Over the years, we’ve seen a hype in using face masks that claim to make our skin look younger, more moisturized, and glowing. Celebrities and beauty influencers were quick to jump on this bandwagon and made them an instant ‘gram hit. But how skin-worthy are these beauty concoctions which promise eternal youth and defense against our many skin woes? Let’s now unmask the truth behind face masks.
As Dr. Nikhil Dingra, a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York, explains on Healthline, face masks can be an effective way to instantly deliver nourishing and therapeutic ingredients to our skin. But it all depends on your skin type and skin goals.
Because they stay on our skin for a good 10 - 20 minutes, they serve as a quick fix for inflammation and dry areas. However, they don’t deliver long-term benefits and should be used together with other skin care products.
The very first step is to determine your skin type and goals, so you’d know what face mask to put on your skin to make it a winner.
Face Mask Types
Face mask types and their ingredients should go hand-in-hand with your skin type and goals. Let’s take a look at each kind of face mask.
Mud masks are the most versatile among all face masks because they’re ideal for all skin types and deliver deep cleaning. They’re kind of similar to clay type, but they’re more water-based, so they give more hydration to our skin.
Clay masks, which contain kaolin and bentonite, help get rid of skin impurities like excess oil. This mask type is more suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. The downside of clay masks is that they have a tendency to dry the skin. So if you have dry skin, it’s best to avoid this mask type.
GEL AND CREAM MASKS
Gel masks, which contain aloe vera and cucumber, help soothe sensitive skin. Masks that come in cream form, mostly contain hyaluronic acid, which offers intense hydration to very dry skin.
EXFOLIATING AND PEEL-OFF MASKS
Exfoliating and peel-off masks contain glycolic acid and lactic acid which help remove dead skin cells to make our skin look brighter and smoother. Be on the lookout also for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which also help make our skin glow.
These masks do their magic while we sleep. Since they’re left on our skin for a longer period of time, they let hydrating ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid and shea butter be absorbed more by our skin as we snooze.
Annyeongahseyo! Popularized in the Korean beauty scene, sheet masks are probably the most convenient go-to mask of everyone. Most of them contain hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and antioxidants to help fight free radicals on our skin. They work well on inflamed skin, dry skin, and fine lines.
The right face mask for any skin type
Knowing your skin type is the first step to do before buying any face mask. As with any other skin products, some masks might cause irritation and even breakouts, so it’s best to check first with your dermatologist and read the ingredients present in a product. The formulation given in a mask should be a match to your skin type or skin problems you want to address.
TO ALLEVIATE ACNE
Face masks are not the long-term solution for acne-troubled skin. They can only calm inflamed skin and prevent additional breakouts.
To alleviate acne, look for masks with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or natural ingredients like papaya and yogurt to get rid of dead skin and clogs in our pores. Oats and aloe vera help soothe the skin, whereas clay and charcoal help absorb excess oil.
TO LIGHTEN DARK SPOTS AND SKIN PIGMENTATION
Masks with vitamin C, Kojic acid, azelaic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), lactic acid, and licorice root are your skin’s BFFs in lightening dark spots and skin pigmentation. Do take note that such ingredients do not miraculously get rid of dark spots and pigmentation. They only lighten them and help remove dead and discolored skin on the surface.
TO HYDRATE SKIN
Masks with hyaluronic acid is your skin’s hero to hydration. This ingredient is known to hold more water in our skin. Thus, we get that supple skin feel after use. Ingredients like avocados and shea butter also help soften and smoothen dry skin.
TO MINIMIZE FINE LINES
Because aging is a natural part of human life, masks with high vitamin C concentration is, again, your best defense to help minimize fine lines. Vitamin C is known to boost collagen production to help us achieve a more youthful glow.
Also, look for masks with vitamin E, resveratrol, and ferulic acid because they also help combat fine lines, pollution, and sun damage.
TO REMOVE EXCESS OIL
We all know that excess oil on our skin clogs our pores thus, resulting to pimples. Masks with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, sulfur, and charcoal help absorb excess oil.
The Main Point
Whilst it’s good to nourish our skin on the outside with face masks, it would be good to complement our usage of them with a good skin care regimen, sunscreen protection, and a healthful diet filled with greens and fruit. This is because veggies and fruit are a natural powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins C and E, among others, which are all beneficial for our skin.
Taking a daily dose of barley grass powder mixed with our smoothies and shakes will help us achieve that youthful glow. Barley grass powder is high in vitamin C, which go hand-in-hand with our body’s collagen production. As a result, we help our body stay young also on the inside.
Chlorophyll is one of the functional ingredients present in barley grass powder. Its high concentrations make it an optimum source of this green nutrient needed for our overall bodily functions.
To learn more about this amazing superfood, click here.
Quinn, D., & Quinn, D. (2019, March 9). So About Those Rumors That Sheet Masks Are Crawling With Bacteria... Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19944662/face-sheet-masks/
Sharkey, L. (2020, February 26). Do Face Masks Actually Do Anything for Your Skin? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/do-face-masks-work#skin-concern