Treat yourself to a luxurious face mask routine. Photo / Guy Coombes.

Clear The Mind & Complexion With A Soothing Face Mask

Applying a face mask is not only good for your skin, it’s a good excuse to take a break and relax

Applying a face mask became a calming self-care ritual for many of us during the lockdown and this is one staple of a good weekly skincare regimen worth persevering with. Once deemed time-consuming and somewhat of a luxury, masking has become synonymous with well-deserved minutes lying back to clear the mind and the complexion. And why not? There’s a lot to be gained from both pursuits.

Aside from the welcome respite they provide, face masks are an effective way of delivering instantaneous nourishment and targeted ingredients to needy skin in a concentrated form, whether that be through sheets, clay, or peel-off masks.

But, there is such a thing as being excessive, and those who have sought solace in a few too many masks, only to find a compromised complexion, may be guilty of “over-masking”. (This is not to be confused with multi-masking, whereby different masks are applied to different parts of the face at the same time – perhaps an oil-controlling clay mask in your T-zone and a hydrating mask to your cheeks.)

READ: How To Make Your Own Natural Face Mask

“Over-masking is essentially over-doing your skincare,” says UK aesthetic doctor Dr Parisha Acharya. “Overuse can result in significant harm by damaging your skin’s barrier function, leading to sensitivity and making you more vulnerable to inflammation and irritation. You can also strip the skin of its protective oils and commensal bacteria which are essential for maintaining the healthy function of your skin.”

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Timely Advice

How often you should use a face mask is dependent on your skin type and the type of mask you are using. Sensitive skin types should limit mask use to once a week and ensure that the ingredients are suitable for their specific skin concerns.

As for the type of mask you’re using, Parisha says, “Hydrating masks can be used roughly twice a week but remember that we also want our skin to do its job in making natural moisturisation factors, so it is important not to overuse these types of masks. Exfoliating, brightening or anti-ageing masks should be used between once to twice a week.”

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Some of the most effective branded face masks contain potent skincare ingredients such as vitamin C, acids or retinol. When using them, it is paramount to follow recommendations about application. You may also want to skip other skincare containing retinol if your mask contains a strong active ingredient such as vitamin C or acids. As with most things, consistency is key, so you should use the same mask over a six to 10 week period to reap the best results. “Ensure that you supplement any mask with a good skincare regime to target and tackle your individual skin concern,” Parisha adds.

The Process

Start by cleansing and gently exfoliating as usual. Then smooth on your sheet mask as instructed or, if using a mixture, apply the mask in a single layer with a clean brush. Avoiding using your hands will prevent the transfer of oil and bacteria to the face.

If removal of the mask requires rinsing, do so, otherwise use a soft muslin cloth and tepid water with circular motions, to help with natural lymphatic drainage, and then gently dry your skin. However, be cautious as overdrying can damage skin.

Finally, complete the rest of your skincare routine as normal, such as following up with a serum or night cream.

— Daily Telegraph

Choose The Right Mask For Your Skin

Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Sheet Mask. Photo / Supplied.

Sensitive skin: look for key ingredients such as aloe vera, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and oat milk. Try: Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Sheet Mask $146 (pack of six) to soothe, detoxify and calm the skin. From selected therapists and

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque and Dr Hauschka Clarifying Clay Mask. Photos / Supplied.

Dry skin: look for hyaluronic acid, oat milk, ceramides and glycerin. Try: Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque $84, with cross-linked hyaluronic acid and lycopene to lock in moisture for lasting suppleness.

Oily skin: look for clay, sulphur, charcoal, BHAs and AHAs. Try: Dr Hauschka Clarifying Clay Mask $69, a powder to mix with water, containing witch hazel and daisy extract to mop up sebum while also soothing.

Avène Antirougeurs Calm Soothing Mask and The Ordinary’s Salicylic 2% Masque. Photos / Supplied.

Combination skin: look for pumpkin, papaya and AHAs. Try: The Ordinary’s Salicylic 2% Masque $26, to gently exfoliate. Contains charcoal and clays to clear pores for a fresher face. &

For rosacea: look for niacinamide and aloe vera. Try: Avène Antirougeurs Calm Soothing Mask $40, to cool and refresh flushed, puffy or tight skin. For your nearest pharmacy stockists see

Ultraceuticals Ultra Energising Mask and Environ Ionzyme C-Quence Energising Masque. Photos / Supplied.

For pigmentation: look for vitamin C, arbutin, tranexamic acid, niacinamide, glutathione and retinol. Try: Environ Ionzyme C-Quence Energising Masque $166, to help rough and sun-damaged skin, with mildly tingling exfoliation. Find salon stockists at

For anti-ageing: look for retinol, hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Try: Ultraceuticals Ultra Energising Mask $89, to fight fatigue and dullness. For stockists or to buy online, see

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