Wash your face, moisturise well, and apply makeup. Skin care is that simple, right?

There’s nothing wrong with such a basic skin care routine, especially if it’s working. But if you want to try a bit harder, this is where a face mask can come in, offering intense skin treatment for a relatively small cost.

The ingredients of a treatment mask are kept longer in contact with your complexion because the mask traps the moisture or ingredient in the skin, creating a film that helps to either hydrate, moisturise, dry or exfoliate the skin, depending on the ingredients and their purpose. Face masks allow ingredients to penetrate better into your skin in a short amount of time. Whether it’s salicylic acid for acne, vitamin C for fine lines or retinoid for brightening dark spots, a face mask can offer a more concentrated dose and more intense version of its ingredients compared to other forms of applications.

Masks fall into several categories, so choose the one that best suits your skin type or problem issue:

Overnight masks are hydrating and may contain hyaluronic acid, which are ideal for mature or extremely dry skin

Clay, sulphur or mud masks can soak up oil and will usually also have a slight exfoliating effect.

Sheet masks containing antioxidants are hydrating and, if you store them in the fridge, anti-inflammatory too.

Whatever mask you choose, you’ll have to wear it for anywhere from 10 minutes to the entire night, so be sure to choose one that feels comfortable on your skin.

The benefit of a face mask depends on its ingredients, so check out the information panel carefully. Some common skin issues that can benefit from using a mask include acne, redness, dark spots and pigmentation. Though it may be tempting, don’t over-use face masks – they should only be used about once a week at the most, to avoid any irritation.

Colin Clarke
Author: Colin Clarke