You're Using Facial Masks All Wrong--Here's The Right Way, Err Place, To Apply One

April 16, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
shefinds | beauty

It’s no secret that facial masks are having a major beauty moment right now. Just spend any amount of time on Instagram and you’re bound to see some vlogger or influencer taking a selfie in a mask. And for good reason–facial masks offer serious skincare benefits. Problem is, most of us apply facial masks all wrong. Deborah Burnes, founder of Sumbody Skincare, is here to help us get it right.

SheFinds: First, talk to us about the benefits of doing a facial mask versus a regular cleanser?

Deborah Burnes: A cleanser’s job is to break open build-up in your pores and remove it. In order for anything else in your skincare routine to work, your pores need to be clean. This is a passageway for what you put on your skin to be absorbed. Clogged pores can’t breathe and function properly, which not only accelerates the aging process, it gives your skin a lackluster, dull, ruddy and rough appearance. Additionally, it exaggerates all of your skin issues. People who tend to have breakouts break out more. Redness dryness and oiliness can also increase.

Facial masks have quite a different job. They’re not about cleaning, they’re about delivering results. There are three kinds of face masks. Topical masks work on the surface of your skin doing things such as softening, smoothing and restoring luster. Mid-pore masks clean to the mid pore and supply beneficial vitamins and nutrients and other active ingredients.

The third type of mask is an intense deep pore cleaning mask. This mask has one job to do: go deep into your pores, break open all the old dirt, oil and gunk, pull it out and strip your pores. Regular cleansers do the daily job of keeping pores clean, but they cannot do the profound work cleaning that a proper purging mask will. Everyone should be doing these intense deep pore masks in order to keep their skin healthy and functioning properly.

SF: Most women don’t use masks when they’re in the shower–why is this a mistake?

DB: The current way where women let their face masks dry on while they’re scrolling on social media is not beneficial at all. Using a mask this way reverts it back to a powder which clogs your pores rather than feed them; that means your pores are being filled with more gunk. If you were to come to me for a facial, I would apply your mask in a steam room as do most facialist. It’s this beautiful warm (not hot!) moist heat that enables the active ingredients in the facial mask to have a better chance terminal penetration. The steam also keeps the active ingredients alive and viable and keeps the mask potent. You can get the same results as your facialist would give you by simply applying your mask in the shower. It’s the beautiful moist heat in the shower that acts like a gentle steam and creates this skin loving magic.

SF: What ingredients are most beneficial in facial masks?

DB: Again, I suggest making sure that you can read each and every ingredient in a facial mask and understand what it is. The individual ingredients will depend on the results you’re looking for. For example, kaolin clay and rose clays are great for sensitive skin; obsidian clay is great for acne and cedar clay is good for detoxing. These are just a few of the hundreds of clays there are. I could do a whole article on what clay best for what skin!

SF: Any other mask application tips women should know for optimal/maximum results?

DB: Before applying your mask you should cleanse and tone your skin. When removing your mask you should always use warm not hot water. Hot water is not good for your acid mantle or the protective layer on your skin. Keeping your acid mantle healthy is key to maintaining healthy skin. Splashing water on your face or letting the shower water gently remove your mask is best. Once the mask if off, gently pat your skin dry. I often find people are very rough with their skin. Skin is delicate and should be treated as such. Once your mask is removed and your skin is dry, apply toner, a serum if needed and moisturizer finish the complete facial experience.

Treat yourself to Sumbody’s amazing shower mask here.

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Vice President
Jeanine Edwards is a writer and editor covering fashion, beauty and shopping. She never misses a sale and is committed to good skincare. Prior to joining the SheFinds team, Jeanine worked at XO Group and InStyle. You can reach Jeanine at [email protected]

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