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More than ever, home skincare routines are the best way to take advantage of spa-quality products to give you clear, glowing, refreshed skin. Face masks are a great addition to any skincare routine, and regular use (2-3 times per week), can make a noticeable impact on your skin’s health. For everything you need to know when choosing a face mask, read on!
Tubes and Creams Vs. Single-Use Sheets
Face masks are usually available in one of two forms: a tube/cream or a sheet. Both work equally well, and the choice between them is based on personal preference. If you’re trying a new type of mask, purchasing a single sheet is a budget-friendly way to test the product before committing to an entire jar, and sheets work well for travel away from home. Creams are usually more cost-effective in the end and are more eco-friendly, as well.
Most Important: Follow Directions
The single most important part of using a face mask is to follow the instructions. Depending on the specific mask, the directions can vary widely. Some masks require you to wash and wet your face first, then apply to damp skin. Others require clean, dry skin for the best results. Some are no-rinse, while others should be washed off after the directed time, and certain types require a moisturizer immediately afterward. For the best results, always read the packaging!
If you have oily skin (or are looking to target a particularly oily area), look for keywords like “purifying” and “clarifying” to indicate that the mask will help remove impurities and unclog pores. Often these masks use clay and charcoal to soak up excess oil and leave your skin feeling lighter. This Mary Kay Clear Proof mask is a favorite for good reason - just 15 minutes will leave your skin looking brighter and softer. For a quick option, this Self-Heating Mask from Bioré uses natural charcoal to clean more deeply than regular cleansing alone and leaves your face feeling minty-fresh after use.
Dry skin can appear seasonally or be your 24/7/365 status quo, so knowing which face masks can help boost the moisture in your skin is important. Look for keywords like “hydrating” and “moisturizing” along with plant oils and butters to get the boost you’re looking for. These hydrating sheet masks from Skin Laundry combine the highest-quality ingredients (including many vitamins and amino acids) to leave your dry skin feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. For a more budget-friendly option, try this Julep Night Shift moisturizing cream.
For those with sensitive skin, even many “helpful” products often make things worse. If you’re looking to incorporate face masks into your skincare routine, look for keywords like “soothing” and “calming” with ingredients that are anti-inflammatory like aloe and oat. This cucumber gel mask from Peter Thomas Roth is a gentle way to cleanse and hydrate your sensitive skin. For a sheet-mask option, these Image Skincare Hydrating sheets are infused with aloe gel to soothe while moisturizing and get high ratings from those with sensitive skin.
If you have “normal” or combination skin, your face mask preferences may vary based on the areas you’d like to target at any given time. These Blue Agave detox strips from Bioré are a great choice for regular use on combination skin. The baking soda helps prevent breakouts by cleansing your skin while the glycerin softens, and it takes less than 5 minutes per application to start giving you results. If you need to target rogue blemishes as they appear, try the Glamglow SUPERMUD treatment on the problem spots; with six acids and activated charcoal, this mask is well-known for effectively stopping acne in its tracks.
Along with face masks that target your skin type, many options are prepared with specific goals in mind. For anti-aging/wrinkle-reducing masks, look for hyaluronic acid to fill in fine lines - this Wrinkle Warrior pink mask from Kate Somerville is fun to use and effective! If you’re looking specifically to exfoliate and remove blackheads, look for alpha hydroxy acids like those in this Aveeno Oat mask. Masks that target redness reduction use soothing oils and organic ingredients to calm the skin, like this Korres Greek Yoghurt Probiotic mask.