This is what a face mask is like: imagine you pay for a house and get it renovated with the finest things, the best being the hardwood floor.
Then you hold a housewarming party and lots of people come over. When they leave, your prized floor is somewhat scuffed and dirty. You are alarmed but you are told that it is nothing a little water and soap can’t take care of. So you clean things up.
Over time, however, the floor gets more scuffed with all the comings and goings. You hardly notice it because you’re busy but it is kept clean.
One day, you look down and all you see are scuff marks. The previously shiny and well-oiled wood is gone. In its place is a well-worn floor, barely recognizable.
And then you realize something: you have not taken care of it as you should. You have let it get run down.
That is an unpleasant mental image, right? Nobody wants that on something they value.
But how about taking care of your skin, particularly your face? How much care do you give to it? More often than not, women use all sorts of creams, lotions and makeup on their faces.
With time, the mixture of the various ingredients begins to tell on the face and wears out the skin, if nothing is done.
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Enter Face Masks…
This is where face masks come in. A face mask, or facial mask if you will, is your face’s best friend.
Cleansing and moisturizing daily are great but your face needs some pampering sometimes.
Believe it or not, face masks are like a reset button. After the first time, you can actually feel a difference in your skin. It is not frivolous but necessary; in fact, both men and women need them.
If you have particularly sensitive skin or if you have a special skin need, what have you been doing without a face mask? Now is the time to choose one and get to pamper your face. Look your best and get rid of skin and complexion that is worn out from cosmetics.
Types of Face Masks
There is something for everyone when it comes to masks, no matter how sensitive your skin is. Do not shy away from getting something that suits and soothes your skin. Why? You deserve the best and the best is what you will get here.
There are basically 6 different types and they are:
Peel-off Face Mask
This usually comes in wax or gel formulas. It is great for those with dry skin and for older people.
The skin does absorb it quickly but tightens your skin, albeit temporarily. It has nothing that dries or pulls the skin so that it is nourished.
Clay Face Mask
A clay face mask is probably the best type of facial mask available. It comes with naturally-occurring ingredients that deeply cleanse and nourish the skin.
It attracts all the underlying dirt to the surface of your skin, wipes them and tightens your pores. But it is especially good for those with oily or normal skin since it successfully blots oil without drying out the skin.
For those with excessively dry skin, you may want to avoid clay masks.
Cream Face Mask
Cream masks are perfect for combination normal to dry skin types. It works by imputing moisture to the skin on the face, rejuvenating it. When this is done, it begins to soften the skin and removes lines that come with dryness.
Thermal Face Mask
Thermal means heat. Don’t think that this would do more harm than good. On the contrary, a thermal face mask would gradually and gently heat up your face. The underlying tissues would grow warm and malleable, creating breathable skin.
When you are done with this, whatever face lotion you use would work maximally because your skin is receptive then. This can be used for all skin types.
Natural Face Mask
You can get this in any store but you can also make one in the comfort of your home. If you know what works well for your skin, you are good to go.
It is a mixture of fruits, herbs and plants to get you a mask like no other. Your natural face mask can contain papaya, carrots, honey and oatmeal. And you can use it if you have dry or normal skin. But you have to be absolutely sure of what is good for your skin.
Warm Oil Face Mask
Just like thermal masks, this one is good for softening the skin to receive nutrients from face lotions. Usually found in massage parlours and spas, it is ideally used for dry skin or for older people.
Apart from softening your skin, it helps increase blood flow to your face.
What to Consider When Choosing a Face Mask
Face masks have nothing to do with colour, occasion or surrounding. It has everything to do with your skin type.
So the major consideration you have is: what skin type do you have? There are 6 main types of skin: normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive and acne-prone skin types.
Many people, more than you can imagine, cannot decide where they fall. Some who have somewhat oily skin think they have normal skin. Some who have dry skin think they have normal skin.
Beyond face masks, knowing exactly what skin type you have is important for every beauty regimen. Finding this out sounds very complicated, right? But it is as simple as they come and here are few steps to get this all-important knowledge:
Rid your face of makeup
If you have makeup on, the first thing to do is clean it all off. you can use a cleanser for this.
Use warm water and soft face soap for this. Rub it all over with the tips of your fingers to ensure that you reach every part.
Then gently rinse your face as thoroughly as possible and dry. It is important that you do not over-scrub your face so that it does not become dry.
Leave it bare for approximately an hour
Do not apply anything on it, no matter how light or great it is. And also, as much as you can, do not touch your face.
Gently dab your nose with a paper towel or tissue
If it comes off with some oil, your skin could be combination skin or oily skin type.
Again, if the skin on your face feels tight after the one hour wait, then you have dry skin. And if you break out in a rash, your skin is probably sensitive.
