Myths Of Masking

skincare

Masks are my favorite at home skincare product. I feel so pampered and fresh after masking and my skin loves masking just as much. But did you know that there’s a few things you shouldn’t do, and things you’ve been told you can’t do but you actually can? I wasn’t very well-versed in masking until recently and it’s changed my life. Here’s 5 quick myths we’ve debunked!

YOU CAN’T USE MULTIPLE MASKS IN A DAY

This is a lie, lie, lie. You definitely want to be careful of the ingredients because you wouldn’t want to do a glycolic acid mask and then come behind that with a sulfur based mask, but you can for sure use more than one mask in a sitting. I love to start with an exfoliating mask; either chemical or physical works, and then come behind with either a gel mask or a clay mask. There is also a chance that you you won’t want to leave the mask on for the full suggested time, listen to skin and trust it. If something feels painful, remove it immediately.

I love using the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque when my skin needs a little extra love in all departments. This mask gently exfoliates, it has sulfur which targets deep breakouts and kills all the bacteria under your skin, it has tea tree oil in it to help open up the pores for deeper penetration, the charcoal helps clear out pores and the clay, of course, gets deep into your skin to help lift and remove all the excess dirt and sebum. After this mask, really depending on how my skin is feeling, I may do another treatment targeted mask or go with something a little more soothing.

For another targeted treatment, since we already got the breakouts and the exfoliation, I may use the Cranberry Turmeric Radiance Masque by Kiehl’s which will help brighten the skin and even out the skin tone. Cranberry has natural antiseptic properties so it helps kill more bacteria on surface of the skin and in your pores and turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties which will help with any puffiness or redness in the skin. Since we just exfoliated too, this treatment will penetrate deeper since it won’t have an extra two or three layers of dead skin to get under.

For something a little more soothing, I love the Cucumber Gel Mask by Peter Thomas Roth. This mask is so nice and cool on the skin it’s perfect you get a little sunburnt or if you’ve just started using some new product and your skin is a little sensitive, I recommend this mask. The cucumber is deeply hydrating and soothing so it will keep your skin feeling plump and healthy and will help ease the redness. The aloe helps heal the skin’s damaged barrier and delivers hydration deep into the skin while working with the light gel texture to cool and soothe the skin.

YOU SHOULD ONLY MASK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK

Another lie! You could mask every day of the week if you wanted you, but again, you have to be careful of the ingredients and the length you’re leaving the mask on for but sometimes you need to mask multiple days. One such example, particularly for females, is the week before or leading up to your period. You’ll want to use a clay mask every day for about 5-10 minutes until you get it and then continue to do so the first three days of your period.

Why?

Well, during this time your hormones are all out of whack and your skin will start to produce extra sebum and you may see your skin tone change during this time too. Masking can help prevent all of that from happening, or at the very least, will soften the symptoms. I love using Dr. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing mask for this purpose. It’s a thick clay mask that is so luxurious feeling and is mild enough that you can use it every day without seeing your skin over-dry or become overly sensitive. The clay digs deep into your pores to clean them out but the clay is very cool and soothing so it feels like a spa day at home!

There’s a ton of clay masks out there that you can use, just be mindful of the ingredients. For this purpose you don’t want anything with sulfur, glycolic acid, lactic acid, azelaic acid or any physical exfoliant like micro-beads. These used every day in the form of a super concentrated mask can further damage your skin. So you’ll want to look for a mask that really only has clay in it, the one above uses Amazonian White Clay.

The Longer you Wear the Mask the More Potent It Will Be

This is a big fat NOPE! I already mentioned this earlier, but depending on how often you’re masking and for what, that can change the time you’ll want to leave the mask on anyways but leaving it on for longer does make the effects more potent. In fact, depending on the ingredients, it can damage your skin further. I cannot stress this enough, listen to your skin when you’re masking. Sometimes you’ll feel a little heat, or a tingle but if you’re ever in pain or super uncomfortable, just take the mask off. It’s not worth damaging your skin. In my opinion, unless a mask is designed for prolonged wear, you shouldn’t be exceeding 10 minutes with it on.

