What is a Body Mask and Why Should You Use It?
Face masks are pretty common these days, but have you ever given a body mask a try?
Here is everything you need to know about body masks, along with why you should be using one.
What is a Body Mask?
A body mask is basically like a face mask, but for the body.
Since the skin on the face is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the body, this is the area that tends to attract the most attention when it comes to skin care.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be neglecting the skin on your body…
Do You Need to Use a Body Mask?
Just about everybody suffers from various skin care issues, whether this may be dryness, oiliness, aging skin, sensitivities or anything else.
While you may already be using a lotion, cream or oil on your body, a body mask does so much more…
Body masks are designed to deliver intense doses of active ingredients to the skin, and can target specific skin issues so much more effectively than other body skin care products.
Just one body masking session can have an immediate effect on your skin, meaning that doing this on a regular basis can really improve the overall health of the skin on your body.
The body mask you choose should depend on the skin concerns you are trying to target. Just like with face masks, there are plenty of choices out there when it comes to different types of body masks…
Different Types of Body Masks
This is where it starts to get a little more complicated…
There are so many different types of body masks out there, and each one will have their own pros and cons.
Here are some of the body masks that you are most likely to encounter:
1) Clay/Mud and Charcoal Body Masks
When it comes to the skin, clay and charcoal work in similar ways. Both ingredients act like a magnet for toxins, oil and impurities, pulling these up and out of the skin.
They are both also fantastic at absorbing any excess oil on the skin, and leave your skin feeling fresh and cool. These properties mean that they are perfectly suited to those who have oily, acne-prone skin, but certain types of clay may need to be avoided by those who have dry or sensitive skin.
There are many different types of clay out there, and while they are all great at absorbing oil and detoxifying the skin, each one will have its own unique benefits:
- Bentonite Clay – ideal for those who are prone to body acne
- Fuller’s Earth Clay – has a lightening and brightening effect, making it effective at evening out the skin tone
- Kaolin Clay – gentle enough for sensitive skin
- Rassoul Clay – calming and hydrating
- French Green Clay – minimizes inflammation while also improving circulation
These masks are designed to be applied to the skin and then left to set. During this time, which is usually around 15 to 20 minutes, the masks will harden. It is important to wash the mask off before it has completely hardened, because after this, it will only end up drying out your skin.
2) Hydrogel Body Masks
Hydrogel is a substance that is commonly used in the medical field to speed up wound healing, due to the way in which its unique gel formula is able to hold 500 times its size in water.
It also cools the skin and helps with inflammation, while improving cellular function.
How does it actually work?
When a hydrogel mask is applied to the skin, it releases different ingredients and serums into the skin, while also adding plenty of moisture. Once the mask has been removed, you can then tap any extra serum into your skin, to ensure that you really are making the most of your mask.
You are probably wondering…
How do you actually apply a hydrogel mask to the body?
Well, when it comes to the face, hydrogel masks tend to be face-shaped, with holes cut out for the eyes, nose and mouth.
Since the body is so much larger, and body shape and sizes varies so much between individuals, hydrogel body masks tend to be in the form of hydrogel patches.
These are shaped to work on specific areas of the body, such as the chest or the stomach, and will wrap around the contours in this area.
As you can imagine, since hydrogel masks are packed with hydrating ingredients and serums, these are the perfect option for those who have dry skin. Those with sensitive skin could also benefit from these masks, just make sure to pay attention to all of the ingredients formulated within the one you choose.
3) Sheet Body Masks
Sheet masks are similar to hydrogel masks, but are made from a usually-soft material that is then drenched in a range of skin-boosting serums.
When the mask is applied to the skin, the ingredients within these serums are then delivered into the skin. Once the skin has absorbed the serums, the mask will begin to dry up, after which it can be removed.
Just like with hydrogel masks, sheet masks for the face tend to be face-shaped with eye, nose and mouth holes.
However, for the body, they are more like individual sheets, which you can drape over different parts of your body.
When it comes to the material that these sheets are made from, there are now an increasing number of options out there, such as:
- Microfiber – the most common, especially when it comes to the more affordable sheet masks available
- Biocellulose – a natural fiber that is especially effective at wrapping in and around the body’s contours
- Foil – these sheet masks contain a foil coating that prevents ingredients from hydrating, meaning that the mask doesn’t dry out
- Cotton – these are heavier, making them particularly moisturizing
Sheet body masks are extremely convenient, especially since they allow you to target whichever parts of your body you feel could do with some extra attention.
