younger skin, smoother skin, which is easier to put make up on). So, my number one priority is to make sure my skin is hydrated.
I usually get the pack of 5 : they are wonderful and really make your face feel plump and hydrated and they are free from parabens.
This brand is reliable, they also have different types of sheet masks that you could try for different concerns if you want to.But, in my opinion, these other masks are just ok good : they are just hydrating and have a few other ingredients for marketing purpose….. ( for example, if you have oily skin, don’t waste your money on sheet masks but go with clay masks or charcoal masks such as the ones I mentioned above)
Peel-Off Gel Masks
Am I the only one who immediately think of the “American psycho” movie when talking about peel off masks?You know the scene with Patrick Bateman doing his morning routine and peeling off his mask with charisma and mucho mucho hotness lol ….
These peel off gel Masks are an excellent addition to your PM routine as the soothing active ingredients along with a glass of wine make a perfect end to a stressful day.
These masks are hydrating and exfoliating; they are usually translucent and are made of a gel-like substance which contours the face, forming a film over your skin.
You would leave it on and wait for the gel to dry so you can then peel it off easily and remove the outermost layer of the skin, revealing a smoother and glowing skin.
Note that these masks are more exfoliating than hydrating compared to face sheet masks. I use peel off masks from time to time to quickly get rid of dead cells and have fun.
Yeah, I love peeling the mask off, I don’t know why but I find it rewarding and like this idea of getting rid of the old skin to reveal my new skin haha.
Once again, peel off masks are more suitable for oily to normal skin. If you have dry skin, it could be a bit too strong.
My favorite peel off mask is this famous one HERE sold on amazon. (Yeah, I know how could I live without amazon lol) it is pretty cheap and a tube lasts very long. No need to buy expensive and fancy peel off masks: this one is cost effective and does the job really well. So why waste your money?
This mask, with cucumber and ale vera, is so refreshing and cooling (tip: keep the tube in your fridge to boost the cooling effect when applying the mask. This is perfect in summertime, cooling effect guaranteed)
Exfoliating Face Masks
Gone are the days when you had to rub your face with a harsh cleanser or scrub to get rid of those pesky blackheads or dead cells.
The introduction of chemical exfoliants really took the skincare industry by storm and rightly so!
Exfoliating masks are available in a range of consistencies from creamy to liquid. The active ingredients in exfoliating masks are chemical exfoliants and not physical, like walnut shells or microbeads found in drugstore cleansers.
So, they do the job by breaking down effectively the bonds holding the dead skin cells in place
while you wait a few minutes and voilà you massage a little and you rinse and remove easily your dead skin cells and reveal your baby skin 🙂
The most common ingredients in exfoliating masks are:
→ AHA and BHA
There is no doubt that Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) have saved us from the wrath of physical exfoliants like walnut shells.While AHAs are water soluble acids, BHAs are oil soluble. AHAs exfoliate the surface of your skin; this helps get rid of hyperpigmentation, small bumps, and dull skin to give glowing and smooth skin. BHAs on the other hand have the ability to go deep into the pores and dissolve excess oil and gunk.
My favorite AHA mask is HERE on Amazon and uses glycolic acid (AHA). Note that I only use it once a month as my skin is a bit sensitive so I can’t overdo it.
Enzymes are nothing but catalysts for reactions. They are derived from plants and help to gently exfoliate the dead skin cells off the surface of the epidermis without disrupting the skin’s pH.
That is more suitable for dry skin as it is much more gentle.
For you with dry skin, a good alternative could be this mask HERE with enzymes (amazon). It has a little AHA but just enough to help exfoliate your skin and not too much to irritate it 🙂
I tried to find it on another website, but it is cheaper on amazon (not a surprise lol)
Gel or Cream Masks
A cream mask is exactly what it sounds like. ( the same with gel masks)
Masks that have a creamy texture and can be left on your skin for an advised period of time to help with a range of skincare concerns.
Most sleep-in cream masks are pretty safe to use overnight for intense hydration and hence, can be used as the last step of your skincare routine. of course, it is essential to apply cream masks on a cleansed face or you risk trapping dirt and toxins in your skin. (Yeah, cleansing your skin is probably the most important step of our skincare routine).
One of my favorite cream masks is this one HEREon Amazon. It is a brightening cream mask that I like to use one day before partying with my friends to have that glowing skin we like 🙂
I am addicted to the scent to be honest. It is so light and airy that applying it is quite fun. Some people could be put off by the sweet scent though.
However, when it is hot, I am not into cream masks… I cannot stand it.
In that case, I turn to gel face masks that are refreshing, cooling and hydrating ( of course). I want hydration everywhere haha
My favorite gel mask is this one HERE (on amazon). It is perfect for dry skin. It is effective and really affordable. I use it every summer to make sure my skin is fully hydrated. ( same tip : I keep the jar in my fridge to boost the cooling effect).
I hope that our article was informative? Now that you know all the face mask benefits, don’t wait. Go and test the ones that suit you best. I can guarantee you that you will get quickly get addicted to these face masks, to get healthier skin and take some time to relax and chill 🙂 In the meantime, stay awesome 🙂