Do Face Masks Work?

The popularity of Face masks has never been so widespread as they are today. Do face masks work? The consensus is that they do work.

But as with a lot of other cosmetics, the options are enormous.

You have Korean face masks, clay masks, cream masks, gel masks exfoliation masks to name but a few. So, how does a person who is looking for a face mask choose?

You then have to decide which face mask is suitable for my skin type?

After you find the suitable product, you have to be sure you are not going to do more damage than good to your skin!

So, let us see if we can guide you through the face mask minefield and, hopefully, find an answer to the question, do face masks work?

What Face Mask for my skin type?

When you try to decide what face mask will suit your skin, it may seem straightforward enough if your skin is the same all over your type

But for some people, it can be that you have dry skin on your cheeks while your forehead and nose could be oily. Your chin could be prone to breakouts, and your neck could be very sensitive and become red at the slightest hint of a face mask containing alcohol.

It may mean that you have to use a variety of different types of the face mask at the same time, one for dry skin on your cheeks and one suitable for oily skin on forehead and nose.

Just because a particular type of product is trendy at the moment, it doesn’t make suitable for your needs, the worst thing anyone can do is to put an unsuitable product near their skin.

There is usually a solution out there for even the most complex skin types.

Oily Skin:

The temptation for people with oily skin is getting a face mask that they hope will strip off all the excess oil on there face.

People seem to forget that your skin does need some oil to protect it.full face mask

The most common cause of oily skin is often due to moisture deficiency.

To combat this, your body trying to keep the moisture in by covering the skin with oil. The kindest thing for your skin is to hydrate it.

You should consider using a CLAY face mask. Look for one that has Bentonite and Kaolin as this will help to absorb excess oil and control shine to leave skin with a smooth looking complexion.

Another ingredient good for oily skin in need of hydrating is hyaluronic acid. It is suitable for keeping the skin subtle and hydrated and very lightweight.

Avoid masks that are likely to clog pores with such ingredients as beeswax or cocoa butter.

Dry Skin:

The cause of dry, dehydrated skin is due to a very thin protective layer that is letting moisture evaporate from the skin’s surface. The best mask for dehydrated skin is something that promotes moisturizing.

A nourishing, rich cream texture mask that combines plant oils, antioxidants, and vitamins A & C to help protect the epidermis. Glycerin to help strengthen the skin surface is particularly useful if the skin is in need of rehydrating.

Sensitive Skin:

If you suffer from sensitive skin, it will be crying out for face mask with calming detoxifying ingredients.

These type of masks will help with breakouts, skin irritation, and rashes brought on by pollution, hormones, and stress. Antioxidants will calm irritated skin and remove free radicals from below the surface.

Again look for an ultra creamy, moisturizing mask containing plant oils, green tea to relieve any inflammation.

Whatever mask you pick you must avoid alcohol and harsh chemicals as these will dry and irritate your already sensitive skin.

Acne prone skin:

Acne prone skin can be brought about by unbalanced moisture levels. If you keep removing the protective oils from the skin surface and then apply creams and balms, you will clog the pores so leading to spots and pimples.full face mask

A charcoal gel mask to remove impurities containing bentonite and kaolin to help with excess oils that help decongest pores, BHA (Salicylic Acid) suited to Oily Skin. Glycerin to soothe and lightly hydrate skin. Niacinamide is very good for oily acne prone skin.

How often should I use a face mask?

I would suggest if you have an excellent skin care routine the need for a face mask would be one or twice a week at the most.

I would also think most face mask will say this on the packaging, so do heed what the directions say on the packet.

A face mask that does have harsh chemicals and alcohol or have a specific purpose such as Exfoliating, anti-acne or anti-aging will have ingredients that can irritate your skin if you overuse them, be warned!

Korean Face Masks:

Korean Face Masks are advertised everywhere these days.

The beauty world is waxing lyrical about the benefits they offer.

Korean Face Masks are also known as sheet masks, and they are for single use only. The sheets are usually cotton pads soaked in skin repair ingredients.

The mask will have the eyes, nose, and mouth cut out and sit on the face to allow the ingredients to infuse into the skin for the duration it is on the face, usually around 20 minutes. It is due to the skin-smoothing ingredients that Korean face mask are so popular.Korean face mask

But despite all of this, the benefits from Korean face masks are limited.

The deep-down healing that our face skin requires to look its best is not possible from the best Korean face mask.

The way Korean face masks work is to keep active ingredients locked against your skin. It acts as a barrier to retain the moisture where it can work best, against your skin.

The sheet mask will not go hard and dry like clay or mud masks, but when they dry, they crack leaving gaps for the moisture to escape when it is the essential thing the skin needs and wants.

Using the Korean sheet mask, you will not get this problem. The mask will retain moisture in the skin for as long as it is on. As good as that may sound to you, Korean face masks are limited in the benefits they provide.

