Hello my lovelies!
Most, if not all of us, have used a facial mask before. Some of us use them on the occasion that we think about it, and the rest of us use them with a special kind of fanaticism only reserved for the beauty inclined. Regardless of when or how you use them, it’s important to understand what to do with a mask in a universal sense. What do I use for my skin type? How should I best apply it? Can I spot treat with masks? My mask instructions aren’t in the language I speak, how do I interpret this? These are all important questions when it comes to mask usage, and I think it’s time to sit down, clack my nails on the keys, and help a fellow human being out.
What Is My Skin Type?
It’s essential to note that masks are NOT universal. There is no one size fits all for all of our individual skin needs and desires. Before we go out and look for a mask, we need to first figure out what our skin type is. What’s the best way to figure this part out? Simply wash your face, wait 30 minutes to an hour, and evaluate how your skin feels, keeping the points below in mind:
- The skin on my face feels tight, has flaking areas, and may itch slightly. If I were to blot with a tissue paper anywhere on my face, I would have little to no results.
- The skin on my face appears shiny, especially in the “T-zone”, and is greasy to the touch. I could easily take a tissue paper and blot anywhere on my face with results.
- The skin on my face feels neither dry nor oily in particular. If I were to blot with a tissue paper, I could have varying results, based on weather or activity.
- The skin on my face, particularly in my “T-zone”, appears oily and may be greasy to the touch, whereas the skin on the perimeters and cheeks may either be dry and flaky, or normal. If I were to blot with a tissue paper on the perimeters and cheeks, I would have varying results, all the way to no results at all. I could easily take a tissue paper and blot my “T-zone” with results.
These are the 4 skin types that dermatologists have agreed on. Additionally, there is a category for sensitive, but from doing my own research, I don’t consider sensitive to be its own category. Rather, any of these 4 skin types can have sensitivity. For example, I fall into the Oily category, but I also have sensitive skin because I am acne-prone. Of course, anyone can get acne, regardless of skin type, but we will discuss that later. Additionally, I do not consider mature skin a separate category, more so that it can be in combination with any type listed above.
- The skin on my face can appear itchy, red, and irritated at varying levels.
- The skin on my face shows signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, or sallowness.
What Mask Should I Use?
Even when we know our skin type, there are still an array of options for different needs, and it can be difficult figuring out which one will work best for you. If I were to try and cover every use for a mask under the sun according to each skin type, we would be here for a while. Instead, I’m going to talk about what to look for in a mask in GENERAL, based on skin type and common needs for those skin types.
- Sheet masks, coconut and avocado based masks, and cream masks are your friends for helping general dryness. Masks with some Glycolic Acid can help with the tight feeling in dry skin.
- Moisturizing mud masks are available, but should be used sparingly for acne only, as mud/clay masks can be very drying. PLEASE be careful with this if you have sensitive skin.
- Most brightening masks are approved for dry skin, but if you aren’t sure, look for water based ones in particular.
- Mud/clay masks are your best friends for life, and they will (almost) never let you down.
- Mud/clay masks are great at taking care of topical acne, however for cystic acne or blackheads, charcoal based masks are the way to go. If you have sensitive skin, spot treating with an acne fighting mask is the safest way to go.
- You can use brightening masks if you feel a little dull, however use these with caution, as most brightening masks are geared toward dry or normal skin. We already shine bright like a diamond on our noses alone!
- You can essentially get away with any particular mask that looks good to you, but always keep in mind how your skin is looking and feeling when you pick one.
- Deep cleansing masks are always great to help your skin keep its normal-ness. Sheet masks can also be an all around great option.
- Much like the name implies, it’s easiest to combine a mix of masks by spot treating.
- Mud/Clay is perfectly fine for the “T-zone”, but if you have drier areas on the perimeters and cheeks, use a moisturizing mask. If you’re normal, a cleansing one will work.
- Pay attention to which parts of your face are sensitive, if at all. If your nose is sensitive but oily, use the mud/clay mask with a healthy dose of caution.
