How Masks Really Work
Masks are a beauty treatment that is applied, and left, on your skin for some period of time and intended to deep clean, refresh and rejuvenate your skin. There are many types of masks and they can be used on different parts of the body. Most frequently this skincare product is associated with facials, and paired together they have been used for a very long time primarily to support women's beauty. Here we are focusing more on face masks, however the principles hold true for masks used on other parts of the body.
While face masks can be part of a beauty routine that is utilitarian, many people choose to use it to provide themselves with a bit of luxury and pampering. When you treat yourself to a relaxing facial it can make your beauty image increase and help to keep your stress balanced. The ingredients in the mask can also be highly beneficial to your skin when the mask is used correctly, helping to infuse vitamins, encourage collagen and reduce wrinkles, while pulling out toxins, dirt and unwanted oils.
Different Mask ProductsThere are 4 different types of mask products that typically fall into the categories of exfoliating, cream, peel off, or sheet. Additionally, there are the more traditional clay or mud masks and there are many DIY options. Between these and ingredient alternatives the options are almost endless. To some extent this means that personal preference will be easily satisfied, no matter what your personal preference is. You can choose a favorite fun 'flavor' that is whimsical for the novelty of the experience. However, aside from the sensory pleasure that comes from some of the unique and trendy flavors, most of these are not scientifically proven to have any specific benefit for your skin. So while there may be endless options, there are fewer choices that will effectively promote healthier skin.
Mask Ingredients at Work
Masks are designed to draw impurities and toxins out of your skin and/or deliver ingredients that are beneficial into your skin. According to the dermatologist, Dr. Neal Schultz, "the most important principle is that a mask is just like another vehicle, like a lotion, serum, cream or ointment that delivers actives to the skin to improve [its] appearance." The penetration is enhanced by agents such as solvents like glycols, ions, liposomes, or being made up of smaller particles. In the case of mud ingredients the presence of antimicrobials are assisting in eliminating impurities. Mud from the Dead Sea, for instance, has been shown to have these properties (Source). Charcoal Face Masks are also recognized for having extra absorbent characteristics, as the activated charcoal attracts the dirt, oil and other impurities the mask is designed to draw out of your skin. For example, Calysta Labs Clarifying Charcoal Mask, which uses activated charcoal as a base, draws out what you don't want in your skin and infuses it with moisture and vitamins that enhance, soften and firm your face in a way targeted to reduce the effects of aging, sun damage and acne. The product instructions advise letting the mask set for 10-15 minutes and washing it off with warm water. That time is scientifically proven to be both how long it takes to reach the maximum benefit of what can be drawn out and the reaction time needed for the chemical processes to work to deliver the botanic extracts and vitamins into the skin's layers and cells. Anti-inflammatory and calming ingredients are added to provide further benefits. Pomegranate and vitamin C are both antioxidants, which are combined with solvents to permeate the layers of skin and penetrate skin cells. There is a growing body of research indicating that topical delivery like this is beneficial in slowing the aging process. (Source).
Using the Mask the Right Way
All masks come with specific instructions for the amount of time that they should be worn before being removed, as well as removal instructions. In order to get all of the positive benefits it is important that these instructions be followed.
Most mask application instructions will advise that you begin by washing your face with warm water and then blotting your skin so that it is moist. This allows you to start the treatment without a layer of dirt and oils that will get in the way of maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Once clean, the masks are put directly on your skin. Cream masks are applied on the face and massaged or rubbed in and then tissued off, or rinsed off with warm water. They are delivering extra hydration into your skin. Exfoliating masks may contain chemical, or natural, exfoliants that are intended to remove dead skin cells and freshen your skin. Peel off masks apply as a gel and become rubbery as they dry. They are made to deep clean pores and deliver helpful agents into your skin. Sheet masks are made of a fiber, pulp, gel, or other material and come in the shape of your face. They adhere and act to infuse your skin with beneficial ingredients and are lifted off after the prescribed time period.
The advancements in dermatology science and technology mean that skincare products, like those produced by Calysta Labs, are becoming better and more effective all the time. These types of products can deliver the equivalent of an IV shot of vitamins that will help you be your most beautiful from the inside out.