Edited by: Carol Eugene Park
If you’re like me, you love face masks! And if you’re not like me, you probably still love face masks (or maybe you just don’t know it yet). But it takes more than just throwing on a sheet mask or slapping some crème on your face to get the most out of your face mask experience.
Take off your makeup/clean your face
This is so important I cannot stress enough the importance of this step. It might seem like common sense to take off your makeup before you apply a face mask, but you’d be surprised by the amount of people I know who skip this step. Even if you don’t wear makeup, cleansing your face if super important because you don’t want any of the dirt and sweat that has been accumulating on your face all day to get trapped in your pores.
Exfoliation is key to a great face mask experience. What this step does is it removes the dead skin cells from your face so that when you apply your mask, you’re applying it to skin cells that are actually going to absorb and react to the product.
Whether you put on some nice music, take a bath, or watch your favorite TV show, you should be relaxed when you’re using a face mask! Or, you could write an article for an online publication *cough cough* or do some schoolwork, it’s totally up to you.
The next step in enhancing your face mask experience is to make sure that you’re using the right product for your skin type.
If you’re looking to reduce the oil on your face and mattify your skin, try using a charcoal mask or a clay mask. Both charcoal and clay are great for removing oil and dirt while still keeping your skin hydrated and smooth, making for a perfect combination!
If your skin is naturally dry or is feeling dry as it starts to get colder, sheet masks are the way to go. Sheet masks are typically just cotton masks soaked in essence or a solution that contains hyaluronic acid or another form of moisture. While many sheet masks will be branded as being able to help with a ton of different problems, they’re most beneficial for dry skin (and you can get a great Snapchat story out of it!).
Most people have some type of combination skin, whether they realize it or not. Some of us get oily in our T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) but our cheeks our super dry while some of us might have oily cheeks and a normal T-zone. The best solution to this problem is multi-masking! So, what’s multi-masking? It’s pretty simple, really! Just apply different masks to different areas of your face, for example, a mud mask on your T-zone and a moisturizing mask on your cheeks. You can use any combination of masks that you want, so get creative!
And if you’ve got normal skin, go ahead and pick any mask you want! If your skin is feeling dry go for a sheet mask and if you’re feeling a little oily use a clay mask, you’ve got a ton of options.
Take it off
The first step post-masking is to (obviously) take off the mask. Usually the packaging will tell you how to do it but typically, for mud or clay masks you’ll want to rinse it off with water rather than using a washcloth, and for sheet masks, well, just take the sheet off! (And yes, yes! You will look as happy as Gabrielle Union in the picture above as you are rinsing off your face mask).
If you’re using a sheet mask, make sure to rub any of the excess essence or hydrating solution into your skin. If there’s any left in the package, you can apply that to your face and neck after you take the mask off. You don’t need to apply another moisturizer after that, but more moisture definitely doesn’t hurt!
If you’re using a mud or clay mask, definitely moisturize (even if you have oily skin). These masks are pulling out all of the oil and impurities in your skin, but you still want to keep your skin hydrated or else you’ll wake up tomorrow morning feeling as dry as the Sahara desert. You can use any type of moisturizer that you’d like, but after a face mask I would recommend a gel-based cleanser like L’Oreal Paris Hydra Total 5 Ultra-Fresh Cream-Gel Moisturizer.
If you discover a sheet mask that combats your oily skin perfectly or a clay mask that hydrates your dry skin, that’s great! Everyone’s skin reacts differently to new products, so there’s bound to be some trial and error and a face mask that your friend loves might not be the right one for you. Face masks are a great way to relax and take some time for yourself, even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes a couple times per week (because you deserve it!).
P.S. This article was written while wearing the St. Ives Timeless Skin Mineral Clay Firming Mask, watching Stranger Things 2, and eating chocolate-chip cookies.