Face masks are a godsend for the busy bees who can barely fit some “me-time” into their packed schedules. Basically, face masks, sometimes called sheet masks, are quick, spa-like treatments for your face that help keep your skin moisturized and remove excess oil, among many other benefits. In fact, depending on the skin problem you want to address, there are several face masks to choose from. Korean brand Skinfood, for example, has over 20 variants of face masks that help you achieve different results.
Knowing this, which ingredient should you look for depending on your skin type or the effect you want to achieve? Here are a few to consider.
Lemon: Deep Cleansing and Exfoliating
Lemons are a popular ingredient in many cleansing and lightening products not just because of it fresh, energizing scent but also for its acidity. The natural acids in lemon, primarily citric acid, is an effective cleanser and exfoliator, helping loosen and slough off an accumulation of dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil, and other impurities. Lemons also contain vitamin C, which works with citric acid to lighten your skin, evening out your skin tone with regular use. You can also use lemon face masks to treat less severe cases of acne.
Strawberry: Anti-Aging Properties
Strawberries contain various antioxidants that work together to fight premature skin aging. One of these antioxidants is ellagic acid, which plays a crucial role in preventing the destruction of collagen, thus keeping the skin supple and smooth. Ellagic acid also protects the skin against UV rays, another major contributor to various signs of skin aging like wrinkles. Strawberries also contain high amounts of alpha hydroxy acid or AHA, which not only gently exfoliate the skin but also keeps it sufficiently moisturized during the process. AHA also strengthens both the dermis and hypodermis (the deeper layers of the skin), resulting in firmer skin.
Snail Mucin: Collagen and Elastin Production
Snail mucin, or the slime secreted by snails to help protect their feet and body as they move around, is rich in hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and other proteins that help increase the production of collagen and elastin. These two proteins are essential in keeping the skin smooth and firm. Collagen also helps with the production of new cells, which keeps the skin looking younger for longer.
Raw honey isn’t called a “superfood” for nothing. It contains various antioxidants and enzymes that help protect your skin from both internal and external stressors; it’s also a powerful humectant, which keeps your skin moisturized. Raw honey also has both antibacterial and antifungal properties that help purify, soothe, and heal your skin. What’s more, unless you’re allergic to bees, honey isn’t likely to irritate even the most sensitive skin. If you’re planning to make DIY face masks, make sure to use raw honey; processed honey may not contain the same amount of enzymes that deliver the various skin benefits you are looking for.
Oatmeal: Reducing Inflammation
Organic oatmeal can help supplement your skin with essential amino acids, which help keep the structural integrity of the skin, making it stronger and more resistant to external damage. Oatmeal also has soothing properties — it can help reduce redness and irritation, whether these are caused by natural or chemical sources.
Egg Whites: Skin Firming and Tightening
Egg whites may contain fewer vitamins than the yolks, but what they do have is a high amount of protein, specifically albumin. This protein can help make your skin tighter and firmer, which in turn makes your skin look and feel smoother. The tightening action of egg whites (you’ll immediately feel it as it dries on your face!) also helps make your pores look smaller. Egg whites can even make wrinkles look less prominent right after use — just imagine what regular, long-term treatments can do!
The sheer variety of face masks can definitely be overwhelming, but if you focus on your skin and what it needs, the choice should become much easier to make. Good luck in finding that perfect match!