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Masking 101: The Complete How To Guide to Using a Face Mask

Categories : Skincare

A skincare aficionado is not one without a nifty face mask. Besides the slew of skincare benefits these bad boys provide, there is no denying that there is nothing more indulgent than using a face mask. Even though it might seem like a straightforward task, learning a trick or two about how to use a face mask can make a huge difference to your daily ritual, even if you swear by it! Ahead, Beauty Insider gives you the lowdown of the complete guide to the tips and tricks to effectively use your face masks and take your skincare ritual to the next level

Always Cleanse Your Face First!


As much as you want to pop on a face mask as quick as possible, skipping out on cleansing might just be the worst thing you could do for your skin.  Other than the fact that there might still be excess grime and impurities left on your face (yikes), not cleansing your skin gets in the way of allowing your skin to easily absorb the product from your face mask. 


So to get the most out of your money’s worth, always remember to give your skin the cleanse it needs with a micellar water or your favourite facial wash before applying any face mask! Plus, who does not love the feeling of refreshed skin?

Choosing the Right Face Mask 


The skincare market is flooded with face masks and the amount of highly raved face masks hardly run scarce. However, it is important to remember that as with all skincare products, a one-size-fits-all face mask does not exist. When looking for the right face mask for you, always assess your individual skin type and concerns before anything else. So if you have been struggling with parched skin for the longest time, perhaps finding a face mask that works to fight acne might not do the trick for you. With that being said, do not pick a face mask just because it has been sworn by your favourite beauty guru!


Next, it is also crucial to look out for face masks with the right ingredients to tackle your specific skin concerns.

For instance, if you are looking for an instant boost of hydration, consider looking for a face mask that is packed with hyaluronic acid or other moisturising properties. Likewise, if you are looking to get rid of any pesky zits, opt for a face mask that is packed with tea tree oil or other acne-fighting properties. 

For Oily Skin: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

This bubble mask may have taken over the beauty world by storm for its foamy clouds, but this face mask has proven to be more than just a fun gimmick. Ideal for people with oily skin, this bubble mask is formulated with mud and charcoal powder to absorb any excess sebum production and banish oil shine for good. What’s more, this mask also contains carbonic acid, which clears out any pore-clogging gunk for a refined skin texture. Check out what Tati Westbrook had to say about this mask here.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Minimises the appearance of large pores
  • Absorbs excess sebum production without drying out the skin
  • Super fun to use

“I love this mask. After using it, my face is clean, fresh and bright. When applying it, it gives pleasant feeling and very good result. Also it’s not time consuming. I recommend!” One YesStyle reviewer wrote.

Price: $16.84, iHerb

For Sensitive Skin: Avène Soothing Moisture Mask

For people who know the struggles of easily irritate skin all too well, your skin will thank you for this face mask. Packed with Thermal Spring Water, this face mask works to soothe any redness and calm irritation for an instant feeling of comfort. On top of that, this face mask also packs a punch in the hydration department, thanks to its unique blend of moisturising ingredients.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Brightens up dull skin
  • Soothes sunburns and irritated skin
  • Replenishes the moisture in the skin

“This is my absolute must have! i have tried a lot of moisturising masks but none is as good as this! The skin literally drinks it in a few minutes whereas other masks just sit on top of your skin,” says one MakeupAlley review.

Price: $40.70, Watsons

For Dry Skin: Origins Drink Up™ Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask With Avocado & Swiss Glacier Water

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Need to quench thirsty skin? Drench your skin in moisturising goodness with this Origins mask. With Avocado and Swiss Glacier Water as this mask’s star ingredients, this facial mask is designed to deliver intense moisture for hydrated and supple skin. This facial mask also contains Japanese seaweed, which is known to add a glow to dull and lacklustre skin.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Long-lasting hydration of up to 72 hours
  • Free from parabens
  • Non-greasy finish

“I have tried this overnight mask for almost two weeks now. I really noticed difference after applying overnight. My skin looked moisturised in the morning and the best part was it didn’t leave any stains on my pillow (not oily). I have a pretty sensitive skin and this product didn’t cause me any issue so far,” say one Sephora review.

Price: $44, Sephora

For Acne-prone Skin: Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution

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Trust this Dr. Jart+ sheet mask to take care of your acne woes once and for all. Salicylic acid in this mask works to fight active acne breakouts, while tea tree oil soothes and calms any redness and irritation. Moreover, this mask contains brightening boosters to deliver a radiant glow and combat acne at one go!

