For The Love of Masking
Is it too much to mask every night?
It’s a question of Shakespearian magnitude.
Our favorite time of day to mask is in the morning after we cleanse. See, our routine is to smother our cats with unwanted kisses (we swear, they just won’t let us love them!), then brush teeth, wash face, and get our sweat on. Most of the time our workouts last between 15 and 30 minutes. See where we’re going? It’s the perfect window for masking!
We actually prefer to do more intense masks, like chemical exfoliating, at night before bed because a lot of them can leave the skin sensitive to sunlight and just more sensitive in general. But after grinding all day, we’re not always motivated to stall hitting the sheets. An overnight mask takes second place in terms of enjoyability and there’s one below that’s perfect for that. BTW, what’s your favorite time to get that 5-20 minutes of luscious self-care in? Let us know in the comments!
Ofra Cosmetics is a legendary company founded by therapist and makeup artist, Ofra Gaito, and uses some of the most top-notch ingredients out there, which is why we were so excited to try their range. Think plant, marine, and veggie extracts, vitamin C, retinol, and peptides.
In addition to a ton of yummy-sounding cleansers, serums, and moisturizers, OFRA has an impressive collection of masks and peels that moisturize, brighten, exfoliate, calm, heal, and so much more with various textures ranging from gels to creams. We tried three that made pretty sizable promises, and here’s what we think.
Blemish Treatment Mask
This acne-treatment mask is formulated to combat basically all kinds of blemishes including “acne, pimples, and monthly eruptions associated with menstruation.” It’s described as being ideal for getting rid of newly formed pimples by drying them out and claims it will do this within a few hours of applying.
Have to put this out there — we’re total skeptics when it comes to masks or any skincare products that make the claim to speed up the healing of blemishes. Because acne is such a complex issue, it seems almost impossible that any topical product can be applied to speed up the healing of already full-formed or just-blooming lesions. Sometimes even products like those that contain harsher agents like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide fail to flatten our blemishes. Unfortunately, this mask also failed in that realm, but it’s still a mask we’re glad to have in the arsenal for preventative reasons. More on this in a second.
All these ingredients make for a creamy mask that you can apply to your face with your fingers or a brush. You only need a thin layer. This isn’t one you need to lay on thick.
This mask’s superhero is sulfur. If you’re not familiar with the powers of sulfur, it’s great for acne because it kills the bacteria that causes breakouts. It also contains zinc oxide, which helps to heal acne. If you’re allergic to sulfur, this mask is not for you.
HOW TO USE
We tried this mask both ways that it’s made to work — as a spot treatment that we applied on new pimples and blemishes that weren’t quite pimples yet after cleansing in the morning and left on all day and also using it as an overnight treatment. While there was no irritation of the skin or aggravation of the blemishes, it didn’t seem to do much in terms of healing.
However, because this is made with such first-rate ingredients, we think this is still a decent mask to keep maybe on your middle shelf for preventative measures. The way we see it is that prevention is the best method. once you have active, developing pimples, other than extractions and possible (blue) light therapy, there’s nothing you can do about it but wait until it goes down. By applying this as an all-over mask once a week, it’s perfect because you’re proactively killing the acne-causing bacteria before they freak out on you and cause ugly breakouts.
As with all masks that are formulated to treat acne or blemishes, avoid putting this too close to the rim of your eyes as well as too close to your mouth as it’s a drying product and can cause your skin to become dehydrated (even if it’s still producing oil).
Soft Pearl Peel
This one sounds a little scarier than it is. But guys, trust the “soft” in the product’s title. Even though it’s technically a peel, it’s a super gentle peel experience that’s suitable for all skin types. That means you can use this peel even if you have sensitive skin like we do. It’s also a gel texture that you let absorb into your skin and then rinse off, unlike those new trendy ones that you let harden and physically peel off.
This peel is formulated specially to “reduce pigmentation, remove dead skin cells, and eliminate blackheads.” Basically, it’s designed to make your skin feel softer and look more radiant by sloughing away excess dead skin.
