Moisturizing face masks have been around for thousands of years. Before humans began formulating daily skin care products, ancient healers likely used improvised face masks to heal dry skin and improve skin texture. Many historians believe that such treatments likely originated as a way to treat rashes and other conditions, but with time, moisturizing face mask treatments gained more prominent use in our lives. Today, such treatments have become the norm, with numerous treatments available at spas, for purchase and use at home, and even DIY moisturizing face mask recipes. However, as with any skin care product, it’s important to select your face mask based on the ingredients, to avoid an adverse reaction.
Where to Get a Moisturizing Face Mask
When deciding to get a moisturizing face mask, you will undoubtedly be faced with a decision of where to get it.
If you’ve never had such a treatment before, a good place to start is to go to a spa for a professional treatment. Of course, this treatment option is more expensive, and you may end up spending a few hundred dollars for a session at an upscale clinic. However, this moisturizing face mask treatment will be well worth the cost, because it will provide an opportunity to speak with a skin care professional about your needs.
For example, you may notice that your skin becomes dry only during certain times of the year, or you may have noticed that your skin is overly dry in the morning or at night. Depending on your unique situation, the skin care expert at a spa may recommend specific moisturizing mask ingredients, or might even layer masks (made of different ingredients) for optimal results.
To further benefit from a professional moisturizing mask treatment, consider a spa that is attached to a dermatology clinic, as the professionals at these locations are likely more experienced and usually operate under the care of a licensed dermatologist.
Moisturizing Face Masks at Home
The other choice for getting a moisturizing mask is to administer it yourself, in the comfort of your home. When it comes to this method, there are typically two options; purchase a ready-made mask, or make one yourself. However, regardless of whether you buy a moisturizing face mask or make it yourself, it’s important to focus on ingredients.
For example, you may consider ingredients like camellia oil, to hydrate the skin; rice bran oil, to improve circulation, which ultimately brings more moisture to the skin; shea butter, to hydrate the skin; aloe vera, another moisturizing ingredient; and glycerin.
For a DIY moisturizing face mask, there is also a variety of helpful ingredients, like milk, to moisturize and exfoliate; oatmeal, to bring more hydration; and even yogurt!
Further, since a moisturizing face mask takes time and effort to administer, it’s a good idea to use one that combines hydrating ingredients with other useful chemicals. For example, using a face mask with alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic or lactic acids, can help exfoliate the skin and create a smoother texture.
On the other hand, face masks with vitamin C can improve pigmentation issues and are believed to even stimulate collagen to improve skin firmness.
Antioxidants are another great addition to any moisturizing face mask, as they help neutralize any free radicals and assist with skin tissue repair. Though they don’t directly moisturize the skin, antioxidants give your skin cells much-needed relief that keeps them healthier.
How to Use a Moisturizing Face Mask
First and foremost, remember that a moisturizing face mask should not be your only solution to dry skin. It is meant only as a booster treatment that gives your skin an added infusion of hydration and provides it with an opportunity to repair damage. Therefore, make sure to follow a regular skin care regimen by cleansing and moisturizing the skin at least twice a day.
When you’re ready to start using a moisturizing face mask, you may want to begin slowly and use it only once every 1-2 weeks. If you’ve never used one before, it’s important to give your skin time to adjust and see how it reacts.
Before applying the mask, make sure to cleanse your skin with a non-irritating facial cleanser, to remove dirt and oil buildup. It is amazing how many people skip this step, without realizing that a good cleansing prior to application will make the mask more effective. By removing dirt and oil you’re taking away the barrier between the mask and the skin, which allows the moisturizing ingredients to penetrate more deeply and have greater effect.
After the cleansing, pat the face dry and gently apply the moisturizing face mask to the skin with your fingertips or a facial pad. Make sure not to press too much into the skin, to avoid skin damage.
A typical face mask should be kept on the face for 20-30 minutes. However, this will largely depend on the ingredients. For example, if your moisturizing mask also has a high glycolic acid content for exfoliation, you may experience skin irritation and redness. Therefore, when using a store-bought moisturizing face mask, make sure to read the directions carefully, to avoid skin damage.