Monday, 23 May 2016

MASKS - An Overview


There are literally thousands of masks on the market. Endless options for all skin types and all skin conditions. So where to begin?

Masks were traditionally a quick fix or an extra boost, normally used once a week to help possibly fix whatever issue you had.
These days they're much more sophisticated and can be left on overnight, used as a 15 minute quick fix, or used under moisturisers during the day if you so desire.


So what type of mask works best for which skin? More in-depth reviews will follow but for now the briefest of overviews:

Clay
The original and most well-known type of mask, clay is traditionally used for deep cleaning, decongesting, in general it's the one you grab when you feel a bit dirty, like you need a really good clean.
Best for:
oily, combination, blackheads, breakouts, dull
Avoid if:
Check the ingredients for magnesium and avoid if you're sensitive - it can be very stimulating.

Exfoliating
These are either bead-based (I don't recommend microbead masks, I'm talking about silica/jojoba etc), enzyme or acid-based and are used to resurface the skin, slough off dead skin cells, turnover the stratum corneum (15-20 layers of dead, flattened, skin cells) a little quicker to give you smooth skin.
Best for:
dull, flaky, sallow, dry, dehydrated
Avoid if:
sensitive, easily reactive



Moisturising
Moisturising masks are usually used last and add oil-based moisture to the skin. They're the perfect mask to sleep in if you're older and contain things like shea butter and oils.
Best for:
older, premature ageing, mature, dry,
Avoid if:
oily, combination, acne-prone


Anti-ageing
This is more a sub-category but worth a mention as a lot of the hydrating/moisturising masks use 'anti-ageing' as their main focus. These will contain peptides and other trademark name ingredients, some of which you will never have heard of, some of which you will.
Best for:
older, mature skins, skins worried about signs of ageing
Avoid if:
You're 21 (under 30) and just want a quick clay mask. Save your pennies.


Hydrating
These are generally water, glycerin and hyaluronic acid based, amongst others. They work great as a quick boost for all skins but work especially well for:
dehydrated, dry, dull, - basically a one-size fits all mask
Avoid if:
literally anyone can use these masks - when in doubt, buy hydrating




Sheet Masks
Ah sheet masks. Or as you may have come to think of them: bandwagon masks (maybe that's just me). Not since the dawn of face wipes has a trend hit so quickly, and so hard. Everyone is doing a sheet mask. These gained their popularity in the Far East and show no signs of going away.
Best for:
forcing you to sit still/lie down for a while - and the benefits of the ingredients obviously..
Avoid if:
You're very sensitive. Or at least check the ingredients as sheet masks can be heavy on fragrance and alcohol. Not all, but quite a few.


36 comments:

  1. HI, when in the routine you use a mask? before acids? after serum? tks!

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    Replies
    1. I'd be interested in mask 'routines', how often/when should you use the masks aside from the specific reason for it's use. i.e could I use one of each daily, for example, clay one day, moisturising the next etc.

      Thank you!

      Victoria FlorenceandMary.com

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  2. Looking forward to the in depth reviews.

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  3. Why should you avoid magnesium in masks?

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  4. Glad it's not just me who can't help thinking sheet masks are a bit faffy!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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  5. This is my porn! Is it cheeky to ask for guidance on the order of using them, and on using them WITH acids? For example, should I do clay, then exoliating (or P50 swipe), then hydrating/anti-aging mask? Or exfoliating before clay? I think it's the former, but would love confirmation!

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    Replies
    1. Yep. I have been wondering about this too. I have some Exuviance Performance Peel AP pads that are a twice a week peel and always wonder about what to use after. usually defailt to hydrating. I love all of the Fresh masks on their own, esp. the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. Thanks for the post!

      Delete
    2. Caroline has some tips on her Sunday Facial post. First goes clay, then acid, then hydrating mask.

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  6. Caroline, might you be able to suggest a few mask pairings, for those of us who want to attempt the at-home facial thing? I understand it should go exfoliating/clay/hydrating, or something to that effect, but would love to see some suggestions about duos or trios that would go well together by skin type. Thank you for all of your wisdom, you are why I have better skin at 32 than I did at 22!

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    Replies
    1. I could be wrong - but I think that post is coming. It sounded like that from the post Caroline did some days back about facials/masks.....so - patience ;)

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  7. What are your thoughts on the Sisley Rose Mask?

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    Replies
    1. My favourite pre-event/airplane mask!!!

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  8. I love all kinds of face masks and I tried a lot of them! Sheet masks are always a good idea cause they are fuss free and I love the sensation that a clay mask leaves on my face; a clean, refreshed and bright face!