4) Exfoliating Masks
Exfoliating masks will usually be in the form of a scrub or a cream, which is designed to be applied to the body and then left for a while so that the ingredients can work their magic. Once time is up, the mask can then be rinsed off.
How do they actually exfoliate the skin?
They contain certain ingredients, known as chemical exfoliants, that dissolve the glue-like structure that holds your dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. This then allows them to be washed away, revealing the younger and fresher skin beneath.
These masks are designed to be used all over the body, but there will always be particular areas that require some extra attention…
When it comes to exfoliating, this is usually the feet. Since the skin is thicker here, and also lacks oil glands, it is easy for the skin on the feet to become dry, rough and hard.
While you can use exfoliating body masks on the feet, you will also come across specialized foot masks. These look like plastic socks, but are lined with a gel-like substance that is packed with exfoliating acids. You only wear the mask on your feet for a short amount of time, but the acids work deeply, and, after about a week, you will notice your skin beginning to shed its outer layer.
5) Cream Body Masks
Due to their creamy nature, cream masks are extremely moisturizing, making them ideal for those who have dry or sensitive skin.
They are easy to apply, looking not much different than a standard cream, except for the fact that they are usually much thicker.
These masks are designed to be applied to the skin at night and then left overnight, so that the ingredients have enough time to penetrate into the skin.
Alternatively, use a cream mask as an intense treatment for 15 to 20 minutes before wiping off.
6) Seaweed Body Masks
Many seaweed body masks have quite a strange texture, but don’t let this put you off.
These seaweed masks are designed to be gently massaged on to the skin and then left to sit, before being rinsed away.
Wondering why you would want to apply seaweed to your skin?
For so many different reasons, including:
- Contains anti-inflammatory benefits, calming any redness
- Gently exfoliates and detoxifies the skin
- Repairs skin damage
- Moisturizes and hydrates the skin, giving you softer and plumper skin
- Promotes the production of collagen and elastin, leading to firmer and smoother skin
- Brightens skin tone and fades dark spots
- Deeply cleanses the skin
Sounds pretty good, right?
These masks are wonderfully gentle and mild, meaning that they can be enjoyed by all skin types.
What About Body Wraps?
Body wraps are basically body masks that are carried out professionally, and this can have a couple of benefits…
As part of the body wrap treatment, your skin will be professionally prepared, so that it is ready to absorb as much of the mask’s ingredients as possible.
Many body masks can also be quite thick and greasy, making them a common culprit for clogged bath and shower drains. Professional establishments will be catered to handle this, meaning that you won’t need to deal with the mess that comes after a body mask.
To top it all off, body wraps usually include some sort of massage. This not only encourages the skin to absorb all of the product being applied, but also relaxes you.
All About Multi-Masking
Multi-masking is a trend that has become quite popular with face masks lately, but this is something that you can do on your body too.
What is it, and why would you want to do it?
Multi-masking involves using multiple face masks at the same time, either side by side or by layering them over each other.
This means that you can use different masks to target various skin concerns on your body. For example, if your legs are dry but your back is acne-prone, you can use a hydrating face or cream mask on your legs, but a clay mask on your back.
This enables you to really customize the treatment that your skin receives.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Your Body Mask
If you want to give a body mask a try, it is always worthwhile taking a bit of extra time beforehand to prepare your skin.
Because this means that the ingredients from within the mask will be able to penetrate into your skin much easier and faster, giving you even better and more noticeable results.
So, how do you actually go about preparing your skin for a body mask?
Begin by cleansing it. This will remove any dirt, oil and bacteria on the surface of your skin, which would have otherwise blocked the ingredients from your mask from entering into your skin.
Exfoliation can also help with this, but at a deeper level. Exfoliation clears out your pores as well as the surface of your skin, providing a clear pathway for your mask’s ingredients.
Now, depending on the type of mask that you are using, applying a serum before applying your mask can really make a difference. This is especially the case if you are trying to target specific skin issues, such as wrinkles or acne.
By applying a serum underneath a mask, the serum will not be able to evaporate out of the skin, and instead will be forced downwards into your skin.
As you can see, body masks can really be so useful for treating various skin issues, while also just improving the general health of your skin. Even if you don’t want to use one on a regular basis, a body mask is still the perfect way to pamper your skin occasionally, ensuring that the skin on your body receives all that it needs in order to thrive.