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Face Masks for Every Type of Skin

Face Masks for Every Type of Skin

Face masks can be wonderful additions to your skin care routine, and depending on which ingredients they are formulated with, they can offer a powerful boost in fighting various skin concerns. From sheet masks to peel off masks to DIY face masks, the beauty and skincare market has a plethora of face masks to offer. With all those choices, you may be asking yourself: “What is the difference between these masks, and what is the best face mask for my skin care routine?” Well, that depends on your skin type, skin tone, and the results you’re looking for.

Before buying a new skincare face mask, it’s important to figure out your skin type. Is your skin oily, dry, sensitive or acne-prone? Maybe you have none of these concerns and you simply want a face mask for smooth skin. Whatever your skin concerns are, read on to find out what to look for before purchasing a face mask to add to your skin care routine. 

Face Mask for Dry Skin

Dry skin can be difficult to treat. Other than the tight, dry feeling that never seems to go away, dryness can also cause flakiness and irritation, making it difficult to wear makeup and sunscreen. Dry skin can be genetic, a result of cold weather, or a result of compromising your skin barrier from using overly harsh ingredients on your face.

Whatever the reason, a face mask for dry skin can help replenish moisture for faster results to get your skin back to normal. The goal of a good face mask for dry skin is to lock in hydration and protect the skin barrier from further dryness and irritation and prevent flakiness.

There are a lot of face masks that can benefit dry skin. The best face masks for dry skin are moisturizing masks, sometimes referred to as hydrating masks, and cream masks. These types of face masks for dry skin tend to be a thicker consistency than other face masks since they’re made to be richer. They are more hydrating than other skin masks because they incorporate  oils and butters to hydrate your skin.

Ingredients to look for in a good face mask that’s best for dry skin feature humectants, oils, and butters higher up on the ingredient list. Humectants are skin care ingredients that function by binding water to the skin and holding in moisture. Honey, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera are a few examples of humectants to look for. Butters such as, shea butter and cocoa butter, work as emollients to soften and smooth the skin while oils add that last boost of hydration and lock everything in.

Face with lines
Face Mask for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is perhaps the most difficult skin type to deal with. Choosing a face mask for sensitive skin requires more thought than other skin types, since you want to make sure that you’ll have the skin feeling healthy and less inflamed. Sensitive skin is skin that is more prone to redness, irritation, and inflammation, and often can’t tolerate the same ingredients that those with oily or normal skin can. People with sensitive skin have to be careful about staying away from stronger and more abrasive ingredients.   

Those with sensitive skin must be extremely careful when trying new ingredients as this can aggravate sensitive skin. Good ingredients to look for in a mask for sensitive skin that are least likely to cause irritation are natural ingredients such as green tea, chamomile, aloe vera, shea butter, and coconut water. These are all naturally derived plant ingredients that are the least likely to cause irritation due to their gentle nature and the fact that they’re less harsh than other ingredients.

If you have sensitive skin it's important to be aware of which ingredients you should look out for and avoid in a face mask. Ingredients like vitamin C and a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid, for instance, are wonderful for most skin types, but they can, unfortunately, irritate already sensitive skin due to the fact that they penetrate the skin barrier deeper than other ingredients. 

Many face masks for dry skin can also benefit sensitive skin. Most moisturizing masks that help dry skin types will have ingredients that promote hydration and soothe irritation at the same time (such as humectants). Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, honey, and aloe vera are ingredients to look for that are commonly found in beauty products and face masks for sensitive skin. 

One of the best face masks for sensitive skin are gel masks or water sleeping masks. These are skin care masks that are formulated to hydrate and nourish the skin without aggravating it. Gel masks are cooler on the skin, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and calming. Common gel masks are ones with cucumber and aloe vera, two natural ingredients known for their soothing qualities. These gel masks can become a part of your nighttime skin care routine, and can be left on overnight to soothe skin while you sleep. 

Soothing spa treatment
Face Mask for Oily Skin

Oily skin is skin that produces too much sebum, or excess oil, and is usually accompanied by large pores, blackheads and pimples. You may have certain areas of your face that are oily while others are not. The T-zone in particular, which is the forehead, nose and chin, is the area of the face most known for producing excess oil.  

The best face mask for oily skin are masks that can break up and absorb the excess oil to clear out clogged pores. Good face masks for oily skin are clay masks such as one with kaolin clay, and exfoliating masks with a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid. These can also benefit acne-prone skin by soaking up excess oil that contributes to pimples and brightening the complexion. Clay masks help clear out clogged pores and blackheads, too. 

