Ask anyone at Go-To and they’ll tell you, the act of masking is equal parts Important Skin Maintenance and fun.
Fun because you get to put on your robe, dip those little cucumber rounds you intended to use on your eyes in tzatziki and watch The Gilded Age. And Important Skin Maintenance because a weekly mask or two is an investment in your skin’s short and long-term health, a way to reset, refresh and check in with your largest organ.
But masking isn’t all carrot sticks and Cynthia Nixon, it’s skincare and with great skincare comes great responsibility. Namely, to your skin and also your wallet, because wasting good product on uncleansed skin is tantamount to heresy in the High Courts Of Skin Care (Go-To HQ).
So here’s the six Masking Commandments to follow every single time you reach for a mask to ensure you’re getting the most from your products for your most important masking ally: your skin.
How To Face Mask Correctly, According To Go-To’s Six Masking Commandments:
Clean Skin, Of Course
So! Important! Impurities, leftover SPF and chicken salt can all stand in the way of a mask getting on with its job. A thorough double cleanse (oil first, water-based second) pre-mask will help get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there.
Clean Hands, Too
Seems obvious but you wouldn’t believe how sticky Ice Magic is. Seriously though, freshly washed and dried hands are a mask-have before slathering on any products to ensure dirt, grime, icky stuff isn’t trapped on the wrong side of your facial.
Don’t Forget To Exfoliate
Just like your double cleanse, a gentle chemical exfoliant will help remove dead skin/impurities/build-up and prep for skincare too.
Important! If you’re masking to repair a damaged skin barrier definitely skip this step as actives found in chemical exfoliants or the scrubby particles found in physical exfoliants will be too much for cranky, compromised skin.
Pay Attention To Ingredients
Not all masks are made equal and if you’re masking for a particular reason (clogged pores/dull skin/barrier repair) it can be wise to check the ingredient list to ensure there’s nothing lurking in the formulation that could further irritate your face.
Follow Instructions Carefully
Masks are usually designed as short-term treatments; they’re a quick pick-me-up, soothe-me-down or fix-me-up and not to be worn according to your own diagnosis. You could find you’re doing more harm than good leaving a mask on too long or using it in improper ways—remember, some areas like the eyes, top lip and neck are more delicate than their sturdy chin/nose/forehead counterparts. Use masks wisely and always follow the instructions.
Remove With Care
Just as life’s dirt/grime/crumbs can interfere with your mask’s abilities, so too can leftover mask formulations block the important work of follow-up products (serums/oils/moisturisers). It’s imperative that you remove (gently! So as not to pull skin or hurt that cute face) all traces of a mask* unless otherwise instructed by the product’s instructions leaflet thingy you’ve already thrown in the bin.
Also, leftover masks could potentially dry out, damage, clog or discombobulate skin as they’re not designed to be worn for long periods of time. So best to remove it thoroughly and with care.
*Unless we’re talking sheet masks (like your old friend Transformazing) which should not be washed off and we actually encourage you to use every last serum-y drop of, especially on your face, neck and dec. Why? This is the important part! It’s been formulated for that exact purpose; staying on your now luminous face and keeping it that way.