What Are Face Masks, Types, Benefits And Which One Is The Best For You

Very extensive information on what face masks are, their benefits, types, and how to chose the one that is right for you. Some recommendations on different products and also recipes of homemade facial masks.

Why to use commercial and homemade face masks?

What is a face mask?

Facial mask is a skin care product.  Facial masks are used for variety of reasons:

    • hydrating
    • detoxifying
  • fighting acne
  • unclogging pores
  • exfoliating
  • nourishing
  • improving circulation
  • brightening
  • whitening
  • anti-aging
  • improving skin tone, glow and texture
  • relaxing
  • tightening
  • …and many, many more

Facial masks are used as an addition to daily skin care routine.  Most masks are applied for a short period of time and then washed off with water; others are left on overnight.  Some masks are used once a week, others you can use as often as daily.

Facial masks are also relaxing and pampering, making you feel as if you are visiting a spa but at the comfort of your own home.  They are excellent way to enhance your skin care without leaving the house, which is very important for busy women and mothers with young children.  I cannot even count how many times I applied a facial mask and continued with my house choirs like cleaning, folding laundry or cooking.  This way I had my choirs done and took care of myself.

Homemade facial masks are as good as commercial ones.  I used to make my own for many years and started using them in my early twenties (like about 20 years ago).  An added bonus is that homemade masks are made without chemicals and preservatives and you can custom made them to accommodate your skin needs.  You could also add some essential oils to enhance the effect.

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  That means that if you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no cost to you).

How to apply a facial mask?

Application of a facial mask really depends on each mask you are using: single use mask, sheet mask or overnight mask.

Single use masks – cream, gel, exfoliating – are the masks that are applied to one’s face for a period of time and then washed off completely.

Sheet masks are applied as an enhancement to regular facial skin care routine and not washed off.

Overnight sleeping masks applied at the bed time an left overnight.

Applying cream, gel, or exfoliating mask:

sleeping mask night cream

  1. Cleanse your face using double-cleansing method (I wrote a very thorough post on what double-cleansing method is and what products to use according to your skin type.  Please, follow this link to read the post).
  2. Apply mask to clean damp skin using spatula provided as most masks come with a special spatula attached.  If your mask does not have it or you lost it (like I usually do), you can use wooden popsicle sticks from dollar store.  It is not recommended to scoop mask out of a jar with your hands as you increase chances of introducing bacteria and skin oils from your hands to the product.  Apply mask all over your face so it looks like….well, a mask.  Avoid area around eyes and lips as the skin around those areas considered to be extra gentle and sensitive and requires different approach in care.  (You can read my thorough post about how to care for the skin around your eyes by following this link).
  3. Lie down and relax for 15-20-30 minutes (read instructions for your product application).  Lying down is ideal and recommended, however, if you are busy and just cannot lie down, you could continue with your choirs.
  4. Wash off the mask thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  5. Follow with toner and your usual skin care routine products.

Carboxy CO2 gel treatment

Carboxy CO2 gel facial mask – is a unique facial treatment that utilizes the Bohr effect, when large amount of CO2 is released to a targeted areas, which forces a spontaneous release of oxygen. CO2 gel facial treatment has many benefits. It reduces wrinkles, moisturizes, whitens the skin. It also reduces pores, treats acne and scars, evens out skin tone, improves skin elasticity.  It is like having a very expensive salon treatment at home at the fraction of its cost.  Read the full review of this treatment here.

Biovene Barcelona Charcoal Magnet Mask – This mask contains iron particles, activated charcoal and is infused with natural face oils such as Safflower seed oil, Sweet almond oil, Jojoba seed oil, Lavender oil to nourish, moisturize and tighter your skin.  It also contains Vitamin E to fight signs of aging.  It is suitable for any skin type. You can read the full review of this mask by following this link.


Applying sheet masks:

  1.      Wash your face using double-cleansing method.
  2.      Apply toner.
  3.      Remove mask from the package, remove some essence from the package and apply to your face.
  4.      Lay mask on your face, making sure to match up the eye, nose, and mouth holes.
  5.      Relax for 20 minutes.
  6.      Peel the sheet off your face and discard.
  7.      Massage the rest of the essence into your face.   Do not wash it off, allow to dry. 
  8.      Lock essence by applying the moisturizer of your choice.

What Are Face Masks, Types, Benefits And Which One Is The Best For You

SNP Bird’s Nest Aqua Ampoule Mask – amazing sheet mask that nourishes, moisturizes and rejuvenates tired, dull and mature skin.  Read the full review here.

Oozoo Fresh Capsule Mask – firming, moisturizing, lifting effects, wrinkle improvement, pore size reduction, improve microcirculation.  Read the full review here.

Dr. Jart Rubber Mask – Hydration Lover: Review of Dr. Jart face mask – my review of one of my favorite sheet masks.

INNISFREE It’s Real Squeeze Mask Bija – Review – moisturizing mask that also erases age spots and wrinkles.


Applying overnight masks   

  1. Wash your face using double-cleansing method.
  2. Apply your usual night skin care products.
  3. Apply overnight mask on top of all products to add extra beneficial ingredients.  You might omit night cream in this case as overnight mask is packed with extra useful ingredients.  Please, read about the difference between overnight mask and night cream by following the link.
  4. Keep mask on overnight and remove in the morning using double-cleansing method.
  5. Overnight masks are meant to be used once or twice a week.

TONYMOLY Golden Mushroom Sleeping Mask – this wonderful mask that acts as  a moisturizing treatment to improve skin elasticity, supply intense moisture to the skin while you sleep. Read the full review here.