Peel off masks are a good choice for oily skin also. These types of masks are made with ingredients that dry and harden when they come in contact with air. You can carefully smear the paste-like substance onto your face, and wait the designated time for it to harden. When it’s time to take off the masks, they can be peeled off instead of rinsed off. The advantage to a peel off mask is that as it hardens, it physically removes the dead skin cells, excess oil, and other buildup that comes off when the mask is peeled. 

While alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) make great exfoliating masks, an exfoliating mask made primarily with beta hydroxy acid mask is best for oily skin since BHAs are oil-soluble chemical exfoliants. BHAs can target the oil found within clogged pores that contributes to acne and oily-prone skin by breaking it up to leave it smoother and brighter. Salicylic acid is a BHA that is commonly found in beauty skin care products and face masks for oily skin. 

Because beta hydroxy acids are so powerful and can cut through oil, it’s important to note that if you have dry skin or sensitive skin, you want to avoid a face mask with salicylic acid as it can worsen dryness or inflammation. Conversely, a clay mask is not good for dry skin as this can cause dryness, redness and flaking.


Face masks for skin care
Face Mask for Clear Skin

Many of the same ingredients that are good for oily skin are good for clear skin, too. Ingredients such as salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid), and glycolic acid and lactic acid (alpha-hydroxy acids) have wonderful acne-fighting properties and help alleviate a dull, congested skin tone and give brighter results. 

AHAs and BHAs are especially good face masks for clear skin since they are chemical exfoliants that work by exfoliating the top layer of the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells and busting up oil and dirt that contribute to a lackluster complexion. A face mask with AHAs or BHAs won’t just break up oil, but it will leave the skin feeling softer and smoother, too. 

BHAs are oil-soluble chemical exfoliants, and AHAs are their water-soluble counterparts. AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid are gentler on the skin but effective at shedding dead skin cells without causing as much irritation as BHAs since they’re water-soluble. A good face mask for clear skin is one that incorporates a mixture of AHAs and BHAs for the ultimate skin brightening duo. 

Other face masks for clear skin are peel-off masks which work by applying them to the face and allowing them to air dry. After the peel off mask has air dried, it’s then gently peeled off, taking the dirt, blackheads, and excess oil with it. 

Face with acne
Face Mask for Smooth Skin

A lack of smooth skin is a skin concern everyone deals with at some point or another in their life. Whether you want a more even skin texture, fewer pimples or more even skin tone and less hyperpigmentation, smooth skin is something we can all benefit from. 

A good face mask for smooth skin is something that has skin-brightening antioxidants such as, vitamin C and green tea. Vitamin C is especially effective at promoting a clearer, smoother complexion both in skin texture and skin tone. 

Face masks for smooth skin can come in many different formulas, as it’s the ingredients themselves that offer the benefits you want. Exfoliating masks with AHAs like glycolic acid, lactic acid and natural exfoliants like apple cider vinegar promote new skin cells for brighter, smoother skin while more gentle gel masks with green tea can also leave the skin smooth and supple. 

Woman with face mask looking in mirror
FAQs on Face Masks

Do face masks really help your skin?

While face masks aren’t absolutely necessary for a good beauty skin care routine, they can go quite some way in resolving your skin concerns. Incorporating a face mask into your beauty routine can boost your desired skin care outcome, and provide quicker results than other skin care treatment. 

What is the best face mask in skin care?

There’s no one best face mask. The best face mask is the one that works for your skin type and unique needs! If you have dry skin, for example, that you wish to hydrate and restore the skin barrier, the best face mask for you may be a water sleeping mask that is left on overnight to hydrate. On the other hand, if you have oily skin that’s prone to acne, the best face mask for you may be a peel off mask that is more abrasive and can physically exfoliate the top layer of skin to restore balance to your skin. 

Which masks are best for acne?

The best face masks for acne are often the same type of face masks for oily skin and face masks for clear skin. This is because the same ingredients that help cut through oil and clogged pores, such as a BHA like salicylic acid, also target pimples and the buildup that contributes to acne. You may find a face mask that says it's specifically for acne, but if you don’t, you can look for a face mask for oily skin.

Is it good for your skin to be treated to a face mask everyday?

Most skin care face masks should be applied 1-3 weekly. Skin care face masks for oily skin and clear skin are often recommended for weekly usage, since these contain harsher and more abrasive ingredients in higher concentrations. Some more gentle face masks, like face masks for dry skin and sensitive skin, may be used more often since these are intended to replenish moisture and soothe. Always be sure to read the instructions on the back of your skin care face masks for recommended use.

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