How Regular Use Leads to Long-Term Improvements for Your Skin
When you think of wearing a facial mask, what comes to mind? Thanks to movies and television, the sight of someone in a facial mask conjures up images of girl’s nights in, sitting in a luxurious bath with a glass of wine in hand, or relaxing at the spa.
At Source Vitál, we believe that masks are more than a fancy indulgence for a special occasion. In fact, when regularly incorporated into your skin care routine, facial masks can provide immense benefits to the overall health of your skin, as well as being delightfully relaxing.
The Benefits of Masking
There is truly a mask for every skin type and concern. Whether you’re preparing for a big day, battling a stubborn breakout, or just need to take some time out for yourself, having the right facial mask (or masks) in your skin care arsenal can become a real game-changer.
Unlike your daily skin care products, such as a cleanser or toner, a mask is designed to stay on the skin for anywhere from several minutes to up to 20 minutes. This allows for deeper penetration and more noticeable results. They are usually thicker than moisturizers and serums and won’t completely sink into the skin and must be rinsed off. Masks tend to also be referred to as corrective products, designed to fix a specific problem. However, many masks can serve as skin food, providing essential nourishment to boost the appearance and efficient functions of the skin.
When it comes to reaping the benefits of a facial mask, it’s important to take your skin type and current skin care concerns into account. We recommend investing in a selection of different mask formulas that serve different purposes, so you can mix and match depending on your skin’s mood, or even the season. Whether you want to diminish the look of pores or add a boost of hydration, having a couple of different masks on-hand can help ensure you’re ready for whatever your skin throw your way.
For those looking for a simpler solution, think about your biggest skin care concerns and get a mask that offers the best solutions for you.
Oily or Acne-Prone Skin
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, it can be tempting to opt for drying masks that promise to clear out your pores and leave you oil-free. While we understand the appeal, this can be a recipe for disaster. Dry, flaky skin, redness and irritation – no thank you!
When your skin becomes stripped of its natural oils, it’s natural tendency is to produce more oil, or sebum, to make up for the sudden loss. Inevitably, this leads to even more excess oil, which can then cause dirt oil ang grime to clog pores and result in acne breakouts.
Rather than trying to dry out your skin, opt for facial masks that help to balance the skin. Ingredients that regulate the look and feel of oil and help to gently purify the skin (think clean, tiny-looking pores), like bentonite clay, are much more beneficial to oily and acne-prone skin types than drying masks that leave your skin dehydrated and irritated.
Oily skin can also support the use of exfoliating masks, like those that contain charcoal. Charcoal is great for giving the skin a deep clean and encouraging the elimination of toxins that can cause inflammation. We also love gentle exfoliating masks with fango sea mud or red algae to help polish and smooth the skin while infusing it with skin-loving nutrients. Just be mindful about not scrubbing the skin to vigorously when removing. A gentle circular polish works just fine!
For oily, congested skin, masking right after a warm shower is a great idea. The stem from the bath will help to open up the pores and allow the mask to really go to work.
If you are experiencing some breakouts and need fast action, try treating just the area of concern, rather than the whole face. There’s more on multi-masking ahead.
Dry, Flaky, or Mature Skin
If your skin is on the drier side, you can benefit from incorporating a moisturizing, hydrating mask into your skin care routine. In combination with a consistent skin care routine, regular use of a hydrating mask can help to soften fine lines, plump dry and dehydrated skin, and impart a youthful glow.
When experiencing dryness, avoid masks that utilize bentonite clay and other ingredients better suited for oily skin types. Rather, opt for masks that include hydrating ingredients like Aloe Vera or a combination of other nourishing botanical extracts and hydrating or balancing essential oils.
For flaky or dull skin, we recommend using a facial mask that incorporates fruit enzymes. Fruit enzymes help speed up the breakdown of proteins, which make them excellent for resurfacing your skin, evening your skin tone, and smoothing any rough textures. The antioxidants present in fruit enzymes also add a nutritive boost that can help fight and prevent environmental damage from pollutants.
When it comes down to it, most people technically have combination skin. While the common definition of combination skin is “oily throughout the t-zone and dry around the cheeks and jaw,” true combination skin comes in many different forms.
For example, you may be normal through your t-zone and dry around your cheeks, or dry all over but oily around your forehead. These would also be considered combination skin types.
Since everyone’s skin is unique, our approach to combination skin takes the form of “multi-masking.”
When it comes to masking, there really are no hard rules in terms of how you apply them. If you’re struggling with multiple issues, we recommend spot-treating by applying different masks to different areas of the face. For example, if you’re struggling with an oily t-zone but feel flaky around your jaw line, opt for a bentonite clay mask throughout your oilier areas and apply a hydrating and revitalizing mask where you’ve got dullness.
Another way we like to employ masks is to use them as a literal spot-treatment. Experiencing a large breakout? Apply a bentonite mask directly to the breakout and leave on overnight. Wash it off in the morning to reveal skin that feels less inflamed and irritated. The same tactic can be used to combat dryness with a hydrating mask. Apply a thin layer before bed, give it a few minutes to absorb slightly, and then wash off in the morning to reveal, plump, luminous skin.
Due to the more active nature of masks that include acids, potent essential oils or active exfoliants, we do not recommend leaving these types of masks on for longer than directed, as they could cause irritation.
How Often to Mask
Generally, once a week is ideal. This is especially true if your facial mask of choice includes a lot of active ingredients and has an exfoliation component. However, more nourishing, hydrating masks can be used several times a week for skin that is really thirsty.
Sunday self-care nights are perfect for masking. It gets the mind, body and skin ready for the week to come.
Tips & Considerations
We always recommend you perform a spot test if you’re trying out a new product.
Our general rule: “There is the fresh, slightly flushed look of recently exfoliated skin, and then there is the inflamed red of irritation.” If a mask leaves your skin feeling burned, inflamed, or generally upset, stop using the offending product immediately. Continuing to use products that irritate the skin can lead to serious damage.
In addition to keeping an eye out for irritation, we suggest that you only try using one new product at a time, rather than switching to an entirely new routine all at once. Trying one new skin care product at a time not only allows you to decipher which ingredients may be causing you irritation, but this helps your skin adjust to the new routine more gradually.
Only after you’ve used the new product for a few days without irritation should you add another new product. This should be plenty of time to see if your skin has any adverse reactions. If you have the option to try a sample before investing in a full-size product, take it.
No mask will give you perfect skin in just one use, and any product that makes such a promise should be viewed with some skepticism. As with the rest of your skin care routine, seeing and feeling the full benefits of facial masks takes time, consistency, and patience. Masks often have immediate benefits in that the skin feels soft and looks luminous but to see all the benefits, taking the time for routine self-care is the way to go!
With that in mind, who’s ready to kick back, relax, and treat yourself to a skin-soothing facial mask?