- There are sensitive masks available, however these are generally best to spot treat with, as most of them don’t serve the same purpose as treating with a skin type-specific mask.
- If your skin is really, and I mean REALLY sensitive, don’t mask that area at all. It’s better to do without, than to irritate and potentially damage the skin.
- Your skin is your largest organ, and the skin on your face and neck the most delicate; be nice to it.
- Mature skin is often on the drier side, so referring to that section is generally the safest.
- Deep moisturizing and anti-aging masks are great and specifically made for maturing skin. Look for Glycolic Acid, which is a gentle exfoliant and great for maturing skin in particular, as it improves elasticity in the skin that is typically lost with age.
- Brightening masks are highly recommended, as the skin dulls quite a bit with aging. Again, get that Glycolic Acid on your radar!
An important note: I know that making your own masks can seem interesting, healthier, and less costly, but creating your own masks can cause more harm than good. Masks introduced into the consumer market have undergone rigorous testing to make sure they are SAFE for the skin on your face. While some people might swear by rubbing an egg yolk on their face to help with oiliness, this hasn’t gone through rigorous testing by professionals, and can potentially cause a reaction. Your GI tract can handle far worse than your skin; they’re not at all the same thing.
How Do I Prep For, Apply, and Remove my Mask?
How you prepare your skin for a mask application can make or break the effectiveness of the mask. If you wore makeup during the day, a double cleanse is in order. First, remove all makeup with a cleansing oil or wipes, and then wash with your preferred cleanser. If you are not wearing makeup, you can skip the first cleanse and go straight to your face wash. You have to wash your face no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you just woke up, a mask will not penetrate your skin if you have any leftover product, rendering the mask essentially pointless. Worst case scenario, a mask can force any leftover product to sink even further into your skin, causing breakouts or reactions. Just wash your face, it’s not hard, I promise!
When applying a mask, try your best not to get it in your hairline or eyebrows, especially if it is peel off. If you’re like me and can’t really help yourself, wash off any product in your hair with a washcloth very gently. No one needs bald spots. A good rule of thumb for the length of leaving your mask on, is generally 15-20 minutes, unless the instructions specifically state otherwise. If instructions are included and you are able to read them, please follow those directions. I am not the master key to all masks, and written instructions included on the bottle/jar/whatever, overrule my (limited) expertise. Masks are awesome for your neck too. I am firm believer in applying the products that you use on your face to your neck. The only exceptions are products for oily skin, as this can have a reverse effect. Use with caution. But again, you can use a moisturizing mask for your neck and spot treat.
Unless your mask explicitly states that you can leave it on longer, remove it after the time guideline. Leaving a mask on longer than is recommended can have an adverse effect, especially if you are using mud/clay masks. Remember, your face skin is an organ and is delicate. If you want your steak medium rare, you don’t cook it to well done. Yes, I just compared your face to a piece of meat. I’m not sorry about it. Also, your skin is not an industrial frying pan. Don’t violently rip off a peel-off mask, and don’t viciously scrub off a regular mask. It will come off eventually without you trying to rub your skin raw.
If your skin is slightly red immediately after a mask, don’t worry about it. If your skin is a little wet after a mask, don’t worry about it. If your skin looks like you did literally nothing to it, don’t worry about it. Most masks aren’t going to give you immediate results, unless they claim it, then they’re just liars. However, if your skin is noticeably dried out, flaky, blotchy or broken out a day later, then discontinue using that mask. Unless the mask in question says that will happen (which I question), or you’ve consulted a professional and they give you a clean bill of health and permission to use that mask, you don’t need to repeatedly give your skin something it’ll react to.
That’s all I have for you guys today. Please remember to like, comment, and subscribe, it really helps me out. Also don’t forget to have a wonderful Monday.
Disclaimer: I will never edit my pictures in a way that misrepresents my natural weight and body type. Some Links may be affiliate links. All opinions are my own