Are Face Masks Good for Acne?
It’s hard to keep up with the number of products that promise to solve our skin care worries. From toners to tinctures, serums to scrubs, most of our vanities are filled with products whose usage we little understand. While a solid book deserves to be written on the intents and purposes of all skin care products, here we focus our scope on that time-tested, go-to solution: face masks. The topic of face masks conjures images of relaxation and cucumber eye covers, but are they more than a luxury indulgence? Yes! Face masks for acne can be used to treat your skin while also providing a healthy dose of pampering. Read on to learn the various types of face masks and how they might be able to solve your skincare woes.
Face Masks: What Are They?
Face masks a much-loved skin care solution due to their wide range of benefits, but at their core, they’re used to protect and improve skin. Generally speaking, the masks sits on your face for 10 to 15 minutes as it works its magic on your complexion. There are an endless variety of masks, but they usually contain restorative ingredients such as clay, mud, aloe vera, essential oils, and herbs. You can purchase the product of your choice over-the-counter (OTC) to add to your at-home beauty routine, or you can have a professional-grade mask applied by an esthetician during a facial. Depending on their ingredients, face masks can fight acne, heal blemishes, remove impurities, reduce pore size, or tone, nourish, and hydrate the skin.
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Different Types of Face Masks
If you’re wondering, “Are face masks good for acne?” you might be fearing the rumors that circle their pore-clogging properties. Just like any other cosmetic product, the benefits – and consequences – of face masks depend on the quality of its ingredients. With so many variations in formula and texture, choosing a face mask can be overwhelming. Some different options include:
• Clay masks: These include clay, kaolin, and/or bentonite for their tightening and sebum-absorbing effects. Such masks are designed to draw oil and dirt to the surface of the skin.
• Cream masks or gel masks: Such masks are usually designed to deliver a surge of moisture to dry and dehydrated skin, while repairing free radical damage and improving collagen production.
• Exfoliating masks: Exfoliation is a critical step in your skin care routine, and these soothing masks are designed to reduce redness when sloughing off dead skin cells. Many of these masks use glycolic acid as their main exfoliator.
• Enzyme masks: Natural fruit enzymes are great at treating dull or inflammatory skin without creating irritation.
• Peel-off masks: Sometimes called rubber masks, these putty-like mixtures harden after application and are peeled off when removed.
• Sheet masks: Sheet masks, or cloth masks, come from the Asian beauty market and deliver large amounts of active ingredients to the skin, pushing said ingredients deeper into the dermis for even better results.
• Overnight masks: Leave-on masks are usually found in the form of gel or cream. They work while you sleep and allow you to wake up to luminous skin in the morning.
• Natural masks: The internet has plenty of recipes for you to make your own DIY face mask using natural ingredients such as sugar, oats, and honey.
Using a Face Mask to Get Rid of Acne
Finding the right face mask to clear acne depends on your individual skin type:
• For dry or dehydrated skin, use a moisturizing mask that’s rich in hydration, and avoid products containing mud or clay.
• If your skin is oily and congested, find a face mask that removes acne by drawing out impurities. Clay masks are best for oily and acne-prone skin.
• Those with sensitive skin which appears red or inflamed should find a mask that calms and soothes. Look for a nourishing product that contains rose hips to speed up your skin’s healing process.
• Normal skin types can use a variety of face masks depending on its intended usage, but they stand to benefit the most from brightening peel-off masks.
Face masks can (and should!) be used by everybody. If you pick the right product that’s formulated to your unique skin type, you shouldn’t have to worry about any of the pore-clogging drawbacks you might have heard or read about.
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Acne-Reducing Face Mask Ingredients
We weren’t kidding when we said that finding the right face mask can be a bit complicated. If you’re getting a professional facial, your esthetician will be able to recommend a product for you after analyzing your skin – and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to purchase it and take it home. Such is not the luxury in most cases, so when you’re shopping for face masks at the store or online, keep an eye open for these acne-fighting face mask ingredients:
• Tea: Tea-based masks infuse your skin with vitamin C and E to rejuvenate the cells and remove free radicals that are accumulated throughout the day.
• Coffee: Coffee kick starts your skin’s regeneration and can bring a lack-luster complexion back to life.
• Charcoal: Like a magnet, charcoal removes dirt from the deepest depths of your pores.
• Kaolin or Bentonite: Found in clay masks, these detoxifying ingredients do a fantastic job at expelling toxins and reducing redness.
• Glycolic Acid: This exfoliator is great at removing dead skin, promoting the growth of new cells, and treating acne-prone types by clearing pores.
• Salicylic Acid: One of acne’s biggest enemies, salicylic acid is used to clear and prevent pimples with visible success.
• Benzoyl Peroxide or Collodial Sulfur: These ingredients can serve as anti-bacterial agents in face masks to attack the P. acnes bacteria.
Are Face Masks Good for Acne?
If you’re using a face mask to get rid of acne, be sure you’re applying it in the right way. Follow these five steps to get the most out of your face mask application:
1. Wash your face first. Cleanse and exfoliate before applying your product, as putting a mask on a dirty face can trap impurities. Use warm water to rinse during this step to open your pores and create a perfect canvas for your mask.
2. Apply carefully. Make sure your hands are clean when you apply your mask, especially if you’re using your fingers and not a brush. Evenly spread the product using upward motions and avoid tugging on the skin.
3. Be mindful of how long it’s on. While some masks are safe to be left on for an extended period of time, not all have such a long-wear formula. Clay masks, for example, can dehydrate the skin if left on for too long, while moisturizing masks can wind up clogging pores. Be sure to read the instructions on your specific packaging.
4. Pat your skin dry. After removing your mask, be sure not to rub. Instead, gently pat your skin with a soft towel to because your skin will likely be a bit sensitive from so much pulling or absorbing action.
5. Follow up. Use cosmetics such as toners or moisturizers designed for your skin type to continue your acne treatment. The skin will be more absorbent following a face mask, and you’ll experience better results from your acne-fighting products.
Make a routine out of your face mask application. Pick one or two days a week to set aside an extra 10-15 minutes for your mask, and try to keep those days consistent as you plan out your beauty regimen (you may be able to use a face mask more often depending on your routine and skin care concerns). We recommend using the time you wear the mask to sit back, unwind, and destress. Add a candle or glass of wine to the equation to give yourself a sense of spa-like luxury from the comfort of your own home.
Face Masks: Good for Acne
Acne-reducing face masks can be remarkably effective at clearing up your complexion. They’re easy to apply, fun to use, and great at delivering results. Applying a good face mask will make your skin feel tightened and toned after a single use. Moreover, face masks for acne help remove excess oil, reduce the size of pores, and draw out impurities within the skin. Take your choice between gels and creams, imported sheets and overnight offerings, to find a product that gives your complexion the nourishment it needs. Remember that the effectiveness of your mask depends not only on its texture, but the ingredients it contains. Use a face mask to reduce acne the next time you want to give your skin a little TLC – they feel great, and can help you look great, too!