“I’ve used this mask before my graduation day and safe to say I was GLOWING that day! And also my spots shrink and no redness. Love it would recommend it to everyone I know,” says one Sephora review.

Price: $41 (5 Sheets), Sephora

DIY Mask vs Store-bought Mask 


Beauty junkies are no stranger to store-bought masks. After all, a quick stroll down the aisle of any drugstore or makeup retailer will just welcome you with an endless slew of face masks that might just make you too spoilt for choice! If you need a quick fix-me-up in a jiffy, a store-bought mask is perfect for you. As store-bought masks are already formulated with everything you need to take care of your skin concerns, you do not need to go the extra mile to making your own face mask.  


However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, concocting your own DIY face mask works just as well! Aside from being wallet-friendly option, making your own masks allows you to know what exactly is going into your skin — so you do not have to worry about any harmful toxins! Of course, DIY face masks comes with its snags — most notably the amount of time you have to spend making the actual face mask. So if you are always on-the-go, making DIY face masks might just not be in the cards for you. 

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Here, we have rounded up some DIY face masks to try out:

Dry skin: 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons  plain yoghurt

Acne-prone skin: 1 mashed banana, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Sensitive skin: 1 tablespoon yoghurt, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Oily skin: 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon ground oats

Toners Are Your Best Friend


We all know that excess grime and impurities on our face can interfere with how well a product penetrates into the skin. Apart from that, dead skin cells are another a huge culprit when it comes to getting in the way of product penetration.


In order to resolve this woe, use a toner before applying a face mask!  Among the many skincare benefits toners provide, toners work well in sloughing away dead skin cells and ridding any traces of impurities. All you need to do is drench a cotton pad with a toner, and gently sweep it onto your face in an outward motion!

Pixi Glow Tonic

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As its name suggests, the cult-classic Pixi Glow Tonic will leave you with nothing but glowing skin. Packed with 5% Glycolic Acid, this toner exfoliates and melts dead skin cells away to reveal luminous and brighter skin. In addition, aloe vera and ginseng extracts help to soothe irritated and stressed skin.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Decongests clogged pores
  • Lightens hyperpigmentation
  • Reduces the appearance of acne scarring

“Holy grail. I stoped breaking out after a month of using this. And my blemishes cleared faster. My mom noticed my skin was glowing after days of using it and started using it also. Super love this. Will keep purchasing it in the future,” says one Sephora review.

Price: $48, Sephora

Get On Board With Multi-Masking 

Let’s face it: different areas of your skin have different skincare needs. So using one face mask might not do-it-all for your skin. For instance, even if you have an oily T-zone, you might have cheeks that are as dry as the Sahara Desert (thank you, combination skin).  


With that, meet your new favourite trend — multi-masking! Multi-masking allows you to layer on different face masks onto different areas at the same time, so you can resolve all your skincare woes in one go! For dry, flaky areas, apply a hydrating face mask onto the targeted areas to quench the thirst of parched skin. Conversely, for areas that tend to be oilier, apply a clay mask, which is great for absorbing excess sebum production. 

This trick is usually much easier to do with gel and clay masks, but then again there are no rules to say you cannot multi-mask with sheet masks too! If you need a step-by-step guide, TheBeautyBreakdown gives you the lowdown about everything you need to know about multi-masking. Check it out here.

face mask

Apply a Moisturiser After Masking


No matter what your skin type might be, we can all agree that a moisturiser is the cornerstone of any skincare ritual. With that said, even though your skin might feel plump and hydrated after using a face mask, that is not an excuse to ditch the moisturiser! Applying a moisturiser after using a face mask can help your skin to lock in hydration better, which allows for longer-lasting moisture. Moreover, applying a moisturiser allows you to maximise the full effects of your face mask, thanks to the multitude of skincare benefits that come with them! 

How Often Should I Use A Face Mask?


The idea that ‘less is more’ is quintessential to any skincare routine, and that applies for face masks too! As much as we love the feeling of being pampered to a face mask, applying a face mask one too many times might disrupt your skin barrier. So you might want to lay off on using a face mask everyday! For the best results, we recommend using any face mask only once or twice a week, tops.

How Long Do I Leave a Face Mask On For?


A common misconception many people hold is that the longer you leave a face mask on, the better. On the contrary, leaving a face mask on beyond the recommended time might actually do more harm to your skin. This because when it is left on for too long, the various ingredients in the mask might irritate your skin. As a good rule of thumb, leaving your face mask on for 15 minutes should be sufficient enough. Having said that, always follow the instructions on the back of the mask’s packaging if you are unsure!