Face masks can offer all sorts of dreamy benefits for your skin. But how often should you use a face mask? Can you overdo it by using one too frequently?
Well, that can depend on the type of face mask, and the type of skin you have. Let’s take a closer look.
Downfalls of Using Face Masks Too Often
Your skin type, and the type of active ingredients in a face mask, will determine how often you should use a face mask. If you go overboard and use face masks with heavy-duty ingredients too often, and you have sensitive skin, you could be susceptible to:
- Over-drying your skin
- Skin irritation
- An allergic reaction1,2
Certain ingredients that target exfoliating, aging, or blemishes can be irritating when used too often – on any skin type. This is why it’s recommended that you only use most face masks once or twice a week.
Contrary to what you might believe, you can have too much of a good thing – even with the best skin care products.
Good Face Masks to Use Every Day
Experts say that the one exception to this once-or-twice-a-week schedule is deeply hydrating masks. These masks are packed with moisture-rich hydration ingredients, like fatty acids, antioxidants, niacinamide, aloe vera, vitamins, and, ideally – hyaluronic acid.3
Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it can help deliver large amounts of moisture deep into your skin.4
DIY Face Masks
For a financially-friendly option, you could consider DIY face masks. You can simply use nourishing ingredients you may already have at home!
Try a soothing honey mask by combining 2 tablespoons of manuka honey with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Or make an ultra-nourishing avocado face mask by mashing 1/4 of an avocado with 1 teaspoon of plain yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of manuka honey.
Smooth onto the skin and leave for at least 10 minutes.
Which Face Masks Should You Only Use Occasionally?
Exfoliating masks are superstars if you want to brighten your skin’s appearance. They often target aging or dry skin, relying on exfoliating acids to dissolve dead skin cells and promote younger-looking skin. Your skin may appear more plump, radiant, and hydrated.5
Common acids you’ll find in masks that exfoliate your face are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – such as glycolic acid or lactic acid – or Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), like salicylic acid.
These are all safe and effective ingredients, but they’re a little too much for most skin types if used too frequently. You don’t want to over exfoliate and irritate your skin.
These masks are best used once to twice a week.
Another popular mask that you won’t want to use daily is a clay face mask. Clay masks are wonderful for many skin types. They’re the ultimate detox mask, drawing out impurities and soaking up excess oil from oily skin. They’re also exceptionally natural, as they come packed with minerals from the earth.
Masks containing Rhassoul clay (and Dead Sea salts) are an excellent choice when it comes to great hydrating clay masks. Keep in mind, though, that if you have dry skin or sensitive skin, clay masks may be too drying if you use them too often. Stick to 2-3 times per week.6
You should also never let a clay mask dry completely, contrary to all those cracked face masks you may see on Instagram. Even on oily skin. When a clay mask completely dries on your face, it can suck too much moisture from your skin.7
Face Mask Aftercare
Face mask aftercare differs depending on the type of mask you’re using.
You’ll need to wash off clay, mud, or charcoal masks. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser and lukewarm water. Follow with a hydrating moisturizer or your usual nightly skin care routine.
Hydrating serum or gel masks – like Korean masks – are meant to be left on the skin. The sheet mask itself should come off, but instead of washing your face, gently pat any remaining serum into your skin.
You can also try an overnight mask that’s meant for sleeping in!
When to Apply Face Masks
All masks that require rinsing should be applied after you exfoliate and cleanse your skin, but before the rest of your skincare routine.
If the face mask is to be left on overnight, apply it as the last step in your nighttime skincare routine. (And don’t forget to apply a good eye cream!)
Face Masks for Optimal Skin Care
Face masks are a big part of any good skin care routine. You can find all sorts of effective masks for dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin. Many masks also target specific issues, like fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, or collagen production.
If you’re not sure what type of mask to use on your skin, talk to your dermatologist. They can better explain your personal skin type to you, as well as what kind of face mask might be the most beneficial.