Traditionally the face mask served as a vital part of a facial procedure often being represented by women with bright clay covered faces. These days however with the cosmetic industry expanding and continuously developing there a variety of skin care masks available.

A mask acts as a deep cleansing treatment tool, to clean out the pores and eradicate dirt or alternatively use as a booster treatment. Masks have a specific function such as firming, hydrating, nourishing , boosting and stimulating.

So what types of masks are available, how do you use them and where do you get them?

Mud Masks
These are usually mineral clay based and are sourced world over. For example ...
Originating from the Dead Sea in the Middle East region, it is a mud that is revered for its high concentration in minerals, and has a huge healing effect on problematic and reactive skin conditions. This mud is usually Black, Brown or Grey in colour depending on added ingredients and area sourced.

Mined in South Africa this clay has great healing and purifying properties and is used widely in facial masks but also in many forms of cosmetics. This clay is extremely white in colour.
There are a vast number of other clays such as bentonite, volcanic, calamine and zinc which we will not explore right now.
** Ahava, Moor Mud, Obey your Body, Essence, Clarins – Mask Purifiante/Aromatique, Sorbet Purifying Mask
Filmogenic Masks
These include a new generation of masks that are made either of a collagen film or alternatively a membrane like porous material. In both instances they are applied to the face dry and then require you to dampen the film either with a ‘serum’ type liquid supplied or alternatively with a skin tonic(toner) and then molded to the face. Once dampened this mask membrane releases active ingredients from within the membrane into the skin.
** Gatineau, Environ (mask alginate)
Peel Off Masks
These masks contain a plasticizing agent. Once applied these masks dry leaving a fine plastic film encasing the skin, this is then peeled off in a thin transparent skin. There has been speculation with these masks that the plasticizing agents, which may cause skin breakouts and/or reactions, no conclusive evidence as yet though.
** Available as single sachet applications
Cream Masks
Cream masks are often used to hydrate, soothe and calm the skin. They are applied in a rather thick layer and left on for duration of between 15-20 minutes, where after the mask is rinsed off leaving the skin soft, supple and hydrated.
** Clarins – Gentle Soothing, Nimue – Hydrating Mask, The Body Shop Vitamin E Mask
Thermal Masks
Thermal masks fall into two categories, either self heating mask which when applied is cool on the skin, but has a chemical reaction with the skin once applied and warms itself up. The other type mask, such as a chocolate mask or paraffin mask is heated prior to application and applied as a liquid. This in turn sets and encourages underlying products to penetrate and stimulates the skins own micro-circulation.
 Masks form a vital part of skin care no matter what you choose and they should be applied at least once a week directly after an exfoliation in order to achieve maximum results.

If you are in doubt try a pharmacy and or retail store for individual sachet applications.