With so many at home face masks on the market, choosing one can be overwhelming. Often we purchase a face mask to address one skin issue but then start to ask ourselves, are we using it correctly? How frequently should it be used and is it even worth the time and money? Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board certified dermatologist and clinical professor at Mount Sinai in New York City, offers some fast facts to help us get the most from a face mask.
EXPENSIVE ISN’T ALWAYS WORTH IT
When it comes to face masks, the products with the most expensive price tags are not necessarily the best. As consumers, we are often swayed by sleek packaging and seductive advertisement. We are also more attracted to expensive products, because we associate a higher price with a superior product. “Do your homework before making a purchase. Read reviews if available. Also know that certain face masks work best for certain specific skin conditions or results, so look to see what kind of face mask will work best for you,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.
LOOK AT THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS
According to Dr. Papantoniou, “face masks definitely serve a very useful purpose but in order to get the best result it’s important to know what ingredients address certain skin issues.” For acne-prone skin, she recommends a mask with charcoal, kaolin, or salicylic acid, which help to draw out impurities, excess oils and unclog pores. For those who struggle with rosacea, masks which contain green tea, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, sulfur, and aloe vera can help soothe and reduce redness. A rejuvenating mask is great for more mature skin, where wrinkles are a concern. A hydrating mask with antioxidants can help to plump lines and rehydrate skin cells; look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, vitamin C, CoQ10, retinol, vitamin E, coconut oil and glycolic acid.
CLEANSE — NOT EXFOLIATE — BEFORE USE
Applying a mask to a clean face is a requirement. Dr. Papantoniou suggests using a gentle facial cleanser such as Cetaphil, Ceravé, or Vanicream, which will not dry out the skin. However, if a mask is applied to skin which has remnants of make-up or product, a barrier can be created and the mask will not work effectively. “You want to make sure your face is clean so the mask can fully penetrate. Exfoliating prior to applying a mask will be too irritating on the skin, and the chemicals and active ingredients in the mask may be too intense, remember that the mask will be staying on your skin for a while,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.