The problem with them is they work on the top surface of the skin (epidermis), but they do not penetrate down very deep into the lower layers, the dermis, and the hypodermis.

It is in these lower skin layers we find too precious assets to having healthy, radiant skin, namely Collagen and elastin.

It is these two proteins that your skin is supported by and gives it that smooth, tight appearance we all crave.

Korean face masks cannot get deep enough to be of any benefit to these to vital facial structures.

So even though these type of masks are great for the appearance of the skin and very faint lines, it will do nothing for wrinkled skin.

It is the deeper, more stubborn wrinkles that develop as you age and to try to improve them you need to penetrate the deeper layers where collagen and elastin are found.

So, we know Korean face mask do have active ingredients, and they work fine on the top layer of skin, but it’s the fact they keep moisture in the skin is the reason you see benefits from their use.

After about 20 minutes the cotton sheet dries and so loses its moisture trapping capabilities, if you leave the mask on any longer it can in fact start to draw moisture back out of the skin.

In those 20 minutes that you have the sheet on you are not getting to the lower lying problems or do anything to remove deep wrinkles in the skin.

Silicone Patches:

So, that leads us to something that is effective in the form of a mask like alternative, Silicone patches.

The silicone patch works in s similar way to the sheet mask in that it forms a barrier on the surface of the skin. It stops moisture from escaping and traps it next to the skin. The patch will let oxygen and moisture in from the air outside and then becomes trapped under the patch and pushed deeper into the skin.

silicone patches full face

The silicone patch is worn for longer periods, eight hours or more, and is suitable to have on overnight. This allows the moisture to affect the collagen and elastin, the support your skin relies on to look smooth and ultimately free from wrinkles.

While you are sleeping the silicone patches feed your skin the much-needed moisture, and the other benefit from silicone patches is they can be reused, up to 15 times which is more cost effective than the Korean face mask.

Our Conclusion:

Whatever face mask you eventually decide to use you will gain benefits from using it, and the beauty of face masks is that you can use two different types in one week and get double the benefits from them.
Using face masks will also allow you to get the maximum benefits from all the other products you apply daily as part of your skincare routine.
Your moisturizers, skin tone and hydrating products will be to work much better without dead skin cells and blocked pores getting in the way.

You will also benefit by using the time that it is on by closing your eyes and giving yourself a few minutes well-earned relaxation, it’s a win-win situation.


Do you have a favourite face mask you use? Please leave any comments or questions below and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


12 Replies to “Do Face Masks Work?”

  1. Talking about face masks? I’m not really a fan of them only because I have not found the one(s) that work best with my skin. I think this article is so helpful with all the information here. Now I have an understanding on the type of masks that will work for my skin.

  2. I didn’t even know about the Korean face masks and silicone patches. I have dry skin in some areas and I think the silicone might help this a great deal. Your post is very informative, well written and helpful. Thank you for all the information.

    1. Hi, its great that these type of masks have been brought to your attention, Korean masks are so trendy these days, and are very beneficial for a variety of skin problems. Silicone patches really do help to hide those lines we don’t like to be seen. All the best.

  3. Hello 🙂 I started using Korean masks recently and I love them to hydrate the skin while relaxing watching tv or reading a book. And now… I can’t wait to try the silicon masks around the eyes. I’ll let you know how it goes

    1. Hi, Korean face masks are so beneficial and give your skin a wonderful soft touch; also it allows a well earned treat that we all deserve once in a while.

  4. Hi Jo, your article on face masks ? is extremely interesting, and has answered some questions I have wanted answered for a long time!..As I have combination skin that can be sensitive and easily irritated at times, I have found it difficult find the right face mask to use, but now I have this very informative article I look forward to some ‘me’ time with the correct mask, and hope to look ‘wrinkle free’ and glowing!! ?? fingers crossed ? Claire-Marie

    1. HI, yes its true that having combination skin is very demanding and this is where ‘multi masking’ is so beneficial. Hope this helps with your skincare routine. Let me know how things progress. All the best.

  5. Thanks Jo!
    I had no idea I’ve been using the wrong type face mask and wondering why I wasn’t getting the results I was seeking.
    This article answered a lot of my questions, and steered me in the right direction to choose the face mask that is best for my skin.
    Well done!
    Kyle Ann

  6. Hi…I have combination skin but I have dry areas that can get irritated easily. Which face mask would be most suitable and beneficial for my skin?

    1. Hi Mia, Look for something that is Specific for dehydrated and weakened sensitive skin that won’t irritate it further. Avene have a lovely creme Soothing Moisture Mask that sounds like it would suit your skin type, it claims to be soothing with anti-irritant properties and thus promote skin hydration and has been designed for maximum skin absorption leaving the skin feeling fully replenished, soft, and radiant with health.
      Hope this will help your skin, do let me know how you get on with it. Regards Jo

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