A facial mask is one of the key parts of a professional facial. It takes places after cleansing, skin analysis, exfoliation, extractions and massage, and before the final application of serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. It can also be part of a home facial -- and you can even make your own home-made facial mask.
A face mask is intended to treat your particular skin type and skin condition. Depending on their ingredients, masks can tighten and tone, hydrate, nourish, draw out impurities, help blemishes heal, calm and soothe, and rejuvenate the skin.
If you're dry or dehydrated, the facial mask should hydrate your skin. If your skin is red or inflamed, the mask should calm and soothe. If your skin is oily and congested, the facial mask can help draw out impurities from the skin.
The Three Different Types of Masks
- Clay masks help draw oil and dirt to the surface of the skin. They contain clay, kaolin or bentonite, which all have the ability to remove impurities and absorb sebum, the oil produced by the skin. They also refresh and remineralize the skin.
- Cream masks are formulated to hydrate and nourish the skin and are good for dry dehydrated skin.
- Custom masks are made with fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, honey, and eggs have been used as beauty tonics for centuries.
Facial masks generally stay on your skin for 10-15 minutes. After the mask has done its work, you remove it and complete your home facial with the application of toner, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, lip balm and if it's day-time, sunscreen.
Can I Make My Own Facial Mask?
Absolutely! Here's a basic facial mask that uses French Green Clay, which draws impurities to the surface of the skin, stimulates circulation, and absorbs sebum. It's relatively inexpensive -- $11 for a pound -- which will make a lot of masks. You don't want to make more than you need for one face mask because it won't keep.
You can give yourself this face mask once a week if you like.
- one tablespoon French green clay
- one teaspoon aloe vera juice
- one teaspoon honey
- Put the clay in a small bowl, preferably a rubber mixing bowl that is non-porous, oil-resistant, and easy-to-clean. (Don't use metal bowls or utensils when you're working with clay.)
- Add the aloe vera juice and mix well, using a jumbo wooden craft stick. Next, add the honey. If the texture is a little too heavy, you can add a little spring water to thin it out. Only use a little bit at a time, however.
Optional: You can add a drop or two of lavender essential oil, which has an anti-bacterial effect and is relaxing on the skin.
- Wear a headband so you don't get the mask in your hair. After you have thoroughly cleansed your skin, apply the face mask in a thin layer on your face and décolletage.
- Lay down and relax for ten or fifteen minutes. Read a book or listen to music.
- Gently remove the mask with water, making sure you remove all traces with a clean washcloth.
- Apply your toner and moisturizer. You're done
Other Ideas For Home-made Facials and Face Masks
Fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, honey, and eggs are fun to experiment with, and you won't find them in a spa setting because of convenience and sanitation.
But use organic ingredients. You don't want to put pesticides on your face.Here are some of the most common ingredients for homemade facials and face masks and their benefits:
- Cucumbers -- Cooling, soothing and healing. The classic at-home eye pad. Or you can peel the cucumber and put it in a blender with some other ingredients.
- Avocado - rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, and oil. A good choice for dry and sensitive skin.
- Honey - Has hydrating, toning and tightening effects.
- Papaya - Contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that dissolves the dead outer layer of the skin. Don't use if your skin is already irritated or sunburned.
- Eggs - Egg whites tighten and tone the skin.
- Yogurt - Contains natural lactic acid, which helps exfoliate the skin. It can be used alone as skin softening face mask and is appropriate for all skin types.
- Potatoes - Use thin slices for oily skin or to reduce under-eye puffiness.
- Herbs - Herbs and teas such as chamomile (soothing) can be used as ingredients for face masks and compresses.