I love a good face mask. It doesn’t matter if it comes premade in a jar or tube, is a sheet mask, or is one you mix up in a bowl—if it’s a mask, it’s highly likely that I’ll slap one on for the better part of an hour on a Sunday night while I’m watching a movie. It’s gotten to the point where I can no longer even startle my dog or partner with whatever weird mask I’ve applied on any given weekend because they’re both so used to me sitting on the couch with some type of mask on my face.
That being said, I really could not be more exhausted by the way brands are marketing their masks, especially in recent years.
After being on the giving and receiving end of skin care marketing campaigns as an educator and a consumer, I have a hard time not eye-rolling when brands launch new products and make the most outlandish claims and try to overwhelm you with these strange statistics. I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of people may be slightly more inclined than normal to self-report that their skin looked smoother or “more radiant” (how do you even quantify that) if they were being paid to be a part of a survey of a product they were given. It’s as unscientific as possible, y’all.
Consistency is key. It doesn’t matter how great the technology is, if you’re only going to use it once in a while, it’s going to be difficult to gain any benefits.
It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from the perspective of an educator, esthetician, dermatologist, or from any other corner of the industry: Consistency is key. It doesn’t matter how amazingly formulated your products are or how great the technology behind a brand is, if you’re only going to use something every once in a while, it’s going to be very difficult to gain any benefits. Of course there are going to be times where life happens and you’re not going to be able to do your skin care. As much as I love skin care, I don’t need it like breathing or eating. Close, but not quite.
However, if “once in a while” turns into multiple times a week you’re falling asleep with your makeup on and not applying products to help support your skin, the benefits of your products won’t be apparent. This school of thought, in my experience, also applies to any face masks you might do at home or even professional grade treatments and/or masks that you get at a clinic or a spa. They’re great supporting cast members to your daily skin care routine, but they cannot take center stage and certainly cannot turn what should be a whole cast of characters into a one-person show and do everything alone.
What masks are really there for, in my experience, are to help reign your skin in when it’s acting “out of line” like mine does when the summer temps hit over 110°F where I live, That’s definitely the time for me to whip out some honey-based masks to help with dehydration from increased air conditioning or a clay mask to absorb excess oils depending on how my skin is feeling. When I’m out of town for the holidays visiting family in freezing single digit temperatures at higher altitudes, a sheet mask does wonders to bring some life back into my skin.
Rather than spending your time trying to hunt down all these strong treatment products and fancy looking masks, take that time and energy and put it towards establishing consistency with your skin care routine. I feel like it’s the most overused analogy, but running a marathon one day doesn’t take the place of working out consistently in shorter, less intense sessions throughout the week or month.
Rather than spending your time trying to hunt down fancy looking masks, take that time and energy and put it towards establishing consistency with your skin care routine.
Your skin gets exposed to the elements on a daily basis and therefore gets dirty, loses moisture and hydration, and needs looking after every day. It’s just part of being alive. Establishing a solid, thorough, non-stripping cleansing routine you do twice a day, every day will go a much longer way to clean your skin than a wash-off mask that you have on once or twice a week for maybe 30 minutes a session. Properly layering hydration and moisture on your skin will do more than a sheet mask ever could on its own. Use masks to your heart’s content, because I know I definitely will, but do not view them as a cure-all solution that will take the place of a daily routine. The skin on your face and body do a lot for you on the daily, so give it some love back, y’all.