Published on March 14th, 2015 | by Yashodhara Ghosh
BEAUTY WARS: Mask that beauty?
There is an exception to every rule: for instance, masking your true self from the world is a bad, bad thing – unless you’re talking about skin, of course!
In the world of hair and skin, the word ‘mask’ loses all its sinister connotations, and stands for two coveted ideals – bliss and beauty. Who wouldn’t want to be that turbaned, robed woman in a spa, relaxing with green goo spread evenly over her face and cucumber slices covering her eyes? Popular culture has made the mask quite the classic image of feminine indulgence. In the real world however, masks can be quite messy. Getting them off can be quite a bother, especially if they are crème-based, clay or homemade ones with ingredients like oatmeal and honey that tend to stick together. So if you’re not sure whether masks are worth all the effort, here’s the lowdown on the different kinds on offer, and their methods of removal.
Peel-off masks are usually applied for their deep-cleansing and nourishing properties. Their ingredients pull out impurities from deep pores, leaving behind fresher, lighter looking skin. These are usually gel-based masks, although they might also be plastic, latex or wax. They exfoliate and clean your pores, and then soothe them – ideal for those with sensitive skin. They are designed to physically draw out dead skin cells that otherwise block your pores and make your skin look darker, not allowing your creams and cleansers from reaching the right spots.
- Timing is important – don’t keep them on beyond 10-15 minutes. Apply an even, thin film of the mask, making sure to avoid the eyes, and any boils and cuts. Sit still and give those jaws a rest. In minutes, a thin, homogenous transparent layer of the mask will slowly solidify on your skin. When you’re ready, gently tug at the film, and it will peel right off, as effortlessly as it went on. It’s quite a satisfying feeling, especially when you look at the peel and spot that gunk that it just removed from your skin – blackheads, dead skin, dirt and even fine facial hair: it all comes right off! If you have dry skin, follow this up with a moisturiser.
- If your skin tends to sag, then peel-off masks are a good option, thanks to their firming effect. They also stimulate the circulation and supply of blood to your skin cells, making your face look clearer, brighter than earlier.
- A word of caution: limit the use of peel-off masks to one or two times a week, especially if you have dry skin. Overdoing the exfoliation and circulation can make your skin lose its natural luster and elasticity.
The fundamental difference between the peel-off and wash-off is the method of removal. Peels come off in one smooth swift action, and you need not wash your face afterwards. But rinse-off masks, which are usually cream based, are trickier to get rid of. You need to carefully rinse them off your skin, sometimes using a wet cloth to ease off the residue.
- While peel-offs are the indubitable champions of cleansing, wash-offs are more versatile: they usually have clear-cut functions: moisturising masks give intensive hydration, clay masks nourish and detoxify your pores, firming masks replenish the skin’s elasticity – the list is endless.
- Barring clay masks which should be removed while still slightly damp, most of the rinse-off masks need to be kept on till they dry up. The best way of getting rid of residue is to dab on it gently with a muslin cloth soaked in lukewarm water.
So choose wisely, depending on your skin’s needs, the time you have on hand, and the amount of effort you’re willing to invest! Go on, get your game face on!
FAB BAG PICKS
Avene Cleanance Mask: Specific mask for blemish-prone skin. It helps to regulate sebum production, unclogs the pores and exfoliates dead skin cells. Rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water, this mask soothes the skin as well as leaving it mattified thanks to kaolin (white clay). Paraben free. CLICK HERE to view product.
Skinyoga Green Tea Face Mask: Inspired from the ancient Japanese skincare regime, this green tea based, antioxidant rich face mask slows aging and wrinkles. This is a 100 percent natural acne control formula that removes toxins from your skin and gives you a more youthful appearance. CLICK HERE to view product.
Seasoul Dead Sea Facial Mud Mask: Dead Sea (26) Minerals-Facial Mud Mask helps the dull & tired skin to heal & infuses essential minerals. Moroccan Argan-Firms & nourishes the skingiving it a rejuvenated & nourished look with a natural glow. CLICK HERE to view product.