Face Masks 101: Benefits, Types & How Often You Should Use One

There’s nothing quite like a face mask to amp up your skin care routine. The right mask is not just an indulgent treat — it can also tackle a number of key skin concerns and conditions. Whether you’re dealing with dryness, fine lines, large pores, acne or a combination, there is a mask that will work for you. Read on to learn about the different types of face masks, how to apply them and which ones are right for your age range and unique complexion.

Benefits Of Masking | Types Of Face Masks | In The Mix Face Mask For Your Skin Type | Face Mask For Your Age | How Often Should You Use Mask? | How Long To Keep Face Mask On? |

Benefits Of Masking: What You Didn’t Know About Masks

Just like a serum or moisturizer, a face mask is a skin care vehicle. It delivers highly concentrated actives, vitamins and nutrients to the skin to improve its overall health. What makes face masks unique is that they are occlusive — meaning they create a physical barrier that locks in the beneficial ingredients, allowing the skin to absorb them more efficiently.  

Face masks are designed to be used intermittently to give your skin an instant boost. Depending on what your skin needs, there is a mask that can do one (or a combination) of the following:

  • Hydrate and moisturize dry skin
  • Refine large pores
  • Improve skin texture
  • Absorb excess oil and dirt
  • Decongest clogged pores
  • Minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Enhance elasticity
  • Improve the look of breakouts
  • Brighten dark spots

Types Of Face Masks Available

Types of facial masks

With so many options out there, how do you choose the right face mask to cater to your unique needs? Let’s do a deeper dive to figure out which mask texture is right for you. 

Cream masks

Cream

Think of the texture of a rich moisturizer — that’s the best way to describe the feel of a cream-based mask. These face masks do wonders for adding moisture and nutrients back into the skin, helping maintain a plump and youthful-looking appearance.

Cream masks can target a range of conditions — from the visible signs of aging to problem skin. The Bamboo Age Corrective Masque smooths the appearance of dry, dehydrated or aging skin overnight, while our Clear Skin Probiotic Masque suits acne-prone and oily skin types. 

The Kombucha Microbiome Leave-On Masque is a no-rinse probiotic skin care formula that suits all skin types. It is designed to support the skin’s natural recovery process and maintain a healthy skin moisture barrier. This rich, slow-absorbing mask provides soothing hydration and comfort to dry, dull skin. And don’t stop there. Eminence Organics International Educator Brian Goodwin lets us in on a skin care secret: “An insider tip is that most of our cream-based masks can be used as a leave-on treatment.” In other words, keep it on for10 minutes or all night, and let that goodness sink in! 

Gel masks

Gel 

Gel masks have the consistency of a jam or jelly. With their lightweight texture, they are an excellent choice for oily to normal skin types. Many gel masks include astringent ingredients like raspberries and blackberries which minimize oil and tighten the appearance of pores. Others are formulated with hydrating ingredients like stone crop and honey which replenish the look of dry and dehydrated skin

Our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque is a great option for those in search of a firmer-looking complexion. It contains a cocktail of rhubarb extract, avocado oil, leafy greens and citrus. Whichever mask you choose, you can amplify your results with this skin care tip from Brian: “Apply your favorite gel-based mask in the shower to make it an active in-shower treatment.” The heat from the shower can open the pores and allow the skin to better absorb the beneficial ingredients.  

Clay masks

Clay 

With its absorbent, exfoliating and astringent properties, clay treats ongoing skin conditions related to acne, such as excess oil and inflammation. A clay mask can also be applied just to the problem areas, meaning it can double as a spot treatment. If you’re dealing with congested pores, the Charcoal & Black Seed Clay Masque absorbs excess oil while reducing the appearance of large pores and dark spots. Illite clay, activated charcoal and black seed oil create a formula that visibly transforms the look of congested pores by leaving the skin looking even and refreshed without drying it out. If you have acne-prone skin, Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar recommends using the Acne Advanced Clarifying Masque to treat bumpy and congested skin: “It’s nice and creamy in texture, and you literally only need a bit … Just hit those little areas and let it dry.” 

Exfoliating masks

Exfoliating 

Exfoliating masks are formulated to remove dead skin cells and enhance your skin’s natural turnover process. This type of mask may take the form of a chemical peel, which employs alpha or beta hydroxy acids to dissolve dead skin cells and clear them from the skin’s surface. The hypoallergenic Radish Seed Refining Peel reduces the appearance of problem skin and the look of fine lines and wrinkles. For pore-clearing exfoliating benefits, our Product Support Representatives recommend pairing it with either our Yellow Sweet Clover Anti-Redness Masque for drier skin types or our Seabuckthorn Balancing Masque for combination skin.

