Face masks have grown in popularity in the skincare community. Everywhere you look, someone is telling you to draw a bath, put a face mask on, and let all your problems float away.
Relaxation with the added bonus of an improved complexion is undoubtedly a plus, but how often should you indulge in this routine?
The answer differs based on the product you’re using and your skin type.the better we understand how various mask types differ, the more we cab support the unique needs of our skin.
What Kinds of Face Masks Can I Use?
No two face masks are created equally. Different types of masks are meant to be used in different ways, and it takes some research to determine for yourself which is the best for your skin type and skin concerns.
Clay or Mud
Clay and mud masks have been used for thousands of years — there’s nothing more foundational than ancient Egyptians using the mud of the Nile to help soothe their skin. This type of face mask works to help absorb excess sebum from the skin while ridding superficial impurities such as dead skin cells, dirt and debris.
With any mask, it is critical for you to read the instructions and only leave the mask on your face for the allotted amount of time. A pure clay face mask that is left on for too long or is used too often can strip the skin’s natural oils, and may even cause your skin to overproduce sebum to compensate.
This overproduction of sebum may lead to excessively oily skin, thus causing further complications like breakouts. Avoid using pure clay or mud masks more than three times a week, and stop or reduce your usage if you experience skin irritation as a result.
The LINNÉ PURIFY face wash and mask can be used safely every night as a cleanser. Because the clays in PURIFY are coupled with hydrating, soothing, and nourishing ingredients, PURIFY is unlikely to dry or dehydrate skin. As a mask we recommend once weekly use. If you have blemishes you’d like to specifically target you can also use PURIFY as a spot treatment three times a week.
Masks intended to nourish, soften, or moisturize your skin can come in many different forms. Some are gel-like, others more the consistency of a cream or balm. Sheet masks are also important and can be a fun addition as long as the sheet itself is biodegradable.
These masks are formulated to supplement the skin with nutrients in a similar way a serum, face oil or specialty face cream is meant to perform, yet they are intended to be wiped or rinsed off after use.
When choosing a moisture mask, read the ingredeint list thouroughly. Often times to achieve thick, luxurious textures masks are loaded with filler ingredients, some of which can be carcinogenic or biohazards.
Also keep in mind that there are many oily substances available to formulators and some of them will clog pores. Palm oil and unfractionated coconut oil are two examples of natural oils to avoid. We also recommend that you steer clear of synthetic oils and silicones; not only can they clog pores but they only give the illusion of nourished skin and do not treat the skin on a cellular level.
Also be sure to avoid masks containing artificial fragrances or “parfum”. These are considered “trade secrets.” The FDA does not regulate the ingredients under the term “fragrance,” which means there is no way to know what exact ingredients are included.
Not all fragrance ingredients are inherently bad — there are some gentle naturals and safe synthetics, but without knowing what exactly is included, you could end up causing more harm than good.
Exfoliating masks contain ingredients designed to physically or chemically separate dead from living skin cells. It’s in their very nature to be abrasive so these masks should be used respectfully.
When it comes to exfoliation, we believe less is more. Keep in mind, while a luminous complexion is desirable, the “glass skin” craze is potentially harmful. Hyper smooth, shiny skin that feels like plastic is a sign that you may have gone overboard with exfoliation.
One should not confuse plump, hydrated skin with swollen skin that is inflamed due to a disruption in the lipid barrier. Truly toned skin maintains a healthy content of elastin and collagen, but over exfoliation too can degrade elastin and collagen, which will make the face feel tight.
When picking an exfoliation mask, be sure to pick a gentle mask, such as the LINNÉ SCRUB face mask. This mask can unclog pores, refine skin texture, promote healthy cellular turnover, and support collagen production. Nourishing ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera, and jojoba oil help calm the skin.
When using this mask, leave it on your face for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off gently using warm water to reveal silky, smooth skin.
What Are the Different Skin Types?
Your skin type is the most important determining factor for how often you should use each face mask. Skin type is largely determined by genetics, but your skin type can change over time and may be influenced by external factors like the weather.
Understanding your skin type can help you better recognize what products you should be using, and how you should use them.
Dry skin produces less sebum than other skin types, resulting in red or dry patches, dullness, and poor elasticity. Whether your skin is chronically dry or you suffer from seasonal dry skin in the colder months, moisturizing face masks can be an extremely helpful way to bring moisture back to your skin.
Hydrating face masks can help soothe and soften dehydrated skin, and can be used multiple times a week. You can even add a hydrating mask to your skincare routine in place of moisturizer for a deeper level of hydration on extra dry days.
For extremely dry skin, consider using a facial oil help trap in the hydration supplied by a moisture mask. Our REPAIR face oil can help soothe and heal dry and damaged skin with clean, hardworking, 100% organic or wild-harvested ingredients like rose hip, tsubaki, sacha inchi, and argan oil.
While hardworking, this face oil is gentle enough to be used daily as part of your skincare routine for a nourished complexion.
Oily skin is caused by excessive sebum production. If you have oily skin, you might notice that the skin on your face is constantly greasy or shiny in appearance.
Oily skin will benefit from a clay or mud mask, but with moderation. A traditional 100% bentonite clay mask, for example, may strip too many oils from your skin, causing the body to overcompensate and produce an excess of oil.
While we do use a touch of bentonite clay in PURIFY face wash, the primary clays used are gentle white clay and mineral rich green clay. These less absorbent clays are appropriate for dry, sensitive and oily skin types. PURIFY also contains jojoba oil, a waxy substance that is known to help regulate oil production.
Rich in ceramides, jojoba oil will also help to support the skin’s lipid barrier, locking in moisture and protecting the skin from irritation and environmental damage.
Incorporating LINNÉ’s BALANCE face oil will also help establish a balance of sebum in your skin. This too can be used daily to help maintain a healthy balance.
Sensitive skin is particularly prone to irritation, and is often more reactive to products and ingredients than other skin types. Unfortunately many of the products on the market contain aggressive ingredients that can cause skin irritation, flakiness, discomfort, and redness.
If you’ve already nailed down a skincare routine that doesn’t upset your sensitive skin, you may be hesitant to add in a new product like a face mask.
If you have sensitive skin and are however eager to incorporate something new, it’s probably wise to keep your face mask use to once a week. Stick to masks that are free of fragrance, as these are the least likely to irritate your skin. If you’re trying a new face mask, test it first on a small area to make sure it does not cause irritation. Read the instructions and avoid leaving your mask on for too long.
Fortunately, according to consumer response, LINNÉ products are well tolerated by sensitive skin. Furthermore, because we use many anti-irritant ingredients that improve barrier function, countless testimonials suggest that the use of LINNÉ products can help sensitized skin become more resilient and less reactive.
Indulge, But Don’t Overdo It
Face masks can be an excellent self-care tool to help you unwind and give your skin some TLC. Masks offer a variety of benefits for every skin type, regardless of the skin concern.
Moisture masks and face oils are generally safe to use every day, but other masks that contain exfoliants should only be used only once or twice a week.
The best way to take care of your skin without causing irritation is to find a set of products that work for your skin’s specific needs.
Opt for a brand that uses responsibly sourced, high-quality ingredients and is transparent in their product education. Remember, your skin is your largest organ — treat it with respect and you’ll be thrilled by the glowing results you see!