Skin-Care Masks Are Having a Moment, But Experts Say Don’t Overdo It

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Between the DIY variety and the need for some serious self-care, there’s one very specific skin-care product that’s having a moment of late as we collectively hunker down at home.

“I like masks. My clients like masks,” says New York aesthetician Vicki Morav. “Even during this time, my clients still want their skin to be clean, clear and plump and, above all, healthy.”

As Morav—who is currently FaceTiming with most of her clients to “guide them through the proper ingredient changes as we move into Spring”—says, this new season has its own characteristics that must be addressed. And, as she’s seen, when we’re left to our own devices and have too much time on our hands, we may be introducing our complexion to way too many actives.

“Using masks when creating friction [from too many active ingredients like retinol, alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C] is essential,” she says, adding that it’s smart to ease into them one at a time. “My favorites are Biologique Recherche Masque VIP O2 for oxygenating, Valmont’s Prime Renewing Pack and Collagen Mask for elasticity and MBR Cream Mask Smooth 100 for its anti-inflammatory properties.” 

In response to the “masking moment,” New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD says she always recommends a “test spot” of any new product that will be staying on the face, and that especially applies to masks. 

Her tip: Place a small amount in front of your ear and leave it on for the same time you would typically leave on a mask. Wait three days and, if there is no reaction, go forward with applying it full-face.

“If you use a mask to the full face and get irritation, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream applied twice a day should resolve the irritation. If the irritation or allergic reaction is more severe and not resolved with hydrocortisone, consult your dermatologist for a prescription-strength product.” 

Louisville, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD is also stressing the “stay home and keep things simple” route to patients and friends. “Wash your face twice a day, moisturize and keep in mind that, every time you put another product on your face, you are touching your face.”

“And remember: Wipe down your bottles and keep washing and moisturizing your hands!”

Bonus Round: Two Derm-Approved DIY Mask Recipes
New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD says social distancing is the perfect time to repair damaged skin and, if you’re looking for a little DIY distraction, she likes these two simple recipes for whipping up an all-natural mask right in your kitchen:

Turmeric Mask: Mix together ground turmeric, plain sugar-free yogurt and honey in a bowl. Apply to your face with clean, dry hands. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes and wash off with water. “Turmeric is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that evens out skin tone and gives you a healthy glow,” Dr. Peredo says. “The yogurt will also help to reduce any redness. This mask will last up to a week in the fridge!”

Avocado Mask: Mix together 1 avocado with honey and apply to the face for 15 minutes. “This mixture is great for anyone suffering from breakouts from stress or hormones. Avocado is rich in oils and vitamin E and is very soothing for dry, irritated skin.”

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