Face facts: why a skin mask could be vital to your beauty regime

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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Do they really work or is it just another fad that wants you to part with your hard-earned bucks with no real benefits? We take a closer look at face masks (and not the ones that protect you against Covid-19!).

Does a face mask really make a difference to your skin?

You already use face wash and moisturiser so are masks worth all the extra effort? The answer is yes.

Masks are designed to address specific skincare needs, whether to combat dryness, help reduce oiliness or deep cleanse your skin.

They can help you address specific skincare needs and are formulated to quickly deliver a high concentration of ingredients to the skin.

Find one that's right for you

Look out for masks that address your specific needs. If you have oily or combination skin, you’ll benefit from water-based hydrating and detoxifying masks as these products help control oil and shine.

If you have dry and dull skin choose lipid and brightening masks as these improve hydration and complexion. If you’re worried about signs of ageing, go for anti-ageing masks with hydrating, brightening and firming properties. 

How to apply your mask

  • Before you start make sure your skin is clean and preferably exfoliated (unless you’re using an exfoliating mask). This helps the skin absorb the ingredients better. Applying your mask just after washing your face is vital because then your skin is most permeable.
  • Apply the mask according to the package instructions and leave on for the specified amount of time. Certain masks can be left on overnight.
  • Rinse or peel it off when the time is up and follow up with your normal skincare products.
Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

PUTTING IT TO THE TEST

Our team tested various face masks to see whether they’d make a difference to their skin. 

Siyabonga Dzimbili (21), Journalist

He tried: Nivea Daily Essentials 1 Minute Urban Detox Mask R99 for 75ml

The verdict: This mask is just what I needed to regain smoother-feeling skin. Before I started using this product I thought I had fairly good skin, but if I’m being honest it didn’t feel as smooth to the touch as it looked. I started using the mask every now and again during my evening showers and I quickly began to notice a difference in the texture of my skin.

The mask has a heating effect upon application and it just makes your face feel warm instantly. A couple of days later while applying my face cream, I felt it – that smooth, baby-soft texture on my grown self!

Noleen Mendace (35), Office manager

She tried: Justine Oil Control Menthol Mud Mask R129 for 150ml

The verdict: My skin gets oily, especially in the T-zone. I’ve tried a lot of products, especially ones aimed at anti-ageing. They make a difference in various ways, but they don’t control the oiliness. When I first applied the mask, it felt cool on my skin – I’m assuming this is because of the menthol it contains.

After rinsing the mask off with warm water my skin felt as if I’d just done a deep cleanse. It felt clean and was matte. I used the mask three times over the course of a week and a half, and I definitely saw an improvement in terms of oiliness. It’s become an essential product in my beauty regimen. 

Cyril Blackburn (26), Journalist

He tried: Dr Gobac Exfoliating Masque With Papaya Enzyme R520 for 50ml

The verdict: In my case, a busy professional life equals poor meal planning which results in bad eating habits, not enough water and too much coffee. Knowing I do little to keep my skin looking good, I’m always on the hunt for products that will aid my skincare needs. Dr Gobac’s Exfoliating Masque was a game-changer.

The scent is so delicious you smell like summer. I also love that it isn’t sticky. It’s gentle and leaves your skin feeling hydrated. It’s also great that it serves as both a mask and an exfoliator. My skin is prone to imperfections when I’m stressed so it often looks fatigued. But since I’ve started using this product regularly I’ve seen dramatic changes: redness is reduced, my skin doesn’t feel so tight and the dryness has greatly improved.

Jana van der Merwe (36), Journalist

She tried: The Body Shop Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask R345 for 75ml

Her verdict: Feeling overworked – aren’t we all? – and with my skin looking tired and down-and-out, I opted to try out this mask. It promises to smooth, firm and moisturise your skin with its blend of ground coffee, sesame seed oil, cocoa butter and cane sugar. The aroma when you apply it to your face is nothing short of divine!

Its texture is dense and gooey and I applied it liberally over my entire face then chilled out watching a series. I kept it on a little longer than the suggested time to let the product really do its job. It came off easily with warm water and a facecloth. Even after the first use it made an instant difference. It left my face with a glow and feeling more moisturised. This only intensified with further applications. It’s a great product but be warned: it may be addictive!