Warming masks

Warming 

Warming masks contain active spices like paprika and cinnamon that cause a tingling sensation and make the skin feel warm. This is the result of increased blood flow to the area, which also explains the rosy glow that some might experience. The immediate effects last from 20 – 60 minutes before revealing a fresh, healthy complexion. However, these masks aren’t for everyone: If you have sensitive skin, you’re better off choosing a cream or gel-based mask that won’t exacerbate your symptoms. 

One of our warming masks, the Eight Greens Phyto Masque – Hot has been recognized as a 2020 Allure Best Of Beauty Award winner within the “Clean Beauty” category. Blended from whole plants, seeds and spices, this formula invigorates and rejuvenates the appearance of the skin. 

Our Turmeric Energizing Treatment is also designed to awaken dull, tired skin. Formulated with turmeric as well as citrine gemstones and zeolite, this mask only needs water to activate a fluffy mousse bursting with energy. 

Watch our In The Mix video below to find out more about our warming face masks:

 

The Best Face Mask For Your Skin Type

If you prefer to use one mask at a time, it’s important to choose the right face mask for your skin type and skin concerns. To get your wheels turning, here are our suggestions for each skin type:

Dry Skin

Dry skin often means dealing with flaky patches, a scaly skin texture or cracked, itchy skin. Boasting shea butter and grape seed oil, the Strawberry Rhubarb Masque provides important fatty acids to help with the appearance of skin softness and dryness. 

Oily Skin

Oily skin is characterized by an overproduction of sebum in the skin. Often this excess oil may interact with bacteria and dead skin cells resulting in breakouts. Try the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque for this skin type as it contains vitamins C and E to improve the appearance of skin health. 

Customer Nina T. said in an online review: “Amazing smelling masque that really works magic on your skin!! … when you wash it off your skin looks hydrated and refreshed!!!”

Combination Skin

It can be frustrating to develop oily patches on your chin and forehead but dryness on your cheeks. The Snow Mushroom & Reishi Masque helps to balance the look of the skin by firming its appearance and revealing a smooth radiance. 

You can also treat combination skin with more than one mask. Spot masking (or multi-masking) is done by applying different masks to different parts of the face all at once. For example, if your T-zone is oily but your cheeks are dry, applying masks that target the specific issue can provide a super customized treatment without aggravating the rest of your skin. 

Sensitive Skin

Those with sensitive skin should carefully read labels and conduct patch tests for any new product before applying it all over the face. If your skin becomes red, you can apply the Calm Skin Arnica Masque to improve the look of redness caused by dryness and other irritation. 

Normal Skin

Normal skin types are very lucky as their goal is to simply maintain the skin’s health. The Stone Crop Masque contains hydrating stone crop, antioxidant-rich lemon and other ingredients that reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the overall look of the skin. 

If you’re looking to address particular skin concerns and conditions, here are some recommendations:

The Best Type Of Face Mask For Your Age

Now that you know what product suits you by skin concern, you can also filter based on ingredients suited to your age bracket.

How Often Should You Use A Face Mask?

Now that you know which masks are right for your skin, the next question is: How often should you apply a face mask? We recommend adding a face mask to your skin care routine once or twice a week. Masking should follow cleansing and toning. These steps clear impurities and excess oil, provide a base layer of hydration and prep your skin to better absorb the benefits of your face mask.

Once you’re ready, follow these skin care tips to apply a face mask properly:

How to apply a face mask

1. Apply Mask Evenly

It may be tempting to slather on an inch-thick layer of product, but more isn’t necessarily better. A cherry-sized amount is plenty to achieve the results you’re looking for. Natalie advises evenly applying this amount in a “pantyhose-thin” layer over the entire face. Pro tip: Use facial massage techniques to amp up the benefits of this part of your routine!

Remember, Eminence Organics’ face masks contain concentrated amounts of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. We recommend adding two to three drops of water to your product and warming it between your hands before massaging it into your face — especially if the product is gel-based. This will allow for more slip, easier application and (bonus!) less product waste.

2. Remember To Include Your Neck & Décolleté

That cherry-sized amount is just enough to also include your neck and chest. These areas take on the visible signs of age much earlier than the face due to their exposure to environmental stress — and they’re easily forgotten in a skin care routine. Pay these areas a bit of extra attention by including them in your mask application.

