A purifying mask is a facial treatment designed to clean pores, reduce acne and oiliness, and improve the look and texture of the skin. Purifying masks are available as treatments in spas, in pre-made formulas at beauty supply stores, and can be concocted at home with a few basic ingredients. For those with breakout-prone or oily skin, a good purifying mask regimen can help balance the skin and make managing problem facial skin easier.
Preparing the skin for a purifying mask can help improve results and the overall effectiveness of the treatment. At beauty spas, a purifying mask is often given in conjunction with a facial, which may include an initial cleansing treatment and steam treatment to ready the skin for the mask, as well as an application of toner and moisturizer following the mask to prevent dryness. All of these steps are easy to copy at home to improve the effect of the mask.
To properly prepare for a mask, wash the face in warm water to open pores and then pat dry with a towel. A steam treatment can be prepared by filling a bowl with boiling water, then draping a towel over the head and bowl to catch the steam and direct it toward the face. After a few minutes of steaming, pat the face dry and use a mask as directed.
There are many commercially available masks that feature purifying ingredients, such as charcoal, clay, or kaolin. These masks are available at beauty stores, and have the advantage of being easy to apply and having a long shelf life. Those with sensitive skin or allergies may find using a commercial mask problematic, as many contain preservatives, fragrances, and other additives that could actually inflame sensitive skin. For those with serious allergies or a preference for natural ingredients, making a homemade purifying mask may be a good option.
There are hundreds of recipes for making a homemade purifying mask, all featuring ingredients that try to draw out the impurities of the skin and reduce oiliness by using mild astringents. Yogurt, lemon juice, honey, pineapple, and egg yolks are all common ingredients in purifying formulas. A simple search online can lead to dozens of easy recipes, many with usage instructions.
After the mask is removed from the face, be certain to moisturize to prevent over-drying. How often a mask should be used will depend on the formula, but many beauty experts suggest that one mask per week should be sufficient to improve skin. If a mask is working, skin should shortly be less oily and prone to acne, without flaking, tightness, or increased redness.