Unless you’ve sworn off Instagram and Snapchat, chances are pretty high that you’ve developed quite a crush (and you’ve been double tapping) on all of those face masks you see everyone trying. Do you ever wonder what happened to those middle school days when a simple, affectionately-gooey green face mask was enough to get your pore through daily life? We hate to break it to you, but now that you’re a tad bit older than a pre-teen (and hopefully have the paycheck to reflect that), you can’t just be a solo subscriber to one single face mask. Instead, you need to hop on a new trend: multimasking.
“Multimasking refers to the layering of more than one facial mask, or applying different masks to different parts of the face at the same time. Because your skin needs may vary on different areas of your face (think nose vs. cheeks vs neck), this method allows you to apply specific ingredients to treat each site,” board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD says.
In addition to giving your skin the nourishment it needs at different times of the month and throughout the various seasons, it gives you more flexibility in terms of the types of masks you can try. As Dr. Shainhouse says, “Multimasking essentially erases every girl’s questions when she is staring down the items in the beauty product aisle: What is my (one) skin type? Which (single) product will be best for my skin type?”
Not sure how to build your mask library? Below is a quick guide for you.
If you struggle with hormonal acne, you probably already know where the oil-attracting parts of your face are. But for a quick refresher, the T-Zone—including your medical cheeks, nose, chin and forehead—are more prone to breakouts and sending your dewy complexion over the top to flat-out sticky. For this type of skin, Dr. Shainhouse says to look for a charcoal or kaolin clay mask that will help mattify your skin and take some of that unnecessary shine down a notch.
Regardless if you’re barely 27 or inching your way toward 40 (or way past it), anti-aging is something we all start to consider sooner than later. Though there is no magical non-surgical way to maintain your skin’s firmness and elasticity, there are some masks that can tighten and firm, and keep some of those wrinkles at bay. Dr. Debra Jaliman, assistant professor of dermatology at Icahan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says pay attention to your labels if you truly want a mask that’ll satisfy your quest for youth. “For anti-aging look for hyaluronic acid, retinol, peptides, CoQ10, vitamin C and polyphenols,” she advises. She also notes that if you’d prefer to not get your hands too dirty with a leave-on mask that you wash off, consider investing in a one-time, throw-away sheet mask instead.
If your daily moisturizer soaks into your skin so fast you have to reapply before putting on your BB cream, your skin might be in some major need of some hydration. A mask rich in certain ingredients and minerals your skin is thirsting for is a great idea. “For parched, dry skin, especially your cheeks and neck, look for ingredients that will add and lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid is lightweight and will temporarily draw water into the upper layer of the skin,” Dr. Shainhouse says. “Glycerin, avocado oil, honey and sea kelp can all add and hold in moisture.” Dr. Jailman says layering a sheet mask on top can also help seal in the added moisture, too.
Breakouts still plague you? We feel you. Masks can actually help alleviate acne symptoms, especially when used regularly.
Dr. Shainhouse recommends looking for a product that contains “oil-zapping salicylic acid, bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide or redness-reducing sulfur.”
Other keywords to search for? Dr. Jailman says: “Bentonite, kaolin, sea salt, Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and charcoal are all ingredients will help unclog pores and will help dry out the skin and are antibacterial. However, don’t use a sheet mask because it can be occlusive and can worsen acne breakouts.”
If dark spots and uneven skin tone bother you, reach for an antioxidant-rich mask, which can help brighten your skin, smooth fine lines and fix discoloration. “Look for a mask with vitamin C or resveratrol or rosehip. The former two are strong antioxidants that help to remove dark layers and undo UV damage, while the latter helps new skin cells come to the surface and encourages new collagen growth,” Dr. Shainhouse says.