Here’s what we think: This mask is great because it does what it says it going to do, and what more can you ask than that? Your face will be soft to touch and with consistent weekly use, you will start to notice that your complexion holds a natural radiance even before applying a moisturizer.
When it comes to masking, ingredients are key because even though the actual process of masking can be relaxing and rejuvenating, a lot of the times masking doesn’t come with many results. They tend to be more placebo than visible effects on the skin.
So, let’s get into what’s inside this mask. First up is water (it’s the first ingredient in all three masks feature here), so that’s great as you may or may not know that the ingredients are listed in order of prevalence. next up is the workhorse of this peel, stearic acid. This acid is a fatty acid because it helps water and oil mix.
In the middle of the pack is chamomile, which is an anti-inflammatory and great to see an exfoliating product to combat any potential irritation. Like the others, this mask also has a creamy texture and looks absolutely divine. The shimmer alone will have you excited to apply this after a long day and maybe even snap a selfie.
HOW TO USE
This is an easy mask to use. Why? Because there’s not so much thinking involved. You can use this mask on wet or dry skin, depending on any skin issues you’re dealing with. If you’ve been having amazing skin days with clear skin, then you can use it wet or dry. if you have active acne, then only apply this mask to dry skin and wash off. Be careful not to rub in the case of acne because the skin can open up and infect other parts of the face.
This mask doesn’t take long to get to working either. You only need to let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to also apply this to your neck as it can definitely use the benefits of exfoliating as well.
The thing about this mask is that with the exfoliation process, you are opening your pores. This means you need to shut them once you’re done. You can follow up with a mask. We like to combine this with the Brightening Mask. If you’re feeling dry afterward, you can follow up with their Moisture Repair Mask. This one we haven’t tried, but it sounds yummy.
Don’t we all want brighter, more radiant skin? It’s probably the most popular reason for masking and we bet if you’re a skincare junkie like we are, you have a few different kinds of masks and treatments that promise to give you *that* glow. Amiright?
The main claims that this makes is to “balance skin tone and texture and dimities discoloration.” If instant gratification rules your world when it comes to masking, you are going to love this mask. While this isn’t exactly the mask for lightening scars or dark spots (does any mask *actually* do this?), this is definitely the mask to apply before going out on a date or to an event and just whenever you want to look your best. It could even remedy a bad night of sleep because it instantly brightens your entire complexion.
Think of it like this. You’re most likely to see results if you’ve been suffering from a dull complexion versus if there’s a specific area you want to lighten or brighten.
This mask uses two (natural) chemicals commonly found in skincare products that are all about that glow: glycolic and lactic acid. These both work to remove dead skin cells so that fresh skin underneath can shine. Well, not shine. Glow, baby. Glow.
We also love that this mask contains licorice extract, which is an infamous lightener. Shea butter is also present and perfect to combat the intensity of the acids in this mask. Bearberry extract is actually what hydroquinone is derived from and is great at reducing melanin production, which causes darkness/spots. Antioxidants like kojic acid are included to fight against fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.
HOW TO USE
Now back to the glycolic and lactic acid inside this mask. These are on the harsher side since they contain AHAs, so you want to make sure you hydrate appropriately after cleansing this mask off your face. A good serum with humectants like hyaluronic acid or glycerin works best as they draw in moisture from the environment into your skin. This step is a must if you use this mask in the morning or before you go out.
As with the other masks, this one is a creamy texture and a thin layer is all you need. Apply it all over your face, neck if you’d like, leave on for about 15 minutes, and rinse off with lukewarm water.
Plant-based | No
Eco-friendly | All packaging is recyclable and products are environmentally friendly
Ethical | 100% cruelty-free! PETA and Leaping Bunny Certified
Our top picks | Brightening Mask
Price Range | $20-$59
Which mask are you most interested in trying? Let us know in the comments!
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**FTC: This post is not sponsored. No monetary compensation was received for this post, however, product was gifted. Opinions are 100% our own, of course. This post also includes affiliate links which help to sustain our publishing activities and helps to cover operating costs, but you are in no way obligated to use them.**