Masks and Treatments

There is a plethora of masks and special skin treatments on the market that you can add in to your routine as you see fit. Whether you like to take time each week to pamper yourself or just like to have a pick-me-up relaxation session every once in a while, there’s a mask or treatment out there that you’ll love! Below, several different types of masks and treatments are discussed in detail: Clay Masks Clay masks make a great weekly addition to any skincare routine. All skin types can benefit from this type of mask, but they are most beneficial to those who have oily skin or acne problems. The main purpose of clay masks is to draw out impurities and pollution from the skin. They also draw out excess oil. Many types of clay masks are available on the market including ones with oatmeal, strawberry, avocado, and other beneficial ingredients. To use, spread a thin layer of the mask over your skin and wait for it to start drying. You’ll notice that it will get lighter in color as it starts to dry. Be sure to rinse it off with warm water before it dries completely! Allowing the mask to dry totally will actually dehydrate your skin, which is the opposite of what we want. Wash it off while it’s still a bit wet for the best results.

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are extremely popular in Asia, and in recent years have started to catch on in other parts of the world. Even at most Western supermarkets you can find at least one brand of sheet masks. These masks are thick paper sheets that have holes cut out for the eyes and mouth. The sheets are soaked in beneficial essences and other ingredients that make them an easy and affordable way to pamper your skin. Sheet masks often come in single sachets, making them ideal for travel. They’re super simple to use. All you need to do is remove the mask from the packaging and unfold it. Line up the eye and mouth holes to your own face and press the mask onto your skin. Smooth out any wrinkles, and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Most face masks of this variety you can leave on for as long as you wish. After you’re done, discard the used mask and check the sachet for any leftover essence. Some face masks come completely drenched in the essences, so you can sometimes find excess at the bottom of the packaging. Swipe this over your face and neck and let it air dry. There are many types of sheet masks—ones for hydration, cooling, soothing, brightening, anti-aging, among others. You can use sheet masks as often as you want, but one to two times a week is ideal.

Charcoal Masks

Charcoal masks are actually quite similar to clay masks in that they are both great for oily, acne prone skin and for drawing out impurities. Charcoal masks actually do contain activated charcoal as an ingredient—though it may sound scary, charcoal is good for your skin! The charcoal works to clear your pores and pull out pollution, helping to clear your skin and break up any acne you may have. There are different forms of charcoal masks, some may have other ingredients such as sugar and act as more of an exfoliator. Follow the directions listed on your product’s packaging. Typically, charcoal masks are meant to be spread evenly over the face and neck and left on for about 5 to 10 minutes. If the mask has sugar in it, you should then massage all around your face gently to remove dead skin and further break up the impurities. Rinse with warm water and reap the benefits of clear skin!

Natural Face Masks

If you have really sensitive skin or just have a DIY habit, there is no end to the amount and types of face masks you can make from all natural ingredients. Natural face masks are of course best for your skin, because you aren’t subjecting the skin to any preservatives or harsh chemicals that may be present in other masks. One simple mask you can make is an oatmeal yogurt mask. Mix together one part yogurt and one part dried oatmeal. Add in a squirt or two of honey and blend it together. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Another natural face mask requires one egg white and some milk. Mix both together and apply it to your skin. Allow it to dry completely before wiping it off with a warm washcloth. If you have acne, try making a tomato mask. You can mix other ingredients into the tomatoes such as honey, yogurt, lemon, or whatever you want to use! You can also use different types of tea with appropriate portions of oatmeal or fruits to make a paste-like mask. If you want, you can even include cocoa!

Serums

Serums are a skincare product that can be used in addition to your normal moisturizers. Basically, they work kind of like a moisturizer except they are lighter and absorb faster. They are also formulated without oils and contain higher concentrations of ingredients that are good for the skin. Anti-aging serums are the most common. If you want an extra anti-aging boost to your skincare routine, consider adding in a serum before your moisturizing step. You can use serums both in the morning and at night—in fact, this is the recommended usage in order to get maximum benefits. Some serums will target specific skincare issues such as large pores. But most focus on packing in as many active ingredients as possible. Serums are chock full of peptides, antioxidants, and other important ingredients like kojic acid, a common brightening agent. If you’re really into skincare, you may even want to use multiple serums to treat different skin issues!

Treatments for Acne

Acne is a bit of a tricky problem—everyone’s acne is a bit different and may not respond to the same types of treatments. That being said, there are plenty of over-the-counter options for help with acne. You can start out with concentrated treatments such as the cotton pads that come soaked in acne medication. Swipe one of these over your skin every night and see if it helps. If it does, then you have one less thing to worry about! If it irritates your skin, you may want to consider a different approach. Many face washes and exfoliators contain acne medication, so look for one of these if you have consistent issues with acne. Sometimes a face wash is enough to keep the bumps at bay. You can also try a spot treatment if you just get individual zits. These creams contain a higher percentage of acne medications and can usually clear up a pimple overnight. If you don’t have consistent breakouts, try to just rely on the spot treatments. Acne medication can really irritate your skin, and it will most likely dry it out quite a bit. If you notice that spot treatment isn’t enough and you don’t respond well to other acne medications discussed above, consider seeing a dermatologist who can better diagnose the problem. Sometimes acne needs a prescription solution, especially if you have cystic acne. Just remember to keep cleansing your skin, and don’t mess with the acne you get! Trying to pop it or scrub it away will only make it worse. The key is to be gentle.