PEEL-OFF MASKS AND SHEET MASKS ARE THE BEST TYPES

I won’t say this is false, but it’s important to know that each type of mask has different benefits for your skin. Certain types of masks will be better for certain skin types but anyone can use any type of masks.

  • Gel Masks
    • These are good for hydration
    • May not dry all the way
    • Good for delivering ingredients deep into the skin
  • Clay Masks
    • Good for cleaning out pores and tightening skin
    • Not the most ideal for oily or combination skin – can cause overproduction of oil by over drying
    • Controls breakouts and acne
  • Sheet Masks
    • Convenient and easy to use
    • Great for target treatments
    • Almost immediate results but not long-lasting
  • Peel Off Masks
    • Great for exfoliation
    • Can soften pore blockages for easier removal or may remove them
    • Overuse can cause sagging of skin and premature aging

Over-the-Counter Masks Aren’t As Good As High-End Brands

This isn’t true. While some of the OTC products will have undesirable ingredients in them like alcohol or their ingredients may not be as concentrated or potent as the higher end brands; you can achieve great skin on a budget. The Yes To! brand is probably my favorite OTC brand. The whole brand is actually really great, they deliver great ingredients at a low cost and everything they have to offer works. I used to used the Tomato line for my acne when I was younger and it for sure helped control the acne.

Another great OTC brand is Biore! I love their warming charcoal mask, it definitely helps clear out the pores and makes your skin feel nice and clean and the warming feels so nice too!


I hope this quick run-down on masking helps you decide what your skin needs from you. If you’ve tried some of these products and liked or disliked them, let me know in the comments! Make sure to follow me on Twitter at cashcamel93 for more great content and Instagram at tinywriter93 to keep up with everything!

I may profit from purchases made off affiliate links. This allows me to keep posting and writing for all you incredible readers but my opinions and reviews are and will always be 100% genuine.

Thank you all for your support!

Applying Skincare Products in a Specific Order Matters, Here’s How!

skincare

One of my favorite things to discuss when it comes to skincare is the order of which to apply the products! Everyone has some sort of opinion on this but as a whole, we all agree that there is definitely an order to stick to; lightest to heaviest. If you’re thinking it doesn’t really matter, it does. Not applying your products in the correct order can lead you to waste product, can cause the products to not be as effective or work at all, it can cause you to have a reaction and worst off all … not applying your products in the right order will waste your money!

So let’s talk about it! First and foremost, please be aware of the ingredients in your products. That is the first thing to determining the order of application but even more than that, if you layer or mix the wrong stuff you could seriously damage your skin. So, when in doubt, Google it out!

STEP 1: CLEANSE

This is the first product you should always use! Morning and night! I love to mix up my cleansers every month or have a few to cycle through because your skin is going to need different ingredients as things in life affect it. So it’s always a good idea to have a myriad of products to be able to address all those needs.

In the AM I like to use an energizing or invigorating face wash to help wake my skin up so it’s brighter and more radiant. My favorite AM cleanser is Jan Marini’s Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser.

I love this cleanser in general because it has glycolic acid in it so every time you use it, your skin is getting some resurfacing which helps with cell turn over and overall evenness and tone of the skin. Now, you’re probably thinking, “But glycolic acid is too intense for everyday use!”

That’s what I thought until I attended a Jan Marini cluster class and they explained that even though it is glycolic acid, which is one of the stronger chemical exfoliators, their formula is gentle enough for everyday use, and it is. I like this cleanser particularly in the AM because it can give off a slight tingle that wakes me up and makes my skin alert and ready for the day. Also, since it’s resurfacing and exfoliating, I always notice my other products have a greater effect because they’re able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Glycolic acid is also super ideal for acne prone skin and for addressing dark pigmentations and brightening scar tissue. I do use this cleanser A LOT around my period because I notice my acne scars get a little darker around that time and of course, I break out so this cleanser takes care of it all for me. I don’t recommend this product if you have deep cystic acne as the “tingle” might turn to pain, but consult with a dermatologist or aesthetician if you have any concerns.

I am a HUGE fan of double cleansing, especially at night or after wearing makeup for a long time. I know there’s been some stigma around double-cleansing but I love how clean my skin feels after. Double-cleansing just helps get all the dirt, oil, sebum and grime out of your pores plus it gives your skin another chance to soak up some great ingredients.

