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When you hear the term "face masks for men", you probably think they're a bit… well, ‘girly’.
That’s what I used to think (not that there’s anything wrong with being ‘girly’).
Well, gents, it's time to think again...
Face masks are no longer reserved for teenage sleepovers or women having their well-earned ‘me time’.
In fact, face masks have now become an essential component of a man's skincare regime.
In this blog, I'm going to keep it simple and explain what face masks 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 is a men's facial mask?
There are two types of men's face masks:
- Sheet Face Masks
- Facial Masks
Sheet masks for men
As the name suggests, sheet masks are thin, face-shaped sheets of fabric - complete with eye, nose, and mouth holes - which come in one piece.
To use a sheet face mask, you lay down and place the mask over your face. While there is no discomfort, I'll admit it does feel a bit ‘Hannibal Lecter’ the first time you try it!
Men's sheet face masks consist of cloth, paper, cotton, non-woven fiber, or a combination of these materials.
Men's sheet face masks moisturize and lift dry and dull skin. Plus, they have the additional advantage of de-stressing. After all, how often do 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 the mask will slide off. So, you're forced to lay back, relax, and let the mask work its magic!
Once done, you simply peel the mask off in one piece and discard it. Finally, you follow up your skincare routine with 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 because you don’t have to lay down while applying the mask, this means you can multi-task while wearing them!
Just don't forget you're wearing your mask and leave the house (it’s not a great look for the ladies you’re trying to impress).
Some men's facial masks will dry and harden on your skin. In this case, they are easily washed off with warm water.
Both facial masks and sheet masks come in different varieties. For example, you can have a clay facial mask or a clay sheet mask.
Alternatively, you can opt for a clarifying facial mask or a clarifying sheet mask.
There are face masks and sheet masks for just about anything you can think of (cleansing, moisturizing, deep cleaning, rejuvenating… you name it)!
Here are the most common types of face masks for men:
Clarifying mask for men
Clarifying masks are designed to deep-clean pores - leaving your skin feeling ultra-smooth. They help to remove products like moisturizers, aftershave balm, dirt, and grime; all while leaving your skin like a (very handsome) blank canvas. They also make follow-up products like a quality men's moisturizer more effective.
Hydrating mask for men
These types of masks work to hydrate dry skin. Hydrating masks contain hyaluronic acid ingredients, which bind water molecules and help to restore moisture to the skin. Hydrating masks are especially useful for men who suffer from skin inflammation or irritation.
Charcoal mask for men
Charcoal masks remove excess dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, which can clog your pores and lead to spots. For guys who are prone to acne and blackheads, charcoal masks are a great option. This is due to their ability to target dead skin, oil build-up, and dirt that clogs your pores.
Clay mask for men
Clay masks for men are suitable for all skin types. The clay absorbs oil and clears away dead skin cells, acting as the ultimate ‘deep clean’ for your skin.
Because clay can dry out your skin, it is important to moisturize after removing your face mask. Moisturizing will restore your skin’s PH balance and keep your skin healthy, vibrant, and hydrated.
Homemade men's mask
If you fancy yourself as the DIY type, you can even make homemade face masks. These can include ‘banana, yogurt, and honey’ or ‘cocoa, yogurt, and coconut oil.’
I’ll be honest with you guys: Homemade face masks are overkill for most men. They’re time-consuming and complicated, and your face will smell like a child's breakfast!
How do you apply men's facial masks correctly?
First, always read the label! (Sounds obvious - but your facial skin is delicate, and some face masks can be extra-powerful.) There are also face masks that 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 natural men's face wash.
- Pour hot water onto a washcloth and wring it out, leaving the washcloth damp. Hold it over your face for five minutes - the steam helps loosen dirt and opens up your pores, making 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. However, 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.) Use the time to be patient and chill!
When is the best time to apply a facial mask?
Generally speaking, you can apply a face mask once or twice a week after washing your face.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use a face mask as part of your daily skincare routine (too much use will only serve to dry out your skin). Additionally, there is no set rule when it comes to applying men’s face masks in the morning or at night.
How do you remove different kinds of facial masks?
As mentioned earlier, if it's a sheet mask, removal is easy. You simply peel it off and throw it away.
Otherwise, you can either use warm water or a wet and warm hand towel to gently remove the mask.
Pay careful attention to behind your ears and around your eyebrows - it's easy to miss these areas. 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' your skincare routine.
I'll repeat it - ALWAYS read the label. Some products have more specific instructions.
What are the benefits of using facial masks for men?
Let’s face the facts: sometimes a face wash and moisturizer just aren’t enough.
Face masks go a step further and address the specific needs of your skin. Each face mask for men has its advantages (which we cover below). In general, face masks stimulate blood circulation, causing your skin's blood vessels to expand, resulting in improved circulation and a more youthful, brighter appearance. Ultimately, they improve the results of your skincare routine.
By cleansing your face and removing debris and oil from your pores, face masks improve other skincare products' effectiveness. After all, men's moisturizers and anti-wrinkle creams are most effective when they can penetrate deep into your skin.
Both sheet masks for men and clay or gel face masks have their benefits. At the end of the day, you should choose the product which is right for you and your skin type.
The two 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 a liquid clay mask in the morning before work and after a night's sleep (when my skin is dull). Remember: clay can dry out the skin, so always ensure you use a men's moisturizer to follow up.
But what if you want to try a mud face mask to detox your skin? In that case, our men's mud mask uses a deep-cleansing, mineral-rich formula. It’s even fortified with 200-year-old clay sourced from the Australian Outback! I find it works especially well 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 chill.
I find our Age Control face mask for men is perfect for this - it soothes, relaxes, and also has anti-wrinkle properties - beneficial if I've been frowning a lot :)