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How to Correctly Apply a Face Mask

Updated on March 8, 2013
How to correctly apply a face mask.
How to correctly apply a face mask. | Source

Introduction to Face masks ~

One of the best treatments for our skin is to have a weekly face mask.

It provides an extra boost to the skin and depending on the type of facial mask used, it is an effective deep pore cleanser, it removes excess oil, and provides added moisture and nourishment, to name a few skin benefits.

Facial masks are geared for different skin types and identifying yours is important to reap the full benefits of this skin care classic. Whilst it is not used daily, a face mask is an important step in how to prepare the skin before makeup is applied.

I remember as a child watching in sheer amazement as my mum applied this thick green gunge to her face just leaving her eyes and mouth free.

My eyes would open wide as the green mud mask changed color, bit by bit to a white stiff looking chalk that felt dry and weird. Mum seemed to have a problem speaking. Inquisitive as ever, I asked “Why did it change color and why can’t you talk properly?” I was told in a muffled voice “It is sucking all the bad things out of my skin”. Well, I was a child but it was possibly a catalyst in my forging a career within the Beauty Industry, initially as a Beauty Therapist.

Mask Magic

 Apply a Face Mask and relax the facial muscles for up to 20 minutes.
Apply a Face Mask and relax the facial muscles for up to 20 minutes. | Source

Different Facial Masks ~

Picking the appropriate face mask is the first step. There are 5 different types in my opinion.

Many beauty professionals will list 3 but I think an exfoliating mask and the reasonably new Sheet Mask deserves their own category.

How frequently you use a facial mask or face pack depends on your skin type but it should be no more than 2-3 times a week.

Apply a Mask

applying with a brush is quick, easy and less messy. exfoliating masks are best applied with the fingertips
applying with a brush is quick, easy and less messy. exfoliating masks are best applied with the fingertips | Source

Gel or Peeling Mask

Most peeling masks will be of a gel consistency and are applied in a thin layer. As in the clay masks, they are left to dry out on the skin and are then peeled off.

Dry Skin and Sensitive Skin should avoid these as they may be too harsh, depending on the ingredients used. Many gel masks have an exfoliating benefit which will gently remove dead skin cells through the use of fruit acids and exfoliating ingredients.

Moisturizing Mask

Designed to be nourishing, hydrating and protecting, these face masks are non- drying on the skin and are suitable for most skin types, including Combination skin. They tend to be a cream based product that is applied wet and does not dry out on the skin.

Exfoliating Mask

These masks are ones that are applied to a damp skin and massaged into the skin gently. Gels or cream based they may be used by all skin types.

Homemade exfoliating face masks will have natural skin exfoliants such as sugar, sea salt, fruit acid, nuts or even honey. Chemical acids in commercial face masks include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, citric acid (citrus fruit) and acetic acid (vinegar).

Sheet Mask

This face mask type takes the “mess” out of applying your mask. It consists of a thin sheet of cotton or fibre in the shape of a face with cut out holes for your eyes, and mouth.

The mask is pre-treated with oils, serums or creams and may even be soaked in the solution.

Proving very popular in Asian countries, these masks are available in every skin types but may not be available everywhere. For convenience, it would definitely be one to think of bringing with you when going on holidays.

Mud Face Mask

mud or clay based masks penetrate the skin and remove impurities that block the pores.
mud or clay based masks penetrate the skin and remove impurities that block the pores. | Source

Mud Mask / Clay Mask

Fuller’s Earth or Kaolin clay are the main ingredients in these face masks which harden and dry on the skin.

They are used on Oily or Combination Skin as they are designed to remove excess sebum and dirt from the skin.

They deep clean and unblock the pores which are often open, large and prone to blackheads and whiteheads.

These clay based masks help to draw out the impurities and should not be used on Sensitive and Dry Skins.

Preparing for a Face Mask ~

  • First things first, cleanse your skin thoroughly, removing all traces of makeup from the face and the neck. The skin needs to be clean or else the mask will not be able to penetrate through the grime, dirt and makeup.
  • The best time to apply your mask is after a shower or bath. Alternatively warm up the pores by doing a quick 5 minute steam facial. Pour boiling water into a bowl and leaning over the bowl cover your head and bowl with a towel to trap the steam. Another way is to take a warm-hot face cloth and apply to face pressing in.
  • Allow yourself between 5-20 minutes (depending on the face mask instructions) of “cooking time” by relaxing.
  • Wear a dressing gown or something you don’t mind getting stained, face masks are messy! Tie back hair or use hair clips to keep all the hair off the face and neck. A Velcro headband is what I use and find it does the job.
  • Make sure you remove any earrings, and necklaces. If you don’t want to remove facial piercings, make sure you cover or avoid them when applying the mask.
  • Pop your mask into a bowl. You may apply the mask with either your fingers or a face mask brush. There are different brushes depending on whether you are applying a clay mask, cream mask or a gel mask.
  • If making your own face mask, don’t make too much as many DIY face masks are once only uses and cannot be kept any length of time.

Face and Neck

don't forget to apply your mask down onto the neck, often an neglected area.
don't forget to apply your mask down onto the neck, often an neglected area. | Source

How to Apply an Exfoliating Face Mask

How to Correctly Apply a Face Mask ~

Use you middle three fingers to apply the face mask or use an appropriate face mask brush.

Exfoliating masks need to be applied with the fingers so they can massage the product into the skin and loosen up the dead skin cells.

Start applying the mask on the neck and work up onto the face trying to get an even application.

