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3 Types of Facial Masks That Can Benefit Your Skin

by Emily Linehan on April 01, 2020

Applying a facial mask at home sounds like a luxurious self-care indulgence. Did you know that consistently masking can reap tremendous benefits for your skin? Aside from receiving professional treatments, using an appropriate facial mask for your skin type on a regular basis is the ideal way to refresh and renew your skin! 

Since everyone’s skin type and concerns are unique, selecting the right facial mask (or masks) for your skin is important to ensure you get the best results possible. A question I received all of the time: how do I know which mask is right for me!?

In general, there are 3 types of facial masks: hydrating masks, clay-based masks and exfoliating masks. Let’s explore what it all means…..

Hydrating Masks 
  • Generally, in a gel or cream form
  • Gives the skin an intense dose of hydration
  • Tends to have a cooling and soothing effect on the skin
  • Ideal to use post-procedure (chemical peel or laser treatment) or if the skin is compromised from sun exposure
  • Can be kept in the refrigerator for an added cooling and anti-inflammatory effect
  • Perfect to re-hydrate the skin after traveling by airplane when the skin gets dehydrated
  • Every skin type can benefit from a hydrating mask

My #Emmebabe recommended Hydrating Mask (and one of my fav’s):
Cucumber Cooling Mask to help hydrate, calm and cool the skin. 

Clay Based Masks
  • Draws out impurities from the skin to provide a deeper cleaning
  • Improves skin texture because of its tightening effect on the pore size
  • Some have added ingredients to help combat acne breakouts
  • Mildly exfoliating to the skin due the keratinolytic properties
  • Can be used on oilier areas (like the T-zone) followed by a hydrating mask on drier areas of the face
  • Oily, combination and acne prone skin will most benefit from a clay mask, but it is great for all skin types when used briefly on the skin (make sure it does not dry on the skin, so to be applied for only 3 minutes)

My #Emmebabe recommended Clay-Based Mask: Sulfur Refining Mask to draw out impurities and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Exfoliating Masks
  • Generally contains enzymes or acids to help exfoliate the top dead skin cells
  • While not as strong a chemical peel, exfoliating masks do aid in lightening and brightening the skin
  • Best used when the skin is feeling like it needs a little “pick-me up”
  • Perfect for most skin types before a special event to give the skin a gentle glow

My recommended exfoliating mask: Pumpkin Enzyme Mask which is formulated with natural pumpkin puree to exfoliate and brighten the skin.

Now, I’m sure you're wondering how to use your facial mask once you have decided which type is best for your skin. Lets dig in….!

Step 1: To ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit from your facial mask, start with freshly cleansed skin (otherwise the mask will have to work through any makeup or debris on the skin). Psst….icing your face before masking can also create the perfect canvas for the mask to work optimally since icing encourages skin care products to penetrate and work more effectively. 

Step 2: Now it is time to apply the facial mask. While instructions for masks vary, in general, you will want to apply a large grape size amount of the mask to the skin and allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time (typically between 3 minutes for clay-based masks and 15-20 minutes for hydrating and exfoliating masks). 

Step 3: Once the time is up, remove the mask with lukewarm water and follow up with your toner and the rest of your recommended skin regimen.

When is the best time to use a facial mask?

Almost anytime can be a great time! Getting in the habit of using your facial masks regularly will always give you the best result. Clay based masks are best once a week, but hydrating and exfoliating masks can be used more often. I love to use mine on Sunday nights so that my skin is bright, fresh and ready for the week ahead!

As for other times masking is ideal, here is what I would suggest:

  • After traveling, especially on an airplane
  • After working out; hydrating masks can help cool and calm the skin quickly
  • After spending time outdoors, post-beach, post-pool, etc.
  • Before a special event
  • When you are due for your monthly cycle and if you’re prone to hormonal breakouts
  • When you’re shaving your legs or have applied a hair mask in the shower
  • When you’re soaking in the bathtub (not ideal for 3 mins masks such as clay-based masks)

While masking isn’t quite the same as a professional treatment, it is a close runner up! This is why I highly recommend that everyone get in the habit of masking regularly to keep that skin clear, hydrated and glowing. 


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