Double-cleansing isn’t just for before bed. I’ll double-cleanse if I’ve just come from an event where I had to wear makeup for a long time, after the gym, or just whenever I’m feeling a little grimerier than normal.

My favorite product to use when I need to feel a little extra clean is Dermalogica’s PreCleanse. I am not lying when I say this stuff is the GOAT! I first started using this when I worked at Massage Heights and the first time one of the aestheticians was telling me about it, I was really skeptical. I had never heard of a precleanse or double cleansing and I certainly didn’t know anything about putting oil on my face. However, my face never felt so clean and so good after using it and from that moment I was sold.

You just apply the oil directly to your face and it immediately starts melting away all the dirt, makeup, sweat, oil and pollutants from your skin. Then, once you’re ready, just apply a small amount of water to turn the oil into a smooth milky emulsion that wisps away all the surface grime. It has borage seed oil in it which is a little known-about ingredient that hydrates and smoothes the skin and is soothing to certain skin conditions like eczema. It also has rice bran which, like the borage seed oil, promotes hydration among other things like reducing pigmentation, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and has a super high amount of vitamin E as well.

STEP 2: TONE

Some people will tell you that toning isn’t necessary, specifically if you have a really great cleanser, however, I am a fan and I think it makes a difference. Toning can deliver more great ingredients for your skin to feast on and if toning in the AM, can give your skin a little extra smoothness making makeup application easier or you may not even need to use makeup.

I keep it simple with my toners and use a general toner like the Nutrient Toner by PCA. I love this toner first, for it’s amazing smell and LET ME HAVE MY BASIC MOMENT! It’s made from pumpkin wine so it smells like pumpkin spice and fall. ALL. THE. TIME. and it is glorious. Secondly, the pumpkin enzyme does wonders for the skin! It’s a very effective proteolytic, or rather, it will digest keratin and protein making it an amazing chemical exfoliator that can smooth, soften and brighten skin. LASTLY, it has lactic acid in it which helps minimize pores and helps the skin from being dull and lifeless.

I will issue a warning here, unless your skin is accustomed to the use of AHA/BHA’s I don’t recommend using the product with any other product containing vitamin A or any derivatives (RetinA), Retinol or use it with another chemical exfoliator. In general, it’s not recommend to mix AHA/BHA’s with another other exfoliant or Retinol containing products but I digress.

My other favorite toner is from my favorite skincare company Murad and it’s their Clarifying Toner. This is my favorite for when my skin is breaking out. I’ll use this toner day and night after cleansing if I see any breakouts coming. I also use it on a cotton ball as a spot treatment for individual pimples since it’s formulated with witch hazel to tighten pores and reduce breakouts, algae to help regulate sebum production, and vitamin E to help protect and nourish the skin. It also has a cooling effect so if you use this on a particularly painful pimple, it will help soothe it; at least temporarily.

STEP 3: TREATMENTS

So you’ve cleansed and toned … now what? It’s time to apply your treatments. This is more or less an optional step but you should at least always be applying an eye cream as your step 3.

You’ll want to apply your treatments the same way we apply the rest of our products; lightest to heaviest. Most of your treatments will be a gel or cream but you might have an oil as well. Regardless, you’ll want to apply gel, oil, cream, if you’re using one of each but if not, apply them in the order that makes the most sense. So for instance, if you’re using two gel treatments; one for acne and one for pigmentation, apply the one you want to make the biggest difference first. So if you’re breaking out, apply the acne treatment first but if you want to target the pigmentation, apply that one first.

If you’re going to be layering product make sure you let them fully dry in between applications or your face will be sticky and/or your product will rub or roll off and that’s just a waste of both product and money.

One of my favorite treatments is PCA’s Acne Gel, it is simply incredible. I can say for almost certainty that this product is the reason my acne is minimal these days. I started using this when I was 22 and working at Massage Envy. I used some from a tester and after applying a little bit on a section around my mouth for a few days in a row, the break out was gone and I immediately bought some. I now only use it when I feel I need to but I always have some around just in case.

