The face mask is more than just an important component of your skincare routine. It's a serious indulgence, a timeless luxury and for many women, a near sacramental experience that may involve relaxing music, candles, and even a glass of wine.
There are scores of different face masks available today intended to deal with any of a half dozen different skin ailments. Knowing which one is right for your skin type and situation is crucial if you’re to enjoy the full benefits of a face mask.
That’s why it’s important to know the answer to the question, "How often should you use a face mask?” Come and find the answers below.
What Are Face Masks and How do They Work?
A face mask can be fashioned from cream, clay, sheets of fabric, gelatin, or even avocados and bananas. It’s a concoction which, in most cases, you smear evenly on your face and leave in place for a set amount of time.
Once that time is up—you rinse, wipe or peel it off and it takes with it particles such as blackheads, excess oil, dirt, grease, environmental pollutants, and dead skin cells, depending on the type of mask you applied.
The face mask has been around for thousands of years. It’s one of the oldest skincare routines in existence. And one of the few things that modern, sophisticated 21st-century humans partake of that is essentially unchanged from the days when the pyramids were being built.
So why do we still use face masks? Because, as Dermatologist Dr. David Lortscher points out, "Mud masks, clay masks, cream masks or sheet masks provide long-lasting benefit to the skin." Let’s look at those benefits.
Benefits of Using Face Masks
The benefits of using a face mask are many and have been proven over and over again since time immemorial. Those benefits include:
- Deep cleansing - If you care about your skin, you wash it thoroughly every day and use a moisturizer. But soap and water can only do so much. They can’t open up the pores and reach in to extract dirt, grease, atmospheric pollutants, and bacteria that get trapped there. Only a face mask can do that. It’s a level of deep cleansing without equal.
- Open pores - Over the course of a day or a week, our pores become clogged with all manner of pollutants from outside and oils and dead skin cells from inside. A clay mask effectively soaks up excess oils and removes dead skin cells.
As it does, it also removes tiny bacteria that can grow up around these bits of detritus. The result is tighter pores that make your skin appear smoother and firmer.
- Enhanced hydration - Gel face masks, in particular, do a wonderful job of restoring hydration to dry, irritated skin. This makes the skin feel smoother and more supple and provides it with a healthy glow it may not have had in years. Toned, properly hydrated skin that exhibits a proper pH balance is one of the primary goals of using face masks.
- Relaxation - As we mentioned, there’s something deeply satisfying and indulgent about a face mask. The entire experience can be relaxing to the point of being therapeutic. A good face mask experience is a complete experience that involves all the senses.
Some women enjoy lying back in the tub with scented candles burning and their favorite music playing while the mask works its magic.
Different Types of Face Masks Depending on Your Skin
Different masks are intended for different types of skin. Here are the most common mask types and the skin types they work best with.
- Clay masks - Clay masks are made to absorb oils and dirt and help stabilize acne-prone skin. Therefore, if you have oily skin—clay masks are for you. Just be careful not to use them too often as they can dry out your face.
- Cream masks - This type of face mask is intended for normal to slightly dry skin. It provides a moderate dose of moisturizers, enhances hydration, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.
- Gel masks - A gel mask is light, gentle, and intended for those with dry or sensitive skin. Gel masks typically include ingredients like cucumber and mint. These ingredients have a calming effect on the skin and also aid in restoring proper hydration.
- Exfoliating masks - This type of mask performs the unglamorous work of removing blackheads, dead skin cells, and other debris that winds up clogging pores. Everyone should use this type of mask occasionally. But if you have sensitive skin, you'll want to find one with lower concentrations of hyaluronic, glycolic or lactic acid.
- Thermal masks - Thermal masks are all the rage at the moment. They contain ingredients that interact with one another and produce heat. This opens and unclogs pores while stimulating circulation and removing bacteria and pollutants. These are ideal for mature skin.
Just beware of trendy but essentially useless products like "bubble masks," which according to Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, “Produce a lot of foam on the face but don’t provide any additional benefit besides entertainment."
