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Masking 101

First off let’s discuss what exactly a facial mask is. A facial mask is a topical skin care to hydrate your skin or draw out impurities like oil, dirt, and makeup depending on which type of facial mask you are using. There are many benefits to using facial masks such as deep cleansing your face especially for people with oily skin and heavy makeup users. Mud and clay mask help clear clogged pores and impurities. Mask can also enhance the effectiveness of your daily toner leading to clearer and brighter skin. As we get deeper into into winter,  masking is a good way to soothe your skin from the harsh winds that not only crack your lips but dry out your skin too.   

Before you mix your mud, clay, or hydrating mask you NEED NEED NEED to exfoliate. (Sorry for the shouty caps, but it’s THAT important.) Exfoliating helps clean your face of any dirt, oil, and makeup that is below the immediate surface of your skin. When you are masking you want to do it with a squeaky clean face. You can use the exfoliating face wash that you already have in your bathroom or mix sugar and lemon juice together and exfoliate with a facial brush.

The recommended time to wear a face mask varies, but it is usually 15-20 minutes. It’s usually a rule of thumb that you should not wait for the clay mask to get so dry that it cracks because that means you may be over drying your skin and then you will follow up with a slab of lotion reversing the whole process and clogging your pores again. Next time you do a clay or mud mask rinse it off with warm water once you see it starting to dry.

Different mask work for different skin types and problems. If you have oily, acne prone skin it is recommended to use a clay mask as it extracts the excess oil from your pores that essentially contribute to your breakouts. The sheet masks that you see in line at Forever 21 is for hydrating your skin and is not recommended if you already have naturally oily skin. There are 5 different types of facial mask including mud/clay mask, oil mask, gel mask, and creme mask.

Mud and clay mask are recommended for acne prone skin because of it draws out impurities such as dirt, dead skin cells, and oils from deep within your pores and draws to your skin’s surface. Mud and clay masks are useful in reducing blackheads and whiteheads. White clay masks brighten your dull skin and can be used once a week or every other week to give your skin a boost.

Oil masks are great moisturizers for sensitive skin due to its gentle and all natural ingredients. After applying an oil mask, your skin is likely to be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Oil mask are recommended for mature, combination, and sensitive skin.

If you have irritable or normal to combination skin, a gel mask is recommended to moisturize, exfoliate, form, soothe, tone, and detoxify your skin. Peel-off gel masks are great for toning and brightening skin. Oil masks that contain fruit enzymes and other exfoliating ingredients leave your skin brighter and ready for moisturizing.

Those with dry or aging skin are suggested to use creme-based mask provides your skin with a boost of moisture which plumps up fine lines. Look for the creme- based masks that include collagen and hyaluronic acid ingredients.


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