After a hectic day, there’s nothing as rejuvenating and refreshing as a good face mask. They leave you feeling fresh and radiant. But in addition to making you feel great, face masks also have different purposes depending on their ingredients. By pairing the right mask to your skin type, you’re not only going to be relaxing but also actively and effectively treating your skin.
The absolute best thing for oily skin is a clay mask of some sort. Esthetician Jordana Mattioli says, "Clays are generally great for oily skin, but with the right addition of other ingredients."
In Origins’ Active Charcoal Mask ($26) the active ingredient is a type of clay called kaolin clay which gets rid of toxins. Mattioli tells us, "kaolin clay mildly exfoliates, is gentle, and great for sensitive skin." Plus the addition of charcoal in the mask will draw out whatever is clogging the pores while the clay cleanses it away.
Sometimes, especially as we get older, skin can feel like it’s lacking natural radiance or it can start to feel rough. This is caused by low oil production and exfoliation of skin cells which in turn causes a dull look. A brightening mask is great for dull skin. It brings color and brightness to the surface to go from dull to glowy. Lexi Hill, a senior at the University of South Carolina, says, “my other favorite is [a brightening mask] by Karuna ($8). [It’s] really good to smooth lines and for a more refreshed/glow after or exfoliating.”
With summertime comes dry skin, and the ultimate way to combat it is with plenty of hydration, for yourself and your skin. A hydrating mask with essential oils, purifying waters or some sort of ingredient that will nourish the skin will be best. Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth University, says, “My skin’s generally dry – a little bit oily on occasion, especially if it’s humid – and I use a British Rose plumping mask ($28) from The Body Shop.” This Dr. Jart+ ($6) mask is also great for hydrating and repairing your skin; it uses algae extract to leave your skin feeling replenished.
Sometimes skin gets worn out or looser (especially as we get older), whether it’s from the sun or pollution, our skin takes the blow. A smoothing or refining mask will perk and tighten it up, bringing back some definition to the face.
Lexi says, “My other favorite is…Peter Thomas Roth Gold Mask ($42). [It’s] great for smoothing and refining.” This mask also comes in a sheet version ($12)! Sheet masks will lock in moisture a bit better than a “wash-off” mask will and for us lazy girls, tend to be less work to apply and take off. Mattioli says, "in a face mask, since it's left on a short amount of time, you are most likely getting a calming anti-inflammatory effect. Gold is a mineral which can have anti-aging, and skin brightening properties when found as an ingredient in a well-formulated product."
When skin gets irritated, whether sunburnt, broken out, or just experiencing redness, it needs to be calmed down with a soothing mask. A perfect soothing mask will have tea tree oil or cucumber. Mattioli explains that "cucumbers contain vitamin c and silica, so it functions as an antioxidant, but it's soothing anti-inflammatory properties come from its the polysaccharides which attracts and keeps moisture in...tea tree oil is a soothing antioxidant with antibacterial and astringent properties which makes it feel cooling. It's a great ingredient for acne, but also can be helpful for nail fungal conditions and even athletes foot." These are definitely key ingredients. The Body Shop slays the face mask game with their Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask ($17), which helps to calm your skin and eliminate redness.
All skin types
There are some masks that don’t necessarily target something specific but are just overall good for your skin! If you’re not sure what your skin type is start with one of these to see what it brings out in your skin.
A good ingredient to look for is honey. Mattioli says, "Honey has so many beneficial properties as a potent antioxidant and antibacterial ingredient which is why its found in products meant to soothe or heal wounds. It is rich with enzymes, amino acids, proteins, and vitamins- which makes it great for all skin types and beneficial in any type of face or product." She recommends this Honey Potion mask from Farmacy ($56). For something extremely hydrating and fun to use, the bubble mask ($14) trend!
Of course, everyone’s skin is different and one mask may not agree with you so always be careful when trying new face masks. Go ahead and reveal that gorgeous skin!