3. Leave On For 5 – 10 Minutes

Most masks can be kept on for 5 – 10 minutes, but the duration can vary from mask to mask. Some face masks act quickly and can be removed after a short period of time, while others can be left on as an overnight treatment to deeply hydrate your skin while you sleep. We always advise reviewing the label directions to apply your particular product so you get the most out of it without overdoing it!

4. Remove Gently With A Damp Cloth

Don’t undo the benefits of your face mask by aggressively scrubbing it off. Instead, be delicate with your complexion. Use lukewarm water to gently remove the mask from your face. If you choose to use a washcloth, ensure it’s clean and has soft fibers that won’t irritate your skin.

Watch this video for a step-by-step guide on how to apply a face mask:

 

 

How Long Should You Keep A Face Mask On For?

Apart from leave-on formulas, a standard mask should be left on for five to ten minutes, unless specified as longer on the product instructions. It’s very easy to overdo it and indulge in a face mask every morning and night, but this isn’t helping your skin. Using face masks too often might strip your skin of its natural oils and disrupt its pH balance.

Consultant dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto spoke to Refinery29, stating: “Using multiple ingredients on the skin, especially if high in active ingredients [such as retinol, Vitamin C and exfoliating acids, like glycolic acid] can result in disruption of the skin barrier.” The skin barrier defends the skin from bacteria and from developing symptoms like dry, cracked skin, dermatitis, or eczema.  

However, as mentioned, leave-on masks have their own set of rules and can be left on until absorbed. Read on to find out how long you should leave on cream, gel, and charcoal, as well as instructions on how to apply a leave-on mask.

How Long To Keep A Face Mask On: 5 Mask Types 

Exfoliating Masks

Exfoliating masks can either be chemical exfoliating masks or physical exfoliating masks. Chemical exfoliating masks are formulated with skin-friendly acids, such as AHAs or BHAs, to remove dead skin cells, decongest pores and reveal newer, younger-looking skin. In comparison, physical exfoliation masks gently buff the skin with little, finely-milled granules. Typically, you can leave them on for 10 minutes, however, follow the instructions on the product.

Cream Or Gel Masks

Cream face masks are designed to hydrate the skin and provide moisture. Gel masks have a lighter texture and can soothe and cool irritated skin. Cream and gel masks should be left on for five to ten minutes, and rinsed off so no product remains on your skin. 

Clay And Mud Masks

Clay and mud masks can be used to help with breakouts and large pores, making them suitable for problem skin, oily skin and combination skin, although any skin type can use them. They remove excess oil from your face, so most people would benefit. Again, these masks can only be left on for five to ten minutes and then rinsed off.

Charcoal Masks

Charcoal masks draw out oil and dirt from your pores to clear your skin. Like clay and mud masks, they’re an excellent option for oily and combination skin. Charcoal can easily strip the natural oils from your skin, so leave the mask on for five to ten minutes and then wash it off to avoid drying out your complexion.

Eminence Organics’ Leave-On Mask

Eminence Organics’ leave-on masks are designed to support the skin’s natural recovery process and maintain the health of the skin’s moisture barrier. For example, the Kombucha Microbiome Leave-On Masque is a no-rinse probiotic skin care formula that visibly renews your skin with ginger and pre, pro* and postbiotics. This rich, slow-absorbing mask provides soothing hydration and comfort to dry, dull skin. 

To use, apply this no-rinse mask over the entire face, neck and décolleté. Apply evenly and gently massage until absorbed. Leave it on for five to ten minutes and the product should absorb. If there is still remaining product after ten minutes, you can tissue the rest off.

You can use this leave-on mask three times a week, or as often as your skin requires extra care. The Kombucha Leave-On Masque may also be used as a moisturizer to improve the skin’s defenses against dryness and balance the microbiome. 

Incredibly, 92% of users noted their skin appeared healthier** after using the luxurious Kombucha Microbiome Leave-On Masque

This leave-on mask features essential benefits. It:

  • Provides an occlusive, additional layer of protection from environmental stressors
  • Calms the look of irritation and dry skin 
  • Helps restore a healthy skin barrier 
  • Makes the skin appear vibrant, hydrated and healthy looking.
  • Introduces beneficial prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to maintain the skin’s microbiome

* Products do not contain live probiotic cultures. 

**In vivo study results after 28 days.

Are you wondering which masks to add to your skin care routine? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner for recommendations.

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