Behind the Mask

Masks are so enjoyable that you almost forget that they work as a super fast delivery system with concentrated active ingredients. If you are exfoliating, cleansing or re-hydrating your skin, you get a more dramatic result quickly. Masks come in many formulations for all skin types and for different functions, so you need to select the ones that are right for your complexion and the results you want to achieve. Once a week, apply a mask for your skin type, relax for 15 minutes, and soak up the goodness!

Oily Skin

Oily skin does best with a clay, kaolin or mud mask. An exfoliating mask made up of salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory and great for oily skin. Fruit masks such as papaya and pineapple contain natural alpha-hydroxy acids and are very popular exfoliating masks, dislodging old dead skin cells and revealing beautiful new skin underneath. Many essential oils also improve the condition of oily skin. These include cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, lemon, orange, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood, tea tree, thyme and ylang ylang. Benzoyl peroxide can also be added to oily skin masks to further dry the skin and clear blemishes.

Dry Skin

Dry skin needs to have moisture added to its surface and sealed there. A gel mask works wonders by using humectants that drag the skin’s own water molecules to the skin surface and trapping them there. Look for masks containing lots of propylene glycol or honey. Botanicals that help dry skin include elderflower, watercress, chamomile and aloe. Sandalwood and frankincense oils are wonderful essential oils if your skin is dry.

Very dry, damaged skin responds beautifully to creamy masks, often with antioxidants which neutralize skin-damaging free radicals. These include vitamins A, C and E. Essential oils such as benzoin, bergamot, frankincense, myrrh are great for soothing chapped, cracked skin.

Sensitive Skin

Light gel masks refresh sensitive skin. However, many essential oils can irritate sensitive skin and should be used cautiously or avoided.

Combination Skin

More than one type of mask may be needed for combination skin. There is definitely a right way to apply a mask so that you don’t stress or irritate your skin. Always remember not to pull or stretch delicate skin when applying a mask. A thin layer of product is best. Don’t wait until the mask feels tight and uncomfortable to remove it. Just use a relaxing mask once a week for wonderful results.

So bask in your masks and do both your body and soul some good!

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