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:

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.

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 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

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.


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.