How to Correctly Apply a Face Mask
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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 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
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?
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.
Know what is in your beauty products
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.
Author Info ~
Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @Suzie HQ
Credit to homesteadbound ~
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