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What are Different Types of Face Masks?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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Face masks typically come in the form of mud, clay, cream, or gel. Usually used to hydrate, soothe, and treat the face, face masks can help keep skin looking fresh. Ingredients in face masks can include egg white, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, avocado, sugar, honey, tea, and even cat litter. Different masks are made for oily, dry, and sensitive skin. Treating irritated or sunburned skin, exfoliating skin, and fighting the effects of aging are other common uses for face masks.

Oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from a face mask made with mud or clay. The mud draws out oils from deep within the skin. As the mask dries, the oils are trapped within the mud and washed off when the mask is washed away. Gel face masks can also be good for acne-prone skin as they can lift away dead skin or other debris that can clog pores. It should be noted that gel masks do not usually remove oil.

Glycerin and honey are both good ingredients in masks made for dry skin. Both products are humectants, meaning they can help the skin retain moisture. Honey is also good for sensitive skin, so it usually will not irritate already-dry skin. Cream face masks are typically good for individuals with dry skin, as the masks can contain large amounts of oils that can hydrate dry skin. These masks are sometimes referred to as hydrating masks.

Sensitive skin face masks can be made with ginseng or green tea. Face masks made with these products can also be good for irritated or sunburned skin. Tea contains antioxidants that can combat the effects of the sun. In addition, cucumber can also work well to combat damaged skin.

Olive oil, tea, and egg whites can be used to make a mask for those with aging skin. The egg whites can tighten the skin as they dry, while the olive oil can moisturize. Years of sun damage can be treated by the antioxidants in the tea. These masks are sometimes referred to as firming masks because they help firm skin that has lost its elasticity.

To exfoliate skin, a mask made with oatmeal or sugar can work well. These ingredients can provide scrubbing power that can help remove dead skin cells. Using an exfoliating mask can result in a more vibrant facial appearance. Exfoliating masks can also be beneficial to those with acne-prone skin as the masks can remove dead skin cells and other items that can cause acne.

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Discussion Comments

By anon995272 — On Apr 16, 2016

Superb! Great and useful posting. Thanks for your needed info. My skin is oily and sensitive. I apply green clay,green tea, honey and lemon for my face scrub. I also use organic face wash for skin safety. I know a site for organic face wash. Good luck.

By fify — On Nov 11, 2011

@cloudel-- I know what you mean! I have oily skin and even I experience that problem sometimes because I have some dry patches around my mouth. I just make sure to not apply clay masks on those areas so that they don't get more dried out and irritated.

The same goes for peeling masks too. I love how peeling masks exfoliate the skin, but it can be too irritating for my cheeks. So I only use it on my cheeks about once a month whereas I use it on my forehead, nose and chin once a week because those areas are more oily and less irritable.

By candyquilt — On Nov 10, 2011

I like paper masks with various different kinds of essence. These are really popular in the Asian market, but I've started seeing more and more of them in pharmacies and beauty stores here in the US.

I have a set that I purchased from Asia which has a different variety of masks. Most of them are for hydration and several as a whitening and anti-wrinkle treatment. I think collagen masks are great for preventing some minor wrinkles and for delaying aging in general. There are even earloop face masks that pull your face up to fight against the effects of gravity and delay sagging!

I also love when face masks come in different aromas, like lavender and mint. They not only treat my skin, but it has an aromatherapy effect too. I love pampering myself after a long day or on the weekends with one of these. It's very relaxing.

By julies — On Nov 10, 2011

Once when I was watching the Dr. Phil show, he had his wife Robin on, telling about some of her beauty secrets.

One thing she recommended using on your face for a mask was egg whites. All you do is mix up some egg whites in a bowl and leave this on your face for a few minutes.

The longer you leave it on the tighter it feels and this does a good job of nourishing and cleansing your skin. An egg white mask is also good for acne and for wrinkles.

Just remember to also apply this to your neck as well as your face. You can also add a little bit of lemon juice if you would like.

After about 10 minutes just remove this with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer. You will love how soft your face and neck feels after doing this!

By John57 — On Nov 09, 2011

@orangey03 - Your avocado and honey mask sounds wonderful. Two ingredients that are good for the inside of our bodies are great for our skin as well!

I raise honeybees, so always find ways I can use honey and using it in skin care products is one of my favorite ways. It really helps keep the skin moisturized and soft.

I don't ever buy a face mask anymore, but make all of mine at home. You would be surprised to find that you already have most of the common ingredients on hand and don't even know it. A few of these common ingredients are oatmeal, yogurt and olive oil.

When I make these, I don't usually make very big batches as I like them to be as fresh as possible. Some of them are for a one time use only, but some of them I keep in the refrigerator and will last for a couple of weeks.

My skin always feels so much better after using a mask made of natural ingredients. I find that I use different ingredients in the summer than I do the winter and prefer something that is heavier and even more moisturizing during the dry winter months.

By orangey03 — On Nov 09, 2011

@Oceana – Almond sounds like a really rough substance to include in a facial mask! Reading your comment made my face hurt a little!

I have aging skin, so I can't use anything too rough on it. I have to be careful not to do anything that could cause more wrinkles or irritation.

I like to combine avocado and honey. They both moisturize the skin well, which is what I need.

I mash the avocado up until it is as creamy as chip dip. Then, I add the honey.

I put it on for about ten minutes. After I wipe it off with a cloth and rinse my face, I really do look healthier. I use this mask when I'm having a particularly saggy day, and it injects life into my face.

By cloudel — On Nov 09, 2011

If you have normal or combination skin, then you have to be careful when using mud masks. I have skin that is oily in the T-zone but normal everywhere else, and the mud mask was too much for me.

Once I put it on, it immediately began to dry my skin out. It hardened, and I felt like I was being sealed in concrete!

The instructions said to leave it on for thirty minutes, but I could already feel my skin itching and burning beneath the mask. I washed it off right away, and my face was already bright red.

I had to put a thick moisturizer on to relieve the discomfort. My cheeks itched and burned for the rest of the day, and I learned to stay away from mud masks.

By seag47 — On Nov 08, 2011

In winter, face masks formulated to hydrate the skin are the best kind to use. I have somewhat oily skin in the summertime, but as soon as cold weather hits, my face dries up and starts to flake.

I use a face mask containing honey. I have accidentally gotten some in my mouth before, and it tastes sweet! It also smells good, so I don't mind putting this on my face at all.

After I wash the mask off, my skin feels like it has been moisturized from within. Instead of leaving a film on the surface, the mask soaks into my pores and puts the moisture where it really needs to go.

In the summer, I use a mud mask to get rid of the excess oil. It's funny how I have to treat my skin differently according to the season.

By Oceana — On Nov 08, 2011

I have an exfoliating mask that contains apricot and bits of almond. When I rub it around on my face, it feels like grains of sand. I don't use it very often, because I'm sure that would make my skin very red and inflamed.

I apply the mask and let it set for twenty minutes. Then, I splash it with water and rub it off in a circular motion with a washcloth. This is when I can feel the grains doing their job of removing dead skin.

The only bad thing about this type of mask is that it is hard to get all of it off my face. I generally use it right before I shower, so I can let the falling water from above help me rinse it off.

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