If you think face masks are just a luxurious treat and not an essential skincare item, get ready to change your mind.

Face masks have been around for a very long time. Sure, the formulations have changed and for the better; however, the basic concept is the same: nourish, protect and improve the skin. Face masks, essentially, take the entire cleansing, exfoliating and toning step a little further and help seal the deal for perfect skin.

You may argue that face masks aren’t essential but when our skins are fighting so many pollutants, irritants and going through such general wear and tear, can you really skip face masks?

For those complaining about time constraints, with so many varieties available now, there is a mask not only for your every need but for quick fixes on the go and overnight pampering too.

Sheet Masks

Probably, the latest out of the bunch, sheet masks are a Korean invention. Yes, another reason for us to bow down to Korean beauty.

Sheet masks are thin sheets of cotton, laden with, usually, hydrogel ingredients, that provide some heavy duty hydration to the skin, making it more plump. These sheets are cut-out to accommodate your face shape so that all you have to do is lie down, pop it over your face and let the mask do its magic.

sheet-masks

These sheet masks are best suited for dehydrated skin. They are oil-free so even if your skin is oily yet dehydrated, these masks will do wonders to inject back lost moisture and make your skin bouncy again.

These masks are also perfect for travelling because they are super easy to carry and are ideal for the dehydrated airplane atmosphere.

Product Picks: PETER THOMAS ROTH – Un-Wrinkle 24K Gold Intense Wrinkle Sheet Maskpatchology – Hydrate FlashMasque and EVE LOM – Brightening Mask.

Rinse-Off Masks

 The most common and well, the oldest, these masks are your usual masks that you apply for a short period of time and then, rinse-off to see the results. These masks cover all different types of masks that you have ever come across that you apply and then, need to rinse off. While there are a tonne of varieties, the three most popular type of rinse-off masks include:

Clay Masks

Almost everyone’s favorite type of mask, clay mask, is THE product for purging pores and getting rid of all the gunk. Created using oil-absorbing clays, these clay masks are perfect for oily skin types since as they dry, cause a tightening effect on the skin and the pores.

While these are better suited for oily skin types, dry skinned people can also use them by following it up with a healthy dose of a hydrating serum.

clay-face-mask

In any case, be your skin be oily or dry, make sure that the mask isn’t too drying. It shouldn’t crack as it dries up nor should it leave a dry, itchy feeling behind after being rinsed off. That’s never a good sign even if you are skin is very oily.

Product Picks: GLAMGLOW – Youthmud Tinglexfoliate TreatmentREN – Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask and Dermalogica – mediBac Sebum Clearing Masque.

Peel-Off Masks

Yet another old favorite, peel off masks as the name suggests, peels off easily once it has dried. These masks are again better suited for oily skin types and are intended to peel off all the “gunk” from the pores and dead skin cells.

Peel-off masks have a thick putty-like texture. You are either supposed to use them directly from the container or mix it with a little water and then, apply it all over your face. The mask hardens like a soft peel as it dries and once you are done, you can easily peel it off.

peel-off-mask

These masks are fun. The concept of imagining literally peeling off the superficial, dirty layer of skin is satisfying and hence, a good option for girly sleepovers. The only downside to this mask is the mess it creates at times, especially if it the mask isn’t formulated properly or you haven’t applied it correctly or are peeling it off before it has dried completely. In all these cases, rinsing off your face after peeling the mask off is nightmarish.

Product Picks: Bliss Mask A-`Peel` Radiance Revealing Rubberizing MaskExuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque and Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.RT. Skin Perfecting Mask.

Exfoliating Masks

The newest and the fastest of the group, exfoliating masks are a God send for dull, dehydrated skin and pigmented skin.

These masks make the good, old scrubs redundant by using chemical exfoliators (AHAs and BHAs) to help get rid of blackheads, dead skin cells and the outermost worn out layer of skin.

exfoliating masks

All you have to do is apply a thin layer of an exfoliating mask and let it be for a few minutes. Yes, you read it right, only a few minutes, unlike clay masks and peel-off masks which take considerably longer to dry off. Rinse away and say hello to gorgeous, glowing skin in a matter of minutes.

Product Picks: PETER THOMAS ROTH – Pumpkin Enzyme MaskREN – Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask and Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment

Sleeping Masks

Also known as cream masks by some, sleeping masks are more suited for aged skin where you need products to work through the night to rejuvenate and replenish your skin more intensely. No need to rinse off here!

sleeping masks

These masks are usually very emollient and hence, best suited for more mature skin. They work to hydrate, restore, calm and brighten your skin overnight. All you need to do is slather the cream/sleeping mask on before you go to bed and that’s it!

You wake up with refreshed skin that looks plump and well-hydrated.

Product Picks: PETER THOMAS ROTH Camu Camu Power C X 30 Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask, Exuviance Overnight Recovery Masque and Philosophy The Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel.

A word of caution: always remember to read instructions on the mask container to ensure you are applying it correctly and leaving them on for the right amount of time recommended. Also, do not forget to do a patch test if you have particularly sensitive skin.

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