In 2013, the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year was “selfie.” Do basic Google Trends data crunching, and the six years since have proven good for the facial/hydrating/sheet mask market. But the mask is more than a gimmick for the selfie society. It is a fantastic booster to a stalwart skincare routine. The base routine still needs to be strong — this isn’t a savior. But it can be, and often is, the icing on the cake.
Here are the essential steps for applying:
- Apply after cleansing or scrubbing.
- Dry skin with soft cloth.
- Apply a nickel-size amount on your fingers.
- Spread evenly across the face (and neck, if desired).
- Leave on for a few minutes, up to fifteen.
- Remove with water and dry with a soft cloth.
Repeat up to three times a week, especially post-scrub.
Why You Need a Mask
Masks perform specific functions for the skin. And thus, different masks for different tasks. One thing that’s in the realm of “always helpful” is added hydration and a nutrients boost for your skin. So, while a mask doesn’t need to be a daily offering, it’s a welcome addition to the daily practice — especially after a good scrub.
A mask is going to be the closest thing in your routine to a spa facial; with that said, it’s worth the extra cost to ensure you’re getting a formula worth the cost. Since most masks come off shortly after being applied, you want that time to be time well spent for the skin. So invest in something with robust ingredients and ingredients that may fill a hole in your regular routine.
What’s the Best Mask
We’re partial to masks that do both deep pore cleaning and also extra hydrating. Let it soak up the bad stuff and fill in with the good stuff. For that, our formula uses charcoal to draw out toxins from the skin. It gently pull out any environmental impurities through the process of adsorption (different from absorption). A charcoal sheet mask can do the same thing, but often the process of pulling it off the skin will irritate and overstrip the skin.
Beyond that, we like getting some good minerals, acids and polyphenols from black mud, and some hydrating DexPanthenol — which converts to vitamin B5 on the skin, a great moisturizing and soothing vitamin.
Any sheet mask (or DIY mask) that has PVA glue should be avoided. Clay masks sometimes suck up too much moisture from the skin, so consider the risk, especially if you have dry skin.
Remember, different masks serve different tasks. There’s no one right answer here. And at different times of the year and due to different conditions, you may turn to a different mask.
Methods for Applying
The best first step is to exfoliate. Our scrub formula works in tandem with our mask, and that's how we apply. For face shavers, it's also nice to apply after shaving — supplying the freshly groomed skin some nutrient dense goods.
So either start with a cleanse or a scrub, then dry the skin with a soft cloth. With your fingers, spread an even layer across your face and neck. Leave on for a few minutes, up to fifteen. Then rinse with warm or room temperature water and dry with a soft cloth.
Follow with a serum or moisturizer, if you’d like. We usually use a mask at night, although you can definitely use one during daylight hours. If during the day, don’t forget the SPF.
Mask versus Sheet Mask
One’s not better than the other, but generally we prefer the application process from a jar. Either way, the mask will serve its purpose. We believe it’s easier to apply evenly when you’re spreading with the fingers, rather than draping a sheet across your face.
Similar to how a gel cleanser works more thoroughly and less abrasively than a wipe, we are in the regular mask camp. But don’t let us steal your joy. There are many good sheet masks with good results for the skin.
And one last thing to consider is price. Sheet masks are single use, while jar or tube masks will last many applications. So keep in mind the value that works for your budget.
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