Masks – and no we don’t mean the cloth or N95 variants – have been in existence for a long time. Think Cleopatra, who was on the top of her skin care game even back then. Clay and charcoal masks have always been around.
Sheet masks and sleep masks, however, are a new introduction and are a rage in the recent K-beauty era. Even camel milk is a legit skin care ingredient that has been used for centuries and is now making an appearance in many new-age masks. Besides being great for self-care, using a mask is also a good way of giving your skin some extra TLC.

Skin type, age and season are important factors to consider when choosing a face mask. They fall into seven different categories:

  • Sheet masks
  • Clay (or mud) masks
  • Cream masks
  • Peel-off masks
  • Gel masks
  • Charcoal masks
  • Sleep masks
  • Clay masks: Clay, mud or clarifying masks are great for acne-prone skin. Kaolin or Amazonian white clay or Australian pink clay have many medicinal uses. With a proven ability to absorb toxins, it clears up the skin.

    Cream masks: Soothing ingredients like oatmeal can calm sensitive or even sun-burned skin. It is good for mature skin as it doesn’t dry.

    Gel masks: This works wonderfully in summer or rainy seasons. These masks have a cooling, soothing sensation, and they’re generally best for dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin.

    Peel-off masks: These are like a mini facial. They are pore refiners and are great for acne or comedones.

    Sheet masks: These are hydrating, nourishing and leave an overdose of serum on your skin, giving it a refreshed and healthy glow. They deliver nutrients to your face. Aside from sheet masks for your full face, there are sheet masks for your eyes, nose, lips, décolle tage and feet. Dipthi Ashok, a makeup artist, says,

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    “One of the ways to ensure flawless makeup application is to use a sheet mask for 15 minutes before applying makeup. Your base products will go on so much more smoothly if the canvas is hydrated and plump, and will last longer too.”

    Charcoal masks: This category has an overlap of cream, sheet and clay mask, so it could be in any form. The ingredient is activated charcoal for detoxifying the skin. Shantanu Deshpande, founder and CEO at Bombay Shaving Company says, “The charcoal peel-off mask can be used once or twice a week, but ideally not more. Activated charcoal and tea tree oil help deep cleanse and de-tan oily, damaged skin, unclog pores and remove excess oil to fight acne and prevent future outbreaks. Activated bamboo charcoal can work wonders for your complexion.”

    Sleep mask: If there’s no time to mask during the day, reach out for an overnight mask in lieu of the night cream to wake up to super smooth hydrated skin. Use the sleep mask and ditch your night cream every once a week as it helps in thwarting wrinkles, dryness and spots.