Masks are the play cousins of skin care. You don’t need them but they’re fun and certainly have their benefits. They provide great moisturizing, oil-absorbing, and soothing properties but do not yield equal or greater results than products that are used daily and remain on the skin like serums, moisturizers, and treatments. I use masks for pampering and as a means of self-care. After washing my hair and moisturizing my body, I apply a facial mask before installing two-strand twists.
As someone with oily skin, I try to be intentional about using a mask at the end of my wash days (i.e. washing my hair). Masks help to absorb excess sebum and product residue clogging my pores. Currently, I have two masks in rotation. One is for maintenance when my skin looks great and the other is a similar to a treatment for my occasional pimple. Since acne is the result of inflammation, I take a two-step approach with my masks: preventive care and skin restoration.
SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Sensitive Skin Mud Mask
Ingredients: Water, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin (Vegetable), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glyceryl Caprylate (emollient), Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Balanites Aegyptiaca (Desert Date) Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Wax, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Selaginella Lepidophylla (Jericho) Extract, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend)
- Retailer: Target and SheaMoisutre.com
- Price: $14.99,
- Packaging: 6oz jar
- Longevity: TBD
SheaMoisture released the Peace Rose Oil Complex Sensitive Skin Mud Mask in the winter of 2015. Some professionals and beauty experts are skeptical about using “sensitive skin” as a skin type identifier; they often relate adverse skin reactions to using products that are incompatible with that individual’s skin care needs. There doesn’t seem to be a standard definition for “sensitive skin” and I have only heard people self-identify their skin as sensitive. Those with sensitive skin usually avoid products with fragrance, artificial color, and synthetic ingredients in exchange for options in the more natural, green beauty aisle.
I do not have sensitive skin, but I do think my oil-slick face benefits from this thick and creamy mask. The bentonite clay and kaolin clay are great at absorbing dirt and oil and the shea butter and grapeseed oil are rich in antioxidants, helping to fight free-radicals that leave hyperpigmentation and damage your collagen. To reduce the redness that comes with breakouts, the green tea extract delivers antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and tamanu oil is rumored to fight inflammation as well. High on the ingredient list is panthenol, which is a form of vitamin B and a humectant used to attract moisture from the air and into your skin. This mask is soothing and provides my conscience with assurance that I will not have a breakout after 2 hr. of handling me hair. Anytime I just want to maintain, I use this product.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask
Ingredient: Deionized Water, Kaolin Clay, Bentonite Clay, African Black Soap, Simmondia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Sulfur, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Butyl Avocadate (Avocado), Willow Bark Extract, Glycerine, Benzyl PCA, Salicylic Acid, Phytosterols, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Bisabolol (Chamomile), Tea Tree Oil, Dehydroacetic Acid, Allantoin (Comfrey Root Extract), Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind) Extract, Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, Spearmint Oil, Peppermint Oil, and Eucalyptus Oil
- Retailer: Target and SheaMoisture.com
- Price: $14.99
- Packaging: 6oz jar
- Longevity: 1 year (used approx. 6x/month)
When I have pimples along my forehead or cheeks, I reach for the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask. This affordable, anti-aging mask is extremely loose and becomes runny over time after repetitive use with wet hands. In addition to the kaolin clay, bentonite clay, and African black soap, this mask does more than cleanse. If you are concerned about hyperpigmentation from recent blemishes, the avocado oil and jojoba oil help the skin to repair itself. If you want to stop wrinkles before they start, then the phytosterol will slow down collagen degradation and the tamarind extract will prevent the damaged and abnormal cells from affecting the healthy cells, as it is a cell-communicating ingredient. Within a few minutes of wearing the mask, I feel a tingling sensation and after rinsing it off my face is refreshed. For the deepest clean, I like to a facial scrub or mechanical exfoliant before applying this mask.
Overall, would I repurchase? Absolutely. Facial masks I have used previously left my feeling stripped and even dirty. These two SheaMoisture masks leave my skin feeling clean and supple without dryness or a gross film.
Read more: 6 Practices that End Your Bout with Pimples
What are your favorite facial masks? Are there certain ingredients you look for?