Do face masks work?

There are a lot of gimmicks and false promises in the beauty world.

One product that has left many people unsure whether they’re receiving the full benefits it promises is the humble face mask.

Face masks are a great addition to your weekly skin care regime.

We’re loud and proud believers in taking some ‘me-time’ on a regular basis and a face mask can provide the perfect excuse to practice some self-love. Not only do they add a sense of luxury to your ritual, they also provide a bonus hit of hydration and nourishment to help you target particular concerns.

When it comes to choosing a face mask, there seems to be a never-ending array of options to choose from. There are ones that add glow, ones to diminish fine lines, some that minimise acne and other that smooth skin texture and flakiness. That’s a lot to think about! When it all boils down though, there are two main types to consider: clarifying or hydration.

A clarifying mask often features ingredients such as clay or mud. These work to draw out oil and debris from within the pores and aids with congestion. Those who suffer from oily skin, enlarged pores and breakouts will benefit from this type of mask.

Being water-based, a mud mask isn’t quite as drying as its clay alternative and may, therefore, suit those with more sensitive or dry skin but who also suffer from blemishes and congestion.

Another feature that has recently become more popular is the charcoal mask. These masks are designed to target the removal of toxins which can be fantastic for those living in urbanised environments with a high exposure to pollution. While activated charcoal is a fantastic absorber of poisons and overdoses in the medical field, there has been little scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of it in mask form for our skin. That doesn’t mean they will do you any harm, however, and you may very well benefit from using a charcoal mask.

It’s important to note that just because a clarifying mask is designed to remove, absorb and draw out impurities from our skin, it should not leave our skin begging for moisture. Anything that leaves you feeling tight, itchy or sensitive is too harsh for your skin.

A hydrating mask will focus on adding nourishment back to your skin. While we diligently apply our Hydrate and Nourish/Enrich steps each morning and night, sometimes it’s nice to give our skin an extra little hit.

Hydrating masks tend to come in a cream or gel formula and work to add a glow to dull skin, plump and firm, and assist with fine lines as well as providing moisture. Anyone can use a hydrating mask – even oily skins – but those with dry or dehydrated skin will absolutely love them.

We love to use the griffin+row Enrich as a hydrating mask! As it is already the most hydrating and nourishing cream we offer, all you need to do is apply a little more product than you would as a moisturiser and leave on for 10-15 minutes with our Exfoliate cloth placed on top of your skin and warmed. Wipe off the excess and pat in the rest. Your skin will be instantly hydrated and soft, not to mention packed full of beautiful natural and nourishing ingredients from the griffin+row centess+complex range.

Note: When it comes to choosing your face mask, try to avoid being drawn into marketing gimmicks. Your skin won’t be absorbing every single ingredient that is listed on the packaging. So, if the bottle suggests you’ll benefit from all the fruits of the forest, you’re being sold something that isn’t strictly true. A general guide is to flip over and read the first three ingredients listed on the back. This will give you an idea of the main ingredients your skin will be absorbing.

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when it comes to applying a face mask to ensure you get the most out of your product!

  1. Always cleanse first.

Make sure you receive the maximum benefits from your product by ensuring your skin is freshly cleansed. This removes anything that might block or hinder the absorbency of your mask and lets the active ingredients really do their thing!
  1. It’s not an everyday thing.

While we all want to experience the luxury of a face mask whenever we can, it isn’t necessary to apply one every single day. In fact, it might overload your skin. Stick to applying one once or twice a week to really notice a positive difference in your skin. You may like to switch up and target different concerns each time you mask.
  1. Don’t be sparing.

While you don’t have to completely cake it on, a lot of people apply very little product when it comes to masking. You don’t need to waste product, but you do need a certain amount for it to actually work. When you apply your mask, be sure to allow enough product to create an even coating across the face – it is called a mask for a reason!
  1. Don’t skip the directions.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting a new product, it’s never a good idea to slap it straight onto your face. Face masks are not designed to remain on the skin for too long; they are created to sit on the surface and deliver certain nourishing ingredients. Each product will have its own recommended length of use (e.g. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc.). You shouldn’t leave a mask on your face for longer than 30 minutes unless it has been formulated to stay on overnight (much like a night treatment). Leaving a product with a high amount of active ingredients, such as a face mask, on for too long can lead to irritation, sensitivities and even rashes and breakouts.
  1. Easy does it.

Masks are designed to adhere to the face. Most won’t come off with one swipe of your cloth. When you’re ready to remove the product, begin with warm water to loosen and dissolve the bulk of it. It’s much better to soften a mask and then gently wipe off than to tug and scrub and damage the skin.

Face masks are a hugely beneficial addition to your skincare regime when you know how and why you are using them. Begin by prioritising your concerns and understanding your skin type and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect mask.

Will you be using a face mask in your new weekly skin care ritual?

Why not start with the griffin+row Enrich today?