I have been an esthetician for 13 years and throughout my years, I have heard both sides of the masking story.
I’ve taught clients that they need to mask every week to have good skin, then I’ve read
articles or heard speakers talk about the fact that getting a mask done during a facial is all
a client needs.
No need to have them do it at home.
Honestly, who really does mask at home?
I rarely did.
Once I had kids, masking went away from my lifestyle. Only on the rare occasion, did I actually apply one. My skin felt so good after and I always told myself I would do it again next week, but next week never seemed to come. I’d always put it off. Something else more important would come up.
The story of a busy mom’s life!
Or is it?
In January, many of my esthetician friends learned some of the Korean Beauty secrets and found out that they mask DAILY!
So….we decided that we would test it out for 30 days & see how we liked it and if we could really see a difference in our skins.
I’m not going to lie, it took a few weeks of trial and error to figure out what time works best for me (a BUSY, single mom of 3).
Here is what works the EASIEST for my lifestyle…
I get up, wash my face and apply my mask BEFORE hopping in the shower. Then at the very end, I rinse it off.
I’m left with glowing skin the rest of the day!
I did try it at night too, but I found that I’m either too lazy or too tired (big shocker there) to commit to a daily mask after the kids are FINALLY in bed.
When I do mask at night (which is still the occasion), I wash my face & apply my mask as I’m jumping in the tub to take a bath and rinse off at the very end.
Baths are really relaxing and it feels good to know that my skin is improving while I’m working to clear my mind from all the crap of the day.
Now that I’ve told you how easy it is to incorporate into your daily life, now you need to understand WHY daily masking is so good for your skin.
First things first, how many of you want to decrease pore size & minimize blackheads?
Answer = daily masking!
This is the #1 reason Korean women mask daily – their pores stay tight and they minimize blackheads.
The other reason is anti-aging, because who wants to show their age?
If you use the right mask for your skin type, you will benefit your skin tone and enhance penetration of ingredients that you apply before you put your mask on.
Yes, that’s right, if you apply your serum before you mask, that mask will enhance product penetration and your serums are more likely to target the new skin cells, rather than getting stuck on the skin’s surface or not quite reaching the level they need, to make an impact on your skin.
Serums are tricky! They contain highly active ingredients that require penetration to deliver results to your skin. If not, they just sit on the skin’s surface & can create surface inflammation that appear to make our skin look younger.
Here’s the bottom line…
Masks are secret weapons for our skin! This best kept secret is becoming more researched and tested. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we are JUST starting to learn and tap into an important step in our skin care regimen that can impact our skin the most.
Last, but not least…here are the different types of masks!
Mask Type #1: Clay masks
NOTE: All clay masks are NOT created equal. Clay masks that you purchase in stores or online are typically designed for oily or acne-type skins. Clay masks dry quickly and can make your skin feel tight and dry.
Clay masks contain kaolin or bentonite are anti-inflammatory and help decrease acne inflammation, minimize pore size and decrease the amount of blackheads.
The coolest thing about a clay mask is that when you remove one, it WILL remove surface oil and surface blackheads (but not the deeper ones that still need to be extracted).
If your skin tends to be on the dryer side, but you may have T-zone blackheads and oil, a weekly clay mask or spot treatment on the oily area is recommended.
Mask Type #2: Gel masks
You need to be aware that there are two types of gel masks – one for oily skin and one for dry skin.
Gel masks can be very cooling and soothing to the skin, especially when the skin is suffering from inflammation; either from acne or rosacea.
Personally, I don’t tend to lean towards gel masks because they are designed for specific skin types. I prefer a mask that can be used for multiple skin types or skin conditions and can be combined, especially in a spa setting.
One benefit is that they can be massaged in and don’t dry, this keeps the skin moist until the mask is removed.
Mask Type #3: Creamy masks
You guessed it, this mask is designed for dry skin types.
Creamy means it’s hydrating and designed to restore the moisture balance to the skin.
Creamy masks are amazing to keep the skin hydrated. You DO have to be careful because some creamy masks contain ingredients that are occlusive, which means they almost act like applying saran wrap to the skin – they seal in moisture.
This is great for really really dry skins, but if you tend to get blackheads easily, these masks are NOT for you because it WILL cause blackheads.
This mask is best for skin that’s aging, post-menopausal and for younger skins that have T-zone oil but dry cheeks & forehead. You can actually use a clay mask on the oily parts of your face & creamy on the dry parts.
The last thing I’m going to close with is that not all masks are created equal!
Those charcoal masks that claim to remove blackheads are doing more than removing blackheads – they are peeling off layers of skin too!
…but I’ll save the charcoal mask for another blog.
Many over the counter masks can be either too harsh or they contain an ingredient called Carbomer, which is a polymer- (plastic) based ingredient.
Carbomer is used in many beauty products because it acts as an emulsifier (think oil and water separate) which keeps the product from separating or thinning out.
Unfortunately, you are applying plastic to your skin and acts an if you’re applying saran wrap to your face. This is ok if your skin is extremely dry, but if its not, Carbomer CA– USES blackheads by basically suffocating your skin.