If you have a retinol or vitamin A product, this is where you would apply those, assuming you didn’t use anything that could interfere and be careful not to get any near your eyes. Retinol can be especially damaging to the delicate skin under your eyes causing irritation, sensitivity and redness. Retinol, if you didn’t know, is a very strong ingredient that targets fine lines and wrinkles. I don’t yet have a need for retinol on a regular basis but I bought the Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol Plus for my mom and she swears by it! It’s one of the strongest and most effective retinol treatments on the market that really does diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

STEP 4: SERUM

So now we’re going to apply your serum of choice. Singular. I’ve had clients tell me they put two or three serums on every night and they swear by this method. I’m here to tell you, this won’t work or it won’t work as well as you want it to. Serums are super concentrated so when you apply them to the skin you spread a nice layer of the product over the surface of your skin. This layer makes it harder for other products and ingredients to penetrate the skin hence why it is one of our last steps.

So in the above example, those women were really wasting product because the serums they were applying after the first one really weren’t as effective as they could’ve been. If you’re trying to target multiple issues with different serums I would recommend alternating them every week or so. You’ll want to alternate no less than 5 days in between or you’re not giving the product enough time to work. Sometimes it depends on the product and your skin in order to determine this but discussing this with an aesthetician would be best.

However, it’s totally O.K. to have a morning serum and night serum! In the AM I love using a vitamin C serum because it protects your skin from free radicals by rebuilding the skin cell barrier and the vitamin C helps with pigmentation issues. The best vitamin C serum money can buy is the Obagi Medical Vitamin C Clarifying serum, which you can only get through a dermatologist’s office or at your local Massage Envy – no membership required. This is one of the best because it’s not just a vitamin C serum, it has 10% L-ascorbic acid which is a potent antioxidant that works with the vitamin C to help lighten the skin tone and even it out and it has 4% hydroquinone which is a brightening and lightening agent. I recommend this product even for those with darker skin tones!

Yes, I am recommending an HQ product for darker skin tones because Obagi stands by their product and claims that the HQ in this product will not cause any hyper-lightening or anything. In fact, I was the only one at the Obagi cluster class who asked about this so I heard directly from the horse’s mouth that this product is safe for darker skin tones. This product is too good to for everyone to not be able to use it. It’s for sure one of the more effective brightening serums I have.

At night, I prefer something a little more relaxing or something more focused on my current needs. Dr. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil is one of my go-to’s when my skin is needing a little extra love. It’s a lightweight facial oil that your skin is just going to soak up and you’re going to love how your skin feels after. It has lavender essential oil in it so your relaxation starts as soon as you open the bottle and catch a whiff of the lavender, evening primrose oil that’s known for giving the skin a deeper hydration and keeps it elastic warding off fine lines and wrinkles, and lastly this amazing product has squalene in it. You’ve probably not heard of this ingredient because it’s not widely used but it is effective for addressing dull, lifeless skin. Squalene is derived from olives and is great for hydrating the skin and keeping it soft and supple.

STEP 5: MOISTURIZE

You’re almost done! This is it, the last step (or two if you need to apply an SPF). Have you noticed a theme with all these products? They all hydrate the skin, or have some component in them that helps with hydration and that’s because hydration is vital for skin health. If you’re not properly hydrating your skin, you’re setting yourself up for lots of wrinkles in the future. Having a good moisturizer is really important and I would say one of the most important parts of a skincare routine.

I’ve already spoken about my favorite moisturizer, Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel, because it’s that amazing. It does everything you could ever want it to and you can use it morning and night. What’s not to love …. except that it doesn’t have any sunscreen in it. Which means, when I use this product in the AM, I have put another product over the top.

This is only a mild inconvenience for healthy skin. So when I do decide to use the Nutrient Charged Water Gel my go to for sun protection is Dermalogica’s Oil-Free Matte SPF 30 Lotion. I love this product because I do have oily skin and this keeps me shine free without over drying my skin. Definitely a must-have for your skincare arsenal!


So now you know when to apply your products, go out there and have beautiful skin! Be sure to follow on Twitter and Instagram for more great content!

I may profit from purchases made off affiliate links. This allows me to keep posting and writing for all you incredible readers but my opinions and reviews are and will always be 100% genuine.

Thank you all for your support!