Face masks are all the rage nowadays. And it's no surprise since they're packed with nourishing, all-natural ingredients that do wonders for your skin. Glowing skin is a coveted attribute, wouldn’t you agree?
It doesn't matter what kind of mask you apply, whether it is a sheet, clay, or charcoal mask, they each have their strengths and distinct benefits for your unique skin. Regardless of what kind you choose, did you know that when you put on the mask might be just as important as the type you pick?
It's All About the Timing
If you are like the vast majority of us, you probably apply your face mask at night before going to bed. Well, according to beauty experts, it’s extra helpful for your skin if you apply your mask in the AM.
If you apply your mask in the morning, it gives your skin a much-needed hydration boost. After spending all night rubbed against your sheets and pillowcases, your skin deserves a little TLC before you start the day. Plus, a face mask helps prep your skin for makeup. In fact, some masks even take the place of a primer, so that's one less step in your morning makeup routine. That sounds pretty nice when you're still mostly asleep and waiting for the coffee to brew, right?
Using a mask in the morning also gives your skin an added glow for the day. It feels great to start the morning out right by feeling confident in the skin you're in, and a face mask makes your skin feel tighter and minimizes pores. Some face masks work so well that you might not even want to put on any makeup at all. Rock that natural look, girl!
Speaking of makeup, you should never put a face mask on over your makeup. It doesn't matter whether it is a sheet mask, charcoal mask, or clay mask; always clean your face before putting on the mask. Part of why the morning is such a convenient time for people to mask up is that they haven't put their face on yet.
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Working on Your Night Moves
But hold up! This doesn't mean that you have to completely give up masking in the evening. It all depends on the ingredients of your particular mask. If it is meant to hydrate your skin and give it a glow, wear it in the morning. But, if it has clarifying and exfoliating ingredients, then wait until night falls to put on the mask.
Watch Out For Redness
Why, you ask? For clarifying and exfoliating masks, night is the best time because you have just cleaned your face, removed your makeup, and are ready for something soothing. A little bit of me-time, right?
While exfoliation will leave your skin looking awesome in a bit, it may make your skin a little red immediately after use. After all, you are sloughing off the top layer of skin and the dirt and grime of the day, so it's no wonder that sensitive skin may complain a little. Don't worry; the redness and any slight swelling will decrease while you sleep overnight. However, that probably means that you shouldn’t put that mask on first thing in the morning when you're about to jump on a Zoom call.
Don’t Fall Asleep
Another common issue with masking at night is that you have probably had a long, hard day and are looking forward to some rest and relaxation. That's not so bad, but clay masks are pretty relaxing, and some people catch some ZZZs while they mask. However, avoid falling asleep while masking because you may end up leaving the mask on for far too long and dehydrating your skin or rolling over and smearing the mask all over your pillow.
Either way, no matter how tempting it might be, do not sleep with a mask on. If you really want to put your feet up, set the alarm on your phone, so you don't leave the mask on for more than 10 - 20 minutes, depending on the type of mask and the instructions.
If you're still unsure whether you have a product intended to be a night mask or a morning mask, we recommend doing a bit of research into the ingredients. The packaging will likely have instructions for using the mask and how often to use it throughout the week, but they may also specify whether it works better in the morning or the evening.
Party on All Day Long
If you're looking for one particular clay mask that does the job well, regardless of the time of day you apply it, get one whose main ingredient is a surefire beauty remedy like Vitamin C.
Keep in mind that most clay masks are not made to be used every day. Not only will you run out of that precious clay too quickly, but you risk exhausting your skin. Clay masks rejuvenate your skin when used sparingly, but they are powerful exfoliants and absorb all of the oil on your skin, which dehydrates you with overuse.
Most people’s delicate facial skin can only handle using a clay mask once a week, maybe twice. If you have been using a mask for a while or have tougher skin, you may be able to use a clay mask up to four times a week, but work up to that. You should always space out the applications by having a day or more off in between clay masking. If you want to have mask time every day, consider mixing it up with sheet masks, which aren't as much of a deep cleanse.
If you have naturally oily skin, you may be tempted to use a clay mask more often, but the oil on your skin protects it from UV rays, dehydration, and acne. Wait, doesn't oil on your skin cause acne? Not exactly. Excessive oil causes acne, but your skin will often overreact when there isn't enough oil and turn up its production efforts (which is not a good thing!). If you have slightly oily skin and scrub it too aggressively, your skin may also end up being oilier than before.
Always check the packaging to see how often the manufacturer recommends using the mask, starting with that recommendation and then seeing how your skin reacts. We recommend starting your masking routine by wearing one clay mask and then giving your skin a week to recover.
For a sheet mask, unless the packaging says otherwise, we recommend waiting at least two whole days before trying another sheet mask. That way, you can also check to see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Get Your Glow On
Some masks will truly brighten your morning (and your face), like hydrating masks, and others are best left for unwinding in the evening, like exfoliating or clarifying masks. Depending on what you choose to add to your self-care routine, make sure to pick the right time of day to mask up!
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