How to Use Face Masks
Most face masks are applied the same way although they’re made of different materials and meant to stay on for different lengths of time. Here are a few important FAQs regarding the use of face masks.
How to Put a Mask On?
To put a mask on, you simply dab your fingertips into the jar and spread the mask even on your face using a gentle circular motion.
Do Face Masks Come Before or After Toner?
Face masks can be applied both before and after toner. Toner is an excellent way to prep your skin for the cleansing process of the mask. At the same time, applying a bit of toner after the mask will help balance the skin’s pH levels and promote the absorption of important ingredients left behind by the mask.
How Long Should You Leave It On?
In most cases, you leave a face mask on for 20 to 30 minutes. Although there are some that are intended to be worn overnight.
How Often Should You Use a Face Mask?
It depends. Some DIY face masks that use cucumbers and avocado are very gentle and can be used every day. However, those that use hyaluronic acid should probably only be used once every week or two. The same goes for clay masks which, if used too often, can suck too much moisture out of your skin and leave it feeling dry and irritated.
When to Use a Face Mask?
The right time to use a face mask will depend on the type of face mask and what you want it to do. Deep cleansing, moisturizing, and soothing face masks should be put on before you go to bed and left in place overnight. A face mask intended to tone and brighten your skin should be used during the day. While a face mask intended for hydration can be used every day at whatever time you wish.
Best 5 Face Masks to Try
Clarafuse Silicone Patches
Clarafuse medical-grade silicone face masks have been rigorously tested for effectiveness by industry mainstay BioScreen and found to produce quantifiable benefits in more than 90% of cases. Each silicone patch has been specifically designed to conform to a particular part of the face.
When applied, they produce a rejuvenating micro-climate between them and your skin. This, in turn, pulls moisture to the surface and restores proper hydration and pH levels. You look and feel younger, your skin is noticeably plumper and acne scars and blemishes are greatly reduced.
Mediheal I.P.I Lightmax Ampoule Mas
If you suffer from skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation or acne, Mediheal I.P.I. Ampoule Mask is a mask you may want to try.
These are specially designed cellulose sheets infused with an array of beneficial ingredients that restore tone and luster while evening out blotches and scarification resulting from acne. The sheets are applied at night and work their magic while you sleep.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask
Glow Recipe have been creating quite a buzz lately with scores of users posting glowing reviews to social media. But does it actually work skin rejuvenation miracles? Well, maybe not miracles.
But what it does do is help restore hydration to dry, irritated skin and return tired skin to a state of relative luster. It also promotes the production of collagen and elastin which help eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.
CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch
These Acne Pimple Master Patches from CosRx are fingertip-sized discs designed to be placed directly on blemishes.
They're infused with a number of ingredients formulated to reduce inflammation and calm areas inflamed by pimples and acne outbreaks. Just place them over the offending pimple before retiring for the night and when you wake up, it’ll be significantly reduced.
Too Cool For School Coconut Ceramide Mask
Our last OTC face mask is a sheet mask that’s designed to promote proper hydration by drawing moisture trapped in lower layers of skin to the surface. Each sheet mask is infused with coconut water and ceramide that draw moisture upward through the skin to produce a supple, lustrous surface. Unlike some masks, you enjoy the benefits of this mask after just a couple of applications.
Where Can You Buy Face Masks?
Any of the above-profiled face mask products can be purchased online at either Amazon or Sephora or both. There are also scores of lower visibility beauty-related websites where you can purchase some or all of these products. Our top choice, clarafuse silicone patches, which can be purchased through the official Dermaclara website which you’ll find here.
Final Tips: Why You Should Add Face Masks in Your Current Skin Care Routine
As we've seen, face masks serve a variety of purposes. They moisturize, hydrate, exfoliate, and more just like they’ve done so for thousands of years. If you don’t already enjoy the many benefits of face masks, you would do well to make them part of your regular skincare regimen.
Many women wait until they have a specific, pressing need to use a face mask. But that ignores one of their fundamental characteristics: the ability to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
So don’t wait for an outbreak to start using face masks. Make them part of your regular skincare routine today and prevent any breakouts from happening!