When you think "face masks for men", you probably think they're a bit "girly".
I know I did.
Well - it's time to think again.
Face masks are no longer solely for teenage sleep-overs or ladies having "me time" (while watching Love Actually - complete with hair wrapped in a towel, nail painting and possibly some sort of cocktail).
Face masks should be an essential component of a man's skin care regime.
In this blog, I'm going to keep it simple and explain what facemasks are, why you should use them, when you should use them and of course - how you should use them.
Let's start from the top:
What are Men's Face Masks?
There are 2 types of men's face mask.
- Sheet Face Masks
- Facial Masks
Sheet Masks For Men
As the name suggests, a Sheet Masks for Men are thin, face shaped sheets of fabric - complete with eye, nose and mouth holes - which come in one piece.
You lay down and place it over your face. (I'll admit it... it does feel a bit "Hannibal Lecter" the first time you try it...)
Men's Sheet Face Masks for men are generally made from cloth, paper, cotton, non-woven fibre or a combination of these materials.
The Men's Sheet Face Mask is designed to moisturise and give lift to dry and dull skin but it has an unusual additional advantage: de-stressing.
How often to you get 20 minutes to do absolutely nothing during your day?
When you're wearing a Sheet Face Mask, you can't physically get up for 10-20 minutes or it will slide off. So you're forced to lay back, relax and let it do its thing.
Once done, you peel the mask off in one piece and discard it. And then use a men's face moisturizer!
Facial Masks For Men
Men's Facial Masks are applied manually to the face, like you would a moisturizer.
You have full control over the amount you put on your face and you can multi task while wearing them because you don't have to lay down.
Just don't forget you're wearing you mask it and leave the house.
Some Men's Facial Masks will dry and harden on your skin and need to be washed off with warm water, others are peeled off.
Both Facial Masks and Sheet Masks come in different varieties.
For example, you can have a Clay Facial Mask or a Clay Sheet Mask.
Or a Clarifying Facial Mask or a Clarifying Sheet Mask.
There is a Face and Sheet Mask for just about anything you can think of (cleansing, moisturising, deep cleaning, rejuvenating...) so I've listed the most common types you'll find below.
Clarifying Mask for Men
Clarifying masks are designed to deep-clean pores - leaving your skin feeling smooth. They are often used to remove products like moisturizer, aftershave balm, dirt and grime, and leave your skin like a blank canvas - making follow up products like a quality men's moisturizer more effective.
Hydrating Mask for Men
Hydrating masks are designed to - as you may have guessed - hydrate dry skin. Hydrating masks contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which binds more water molecules to restore moisture to the skin. They are often used by men suffering from skin inflammation or irritation.
Charcoal Mask for Men
Charcoal masks are designed to remove excess dirt, oil, dirt and dead skin cells which can clog your pores and lead to spots. They're a great option if you are susceptible to acne and blackheads because they also exfoliate by removing dead skin, oil buildup, and dirt that clogs your pores.
Clay Mask for Men
Clay Masks "deep clean" your skin and are effective with all skin types. Clay absorbs oil and clears away dead skin cells.
It's important to remember that clay can dry out your skin so it is critical to moisturize after removing the mask to restore PH balance and keep your skin healthy, vibrant and hydrated.
Homemade Men's Mask
Yes - you can even make homemade masks such as "Banana, Yoghurt and Honey" or "Cocoa, Yoghurt and Coconut Oil".
But, to be honest, this is overkill for most men. It's time consuming and complicated and your face will smell like a child's breakfast.
What Are The Benefits of Using Face Masks?
Sometimes face wash and moisturizer just isn't enough.
Face masks go a step further and address the specific needs of your skin. Each face mask for men has its own advantages (which we cover below) but in general, Face masks stimulate blood circulation (they cause your skin's blood vessels to expand, resulting in improved circulation, resulting in a more youthful, brighter appearance) and they improve the results of your skincare routine.
By cleansing your face and removing debris and oil from your pores, face masks improve the effectiveness of other skin care products like men's moisturizers and anti-wrinkle creams which are most effective when they can penetrate deep into your skin.
The Best Way To Apply Men's Face Masks Correctly
First, always read the label! (Sounds obvious - but your facial skin is delicate and some face masks can be powerful.) There are face masks which heat or cool so don't get taken by surprise!
Here's a general guide on how to use most face masks:
- Clean your hands with soap and water. Don't apply products to your face with dirty fingers!
- Clean your face with warm water and a men's face wash/cleanser for men.
- Pour hot water onto a washcloth and wring it out, leaving the washcloth damp. Hold it over your face for 5 minutes - the steam helps loosen dirt and opens up your pores, which makes the face mask more effective.
- If using a clay / cream or gel mask - apply it generously to your face and avoid the eye area.
- Leave the mask on for 10-20 minutes (again - always follow the instructions!)
- Use this time to keep still. (If you're using a sheet mask, you have to keep laying down - if you're using a clay / cream or gel mask, you can multi task but try not to move your face because this will crack the mask and reduce its effectiveness.) Be patient and chill!
When Is The Best Time To Apply A Face Mask?
Generally speaking, apply a Facemask once or twice a week after washing your face.
They are not to be used as part of your daily skin care routine. There is no set rule when it comes to applying them in the morning or at night.
How To Remove Different Kinds Of Face Mask
As mentioned earlier - if it's a Sheet Mask - easy. Just peel it off and throw it away.
Otherwise, either use warm water or a fresh, wet warm hand towel to remove the mask gently.
Pay careful attention to behind your ears and around your eyebrows - it's easy to miss these and you don't want to leave the house with ominous brown or white products stuck to your face.
Always follow up with a good men's moisturizer to complete and 'seal' the process.
I'll say it again - ALWAYS read the label. This is a general guide and some products have more specific instructions.
Summary - Face Masks for Men
There's a lot out there. Both Sheet Masks for men and Clay or Gel Face Masks have their own benefits and you should choose the product which is right for you and your skin type.
The 2 main advantages I can see are:
- Deep cleaning your facial skin
- Infusing your facial skin with moisture and vitamins
I prefer to use a liquid Clay mask for deep cleaning, and a Sheet Face Mask for moisturizing and vitamin infusion.
A liquid Clay mask hardens on the skin and you can almost feel the minerals deep cleaning and cleansing your face as it does.
I prefer to use this in the morning before work and after a night's sleep (when my skin is dull) but remember - Clay can dry out the skin so always ensure you use a men's moisturizer to follow up.
If you want to try a Mud Face Mask to detox your skin, our Men's Mud Mask uses a deep-cleansing, mineral-rich formula and is fortified with 200-year-old clay sourced from the Australian Outback. I find it works fantastically after a night's sleep and it sets me up for the day ahead.
I prefer to use a Sheet Face Mask after a long day, when I'm tired and my skin is dull and dirty from the commute.
The sheet mask forces me to relax - to lie down and to chill.
I find our Age Control Face Mask for Men is perfect for this - it soothes, relaxes and also has anti-wrinkle properties - especially useful if I've been frowning a lot :)
Give face masks a try. I was apprehensive at first but once you integrate them into your weekly routine, you won't look back.
I can't guarantee you won't get some odd looks from your girlfriend or wife... but just remember - you're fabulous! :)
For a full list of the natural ingredients VITAMAN use in their products, please click here.