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From clay masks to sheet masks to steam masks, the options for face masks are now endless. Not every type of face mask will be good for you, however – based on your skin type, using the wrong face mask can result in more harm than good. If you’re still unsure about which face masks are actually best for you, check out our comprehensive guide below.
#1: Oily skin
Many have the idea that the end goal for oily skin is to remove the excess oil constantly. This might be true for some, and a clay mask is awesome for that, as it deeply cleanses pores without over-drying the skin.
However, for others, oily skin might also be the result of not moisturising your skin enough. When your skin is deprived of ‘good’ oil, it overcompensates by producing excess sebum, which makes your skin oilier. Hence, it is crucial to apply the right oil to restore the skin’s balance. In this case, the solution would be to go for masks with lightweight oils such as jojoba oil and tea tree oil, which can help to balance out oily skin. Avoid pore-clogging ingredients such as beeswax, which will worsen oily skin.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask, $32.90
#2. Combination skin
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A close friend of oily skin is combination skin. Unlike oily skin, however, people with combination skin usually only have an oily T-zone and dry cheeks.
Due to this mix of different skin problems, it only makes sense that those with combination skin type should double-up and use a mix of face masks. It would be ideal to think of your face mask regimen in layers, as you’ll be combining masks to target the various oily and dry areas of your face.
As mentioned, clay masks work well for oily skin, so that would be the best option for your T-zone. On the other hand, a hydrating face mask would be good for your drier patches. To apply, spread a thin layer of the hydrating face mask all over your face first, then apply the clay mask to your T-zone (or any other breakout-prone areas).
#3. Acne prone skin
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Those with acne-prone skin are very sensitive to an unbalanced moisture level. It is imperative to avoid oil-stripping and pore-clogging ingredients, while looking for masks that have purifying and calming properties. For example, lactic or citric acid helps remove dead skin cells while evening out skin tone, while rose is a gentle ingredient effective on all skin types, including mature skin.
A recommended face mask would be a gentle, clay-based one which can help absorb excess oil while refining the skin. Spot treat and apply the mask to wherever you have breakouts.
Origins Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, $50, Sephora
#4. Dry skin
The polar opposite of oily and combination skin is dry, dehydrated skin. Lots of factors can lead to dry skin, including age, genes and environmental reasons (for example, our skin can get super dry when we visit someplace in winter). The underlying reason for dry skin, however, remains the same – a lack of moisture.
Dry skin is also frequently paired with symptoms such as itchiness and irritability, as the skin’s moisture barrier is compromised. Naturally, a hydrating or moisturising face mask would be best here. Those that are chock-full of nourishing oils and anti-oxidants are perfect.
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Sleeping Pack, $21.90
#5. Sensitive skin
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Breakouts, rashes and irritation are not uncommon for those with sensitive skin, who can get easily triggered by a range of reasons, such as stress, pollution, hormones, diet, weather and even specific ingredients in skincare or makeup products. The best way to go for those with this skin type is to keep your face masks as simple, minimal and natural as possible.
This means that formulas with only a handful of ingredients are ideal, while it is best to steer clear of highly-concentrated, harsh ingredients, mineral oils and alcohol. Calming, detoxing and soothing ingredients such as green tea and lavender are also good for stressed, sensitive skin.
Innisfree Green Tea Sleeping Pack, $21
#6. Mature skin
Mature skin needs plumping and firming, while downplaying fine lines and wrinkles is also important. The key to a more plumped-up appearance is more moisture, and natural oils like omega-3s can help to help nourish and plump skin. Water sleeping masks can also help to restore and moisturise your skin overnight, so you wake up with refreshed and hydrated skin.
Antioxidants and toning ingredients are also essential for anti-aging effects, while tea fights free radicals and other environmental stressors. Astringent ingredients like rosewater can also help tighten enlarged pores gently. Most importantly, invest in under-eye masks, as targeted, intensive treatments are the only way to combat crow’s feet and reduce fine lines.
#7. Dull skin
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Dull skin can be the result of clogged pores and accumulation of dead skin cells, which will make you prone to blackheads and tired-looking skin. An exfoliating mask is best here, as it helps to scrub away the top layer of dead skin cells. Radiance masks can also work to help brighten your skin tone with their whitening ingredients.
To deal with clogged pores, antioxidant-rich masks with ingredients like clay can help cleanse pores and purify skin. However, avoid black, grainy masks that crack on the skin as they can be too harsh.
This article was originally published in Female.