What's In a Mask Anyways?!
You might be wondering what all of the hype is exactly about at this point and you're not alone. As a beauty-lover and owner of The Beauty Closet, I've often wondered what all of the excitement is for- particularly when it comes to beauty masks. There are quite a few brands and companies now out on the market today who make them to address just about any concern and they are made with a variety of ingredients and unique approaches- it's hard to make sense of it all at times.
When it comes to quality and effectiveness, they aren't always the best in those areas either and pricing can be an issue as I've personally come across some fairly pricey products that weren't necessarily any better than the less-expensive, affordable masks out there. Then of course, there's the issue of safety. Many of these products don't offer up masks that are composed of ingredients that one would really want to put on their face and that's not exactly a comforting thought. Check out my guide that shows you what to look for, my top mask picks, a recommended product review from one of my fav brands- MasqueBar, and more!
- PEEL-OFF: These are super common in regards to types and can be utilized to address a variety of skincare concerns and are great for all skin types. Generally, they need to be left on for 20-30 mins. total dry time to allow for the mask to be easily peeled away from the skin. It's also recommended that it be applied in one, even layer across the entire face or in areas where it's specifically designed to go. You can also use a mask application spatula which is made for such application types to create an even layer and prevent waste & keep application mess-free.
- SHEET: Currently very popular and easy to use, often come individually sealed & usually affordable as well. You can see these masks in a variety of forms and fashions, however they are most often made with a 1-3 combined sheets of mesh composed of cotton or other materials; they can also be made out of a gel-like or silicone-type substance with the product applied the inside of the mask and a sheet layered atop of it to keep the product in place with the mask.
- HARDENING: Often composed of clay, charcoal, or other similar type natural ingredients that end up hardening after being applied in a thick, even layer across the entire face or desired area to be treated. After the mask has hardened [up to 30 mins.] it can be removed to aid in drawing out impurities, improving skin tone, and aiding in improving the skin's texture as well.
- LEAVE-ON: A unique niche of the mask world, these masks are great for all skin types and are normally used to improve hydration and designed to be applied in a thin, even layer and then left on the face overnight. They also tend to come in a variety of forms, but I've most often come across them in some sort of gel-like form that either comes in a tube or jar.
- HIGH-TECH: In a place all their own, these set of new & up-and-coming masks are going to be difficult to beat. I've come across a couple of them in recent years and they usually take the approach of utilizing light therapy to accomplish a variety of difficult skin issues such as discoloration, acne, and fighting the signs of aging :)
Top 10 Natural Ingredients to Look Out for in Your Masks:
- GREEN TEA EXTRACT: This is one to be on the lookout for in almost any mask type or skin issue you are trying to tackle. Why? Green tea extract tends to be soothing & calming, which aids in reducing redness & irritation that's sometimes associated with masks. High in antioxidants, also aids in improving the skin's oxidation and health.
- ALOE VERA: You might have heard of this plant before when it comes to aiding in reducing the symptoms of sunburn, but it also happens to be great in locking in moisture. That's why its also a great candidate for face masks, as Aloe Vera provides a super-charged hydrating effect!
- HONEY: Produced by bees from plant nectar that's stored in honeycombs, we don't often think of this being a the perfect ingredient when it comes to skin care, but it happens to be just that ;) Chalked full of antioxidants, honey is also naturally antibacterial as well- that means it's an excellent ingredient for masks!
- AVOCADO OIL: Pressed from avocado fruit, it's high in Vitamin E & has similar qualities and properties of olive oil. Antioxidant-rich as well, this fantastic oil helps with providing an awesome moisture barrier and aids in hydration as well. Perfect for masks as it won't clog pores and tends to be a lightweight oil that won't leave behind a yucky residue.
- 100% ORGANIC VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: The liquid fat obtained from olives, many people think of this oil more for cooking than for use in their skincare. However, Olive oil is high in several healthy fats & minerals and is a great natural moisturizer as well. There's a reason why the ancient Greeks & Egyptians utilized the oil in their skincare regimens as well- because it works! Those with atopic dermatitis however, may want to steer clear of this oil in particular, as a recent medical study indicates that it may make this skin condition worse in adults.
- 100% ORGANIC BROWN SUGAR: You might think of this ingredient from more of a baking standpoint, but brown sugar can be a great natural ingredient when it comes to masks designed to combat skin texture, discoloration, or acne as it makes an excellent natural exfoliator- without being too abrasive or damaging & irritating to the skin.
- MOROCCAN RED CLAY: An all-natural clay that usually comes in powder form, is known for its high absorbency rate & its ability to mix well with other moisturizing skincare ingredients. This red clay is great in providing purifying action, even for those with super sensitive skin- without causing irritation. Yet, its all-natural deep-cleaning power makes it a one-of-a-kind ingredient that's a good pick for a DIY clay mask at home :)
- WHITE KAOLIN CLAY: Also with high absorbency properties, this lightweight, fine clay often comes in powder form too. Reduces inflammation and provides deep cleaning power, this clay is another great clay ingredient that makes a great fit for your own at-home DIY clay mask. Excellent at aiding in enhancing blood circulation to the skin, it's one you shouldn't miss!
- FRENCH GREEN CLAY: Mineral-rich & 100% bio-organic material, it contains one of the highest contents of antioxidants and other minerals that are fabulous for skin health and acne-sufferers!
- FULLER'S EARTH: A clay material often known by "Mud from Multan" or "Bleaching Clay" due to its usual whitish appearance. Here in the U.S. it's typically composed of volcanic ash and has been mined from 24 different states :0 It offers up great cleansing & purifying abilities and is awesome for those with acne-prone & oily skin :) Also a great candidate for mixing with other ingredients for the perfect DIY at-home facial mask.
The Beauty Closet Recommends:
*target.com pricing > come in single packs or boxed w/ind. sealed 3-pks. for around $7.89
What I really love about these is the affordability and the variety available. Whatever you skincare concern might be, there's a MasqueBar sheet mask out there for you! I've tried the brightening bio cellulose, hydrating bio cellulose, anti-aging bio cellulose, & purifying bio cellulose sheet masks so far and I loved all of them! I did however have 2 fav's out of that list: the brightening and purifying masks brought noticeably improved overall health to my skin and also did exactly what they said they would- I could see how much more cleansed, smoother, and luminous my skin was after using them. I also noticed that my skin has stayed clearer since using these. I go for using at least one of the sheet masks a week and since it only takes about 30 mins. of my time & less than $5 of my money, it's definitely worth the slight downtime in my usually busy routine ;) I highly recommend giving one of them a try!