Saturday, December 5, 2015

How to Face Mask like a Pro

I love face masks and giving myself spa treatments at home :)  The one disadvantage, though, is that I am not a trained esthetician and I know a good amount about skin care but I have to admit I don't know it all. :)

Recently I was lucky enough to find a Posh group on Facebook ran by a Skin Care Therapist.  She has been sharing so many great things with us and the other day she taught us how to use clay masks correctly.  I am going to just use her direct quotes as much as possible. :)

"First things first: for maximum benefits, you must exfoliate before applying any mask, regardless of if the mask also exfoliates, the mask needs to be able to do it's job, without trying to cut through layers of dead skin. This doesn't mean, though, that you need to be harsh with the exfoliation."

She said she had seen a lot of us applying our masks too thickly.  "You only need enough that you don't see any exposed skin."  I love applying my mask with a brush to get a nice thin even coat.  She recommended synthetic brushes so that they don't absorb the mask.

Next she addressed the amount of time to leave the mask on your face.
"There are three phases of a clay mask, There's the damp phase where your skin absorbs the beneficial minerals from the clay or mud. Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. But then there's the dry phase, which draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation. Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you're just smothering your freshly cleansed skin, so a thin layer is good here too."

"So, the next time you use a clay mask, don't wait for it to reach the flaky stage before you start rinsing. Do the touch test: When you start to see it drying (which usually means it gets lighter in color) but it still feels a bit sticky, it's time to wash that sucker off, so it doesn't suck the life out of your skin. If you let the mask completely dry, you are causing more damage to the skin, especially Acneic and Dry skins."

She even addressed how to get the benefits of a clay mask without irritating sensitive or damaged skin.  "Keep in mind, that clay masks alone, can sometimes be too much for sensitive or damaged skin. If this is the case, you can layer masks."

"When layering, order is extremely crucial. Soft masks should always go first, followed by a clay or mud-based mask [on top]. If you do it in reverse, the soft mask will never be able to properly penetrate. Which brings us to the two basic types of masks you should have in beauty arsenal. A soft mask, which hydrates, soothes, and calms skin, and (like Muddy Honey) does not dry. Plus a clay or mud-based mask that absorbs impurities and excess oil, and clarifies. When your skin is acting up in more ways than one, it’s difficult to treat it with a single mask. Start with a thin layer of a healing mask all over. Look for one that has soothing ingredients like chamomile, and hydrating ones, like grape seed or flax seed oil. This will relieve irritated skin, while also adding hydration to dry patches. Then, follow with a mud-based mask to help absorb oil and eliminate breakouts. Apply the second mask only to the breakout-prone areas. A mud mask alone would be too strong and overwhelming for stressed out skin. The first layer of soft mask will help your skin handle a stronger treatment."

I'm so excited to know how much to apply, how quickly to remove, and how to layer masks now!  Let me know if you make any changes to your face masking routine or if you want to start a routine and don't know where to begin :)

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