Skincare secrets: How often should you do a face mask?

The dos and don'ts of masking.

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Finding the perfect balance in your skincare routine is crucial for healthy and happy skin. Face masks are an important product in your regime that help target skin concerns and determining how often you should use a face mask is important.

Why? Well, while face masks can provide numerous benefits, overdoing it can hinder their effectiveness. Understanding how often to use a skincare face mask involves considering factors such as skin type, mask ingredients, and individual needs.

With this in mind, we're looking at how often you should use a skincare face mask to achieve optimal results. Let's dive in and find the perfect rhythm for your masking routine.

Benefits of face masks

Face masks offer a wide range of benefits, from hydration and exfoliation to brightening. They can also provide a luxurious experience (hello, self-care!) while delivering targeted ingredients to help improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Hydrating masks

Hydrating masks help soothe and moisturise the skin [1]. Cream, gel or sheet masks are the most hydrating styles of face masks on the beauty market and are great for those with dry skin.

Look for face masks with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides for a big drink of water for the skin.

Brightening masks

Brightening masks are designed to target dullness, pigmentation and skin texture to reveal glowy and bright skin. Exfoliating masks generally fall into this category as they help to resurface the skin and reveal a radiant complexion.

Look for ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide and AHAs when looking for a brightening face mask.

Purifying masks

Purifying masks help to draw impurities out of the skin, reduce enlarged pores, balance excess oil and clear away dead skin cells, oil and dirt. Mud, clay and activated charcoal masks fall into the purifying category and are particularly handy for those with oily skin.

Types of face masks

When it comes to care of your skin, face masks can play an essential role. Whether you're seeking a quick pick-me-up or a targeted treatment for your skin concerns, there's a mask out there for everyone.

Here are some of the most popular types of face masks.

Sheet masks

If you have dry and thirsty skin, sheet masks are your best friend. Generally made from cotton, fibre or cellulose, sheet masks are soaked in serum and help inject hydration into the skin. Think of these masks as a huge drink of water for your skin.

While some sheet masks can have exfoliating, brightening or firming benefits, the main benefit of a sheet mask is hydration. This is the mask to reach for before an event, to prep your skin for makeup or as a way to unwind and show your skin some TLC.

Software's Hydrogel Face Masks instantly quench and revive dull, dry skin in just 20 minutes. Our masks are packed with hyaluronic acid and ceramides for rich, long-lasting moisture that leaves skin looking rejuvenated and smooth. Hydrate skin, maximise moisture retention and firm skin with our 3-pack of sheet masks.

Mud and clay masks

Mud and clay masks, while different in their composition, serve a similar function in the masking world. These masks help to absorb excess oil, work to unclog pores and draw out impurities, which makes them great for those with acne-prone or oily skin.

Charcoal masks

Similar to a mud or clay mask, charcoal masks help to unclog pores, clear away excess oil and pollution, draw blackheads to the surface and remove dead skin cells.

The oil-absorbing qualities of charcoal masks make them a great choice for those with oily skin but they can also be used by those with acne-prone and combination skin.

Cream and gel masks

Both cream and gel masks prioritise hydration and are generally designed to soothe, moisturise and cool. This makes these masks perfect for those with sensitive skin or if you're prone to redness or irritation.

Exfoliating masks

Exfoliating masks are designed to treat skin texture as well as dull and rough skin. These types of masks generally contain ingredients like AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate the skin and remove dirt, oil and impurities.

Those with an oily or acne-prone skin type will love an exfoliating mask but remember to use it sparingly — this is not a product you need to use regularly.

How often should you use a face mask?

Each mask has different uses and while some can be used multiple times a week, some should be used just once a week. Here's how often to use your masks.

Sheet masks

Daily! These masks are soaked with skin-loving serum and are designed to provide hydration so they can be used every day or simply whenever you have an event or special occasion and your skin needs a little TLC.

Mud and clay masks

Mud and clay can be used 2-3 times per week for 15 minutes but generally once a week does the trick. These masks draw out impurities and oil from your skin but overuse can lead to stripping your skin.

Be careful not to leave these masks on for too long as they can irritate those with sensitive skin.

Charcoal

Charcoal masks can be quite drying so it's best to use these only once a week for around 15 minutes. Those with sensitive or dry skin won't get as much benefit from charcoal masks as those with oily skin types.

Cream or gel masks

Cream and gel-based masks can be used up to 3 times per week for up to 20 minutes each time. These formulas are usually quite gentle and offer a boost of hydration to the skin. Some cream or gel masks are also designed to be worn as an overnight mask to lock in moisture.

Exfoliating masks

Most exfoliating masks contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or fruit enzymes and as a result, you should only use them once a week — at most.

Can you over-mask?

Yes! Over-masking is a real thing and as such, you need to be careful of how often you're reaching for a skincare mask.

Overusing certain masks can disrupt your skin barrier and as a result, cause, inflammation and redness, irritation, breakouts or dryness [2].

Photo credit: Getty Images

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