Do you usually let your face mask dry out on your skin before removing it?
We’re taught to think a mask is “done” when it’s dry but what that’s really doing is pulling the moisture from the stratum corneum (the protective, outermost layer of our epidermis) and allowing it to dry out, depleting your skin barrier of the much-needed moisture it needs to function and be healthy.
If you remember only ONE thing from this post: Don’t let your mask dry out!
We've all seen photos of a face mask left on for so long that it’s dry, hardened, or cracking. While your skin will feel soft immediately after removing the mask, secondarily, you’ll feel tightness. The next day, you’ll potentially have post-mask breakouts, dehydration, or peeling that can last up to weeks, and chronically dehydrated skin can lead to all sorts of issues in the long run.
When you allow a mask to dry on the skin, you’re letting the moisture evaporate, pulling both the moisture from the mask and the moisture from your skin along with it. The opposite result that we’re looking for. Products penetrate more into the skin when pores are open and moist.
We have a deep philosophy that your body and your skin should be nourished and fed whole healthy ingredients to aid you in radiant skin. So when you’re using a powdered mask to target specific skin conditions, for instance, acne using our Fix-Zit Mask, sulfur’s antimicrobial properties combined with the calming and soothing properties of oats need to stay moist for our skin to recognize and assimilate them.
What to do instead
Use a hydrosol like our new seasonal Rose Geranium Hydrosol! Keeping your mask moist throughout the entire session allows your skin to recognize the botanicals for their benefits, absorbing the ingredients, healing the skin. Wet masks also keep the ingredients activated. The aromatherapeutic benefits of different botanicals can bring about an even more relaxing masking session as well.
Use a humectant like the beautiful honey mask (with extracts of rose, propolis, Oregon grape root, and kelp) from Sonoma County Bee Company in our limited edition gift set.
And if you don't have either one of those on hand, our suggestion is to apply your mask just before you shower so the steam will help to keep your mask moist while you wait to remove it.
But, how does slugging work then?
One of the few exceptions to this rule is slugging. When you have a mask that has occlusive and humectant properties, like the glycerin and hyaluronic acid in our Soothing Repair Mask, it’s possible that keeping a mask on all night will bring more moisture to the skin.
Our goal is not to attack your skin, but to heal it: repairing tissue with skin-building plants, reducing inflammation by soothing it with anti-inflammatory plants, and using science and nature as our vehicles. When we begin to understand the science behind the skincare we use, we can start to unlearn some of the rules we’ve been taught. If you’d like to unlearn more with us, check out our Unlearning Series on our Instagram @botniaskincare!