These are formulated to be oil-free and have a gel consistency (like my Bio Calm Repair Masque). The main benefit of gel masks is to give the skin water without oil. They are ideal for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin that is dehydrated (perhaps from using drying acne products or peels) and will instantly drench thirsty skin cells. Naturally cold in temperature, they are also ideal for calming redness in sensitive skin, as well as soothing sunburns. I personally love using a gel mask in the summertime to refresh and cool the skin while keeping it plump and hydrated in the heat.
These have become more popular in recent years particularly in the Asian market. A sheet mask is typically made from cotton or paper and soaked in liquid formulas meant to hydrate the skin. They are also pre-cut into the shape of the face with holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth. Similar to gel masks, these deliver water-based hydration to dehydrated skin and can also pack other anti-aging ingredients to enhance the results. Unlike other wash-off masks, there is no need to rinse the skin when it’s removed. You can apply a small amount of moisturizer to seal in the hydrating liquids.
There are lots of clay masks available, but generally, they feature oil-absorbing ingredients that create a tightening effect to encourage a clearing of the pores as they dry on the skin. They are recommended for oily, acne-prone, combination, and normal skin. When using a clay mask, keep in mind that regardless of how oily your skin is, I personally don’t suggest using one that “cracks” on the skin when it dries. This is a sign that there aren’t hydrating ingredients added to the clay to offset the drying effect it will then have on the skin. Healthy skin is hydrated skin so if one makes you feel really tight and dry after you rinse it off, you’ll want to avoid this kind. New formulas, like this Energizing Cleansing Masque are non-drying and contain antioxidants and nourishing botanicals to brighten and tighten the skin. Pore-purifying extracts will leave skin immediately refreshed and renewed with fewer visible pores.
Formulated with moisturizing oils, cream masks help to deeply nourish and plump up skin cells for normal-to-dry skin types. Unlike traditional gel or clay masks, many cream masks do not need to be rinsed off since the ingredients will absorb into the skin once it has dried, leaving the skin with a dewy radiance. You can also tissue off any residue that may be left behind or you can certainly rinse off if you prefer. Cream masks are also beneficial for pregnant bellies to keep dryness and itching at bay.
Prior to applying any type of mask, be sure to use a gentle facial scrub or a light acid peel to remove surface dry cells to the ingredients from the mask can absorb deeper within the skin to give maximum benefit.
Performing a mask treatment is not quite like getting a professional facial, but still offers additional skin benefits that go above and beyond your basic skin care routine. Take 20 minutes to treat your skin weekly, you’ll be glad you did!
NEXT: Are You Getting The Most From Your Products?
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.