March 18, 2015

What Do Masks Do? Part 1

In my skincare practice and my remote skin coaching program, Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation for adults 24+, an at-home weekly use of an exfoliator and mask is an integral part of my method of clearing Adult Acne.  I wrote a little about this last week when talking about how to prep for vacation. 

Continuing Mask Madness Month at Daniela’s Facial Studio®, let’s talk about how masks work and what ingredients and benefits make them such an integral part of an at-home regimen and in-studio facial.

There are several different types of masks, as illustrated in my post kicking off Mask Madness Month, when I included a video about how to apply one.
  • Clay Mask, which is opaque and appears as a thick mud-like consistency, or like an extra heavy pancake batter, can harden but doesn’t have to, and is rinsed off after 10 minutes;
  • Cream Mask, which looks like a wet, thick, rich and creamy moisturizer, is tissued off after 15 minutes before rinsing, or the remainder can be massaged into the skin without rinsing;
  • Gel Mask, which applies like a thick, goopy gel and is tissued off before rinsing completely, and;
  • Exfoliating Mask with a thick, gelatin-like consistency, which is dried and then peeled off, or in the case of one of my products, can be either rinsed or rubbed off for extra exfoliation and then rinsed. 

But what do masks do exactly and what are they primarily made of ?  Well, there’s so much to talk about with this subject, I needed to divvy this up a bit !

So, this week I’ll be talking about Clay and Gel masks, while next week I’ll be going over Exfoliating and Cream masks.

Clay Mask
“Clay” is a general term that refers to several mineral rich compounds taken right from the earth.  Examples are Bentonite, Rhassoul, and several forms of Kaolin.  They each contain various minerals, such as oxides (quite literally, rusted iron), salts, calcium, and trace elements.  The cool thing about clay is that the very elements that give them their respective therapeutic qualities also give them their varied colors.  It’s scientifically proven to be active against a wide range of skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.  It draws out impurities from within the skin by attracting positive ions (free radicals) to its negatively charged self, promotes healing, and in some cases, increases blood circulation bringing much needed oxygen to tissues while removing waste.  Clay can also absorb excess oils while adding health-promoting minerals into the skin.  While anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and astringent, clays do not cause allergic reactions in their dry form, because they are inert.  However, if left on too long, they can cause dryness, as they can draw out water as well as oils and impurities.

Product Spotlight:  
Daniela’s Zinc and Sulphur Mask 
This is one of my favorite masks for clearing acne that features numerous blackheads, infection, and excess oiliness.  It also softens the skin as it heals, and can help serums and lotions penetrate more deeply when massaged into the skin before application.  It contains wonderful things like Sulphur, a known antiseptic and healing superpower, Zinc PCA to enhance the healing process and aid in calming, then packs a punch with cooling and purifying Eucalyptus essential oil, absorbent and texturizing Bentonite Clay, and an alcohol-free, naturally astringent Witch Hazel.

Gel Mask
Gel Masks have the most immediate and obvious feel of hydration and cooling.  They are perfect for calming and soothing dehydrated, irritated and troubled skin.  This cooling and wetting effect is common to all gel masks, with various active ingredients creating endless possibilities for benefits to the skin.  With its gel consistency, this type of mask does not set or dry, and can have varying times to be left on the skin before being rinsed.  I advise using non-lotion facial tissue, Viva paper towels or even toilet paper to remove as much as possible first before rinsing with tepid or cool water. Why? Because what makes a Gel Mask gel actually grows with water.  If you try to rinse it off while it’s on full force, it’ll feel like it will never come off.

Product Spotlight :
Daniela’s Soothing Gelle Mask

I have tried other gel masks and some actually made my skin sting a little, as it did that of a few of my clients’.  Others didn’t make our skin feel hydrated for long enough after removal, giving a feeling as though the facial never happened.  This one is very special.  I think it’s because it contains the magical ingredient Sea Whip, which is an extract of a coral inhabitant called pseudopterogorgia elizabethae.  This extract happens to be the most anti-inflammatory marine derived ingredient known to science at this time.  It’s also an antioxidant powerhouse.  In addition, the Soothing Gelle mask contains moisture leveling Panthenol, aka Provitamin B5, and Allantoin, my fav anti-redness and anti-irritant ingredient, which comes from Comfrey root.

Product Spotlight :
Daniela’s Purifying Comfort Mask

This is my favorite mask of all time.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It hydrates, purifies, exfoliates and calms all at once.  It’s perfect for inflamed acne, Rosacea breakouts, and dehydrated skin that is rough and weathered.  It’s applied liberally, feels icy-hot and tingly for the first 5 minutes, then feels cool and comfortable for the next 5-10.  Lichochalcone (pronounced Like-O-Cal-Cone) from Chinese licorice calms like crazy, Meadowsweet boosts the skin’s natural defenses and metabolism to help fight inflammation, a more-active-than-the-usual form of Tea Tree reduces the pain of pore swelling and irritation typical of period breakouts, Sodium Hyaluronate hydrates like there’s no tomorrow, and the version of Salicylic Acid known as Betaine Salicylate from sugar beet exfoliates more effectively and gently than its OTC drug sister found in drugstore topical medications.

Next Week :  Exfoliating and Cream Masks !

If the descriptions of the masks I just talked about here are not enough to get you going, please contact me for more individualized attention. 

If you’re ready to go for it, you’ll receive a special gift for your purchase of mask from now until April 1st, 2015; a fan mask brush and a try-me size of my powerful Salicylic Acid spot treatment, along with a Dixie cup so that you can master the Ice Therapy Spot Treatment I talked about a few weeks ago.  If you have drier or more sensitive skin, you’ll receive a try-me size of a hydrating booster instead.  Just enter code "maskmadness".

Have fun !