Clay and mud masks
Anthropologists claim that clay and mud masks have been used since before the time of written language. With their superior oil-sopping, pore-clearing, and skin-tightening abilities, these masks continue to be popular among those with oily and normal skins.
Clay and mud masks can generally be used once or twice a week. They are applied to clean skin and allowed to harden for 15 to 40 minutes, before they are rubbed off with a wet cloth and the face splashed until remnants are removed. While many of these masks contain only a special type of purified mud or clay, many also contain added extras such as sulfur, alpha hydroxy acids, herbs, or botanical extracts.
Peel-off masks emerge from the bottle as a gel. To use, spread a moderate amount of the cool-feeling mask evenly over your face. Do not miss any spots! When the mask has dried, start at the forehead and peel it off; dead skin cells, pore-clogging gunk, and other debris are removed with the mask. Peel-off masks can be used by people with oily, normal, and dry skins, depending on the mask’s individual ingredient list; its bottle should mention what types of skin the product works best for. These masks can severely irritate sensitive or thin skin, and skin being treated with alpha hydroxy acids or trentinoin products.
Epidermal treatment masks
For a strong dose of therapeutic ingredients, your best bet is an epidermal treatment mask. These masks are packaged in face-shaped sheets that have been infused with active ingredients such as antioxidants, moisturizers, or alpha hydroxy acids. They are modeled after medical epidermal patches, such as the ones used to deliver nicotine to smokers. Epidermal treatment masks can be used up to three times weekly.
Studies have shown epidermal delivery sends active ingredients deep into the skin without causing irritation. For smaller areas, some companies make epidermal patches designed to treat specific problem areas.
Suffer from blackheads? Don’t have time for an all-out mask treatment? Smooth a pore strip over the infected area and wait 15 minutes. Pull off the strip and voila – the sebum and dirt that were in your pores will be stuck to the strip. Pore strips are most popular for the nose, but some companies make versions for the chin, cheeks, and forehead as well.
Soft and soothing, non-hardening masks are applied thickly to clean skin and allowed to sit for 15 to 40 minutes before being tissued or rinsed off. Popular non-hardening masks include calming gel-style versions, which are often formulated to pamper sensitive or irritated skins, and creamy moisturizing formulas designed to hydrate normal to dry complexions.
Try keeping your favorite non-hardenine mask on in the shower. After cleansing your face, apply the mask and allow it to sit as you shave your legs, loofah your elbows, and shampoo and condition your hair. After 5 minutes, rinse the mask off The steam will open your skin’s pores and help the mask penetrate faster, giving you results in a short amount of time.