Face masks have been around for thousands of years. Cleopatra was known to use Dead Sea mud, and some Egyptians even used crocodile dung masks that allegedly gave a youthful appearance (thank goodness those days are over). But do you really need to add face masks to your skincare routine?
Here’s the Lowdown
Face masks are not completely necessary and will not dramatically improve your skin overnight. However, they can be beneficial in many other ways. They don’t offer long-term benefits, but can certainly offer short-term benefits such as reducing inflammation, oiliness, breakouts, skin tightening, and hydration. I recommend incorporating them once a week to continue improving your skin health and texture. If you have an event to attend, they are great for prepping your skin for an amazing glow!
More importantly, taking time out for yourself to put on your favourite face mask improves your mood and can be great for your mental health. You are more likely to do something relaxing while putting on a face mask such as taking a bath, watching a movie, or taking a nap. Who can say no to some good old self-care?
Types of Masks
These masks are usually filled with hyaluronic acid, green tea, and aloe vera to give your skin an extra boost of hydration, calm, and soothe.
Clay masks draw out impurities and usually contain kaolin, which is oil-absorbing and wound healing – great for oily/breakout-prone skin!
Proceed with caution when doing DIY face masks. Avoid lemon juice and aspirin, and stick to more calming ingredients such as yoghurt and aloe vera as they are usually safe to use. Just be aware of any allergies you may have. If you like experimenting with at-home face masks, then definitely try this DIY mask!
I am a lover of multi-masking. My skin is dehydrated, oily, breakout-prone, and I have post-inflammatory skin pigmentation so I like to use two masks at once. You can even layer or sleep in some of these masks! Here are some of my favourites.
My Favourite Face Masks
For Oily/Breakout-Prone Skin
Tri Biobotanical Revival Masque, Environ
I love the consistency of this mask – it’s creamy rather than clay, so if you want something a little richer, this one is a great choice as it gives amazing results.
Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, replenishes, and detoxifies skin
Contains: Lactic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid, and tea tree leaf oil
Tip: This is a great multi-mask product. If you suffer from blackheads, I would recommend using this as a treatment in those areas and multi-mask with a different mask of your choice. This mask also contains lactic and mandelic acid, which are exfoliating ingredients known as AHAs, so I would avoid exfoliating beforehand as this could cause dryness/flakiness and irritation depending on your skin.
Clarifying Clay Mineral Mask, ESPA
This mask is great because it’s not only a face mask, but it’s also great for us as a spot treatment. If you have a pimple, but don’t want to apply the entire mask, you can just put some on the area and leave it on. It is non-drying so, unlike some clay masks, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry afterward. Plus, it’s surprisingly hydrating.
Benefits: Balances excess oils, purifies the skin, soothes, and hydrates
Contains: Rose geranium, kaolin, rose damascena, and marshmallow
Tip: I would sleep in it when spot treating as it draws out the impurities and helps to reduce the size of the pimple and inflammation.
For Sensitive Skin or Hydration
Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Mask , Medik8
Benefits: Decongests skin, clears breakouts, and reduces inflammation
Contains: Hyaluronic acid, rockweed algae extract, and zinc
Brightening Sheet Masque, ZO
This is a quick and easy mask to use, and is perfect for dehydrated skin, which makes it great for travel, especially on or after a flight due to the dehydration your skin goes through while flying.
- Replenishes hydration and prevents water loss
- Provides antioxidant benefits
- Calms and soothes
Contains: Aloe vera, green tea, and panthenol
Tip: Both the Medik8 and ZO sheet masks can be put in the fridge for a cooling and soothing effect. This is especially great for sunburn or post-professional laser, micro-needling, or peel treatments (make sure to check with your practitioner first, though).
For Combating Ageing or Pigmentation
Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask, Elemis
I love the cooling and light-tingling sensation of this mask, and this favourite is one that I always go back to.
- Improves skins texture
- Twice-weekly treatment targets uneven skin texture and light scarring
- Reveals smoother, more radiant skin in less than 10 minutes
Contains: Amazonian acerola cherry, white truffle, and amino acids
Tip: This is a great post-holiday treatment to reduce dark spots and renew skin.