Types and Uses of Facial Masks

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A facial mask is a creamy mask applied to clean or soften the face. It often contains minerals, vitamins and/or fruit extracts, such as papaya or cucumber and moisturizing or detoxifying ingredients. There are different kinds of masks for different purposes; some are deep cleansing for cleaning the pores, others are strictly cream-based and used for moisturizing. The perceived effect of a facial mask treatment can be revitalizing, rejuvenating or refreshing. Facial masks have most commonly been used by women but are also increasingly popular with men.

Duration for wearing a mask depends on type of mask, but can be five minutes to 30 minutes, and on some rare occasions, the whole night. Most masks are washed off with warm water, while others are peeled off by hand. 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 around the eye.

You can determine your skin type by noticing how your skin tends to react most frequently. Mother nature works in seasons and the variations in temperature and climate that go with it, and so does our skin. You many need a moisturizing mask in the cold, dry months of winter and a detoxifying clay mask in the warm, humid summertime. 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.

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 your skin.

Once applied, take the time to sit back and relax. Try not to use your facial muscles and avoid 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.

“Radiance” or anti aging masks will include various properties such as vitamins, seaweed, kelp, or minerals, to perk up and tone lifeless, dull skin. Radiance masks moisturize and tone the skin to give a more youthful appearance. Regular hydrating masks moisturize the skin by restoring your skins natural oil balance.

Clay and mud masks are best suited for oily skin. They dry in a short period of time and are excellent for pulling toxins and excess oil from the skin. Clay and mud masks open the pores , remove blackheads and improve circulation.

Peel-off masks are usually gel-based and dry to form a thin rubber-like mask that can be pulled off in one piece. These masks are set to lighten the skin by closing open pores and smoothing out the skin. Peel-off masks remove blackheads and dead skin cells. (Be aware that some masks might slightly pull facial hair).

Firming masks are usually gel or cream form  and are designed to tighten the skin surface. They are massaged into the contours of the face where elasticity is lost. Firming masks are commonly used as an anti-aging or anti-wrinkle treatment.

If you are looking for all-natural masks you can make at home, there are many variations of recipes to be found in holistic magazines, herbal reference books and on the Web. Honey, for instance, is not just good for your tea. Honey makes an excellent mask, as a low-cost choice to smooth the skin, hydrate and clean pores. Honey is also highly antimicrobial and excellent for acne.

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

Quick home recipes for facial masks:

Oatmeal softens the skin and removes dead cells
To reduce the sign of wrinkles, 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 helpful for oily skin types
To cool and reduce inflammation, grate a cucumber and slather the pulp on your face
A stimulating mint leaf mixture will alleviate acne issues

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