But if nothing happens, and your skin encounters none of these, you have normal skin. If pimples break out over and again, you have acne-prone skin.
Note, though, that anybody can have pimples at whatever age, more so if your skin is oily.
Another way to know is through your pores. If your pores are easily visible, your skin is oily. Also, if they are somewhat visible, your skin is normal. But if they are not visible, your skin is dry. For combination skin type, you would have some big pores and some small ones. This would inform you that your skin is a combination of oily, normal and dry.
If your skin wrinkles quickly when you pinch it, you have either combination or dry skin.
Deciding on a Face Mask Based on Your Skin Type
Based on the above information, you are better informed to make an excellent choice of a face mask. Therefore, below are skin types and the face masks they work well with:
Basically, this happens due to genetics. Hormonal changes cause the over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands and topically, nothing can be done. The only solution is to handle it as it comes to the fore.
Mud or clay face masks soak the excess oil up and contract large pores. They also bring impurities to the fore while battling blackheads and other blemishes. These types of face masks are perfect for oily skin; they are made just for it.
Ah, can it be itchier! Thank goodness for discoveries that help battle dry skin. It can be natural or have external causative agents. The environment, bad skincare products, unhealthy lifestyle and even age can bring on dry skin.
But not to worry because there is something for it. Use oil-based and moisture-rich face masks.
Also, look out for those with collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid and/or algae. Oils like linseed and olive mixed in glycerin and aloe vera moisturizes and hydrates your skin effectively.
When you are plagued by a constant and insistent breakout of pimples, you have to be careful what you use. A face mask that both cures and prevents acne is the way to go.
Therefore, a natural face mask, with fruits, herbs, oatmeal and honey, would work best. You do not want to irritate the angry skin further, even though the temptation to attack the acne is there.
This can be tricky. If you use a mask for dry skin, you may end up drying it out too much. If you use that for oily skin, you may end up with clogged pores. And if you choose that for sensitive skin, there may be no effect at all.
What do you do? Pick a face mask that has raw honey; it balances the skin. With a little turmeric and green tea, the oxidation level is raised, making your skin breathable.
The thing is that normal skin type does not need much extra care or attention. It usually takes care of itself. But raw honey-based face masks work wonders for normal skin. And you could also try cream masks. They do a lot in softening the skin to receive nutrients and absorb moisture.
Face masks with oatmeal, instead of sugar, and shea butter are recommended for sensitive skin.
Apart from masks, you have to be extra careful the cleanser, lotions and soaps you use on your sensitive skin. They may all contribute to irritate you and then, just a mask would not solve it. Be super selective in your choices.
There are other skin conditions that would inform the mask you use. Some people have dehydrated skin. This is different from dry skin because even the skin with the most oil could be dehydrated. This means that the skin lacks moisture.
So choose a water-based mask because your skin would absorb it quickly and deeply. In other words, a gel-based mask would work. Most peel-off masks are gels and absorb deep into the skin. Also, those with aloe vera would help hydrate the skin.
6 Tips to Maximize the Use of Face Masks
Wash your hands before applying
Your face is not the only part of you that needs to get clean before you apply a mask. Using dirty hands to apply a face mask would only reduce its effectiveness.
Your hands naturally have bacteria and oil that should not come on your face. Even without having to apply a mask, you should minimize the times your hands unnecessarily touch your face. If you are not sure about your hands, use a clean flat brush.
This is where cautiously and thoroughly reading labels comes in. When you buy a face mask, read the instructions on the length of time it can stay on your face. Contrary to belief, leaving it on for a longer time doesn’t make it more effective. And don’t drift off in thoughts so that you can time yourself.
Cleanse before using the mask
Don’t just dump the mask on your face before you cleanse, especially after a day out. If not, you would not see any positive effect and you may conclude that the mask is ineffective. Just gently rub with a mild cleanser, rinse and dry. Another aspect of this is scrubbing your face too hard. As much as you want to remove dirt, leaving it raw is not advisable.
Do not squirt too much
A little amount, one layer at a time is best. Applying a large amount at once would not speed up the process. Read instructions and follow it carefully.
Use it often
Don’t use it once in a while. Face masks are not meant for only special times. It does not have to be every day but it doesn’t have to be once in a month, either. Depending on your skin type, you could use it 3 times in a week or more.
Always moisturize after use
Constant masking could result in drying out your skin, over time. Have a lightweight moisturizer that soothes your skin to use after masking. And the best time to do this is at night, to get the best effect.
See? Buying and using a facial mask is not for the elite or for special occasions. It is, in fact, a necessity with all the makeup, harsh environment and changing gene pool.
And there is something for everyone in the market so nobody is left out. This guide narrows your search while teaching you what you did not know. What more could anyone ask for?