Frequent masking = the secret to good skin.
I never used to get compliments about my complexion. I had combination skin and my nose was often dotted with blackheads – I used to get called Strawberry Nose! (Not cool.) In a bid to control what I assumed was greasy skin, I used pretty harsh and drying skincare products to strip my skin of oil. I thought that the squeaky clean feeling was good.
It was only around four years ago when I developed a strong interest in Korean beauty and skincare that I started paying more attention to what I was using on my face. I learnt that all skin types need moisture, and sometimes skin gets oily precisely because it’s dehydrated. I gave my beauty shelf an overhaul and threw out all the salicylic acid and tea tree oil cleansers that I once thought were the only solution to my skin woes (disclaimer: they may work for some but were certainly too strong for me – my skin used to turn red and peel from the dryness!).
After switching to gentler products, my skin started clearing up and I didn’t get breakouts anymore. But the biggest change of all probably came when I discovered the wonderful world of face masks.
Fast-forward to today, and I often get people asking me what I do to maintain my skin’s glow. The truth? I use a face mask every single day. I know, I know. The thought of masking so frequently probably sounds like a lot of work, and aren’t you supposed to limit face masks to just once or twice a week? I personally think there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to masking, so long as you choose products suitable for your own skin type.
The idea behind using a face mask every day is simple: Face masks are targeted treatment options for your skin and should be used in rotation depending on your skin’s needs. For example, I have combination skin where my T-zone often gets oily, but my forehead and cheeks tend to be a tad drier. Every week, I use a mix of clay masks, hydrating and brightening sheet masks, and overnight masks. I won’t use two similarly-typed masks consecutively (i.e. don’t use deep-cleansing masks two days in a row), and which mask I choose at night depends on how my day went. Here’s a rough look at what my masking schedule is like:
Deep-cleansing masks 1-2x a week
On workout days, I usually opt for a deep cleansing mask to get all the sweat, dirt and gunk out. To make sure I’m not stripping skin of moisture, I only use a clay mask on days where I haven’t exfoliated. I also stick to mud or clay masks that won’t tug at my skin when it dries. Skip the deep-cleansing masks if you are sunburnt, or if skin is broken or injured. If the mask stings your face when you put it on, it’s also an indication that the product is probably not suitable for you.
Try: Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask ($95, www.sephora.sg), Neogence Deep Pore Cleansing Mask ($35, Sasa)
Soothing overnight masks 2-3x a week
If I’ve been in the sun a lot that day, I prefer using a soothing hydration mask to calm irritated skin. You can even leave your overnight masks in the fridge so that they’ll give a cooling effect when applied. I also use overnight masks on days where I’m lazy to use a wash-off or sheet mask – they’re super convenient!
Bonus tip: I’m also a huge fan of facial oils and will add a drop or two to my night moisturiser. This keeps my skin plump and hydrated overnight since I sleep in an air-conditioned room. My current favourite: Pixi Rose Oil Blend ($39, www.sephora.sg).
Sheet masks 2-3x a week
Sheet masks are chock-full of essences and ampoules to give your skin a huge dose of nutrients and moisture. I prefer sheet masks that have hydrating and brightening properties. I reach for sheet masks if I’ve had a stressful day – the 10 to 15 minutes of skin pampering definitely helps me to relax.
Try: For Beloved Girl Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask Series ($16 for three, Sephora) or Mamonde Flower Essence Masks – Lotus Soothing ($10 for five sheets, www.lazada.sg)
What you choose to use really depends on your skin and lifestyle. If using a face mask every day sounds like too much commitment, start by upping your masking frequency to 3-4x a week. You’ll definitely see results!