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exfoliating face masks

About exfoliation masks

Like any beauty enthusiast, you surely want radiant, glowy and clear skin. So you know that a face mask is an essential part of your skin care routine. Although exfoliating face masks are not used as often as moisturizing, detoxifying or antioxidant masks, there is some good news ahead! Therefore, once it is incorporated into your skin care routine, for sure you’ll notice and feel a much softer and healthier complexion.

With proper exfoliation you can effectively remove the dead skin layer and promote cell renewal. And exfoliation will give you a smoother, brighter and more even-toned complexion. It is ideal if you want to prevent whiteheads and blackheads, and other blemishes, such as acne scars. 

A regular use of an exfoliating mask brings benefits for your overall skin appearance, especially because it helps other products to penetrate deeper into the skin.

Types of exfoliating face masks

We have mechanical or physical exfoliation with scrub or “peel-off” masks.

And chemical exfoliation with acid-based ingredients, generally AHA and BHA.

Scrub masks

For some people, scrub masks might not be the best option since they tend to be too rigid, or they may exfoliate too much and irritate the skin. This type of exfoliating mask should contain fine abrasive particles that are soft and gentle on the skin. I prefer to use an exfoliating gel (without abrasive particles) that removes impurities and dead skin by lightly massaging the gel on my skin.

Peel Off Masks

The peel-off mask is another option. After drying, it is a simple matter of peeling it off. As an exfoliant, it should be applied like any other exfoliant, not regularly like a moisturizing or firming mask.

After testing three peel-off masks, I concluded that there are other options for exfoliating your skin that are much more effective and gentle.

Acid Peeling Masks

The main ingredients in chemically exfoliating masks are AHA, BHA and PHA. For AHA we have lactic, glycolic, malic, mandelic, tartaric and citric acid, each with its own skin application recommendations. BHA or salicylic acid is helpful in case of acne, blackheads and clogged pores. The latest addition are Polyhydroxy acids (PHA) with ingredients like Gluconolactone, ideal for a sensitive skin type.

However, for each exfoliating mask, the final formula differs in intensity. Certain products are gentler on the skin, with real results over time, while others can break down the skin barrier instantly. It is important to know what your skin wants and to use the right ingredients, with positive effects on your skin type and conditions.

Acid exfoliating masks come in a variety of textures, such as gel, cream, cream-gel, serums or clay. Any acid on the skin can create sensitivities, especially if the skin is exposed to the sun. You should use your favorite SPF cream and antioxidant the next day, as well as every day.

Exfoliating masks are a process

Exfoliating face masks are a process; you have to know when and how to use them, as every skin type (and need) is different. In the beauty industry, there are so many products claiming to be effective exfoliants that it’s difficult to know where to start. Consult experts for the best advice and guidelines when it comes to skin exfoliation.

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written by Diana Roca

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