An A-Z guide to masks

I spend almost every day of the week with a mask of some sort on my face. I just think that, next to being the perfect me-time element, masks are also a wonderful at-home treatment. The versatility of the mask market also allows you to use just the right one for your skin’s current condition without having to change up your whole routine.

But yes, as much as I love the amount of masks that are available today, I also know that it’s hard to keep track and that’s why I’ve made a little A-Z guide to masks, to help you find just the one you need.

01. Cleansing mask

What? A cleansing mask is the most common mask out there, usually based on clay, mud or charcoal. They’re used for a deep cleanse of the pores, to control the oil-balance or as a quick fix for dull skin. They bring dirt, excess sebum and impurities to the surface so you might feel as if they’re breaking you out, but actually that’s because they’re doing their job.

Who’s it for?  The oily skin, the combination skin or anyone who feels like their skin feels a little bit “dirty” or dull.

Good cleansing masks:

02. Exfoliating mask

What? An exfoliating mask is used to help your skin slough off dead skin cells and give it better texture. It leaves your skin smooth, soft and often glowy. Can be a physical exfoliator with beads (typical scrub) or a chemical exfoliator that uses enzymes or acids. Physical exfoliators can be a bit hard on the skin – I always prefer acids or enzymes. Use an exfoliating mask before a cleansing or moisturising mask to help your skin absorb it better.

Who’s it for? Mostly dry or flakey skin, also dull-looking or badly-textured skin. Glycolic and salicylic acid masks are great for congested, acne-prone and oily skin. NOT for super sensitive skin.

Good exfoliating masks:

03. Hydrating mask

What? A water-based mask to obviously hydrate the skin. Often contains glycerine and hyaluronic acid.

Who’s it for? Everyone can benefit from a hydrating mask, and yes, the oily ones as well. Especially good if you have dehydrated skin.

Good hydrating masks:

04. Moisturizing mask

What? An oil-based mask to moisture the skin that lacks oil. Can often be left on overnight as sleeping masks.

Who’s it for? Dry skin, mature skin as well.

Good moisturizing masks:

05. Multimasking

What? Using several masks in one session by mapping them out on the face. For instance, if you have a blemished forehead and chin you could use a cleansing mask on there, and then a hydrating mask on your cheeks and nose.

Who’s it for? Anyone. Especially good for combination skin with an oily T-zone but tight-feeling cheeks.

06. Sheet masks

What? Masks that come in packages that contain a sheet, soaked in some kind of formula, that you can place on your face. Finds their origin in the East and came to our areas along with the Korean beauty trend. There are all kinds of sheet masks out there, even ones that aren’t for your face only (Sephora do foot and lip masks as well).

To be honest, I’m not at all a fan of sheet masks as the ones I’ve yet tried were all super-fragranced and broke me out.

Who’s it for? There are sheet masks for a lot of different issues so anyone could benefit from them, but I recommend the sensitive and blemish-prone to maybe stay away because, as I said, they’re often very fragranced and heavy.

What’s your favourite mask? Let me know!