Face Masks 101: Benefits, Types & How Often You Should Use One
There’s nothing quite like a face mask to step up your skin care routine. The right mask is not just an indulgent treat — it can also tackle key skin concerns and conditions, from dryness and dehydration to large pores and acne. Read on to learn how often to use a face mask and choose the right type for your unique complexion.
Benefits Of Masking: What You Didn't Know About Eminence Masks
Just like a serum or moisturizer, a face mask is a skin care vehicle. It delivers highly concentrated actives, vitamins and nutrients to the skin to improve its overall health. The difference? Face masks are occlusive — they create a physical barrier that locks in beneficial ingredients, allowing the skin to absorb more efficiently.
Face masks are designed to be used intermittently to give your skin an instant boost. Depending on what your skin needs, there is a mask that can do one (or a combination) of the following:
- Hydrates and moisturizes dry skin
- Refines large pores
- Improves skin texture
- Absorbs excess oil and dirt
- Decongests clogged pores
- Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Enhances elasticity
- Improves the look of breakouts
- Brightens dark spots
Types Of Face Masks
With so many options out there, how do you choose the right face mask for you? Here’s what you need to know about each type.
Cream: Think of the texture of a rich moisturizer — that’s the best way to describe the feel of a cream-based mask.
These face masks do wonders for adding moisture and nutrients back into the skin, helping maintain a plump and young-looking appearance. Eminence Organics International Educator Brian Goodwin lets us in on a skin care secret: “An insider tip is that most of our cream-based masks can be used as a leave-on treatment.” One option is our cream-based Bamboo Age Corrective Masque that smooths the appearance of dry, dehydrated or aging skin overnight.
Gel: Gel masks, on the other hand, have the consistency of a jam or jelly. With their lightweight texture, they are an excellent choice for oily to normal skin types. Many gel masks include astringent ingredients like raspberries and blackberries which minimize oil and tighten the appearance of pores. Others are formulated with hydrating ingredients like stone crop and honey which replenish the look of dry and dehydrated skin.
Whichever mask you choose, you can amplify your results with this skin care tip from Brian: Apply your favorite gel-based mask before hopping in the shower to make it an active in-shower treatment.
Clay: With its absorbent, exfoliating and astringent properties, clay treats ongoing skin conditions related to acne such as excess oil and inflammation.
Pro skin care tip: Did you know a clay mask can double as a spot treatment?
Exfoliating: Exfoliating masks are formulated to remove dead skin cells and enhance your skin’s natural turnover process.
This type of face mask may take the form of a chemical peel which employs alpha or beta hydroxy acids to dissolve dead skin cells and clear them from the skin’s surface.
Warming: Warming masks contain active spices like paprika and cinnamon that make the skin feel warm. They intentionally cause a tingling sensation, and in some cases, the skin may turn bright red. The immediate effects last from 20 - 60 minutes before revealing a healthy, glowy complexion. In the same way that increased energy is a benefit of exercise, invigorating your complexion and increasing your blood flow provides a great workout for your skin.
However, these masks aren’t for everyone: If you have sensitive skin, you’re better off choosing a cream or gel-based mask that won’t exacerbate your symptoms. Notably, the Eight Greens hypo Masque-Hot has been recognized as a 2020 Allure Best Of Beauty Award winner within the "Clean Beauty" category. Blended from whole plants, seeds and spices, this formula invigorates and rejuvenates the appearance of the skin.
How Often Should You Use A Face Mask?
Now that you’ve learned the basics, how often should you use a face mask? We recommend adding a face mask to your routine once or twice a week. Masking should follow cleansing, toning and applying a facial essence. These steps clear impurities and excess oil, provide a base layer of hydration and prep your skin to better absorb the benefits of your face mask.
Once you’re ready, follow these skin care tips to apply a face mask properly:
1. Apply Mask Evenly
It may be tempting to slather on an inch-thick layer of product, but more isn’t necessarily better. A quarter-sized amount is plenty to achieve the right results. Natalie advises evenly applying this amount in a “pantyhose-thin” layer over the entire face.
Remember, Eminence Organics face masks contain concentrated amounts of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. We recommend adding two to three drops of water to your product and warming it between your hands before massaging it into your face -— especially if the product is gel-based. This will allow for more slip, easier application and (bonus!) less product waste.
2. Remember To Include Your Neck & Décolleté
That quarter-sized amount is just enough to also include your neck and décolletage. These areas take on signs of aging much earlier than the face due to their exposure to environmental stress — and they’re easily forgotten in a skin care routine. Pay these areas a bit of extra attention by including them in your face mask application.
3. Leave On For 5 - 10 Minutes
Most masks can be kept on for five to 15 minutes, but the duration can vary from mask to mask. Some face masks act quickly and can be removed after a short period of time; others can be left on as an overnight treatment to deeply hydrate your skin while you sleep. We always advise reviewing the label directions to apply your particular product so you know just the right time to remove it.
4. Remove Gently With A Damp Cloth
Don’t undo the benefits of your face mask by aggressively scrubbing it off. Instead, be delicate with your complexion. Use lukewarm water to gently remove the mask from your face. If you choose to use a washcloth, ensure it’s clean and has soft fibres that won’t irritate your skin.