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.
Facial masks treat your particular skin type or condition. 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.
There are a few different types of masks:
- Clay masks help draw oil and dirt to the surface of the skin. They contain clay, kaolin or bentonite for their tightening and sebum-absorbing effects.
- Cream masks are formulated to hydrate and nourish the skin.
- Custom masks made with fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, honey, and eggs have been used
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 egg white
- one teaspoon honey
- Optional: You can add a drop of two of lavender essential oil, which has an anti-bacterial effect and is relaxing to the skin.
- 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 egg white and mix well, using a jumbo wooden craft stick. Next, add the honey, and finally, the lavender essential oil. If the texture is too watery, you can add more clay. If it's too heavy, you can add a little spring water to thin it out. Only use a little bit at a time, however.
- 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 home-made 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.