the world of masks summarized
Face masks are the skincare step we wait all week for. While their appeal may lie more in the self-care aspect than in achieving actual results, face masks are often packed with potent ingredients that help tackle a variety of skin concerns. The issue many have, however, is that it can be overwhelming navigating just how many different types of face masks are out there. How are you supposed to identify which mask is right for you? The answer depends on your skin type and skin concerns. So, let’s jump into the world of masks!
charcoal & clay face masks
Both charcoal and clay have unique absorbent properties that help dislodge debris from pores, making these types of masks best for oily, acne-prone, and to some extent combination skin. These types of masks are also great if one of your skin concern is having large, clogged pores or excess sebum. A well-formulated charcoal or clay face mask will leave your skin shine-free, but not dried out or tight. When shopping for a charcoal or clay mask, it’s important to always read the ingredients. You'll want to avoid skin irritants like alcohol, mint, eucalyptus, and fragrance. Us combinbation skin girls love the Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask (Sephora, $42) - it has definitely helped unclog our pores after a week in the elements! You can also DIY a clay mask if you prefer and there is a great recipe in our blog post four beauty products you can DIY at home.
hydrating face masks
There are a few different options for hydrating masks. The first is a gel/sheet mask. If you have dry skin, these masks help to soothe and they also work well with sensitive skin types that need extra hydration. Some ingredients to look for are collagen and antioxidants, as they help the skin with recovery and overall long-term health. We love the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask (Sephora, $16) because it leaves our skin quenched and glowing and also provides the perfect base for make-up.
If you have combination skin, which requires the right mix of oil control and light hydration, it’s best to use a mildly exfoliating mask to get rid of excess sebum while still hydrating. The best ingredients for combo skin are glycolic acid and lactic acid.
Next are overnight masks, the goal of these is to lock in hydration and add anti-aging benefits (depending on the formula). Keeping beneficial ingredients on the skin longer than a traditional mask, overnight masks have more time to work, making them more effective. They work on all skin types but are best used when your skin is feeling dehydrated. Depending on how dry your skin is, you may want to skip your nighttime moisturizer when using an overnight mask. If you have very dry skin, go ahead and double up on both.
brightening face masks
Brightening masks aim to bring radiance to dull complexions and improve the appearance of uneven skin tones. These masks are great for anyone who wants to get a glowing complexion. The most effective brightening ingredients to look out for are arbutin, licorice, bearberry, vitamin C, and niacinamide. Our go-to brightening mask is Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (Sephora, $63) - it gives us that extra boost when we’re feeling a bit dull. It can also be used as an overnight mask as well if you’re looking for extra hydration.
when and how to use face masks
- Whether it’s a clay, cream, sheet, peel-off, or any type of face mask, always cleanse your skin first.
- If a face mask is supposed to be rinsed off, apply it after cleansing, but before the rest of your skincare routine.
- If the mask is supposed to be left overnight, apply it as the last step of your skincare routine.
- Always be sure to check the ingredients for anything you may be allergic or sensitive to. We also highly recommend spot testing out anything you put on your skin. You can do this by applying a small amount of the product to a discrete patch of skin such as the skin behind your ear.