How to Apply Face Masks - Frequency & After-Care Tips

Facial masks are an important part of any good skincare regimen. But it may seem overwhelming to figure out how to apply a face mask — or even how to choose the best face mask for your specific needs. We're here to help!

We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you level up your everyday beauty routine by adding regular self-care time with a face mask that fits your routine.

Our experts address all your masking questions, including:

  • What does a face mask do?
  • How often should you use a face mask?
  • What is the best face mask for your skin?
  • What to do after a face mask?

Let’s mask up!


Why Add Masking to Your Self-Care Regimen?

You face a lot in your everyday life. Aside from the environmental pollutants that barrage your skin as you move through the world, stress, age and diet can influence how your skin looks and feels. A quick routine of washing and slathering on moisturizer once or twice a day doesn’t do justice to the huge service our skin performs.

Adding a mask to your routine deep cleans your pores and addresses your skin’s deeper issues, like acne, dryness or discoloration. A quick skin analysis can clue you into your skin’s underlying needs.


How Often Should You Use a Face Mask?

This question gets a bit personal. Our aestheticians recommend masking one to two times a week as a general rule. But if you’re really serious about putting your best face forward on the regular, a mask session up to three times a week can really amplify the benefits. Think of at-home masking as a facial between professional facials — like brushing and flossing on the reg between dental visits. We all do that; right?


What Is the Best Face Mask for Me?

Choosing the right face mask for your skin’s needs is the first step toward successful masking. This important decision boils down to determining what your skin is hungry for. Ask yourself: What’s my biggest skin concern? We’ve curated masks to address dryness and flaky skin, hyperpigmentation like sunspots and acne scars, the wrinkles and sagging skin that come with age, visibly large pores and a host of acne concerns, including blackheads, cystic zits and excess oil production.

Skin Care Specialist Tip: If you have a combo plate of skin issues, as many of us do, consider learning how to multi-mask for a customized at-home facial experience.


How to Apply a Face Mask:

Create an at-home spa experience by gathering these items:

  • The mask of your choice
  • A clean washcloth
  • A hairband or towel to keep your tresses out of the way, if necessary
  • A magazine or other distraction

Set up your supplies on the bathroom counter and play some mellow, music if that helps to set a soothing mood. Roll up your sleeves and follow these steps:

  1. Prep - Start with a clean canvas. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and use an exfoliant to clear away any dead cells crowding around your pores. This will set the stage for maximum absorption of your mask’s goodness.
  2. Apply - Using clean fingers, apply a thin layer of mask all over your face, being sure to avoid the delicate tissue around your eyes. Stop a quarter inch or so from your hairline and ears. Depending on your unique needs, you may want to continue your mask onto your neck and décolletage.
  3. Wait - Leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes — all mask products have specific instructions, so make sure to follow those. While you wait, peruse a fun article, listen to some music or sit quietly with your eyes closed and imagine your skin getting healthier.


How to Peel Off a Face Mask

Removing your mask is simple. Splash a little lukewarm water on the product to soften any dry spots, then rinse well until your face is clean. Rinse away any remnants with tepid water.


Post-Mask Procedures

Before you snap that #selfie of your mask-ified glow, take a moment for aftercare. Swipe a cotton ball soaked in high-quality toner over your face to reset your skin’s balance. Then layer on the moisture with a night cream or nourishing serum product that aligns with your skin’s needs. You can mask anytime, but it’s particularly advantageous to do it just before bedtime so your skin can regroup overnight.


Frequently Masked Questions

  • Q: What does a face mask do?
  • A: Face masks offer a deeper clean than everyday washing while addressing specific skin concerns, like excess oil production, dryness or acne eruptions.
  • Q: How often should you use a face mask?
  • A: Depending on your skin type, masking up to three times a week is acceptable.
  • Q: What’s your advice for how to make your own face mask at home?
  • A: Because the skin on your face is so delicate, we do not recommend concocting a homemade face mask. Many items in your pantry — like apple cider vinegar and turmeric — can cause irritation, redness or allergic reactions. It’s best to stick with reliable skincare products that are simple and effective.
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