At-home face masks have been an at-home skincare staple for decades. Maybe your grandmother made her own mask by mixing egg whites and yogurt to moisturize her dry skin, or your mom mixed honey and oatmeal to exfoliate her face. But with the development of commercial at-home masks, we’ve been able to put our homemade face masks back in the pantry and can keep our skincare out of the kitchen.
By design, face masks remain on your face for a finite amount of time. Therefore, their active ingredients are of a higher concentration than other skin care products. With their super-powered ingredients, skin care masks get the job done in just a matter of minutes! It’s important to note that the time indications for your face masks are there for a reason; leaving your face mask on longer than instructed will not improve your results, but likely will be counterintuitive, causing irritation and potentially exacerbating the issue you were trying to address.
Let your skin decide! When choosing a mask, you first need to evaluate your skin type and the issues you want to treat, then choose a mask that will is designed to address your skin concerns.
Sheet masks are incredibly versatile. The mask is applied to the skin with a sheet of material that has been enriched with the mask ingredients. The active ingredients of the mask will determine its appropriate use, so make sure you check the indications on the mask packaging to determine which one is right for you.
Sheet masks can be made of cotton, hydrogel, or biocellulose. Cotton sheet masks are the most common type of sheet mask. The cotton is soaked in the mask serum and laid gently on the face. They tend not to fit as securely on the face as other sheet masks. Biocellulose is a natural material that also absorbs the mask serum, just like cotton masks do, but they adhere well to the skin and its occlusive effects prevent the mask ingredients from evaporating. Hydrogel sheet masks are made of a thick sheet of gel that is infused with active ingredients. These masks often have a higher concentration of active ingredients than their cotton and biocellulose counterparts.
Clay naturally absorbs excess sebum, making them great for oily skin. Mud masks are similar but include other nutrients and minerals making them gentler and less drying than clay.
Our favorite clay and mud mask is Rehab: Mediterranean Detoxifying Mud Mask. It is made up of aloe leaf juice (contains enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and anti-inflammatory agents), Mediterranean and dead sea mud (soothes inflammation, draws out impurities, improves elasticity and reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles), and bentonite clay (absorbs excess oil and removes toxins), making it great for oily, problematic, or congested skin.
Charcoal is another great option for oily skin and, since charcoal is an anti-inflammatory, these masks are great at reducing the appearance of and inflammation from breakouts.
Our favorite charcoal mask is Down + Dirty: Detoxifying Charcoal MicroExfoliant. While great for all skin types, Down + Dirty is excellent for oily and problem skin. It uses detoxifying charcoal to lift away dirt, dull skin, and micropollutants, while simultaneously rejuvenating your skin and pores with natural minerals and toxin fighters like wakame, bladderwrack, apricot seed powder, and green tea.
Cream masks are another type of wash-off mask that has a creamy texture, and often focuses on. Like sheet masks, they are incredibly versatile, and the treatment used will depend upon the mask’s active ingredients.
One great example of a cream mask is Daily Fruit: Antioxidant Moisturizing Mango Mask which is designed for mature or dry skin. It uses nurturing ingredients like mango butter, and pentapeptides (like safflower seed oil and sea buckthorn berry oil) that aid in collagen formation, boost elasticity, and hydrate the skin.
Another of our favorite cream masks is Live – Be Well: Probiotic + Pink Himalayan Salt Mask which combines probiotics and Pink Himalayan salt to help maintain balance to your skin’s microbiome. Probiotics help strengthen the skin’s natural defense system, improving hydration and circulation, and minimizing acne and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Another wash-off mask, gel masks are gentle and soothing, making them great for all skin types. They are usually calming and mild enough for sensitive skin that is often be irritated by the high concentration of ingredients found in other types of masks.
We love Cold Compress: Soothing Cucumber Mask. It’s Aloe leaf juice, cucumber extract, and chamomile are calming, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. It cools on contact and eases inflamed, red, or rosacea-prone skin.
Peel-off masks work in two different ways. First, once applied, the active ingredients get to work on your skin, just like wash off face masks. But unlike wash-off masks, peel-off masks remain on your skin until they have dried completely, and then are peeled off the face, taking the outer layer of dead skin with it. Peel-off masks are not recommended for those with sensitive skin.
Sleep masks are designed to be applied just before bed and left on while you sleep. Overnight masks double as your evening moisturizer and have a higher concentration of active ingredients than your typical night cream.
Clarity Sleep it Off Mask: A Natural Retinol Alternative is a great 21-day anti-aging sleep mask designed to treat rough texture, loss of elasticity, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles without side effects over the course of three weeks. It uses Blue Green Algae, Ginger and Orange extracts, and amino acids, to stimulate collagen and elastic production, hydrate, and detoxify while you’re sleeping.
Still not sure which mask type is right for you? Rise and Shine: Lifting Collagen Mask is a great mask for all skin types, designed to boost your skin’s health and appearance by balancing moisture levels, and giving your complexion a tightened and toned appearance. You can always call with any questions, or schedule a consultation online.