Health Benefits & Risks of Using Face Masks

Are face masks safe? We have the scoop. Learn about the health benefits and risks of face masks

What you should know about whether face masks are safe

Face masks: they’re the most iconic part of skincare, and are only getting better with each breakthrough product they seem to keep pumping out nowadays. But we’re not complaining—it only means the gift of great skin is now just a few dollars away. They even come as new and exciting kinds, from sheet masks and mud masks to glitter and gold ones, to ones that can peel off or bubble up.

Just as fun as they are, face masks can be a great addition to liven up and diversify your skincare, but there is the unfortunate truth that sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing. When it comes to something as sensitive as your skin, it’s important to know how much is enough considering your skincare. To help you figure out what will be best for you, we’re looking at the benefits and risks of using face masks in your regular routine.

The Benefits of Face Masks

They unclog your pores. If you’re fond of foundation, or experience regular breakouts, you may be aware of your pores and how important cleansing them can be. Clogged pores can cause pimples and other blemishes that can disrupt your skin’s healthy-looking complexion.

Lots of face masks, particularly mud masks, are made with ingredients that help to unclog your pores to get all the gunk out so you can have squeaky-clean skin. Some masks are even specially targeted to attack and prevent unsightly blackheads.

They moisturize your skin. Hydrated skin is healthy skin. Just like our bodies need the right amount of water to work well for us, our skin needs the right amount of moisture to fight off incoming breakouts and stay strong. Sheet masks especially can deliver a well-needed high dose of hydration when you need it that will help skin to heal and radiate from within. These are typically made with lots of fruits and vegetables, so they’ll even smell yummy as they moisturize.

They deliver extra nutrients. Some nutrients in our skin can be stripped away due to our other skincare, and face masks typically have those same helpful nutrients to add back to our skin. This will help to improve the look of skin over time, as well as giving it the necessary strength it needs to stay healthy and do its thing.

The Risks of Face Masks

Although face masks can provide a lot of help, you have to know how to use them only when you need to to ensure you don’t abuse them, and in turn, ultimately do more harm than good. Though lots of face masks should only be used upwards of once or twice a week anyway, it’s mainly the peel-off masks that you should stay away from.

They can irritate your skin. Peel-off masks, though fun to use, can irritate your skin as opposed to soothing it. Because of their ability to dry like glue in order to later be peeled off the face, many peel-off masks are made with ingredients that normally should not be in your skincare. Some ingredients used are derived from things like formaldehyde, which you definitely wouldn’t want to put on your face otherwise!

They can take off too much. After peeling these masks off, some people may start to love them because of how soft their skin feels afterwards, but that feeling could be due to the fact an outer layer of your skin was just removed. Some masks even pull out some of those necessary elements needed in your skin, not just the blackheads. This is because a lot of masks dry very hard and become difficult to pull off, and in the process, can take off too much. The removal of many peel-off masks can also lessen the elasticity in your skin, causing it to sag.

So, if you’re ever tempted to buy a peel-off mask, be sure to check the ingredients list before you buy. You can also opt for more natural masks, even DIY your own masks, or do your skin a favor by sticking to sheet, clay and mud masks that are typically made with healthier ingredients and come off with a gentle removal that won’t irritate your skin. Whatever the sheet mask you choose, a little advance research and precaution will ensure your skin ends up beautiful and pain-free.

Resources — Medium, Insider, Alitura Naturals

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