Types and Uses of Facial Masks

Published: 15th April 2009
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A facial mask is a creamy mask applied to clean or smooth the face. It often contains minerals, vitamins and/or fruit extracts, such as pumpkin or cucumber. There are different kinds of masks for different purposes; some are deep cleansing for cleaning the pores. The perceived effect of a facial mask treatment can be revitalizing, rejuvenating or refreshing. Facial masks are most commonly used by women but are also increasingly used by men.

Some masks are washed off with tepid water, others are peeled off by hand. Duration for wearing a mask depends on type of mask, but can be three minutes to 30 minutes, and on some rare occasions, the whole night. Honey is a very popular mask because it not only smoothes the skin, and cleans pores, it is also highly antimicrobial and excellent for acne.

Facial masks should be selected according to skin type. Clay and mud masks typically suit oily skin; cream-based masks work best on dry skin types. Masks should be used once or twice a week after cleansing for best results. Firming masks should not be applied on the eye area because they can cause irritation or tearing of the delicate skin tissue.

Before applying any face mask, it is imperative that you know your skin type. You can determine your skin type by noticing how your skin tends to react most frequently. We all experience seasonal weather changes, and so does our skin, but recognizing if your skin tends to be dry and tight or oily and acne prone is a first step. Review other articles in this blog for further help on skin type. Don't forget to check combination or sensitive types as well.

Once determining you skin type, select the facial mask that best suits you. For instance, a dry skin type would use a facial mask that hydrates and moisturizers, while an oily skin type may select a mask that extracts excess oil from the skin. Always apply the facial mask to clean skin and avoid the eye area.

Masks can also be used on the neck, shoulders and arms. These areas are exposed to the everyday environmental stress and need pampering too. Masks are perfect to bring back the glow to you skin.

Once applied, take the time to sit back and relax. Try not to use your facial muscles such as laughing or eating as some masks will tighten significantly. The mask needs to dry so that it can absorb the toxins or moisturize your skin.

Some types of masks are called "radiance" or anti aging masks. With various properties such as vitamins, seaweed, kelp, or minerals, they perk up and tone lifeless, dull skin. Radiance masks moisturize and tone the skin to give a more youthful appearance.

Hydrating masks moisturize the skin by restoring your skins natural oil balance. Hydrating masks are recommended for those with dry skin.

Clay and mud masks are best suited for oily skin. They dry in a short period of time and are considered a detoxifying mask. Clay and mud masks open the pores and remove blackheads. In addition they absorb excess oil in the skin which is known to cause pimples and acne. After the mask has dried, rinse with cool water and gently scrub the mask off your face. Your skin will be free of dirt and excess oil and as an added bonus circulation is improved too.

Peel-off masks are usually gel-based. These masks are set to lighten the skin by closing open pores and smoothing out the skin. The mask dries and then is peeled off when dry. Peel masks get rid of blackheads, dead skin cells. Be aware that some masks might pull some facial hair out as well.

Firming masks are usually gel or cream form. Firming masks do just as the name implies, it firms and tightens the skins surface. They are massaged into the contours of the face where elasticity is lost. Firming masks are usually used as an anti-aging anti-wrinkle masks as they tighten and firm the skin.

Homemade facial masks can be made from simple ingredients such as honey, egg whites, milk, fruits and vegetables and herbs. Each of the ingredients offer some sort of benefit to the skin. For instance, eggs offer anti-oxidant properties, while honey is a great hydrator and soothing to the skin. Lemon is a bleaching agent and tightens skin. Milk or skimmed milk is a good skin softener. The properties of natural ingredients and essential oils and herbs are endless when applying them to skin care.

Quick home recipes:

To cool and reduce inflammation, grate a cucumber and slather the pulp on your face

A stimulating mint leaf mixture will alleviate acne issues

Oatmeal softens the skin and removes dead cells

To keep wrinkles at bay, make a mask of crushed ripe bananas

To tighten skin and close pores, beat an egg white with 1/2 tsp. of lime juice

Tomatoes are also helpful for oily skin types

Rachelle Dupree is a Communications and Graphic Design professional, with an interest in organic skincare, herbal treatments, plants, natural beauty products, whole health and yoga.

Please visit http://bestfacemask.com/ for further skincare resources.

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