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

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  9. I've been using masks on an off since 2000 (and if I rememeber well there were sheet masks back then too), but I haven't found one that would wow me!
    I tried the DIY way for clay masks (using bentonite clay, water, jojoba oil and lavender essential oil, but I don't find it cleanses my pores that well, so I'm looking for a ready made one.
    And then I don't know if I need a hydrating one or a resurfacing one!!! My face is combination, have psoriasis and have hormonal acne on my chin.

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  10. I am yet to find a mask that makes me go "wow" - maybe it is just me though! I have oily skin, with some small blackheads/open pores in the "t-zone", despite thorough cleansing, acid toning etc these don't seem to shift. Have used many masks over the years, even the dreaded "nose strips" and nothing really pulls out these blackheads (I swear my skin doesn't look as bad as it sounds lol)...I use mostly clay based masks as they do help with the oil but then I find my skin is much oilier after I've used them because I think they are stripping my skin too much and then I produce more oil to compensate. I would really like to know if either you or your lovely readers had any advice for a good clay mask that won't strip my skin excessively? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. May Lindstrom The Problem Solver mixed with The Honey Mud. That's an extremely pricey suggestion, I know, but it's the only mask I've used that seems to actually benefit my congested/combination but easily dehydrated skin. Her products are also the only skincare items I have emptied and will repurchase. Maybe try to get your hands on a sample first; I know many of the high end online natural shops based here in the States offer reasonable sized samples.

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    2. You are my mask soul sister! Love love love May! Try mixing the problem solver with a little blue cocoon, CH posted a pic on IG of it. Pure heaven!

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  11. Thanks! This was really informative and helpful!

    http://lapetiteperleblanche.blogspot.de/

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  12. I use the Blue Corn Mask from the Body Shop when I feel oily and the mask from Lavinia Borcau to exfoliate once a week (this one is amazing!). The Brightening Sheet Mask from Dr Jart makes my skin look lifted.

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  13. Thanks! Awesome overview!! Just a simple suggestion: Maybe you could have listed af few recommendations (both budget and high-end) under each category?

    On another note, I wish I was in Paris so I could get myself a bucketload of Cattier masks.

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  14. Girl! We've got to get you a Daiso silicone sheet mask cover - retails for around 5 USD, it covers the mask and holds it in place. Now I clean my house, take a shower, and sip adult beverages (through straws) while masking.

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  15. Oh, oh, oh!! Please do a Cult Beauty Box of MASKS!!! That would be amazing!!

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  16. Thanks Caroline. A post on your top 10 masks would be amazing! X

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  17. YES! A cult beauty mask box.... Dreams

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  18. A cult beauty mask box for Christmas!!!! Dreaming!

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  19. Dear Caroline,

    I really appreciate the time you spent writing useful tips, reviews and how-to's.
    I have started using flannels/face cloths (the ones from Emma Hardie is my faves) thanks to you! :-)
    However, I am having some trouble with my skin (most of them due to hormones and genes) but also clogged pores. My skin is combination (oily t-zone, normal-dry cheeks) but my pores clog easily - I think the Mario Badescu Night Cream I use is one of the causes (though genes is a big part of it I think) and I am struggling to find something suiting. Is there any recommendation you might have for me - in any way shape or form?
    Also - I am a student, so I have a max of 35 pounds :-)

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    Replies
    1. If you don't mind me jumping in... I have the same skin type (oily/combo w blocked pores) and what has really helped me is a salicylic (i like the paulas choice 2% bha) and the occasional clay mask.

      Clay is super cheap, you can get a big bag of it for 5 pounds or so off amazon. I just mix the dry clay with a toner to make a paste and slather it on! (You can get fairly affordable pre-mixed clay masks too, if you're DIY-averse)

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  20. if you're putting on a sleeping mask, should you still put serum on before you put on the mask?

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    Replies
    1. I would personally do so. A sleeping mask is essentially a moisturiser.

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  21. I got a 15ml sample of that PTR pumpkin mask and I did really like the results, but I'm worried it's too harsh? I mean it does sting a bit when you apply it...am I just nervous about nothing?

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  22. My absolute favourite sheet mask is the Olay Total effect ones. There's so much product in these that when I've finished my face I use it all down my neck and chest and then I rub it all over hubbies face, which he won't admit but secretly loves!!!
    I'd also love to try the Origins overnight intensive quench one (forget the actual name sorry).

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  23. Sheet masks are great for a boost of moisture before a night out or after a night out or long flights. Since some skin types are combination, would you recommend "mixing and masking'? clay/detox in acne prone areas and hydrating ones the the drier areas?

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  24. Just wondering, is the fresh rose mask considered as moisturising mask? I'm looking for a good hydrating mask. The ingredient list seems to have a lot of oil in it. So maybe it is a moisturising mask? I'm planning to buy the Skin Inc Deepsea Hydrating mask.

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  25. Hi Caroline! What's your recommendation for a good cooling, anti-inflammatory mask?

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