I’m a big fan of masks, I've tried everything I could possibly try until now. Some worked out for me others didn’t. You read a lot about scrub, clay and peel-off masks, everyone is recommending them for combination, oily and acne prone skin. Here’s what I've experienced with them so far:
Scrub masks are my favorite ones for sure. Scrubs are used to exfoliate your skin by massaging your face with the abrasive part.
The benefits you get are tremendous not only for oily skin but for any other skin type.
Their main role is to promote the turnover of new cells– speaking on a result-oriented manner, this means that:
it improves the texture of the skin
evens out skin tone
helps reduce discolorations
minimize the appearance of large pores
reduces signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles
helps make scars less visible
brightens the skin
I definitely recommend a scrub mask mainly because of their exfoliating properties and I'm absolutely sure every skin expert will tell you how every skin type benefits from exfoliation when it’s done properly. One of them is Renee Rouleau and if you want to know more you can refer to her article, The Importance of Skin Exfoliation.
If your scrub mask comes with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHAs (beta hydroxy acid), normally from fruit enzymes and acids, even better. The combination of a physical exfoliator (scrub) with a chemical one (based on AHAs or BHA) is always more effective on your skin. For a proper introduction to exfoliation read What is Exfoliation.
Although some argue that exfoliants shouldn’t feel aggressive on your skin I do like that tingling feeling when I know my mask is working.
They are not so common under the “astringent” name but clay masks are in this category and I am referring to that type of clay that tightens your skin as it dries.
Back in my teen years I found astringent masks work really well on my acne skin and I’ve been using them on a regular basis since then.
An astringent mask comes in a creamy form and has a tightening effect while drying out on your face. I normally used a clay powder that I mixed with water and applied it on my face.
The down-part is that clay or astringent masks can really dehydrate your skin (I did experienced that) so be careful to moisturize well.
Often peel-off masks, usually gel, latex or wax based, are promoted for their capability to remove impurities, however some even go further stating that they deeply clean your skin.
I'm not so convinced about that mostly because all the peel off masks I tried have turned out to be fun and…well, just fun.
While they do a good job in removing surface impurities I seriously doubt that the light film can actually remove comedones or blackheads or simply properly clean the pores.
While I maintain my opinion that besides fun peel-off masks can’t really do more, other people do too. Femail.co.uk conducted a small research were they asked four women to try some well known peel-off masks including Elizabeth Arden’s Peal and Reveal Mask, Decleor Radiance Renewal, Cle de Peau Translucency peel-off mask and Botanics Pore-Refining Peel-Off Mask.
The results didn’t surprise me at all as, judging from my own experience, I came to the conclusion that until now a lot of people can’t really see any long term effects from peel-offs.
By all means, do let me know if you had a different experience with a peel-off mask!
So, my conclusion in short: a big yes for scrub masks, a green light for clay masks and push the ‘next’ button for peel-off.