Treat Your Skin to a Facial Mask

If you suffer from dry, irritated skin, acne-prone skin or wrinkled skin, you might want to try a face mask to help alleviate your symptoms and create a smoother, more beautiful complexion. If you don’t know what a face mask (or facial mask) is and how to use it – keep reading.  It’s really quite simple. Once you get your routine down and find the best face mask for you, you will be amazed at the results. Most face masks come in 3-4 standard brands or types. Among those, there are hundreds of variations meant to target your very specific skin concerns.

The Most Common Types of Facial Masks are:

• Clay or Herbal  (Dry Ingredients)

• Moisturizing

• Gel

• Peel off

First let’s start with the clay masks or herbal masks. These are typically found in a powder form and you have the opportunity to custom-blend them with water, or facial toner, any ingredient you like. Most clay masks are detoxifying and also very good for all skin types. If you have oily skin, the clay will reduce the amount of oil by absorbing it. If you have dry or wrinkled skin, you can adjust the mask by adding a natural moisturizing agent – like oatmeal or Aloe Vera. These masks are sometimes sold in specialty or “whole food” stores as they tend to be the most natural lines you can buy. Also, since they are dry, they won’t go rancid or spoil the way other natural / organic masks might.

Next we have moisturizing masks. These are typically found in most stores and are a cream-based mask. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, just look for the ingredients that suit your skin type the best – whether that is dry, oily or wrinkle-prone. Look for healing agents like, Aloe Vera, Calendula, Comfrey, Marshmallow or Lavender as these are all excellent herbs to heal skin and “plump up” skin cells.

Gel Masks are a great alternative if you suffer from really oily skin or have acne problems. The gels won’t be as thick as the standard moisturizing agent and will still help remove toxins from your skin without clogging your pores. Look for facial masks with natural acids or enzymes like papaya, pumpkin and fruits to gently loosen and dissolve dead surface cells.

Finally, we have “peel-off” facial masks – which aren’t as common as they used to be.  Some believe that “peeling” the mask off the face actually tears the skin tissue, making wrinkles more noticeable. Its up to you.  Some like to use them for the “fun” factor. They come in gel-form that usually has a fruit-acid base like cucumber or grape seed. The gel transforms into a thin transparent film that picks up dead cells, dirt & impurities.  Once dry, you then peel off the film after 15 minutes.

Depending on each mask the set times and after-care instruction may vary.  Usually you leave the mask on for 10-20 min.  Then rinse off with warm water. Follow with moisturizer or toner. And that’s all there is to having fresher, more radiant skin!

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