Apply around the hairline, avoiding the eye area, eyebrows and lips.

Wash hands when you are finished and relax for the recommended time.

If you have some cucumber slices chill with a couple of slices on your eyes.

Cucumbers are soothing and cooling and will add hydration whilst reducing any puffiness around the eye.

Removing a Face Mask ~

Mud Masks – Take a face cloth or natural sponge and soak in warm water.

Squeeze out some excess water and apply the face cloth onto the face holding for a few seconds.

Do this around the mask until you find it loosened up.

Rinse out and start wiping off the mask gently, taking care not to pull the skin.

When completely off do a rinse with warm then cold water to close the pores. Pat the skin dry.

Peeling Masks These should come away by lifting it at the edges and gentling removing.

Continue to remove the “skin” off and use some skin tonic such as rosewater or witch-hazel to remove any last bits.

Rinse with a splash of cold water and pat the skin dry.

Moisturizing Face Masks – You can either use a face cloth, face sponge or your fingers.

As these are cream or fluid in consistency, they are removed quickly and easily.

Use sweeping movements over the face and neck to remove all traces of the mask.

Finish with the splash of warm water and then cold. Pat the skin dry.

What is your skin type?

See results

Now What?

Wipe the skin with a skin toner or tonic to remove any last traces of mask and to tighten the pores of the skin. If you have none or don’t use just apply your regular moisturizer after the cold rinse splash.

Use your regular moisturizer on the face and the neck. The neck is often forgotten about but it is one of the first signs of the ageing process, along with the delicate eye area. For a few homemade nourishing moisturizers try a Jojoba Anti-Wrinkle Solution, an Olive Oil Moisturizer or Cocoa and Jojoba Skin Products.

Shocking Fact

In a study conducted by Chemical Safe Skincare Research (2006)

The average woman absorbs more than 5 POUNDS of harmful toxins from their bath, body and skin care products EVERY YEAR!

Homemade Face Mask Recipes ~

Using fresh ingredients combined with kitchen cupboard basics produces an amazing selection of homemade skin care products, including face masks. Here are some easy to make recipes that are not harmful to the skin. In fact they are tons more beneficial being free of dangerous chemicals, toxins and synthetic fragrances often found in commercial brands.

Almond Face Mask

Chocolate Facial Mask

Oatmeal and Egg Face Pack

Papaya &Pumpkin Exfoliating Face Mask

Ripe Mango Refreshing Face Pack

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

How to Correctly Apply a Face Mask Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      With the face I've got I could use a mask. This might actually work for me. :)

      Have a great weekend Irish!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub on applying facial masks and the different types. Voted up.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Wow! This is an awesome hub with loads of informations. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful. Have a lovely weekend!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Oh Bill,

      You really do brighten my mornings upon awaking to find my most faithful follower has again been by! LOL You are a ray of sunshine, never change my friend! Appreciate you just the way you are. Thanks as always!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vellur,

      Great to see you! Delighted you enjoyed these few tips and hope you give some homemade masks a try too! Cheers for the vote up, it is so appreciated :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Thelma,

      Happy to hear you found this informative. It is handy knowing the different masks available so you don't pick the wrong one. Thanks for sharing and votes, you are a star! Have a great weekend :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Great information about a topic many don't know much about...except to read the container of the mask. Thanks as always for sharing such valuable information. Now we just all have to do it. Voting up, pinning and tweeting.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carol,

      The reply button seems to be on the blink, apologies! Many thanks for stopping by, Glad you picked up a few things and appreciate your support in vores, tweets and pinning, your a star!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      One of my favorite indulgences which is way too expensive for me is a professional facial. It's just not the same when I do it myself, but this helps with tighter budgets everywhere nowadays!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer Twin fan,

      I know that one, I miss my beauty indulgences too but can make so many of the products now and apply them in a spa like set up. i even got the other trained up in good massage techniques as it makes all the difference having a massage done. Hopefully you will try out a few of the "spa" and facial products for a DIY night which I am sure you will enjoy! Thanks so much for commenting!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Haha, I voted it beautiful. Face masks make us beautiful-scary! I love freaking my boyfriend out when I have one on!

      I'm glad I can finally see this.

      I like pampering myself, so these are always right up my alley! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      So glad you can now see this, no idea what went wrong, another glitch it appears. Glad you enjoyed this, blue face and all - couldn't resist when I saw it! Hope you have fun trying out a few different ones, Appreciate your support and votes as always!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      After all that talk, MJ never even checked this page out?! And I really thought he was going to do it ;)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      He is partial to a bit of lippy gloss so if he could make batches of that I'd be a happy camper!! Face Mask. . .can't see it but don't worry if it happens there will be photographic evidence!!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I think the mud mask is the best for my skin... I tend to get white/black heads a lot. I have used them very few times but the times I have, my skin always feels wonderful afterwards :) Wonderful hub as always! PS sorry I still haven't sent the pics will get them to you in a jiffy :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Jamie,

      Glad you enjoyed! the mud are great for slightly oily and combination skin which I am (the plus side to oiler skin is it doesn't age as quickly as dry skin!!) No worries about the pics, whenever suits. I am in my place for 3 days doing some more repairs, painting . . .getting ready to rent it out. I will be checking the post too when we are back at Micks place.! Thanks Jamie as always for dropping in!!

    • profile image

      rishaa 3 years ago

      Ummmmm thnku so much ,my skin is oily acne blackheads and dull .

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