Elizavecca Green Piggy Collagen Jella Pack – this mask fights wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, improves skin hydration by locking in moisture, promotes youthful and bright appearance.  Read the full review here.

Holika Holika: Red Wine Therapy sleeping mask and White Wine Therapy Sleeping Mask – these are two sleeping masks that provide extensive hydration and nourishment to the skin, fight wrinkles, brighten and lighten overall complexion.  Read the full review here

What Are Face Masks, Types, Benefits And Which One Is The Best For You


I categorized masks in 5 categories: cream, clay, gel, sheet and exfoliating.


Cream masks

sleeping mask Tony Moly magic food review

Ideal for: Any type of skin, but most beneficial for normal, dry and sensitive skin types.

These masks have consistency of a cream, hence the name.

These masks are used for variety of reasons from hydration, nourishment to anti-aging.  They are rich in oils, moisturizers, anti-oxidants, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and many, many other useful ingredients.

Clay masks

Idea for: Normal, Acne prone and Oily skin

Clay masks contain clay, kaoline or bentonite for their sebum-absorbing effects and tightening properties.

These types of masks have serve various purposes: the are detoxifying, firming and tightening.  They also provide some exfoliation, clean pores and tighten them.  They are also excellent for inflamed and acne prone skin as they promote release of clarifying enzymes and/or sulfur that prevents and heals breakouts.

How often to use?

Clay masks are used once a week.

Gel masks

Ideal for: Any skin type but especially for dry and sensitive skin

The purpose of this mask is to provide extra hydration and nourishment to dehydrated, dull, tired skin. 

How often to use?

Once to three times a week.

Sheet masks

SNP Bird's Nest Aqua Ampoule Mask

Ideal for: All skin types.

The purpose of sheet masks depends on the type of ingredients the mask contains.  Sheet masks could be used for variety of reasons: anti-aging, hydration, nutrition, detox, brightening, whitening, purify, clarify and so on and so forth.

I am a big fan of sheet masks and use them almost daily.  I tried numerous masks and have to admit that besides claiming reasons for use all masks are the same.  They all provide the same effect more or less and that is very good hydration and nutrition. 

How often to use?

You can use sheet masks as often as you like, even daily.

Exfoliating masks

Ideal for: all skin types.  Note: if you have sensitive skin, use enzyme mask.

The purpose of exfoliating masks is to remove dead cells that are collected on the surface of your skin. They also remove dirt from pores which is not easy as pores can become quite clogged with dead cells, makeup and environmental pollution leftover. 

Exfoliating masks usually contain some acid a a very mild concentration (usually glycolic and/or lactic acid) and fruit enzymes (typically pineapple and/or papaya).

Things to remember about exfoliating masks.

These types of masks typically have brightening and even whitening effect (due to acid presence).

They also tend to dry skin as the outer layer of the skin is removed.  Load up on moisturizing products.   Hydrating sheet masks could also be applied after exfoliating masks.  Overnight sleeping mask could be the best choice for its hydrating and nourishing properties. Your skin will be more prone to receiving serums, creams and other skin treatments once the layer of dead cells is removed.

How often to use?

It is recommended to use these types of masks once a week only.

Homemade Facial Masks

There are many reasons people use homemade beauty products and prefer them over commercials ones. Homemade products are budget-friendly, custom made and free of preservatives and chemicals.  Here are…… masks that I personally love and use at home a lot.

1.   Honey, Egg Yolk and Olive Oil facial mask

(photo credit to Arabia Weddings)

This mask is reach in retinol (vitamin A), regulates production of skin oil.  Mask is full of anti-oxidants, fights acne, assists in anti-aging, moisturizes and soothes skin.

Ideal for: any type of skin

This mask is suitable for daily use.

The full recipe of the mask could be found on Arabia Weddings.

2.   Blueberry, strawberry, flax seed oil and yogurt homemade facial mask

Ideal for: any type of skin

This mask is loaded with beneficial ingredients, it fights scars, supplies skin with important vitamins (A, B, and C) and minerals (zinc, calcium, and others). It also contains natural acids such as salicylic, lactic (both aid in mild peeling) and ellagic (prevents distraction of collagen). 

The full recipe could be found in one of my post by following the link.

3.   Milk and Rolled Oatmeal Exfoliating Mask

(Photo credit of  SiO Beauty)

Ideal for: any skin type

This mask contains lactic acid that gently exfoliates skin leaving it beautiful and glowing

Follow SiO Beauty to view the full recipe of this mask.

4.   Overnight Turmeric Sleeping mask

Ideal for: any skin type.

This overnight mask will restore healthy glow to your skin; it possesses anti-inflammatory properties thus making this mask ideal for acne prone skin.

(Photo credit of  The Indian Spot)

Follow The Indian Spot website to read about ingredients and how to make this mask.

5.   Banana, Honey and Grape seed oil facial mask

This mask is exceptional for skin hydration, oil control, anti-aging, lightening dark spots and regulating skin oil production.  It is loaded with minerals and vitamins.  It also mildly exfoliates skin and restores healthy glow.


1/2 organic banana, mashed with a fork

1 table spoon of grape seed oil

1 tea spoon of honey

Mix mashed banana, grape seed oil and honey together.  Generously apply to clean skin all over your face and neck.  Leave for 20 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water.  Follow with your usual skin care routine.

Stay beautiful!!!


It is very important to know your skin type to provide your skin with the best care.  Please, read my extensive post on how to determine your skin type, how to establish your own skin care routine and choose appropriate skin care products. Skin care basics -Different Skin Types

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