Once in a while, everyone needs to set aside some time for self-care, whether it's a full-on mental health day or just slapping on a face mask and relaxing for 15 minutes.
Using face masks and being kind to your skin is a great way to treat yourself after a long day, but which type of face mask is right for your skin? With skincare being so popular nowadays, there's probably a face mask for every type of skin or for whatever skin problem you're trying to tackle.
With this guide, we'll go over the different types of masks available, their benefits, which mask to choose for different skin types and popular brands to try.
1. Sheet Masks
This is probably the most well known type of face mask and is extremely popular in Asia, especially Korea. Sheet masks are face-shaped sheets of fabric or cotton soaked in a nutrient-rich solution for your skin called serum. This concentrated serum rich with nutrients and vitamins soaks into your skin to repair it. Different types of sheet masks are soaked in different serum solutions aimed at fixing whatever skin issue you have. For example, hyaluronic acid sheet masks are meant to hydrate and nourish the skin.
There are also sheet masks aimed to brighten the skin, heal acne scars or make your skin glow. Some obscure sounding face masks are made with snail secretion, which is naturally rich and known to soften skin, or black pearl, which is for brightening and intensely hydrating the skin.
To use, apply the mask to a clean face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes while you relax and watch Netflix or take a nap! When you take the mask off, don't wash off all the good serum – instead, pat it into your face to give your skin some extra love.
Since there are so many different face masks with different serum ingredients, there is bound to be one for each skin type and skin problem. However, be aware that these sheet masks are mainly for hydrating and nourishing your skin. If you're looking to exfoliate or cleanse your pores, sheet masks might not be the one for you. Some popular sheet mask brands are My Beauty Diary, Tony Moly and The Face Shop.
2. Gel Masks
Gel masks are similar to sheet masks in that they are meant to moisturize the skin, are applied the same way and have the same benefits. These masks are also face shaped; the only difference is in the material. Gel masks are made of gel, rather than fabric or cotton. The reason for this is because gel makes it easier to lock moisture into the skin than a sheet mask, which has the tendency to let the serum evaporate with time.
Gel masks, along with sheet masks, are a great choice for those who suffer from dry skin. Just like sheet masks, gel masks come in a variety of different nutrients, such as rose water, gold collagen or dead sea hydrogel.
3. Peel-Off Masks
Peel-off masks are fun to apply and fun to take off. These masks have a thick consistency, and you spread a layer on your face, avoiding areas too close to your eyes or mouth. After about 20 minutes of drying time, you can peel off the solidified face mask to reveal your newly treated skin.
Peel-off masks are different from sheet masks in that they don't just pump moisture into your skin, but actually detox your skin by drawing out oil and impurities. While cleaning out your pores, peel-off masks also work to remove the outer layer of your skin to reveal newer, smoother and hydrated skin. Opt for this type of mask if you tend to have clogged pores or dead skin and you're in need of some hydration as well.
Check out Freeman's 4-pack peel-off masks, each of which tackle a slightly different skin problem. If blackheads are the issue you're trying to fix, try this blackhead remover mask which I'm sure you've seen videos floating around the internet.
4. Clay Masks
Another extremely popular type of mask is the clay mask. Clay masks work by absorbing excess oil and sebum to leave your pores unclogged and skin feeling smooth. While working its oil-absorbing magic, it also removes your dead skin cells to leave you glowing, and frequent use of clay masks can lead to better blood circulation.
To use, apply a thin layer of clay on to your skin and allow it to dry for about 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, use warm water and circular motions to gently rinse the mask off your skin. It's important that you rinse off all the clay because leftover residue on the skin could lead to breakouts.
Clay masks are generally made from bentonite clay, because it is the most capable of detoxifying the skin by absorbing impurities. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a clay mask would be a good choice and your skin will thank you!
A popular clay mask to try is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, which has been called the "world's most powerful facial." Simply mix the clay with equal parts apple cider vinegar and/or water and apply to your skin. Another popular clay mask which has been circulating the internet recently is this Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask, which foams up like a cloud on your face while it works its magic. If you want to try a variety of clay masks, Pure Body Naturals sells a pack of three clay masks, made with bentonite clay, dead sea mud and charcoal.
5. Natural Masks
Natural remedies are always an alternative to store-bought beauty products if you're trying not to burn a hole in your wallet. Natural masks are masks that you make with ingredients you have at home, which is great because you will know exactly what ingredients are going into your skin. Popular face mask ingredients are honey, oatmeal, tea and fruit. Here are some easy-to-follow DIY natural face masks that you can make from stuff you'll find in your kitchen!
With these options, hopefully you'll find the right mask for your skin type. Happy pampering!
Lead Image Credit: Coline Hasle via Unsplash