With so many at home face masks on the market, choosing one can be overwhelming.
Often times we purchase a face mask to address one skin issue but wonder if we are using it correctly, how often should it be used and if it’s even worth the time and money. Dr. Kally Papantoniou a board certified dermatologist and clinical professor at Mount Sinai in New York City, offers some fast facts to help you get the most from a face mask.
Expensive doesn’t always mean good.
When it comes to face masks the products with the most expensive price tags are not necessarily going to be the best. As consumers, we can often be swayed by packaging, and advertisement. We are also more likely to spend more on products that are expensive because the higher price makes us believe that it must be a superior product. “Do your homework before making a purchase. Read reviews if available. Also know that certain face masks work best for certain specific skin conditions or results, so look to see what kind of face mask will work best for you,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.
Look at the type and quality of ingredients that are being used.
According to Dr. Papantoniou, “face masks definitely serve a very useful purpose but in order to get the best result it’s important to know what ingredients address certain skin issues.” She adds, “for acne prone skin a mask with charcoal, kaolin, or salicylic acid can help to draw out impurities, excess oils and can help unclog pores. For those who struggle with rosacea masks that contain green tea, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, sulfur, and aloe vera can help soothe and reduce redness.” A rejuvenating mask is great for more mature skin where wrinkles are a concern. A hydrating mask with antioxidants can help to plump lines and rehydrate skin cells: hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, vitamin C, CoQ10, retinol, vitamin E, coconut oil and glycolic acid are very important ingredients.
Clean your face but lay low on exfoliation pre mask.
When using a mask, you should make sure to apply it on a clean face. A gentle facial cleanser should be used, for example: Cetaphil, Cerave, or Vanicream work well without drying out skin. If you skip washing and put a mask on skin that has make-up or moisturizers this can create a barrier to the mask and it will not work effectively. “You want to make sure your face is clean so the mask can fully penetrate. Exfoliating prior to applying a mask will be too irritating on the skin, and the chemicals and active ingredients in the mask may be too intense, remember that the mask will be staying on your skin for a while,” advises Dr. Papantoniou.
Don’t over use masks.
Dr. Papantoniou suggests applying a mask 1-3 x per week maximum. This recommendation goes for any type of face mask you might be using for acne, wrinkles or even hydrating masks for dry skin. “Some of these masks pull natural oils from the skin, so if overused can lead to dryness and irritation. A hydrating mask if used to frequently can potentially lead to clogged pores and a break out which would defeat the purpose of the mask,” she says.
If in doubt, ask your dermatologist which masks are best given your skin concern. There are so many to choose from and they can really provide a great result within a quick period of time.
Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical professor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via twitter @DrPapantoniou or her website www.DrPapantoniou.com
Photo: Quentin Keller