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Let’s face it – there are so many choices of face masks these days, that it is hard to keep the overview and make the right choice. It is sometimes difficult to find the time to face mask, but it just feels so good to treat yourself with one! They are like little active ingredient bombs, created to target a specific need. To get the full effect of a face mask it is thus important to choose the right one for you and your actual need. If you put a clay mask on already dry skin you won’t do any good! The same goes for applying a rich cream mask on oily and acne prone skin. To figure out which face mask is perfect for your need, I explain the differences below. With every face mask, I also give you suggestions on when used best. So let’s find out together what types of face mask exist!
A gel mask is usually an oil-free or almost oil-free face mask. The basis of the mask is a gel, fortified with active ingredients and fragrance. It is very refreshing and easy to take off again. Some of the gel masks can also be applied in the evening before going to bed. Just let it dry before cuddling with your pillow and wash it off in the morning!
This face mask is suitable for oily, acne-prone, combination and slightly dry skin types. Usually, it spends a lot of moisture without applying additional oil to the skin. If your skin type is very dry, this mask is probably not nourishing enough for you.
My favourite gel mask is the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask from The Body Shop. Next, to the nice smell, it leaves my skin feeling plump, fresh and glowy. I especially like the real rose petal pieces inside!
The cream mask is probably the most common face mask. It is basically a thick cream (emulsion) fortified with more active ingredients than a regular face cream contains. The cream mask is easy to apply and there is a lot of variation in the market. Because of that you sure will find a cream mask targeting your skin’s needs.
Cream masks generally work for all skin types. I would be careful if you have very oily or acne-prone skin. If you have those skin types but still want to use a cream mask I would go for a very light formulation and not a thick nourishing one. Otherwise, you cant to much wrong by using a cream mask. Feel free to play around!
In winter I like to use the Caudalie Moisturizing Mask. It leaves my skin nourished and pampered.
Clay has somehow had a big revival some years ago. Clay masks are on a rise, clay is even added into shampoo (L’Oreal). If it makes sense to put clay in a shampoo I’d like to question here a bit, but trendy is trendy, right?? Pink clay, green clay, french clay, swiss clay… You can find anything on the market right now!
The clay in this face mask absorbs the skin oil (sebum) and thus dries out the skin. This mask is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. Even so, you have to be very careful with the use of clay masks as they can dry out the skin quickly, leading to overproduction of sebum!! And this surely has the opposite effect you wanted, right? To use a clay mask properly, apply it to WET skin and only leave it on for 5 minutes and not until it dried completely. This way you get the clearing effect without stressing your skin. If you have really oily or acne-prone skin you can do a clay mask with my method up to 3 times a week.
When my skin feels like breaking out, I usually go for the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask from The Body Shop. Just beware that it has quite a strong effect and dries out the skin. I usually apply it with my above-described method and only to the troubled places (chin for me…).
Charcoal or active charcoal masks are very trendy at the moment. It usually is a base of cream mask or clay mask, where additionally active charcoal is added. It is said to do the extra cleanse and remove pollutants. My opinion is, that it is a bit a marketing gag. Nevertheless, I love my Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask.
The idea of an overnight mask is to apply the mask before going to bed and leaving it on for the whole night. Yes, the WHOLE night. I am still not sure, how people handle that because I usually wake up in my bed facing 180° in the opposite direction I fell asleep.
You can get almost all face masks as an overnight mask. There is one overnight mask that works for me perfectly. It is a rich cream mask from Clinique, which is applied evenly onto the cleansed face before going to bed. Usually, my skin absorbs it quite well before I squish my face into my pillows – solution found!
The clue about peel-off masks is, that you don’t have to wash them off – no mess produced, I promise! Peel-off masks were really trendy a couple of years ago. You apply the mask evenly on your face. After the mask dried, you can peel it off in one piece. Exceeeeept the peel-off mask is applied in a too thin layer. This stops the film from forming properly and you will have rub off small, individual pieces of the mask. I had that once and would suggest you not doing the same. It feels like taking off 100 plasters from your face…
Even though I find the effect of peel-off masks quiet cool, I don’t like the skin feeling. When I take off the mask it basically feels like half my skin is going with it (and half the tiny hair as well). I prefer to peel with a bit a smoother method, so I don’t use peel-off masks at all.
Aha, let’s dive into the world of sheet masks. Probably have the fame comes from the “melfie” trend – a selfie with a sheet mask on. (Doing more research since writing this article I found that #melfie is now also used for “mother-selfie”. This confuses me a bit, so maybe don’t use the #melfie for mask selfies anymore :P).
Super trendy, there is one for every skin need. Originally sheet masks come from South Korea but are well established in the western world as well. The sheet is usually composed of some plant-derived fibre (viscose) or of biocellulose (gel-like).
The sheet masks definitely are the least messy face masks. Handy in a sachet, you can just rip it open, unfold and apply to the face. What I don’t like that much about sheet masks is the wet, slimy and cold feeling you get when you apply it at first. For eye patches, I don’t mind that skin feeling but on my whole face..?? Luckily there is a new trend coming: dry sheet masks. I will dive deeper into that topic in a next blog post!
Let me know your favorite face masks in a comment below!