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Skincare alert: Do face masks really work?

"The key to getting a face mask to actually work is consistency. If and only if used regularly and consistently can these face masks show results," said Dr Manasi Shirolikar, a consultant dermatologist

It is always suggested to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe or suggest a face mask that is suitable for both your skin’s type and needs. (Photo: Freepik)

Common skin-friendly pastes like Multani-mitti and haldi-chandan-besan, which many people (read: our mothers and grandmothers) swore by to get relief from their skincare woes, have been given a modern makeover — the face mask. Available in many combinations, these are what come to mind when we seek an instant glow after a tiring day. Known to be extremely hydrating and for their targeted benefits, face masks have become a part of many skincare routines today.

However, with the market flooded with so many types and categories of face masks including mud masks, clay masks, sheet masks and so many more, how can one pick the best? Also, are face masks really effective?

“In all honesty, it depends on the type of mask and as well as its ingredients,” said Dr Manasi Shirolikar, a consultant dermatologist. For instance, applying a mask with lemon juice can cause phytophotodermatitis (inflammatory eruption) when the bare skin is exposed to the sun!” she told indianexpress.com.

skincare Do we really need face masks? (Source: Getty Images)

She further shared that certain face masks, like those with charcoal, which a lot of people swear by, “have no scientific backing, studies, or evidence to prove their efficacy.” “Sheet masks, the latest fad, also are more or less used to hydrate your skin, rather than treat it. And even then, it shows effects only after prolonged use,” she added.

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So, how can one get the most out of a face mask?

“To get the most out of your product, use an overnight mask,” suggested Dr Manasi, adding that many brands make sleeping masks that can lock in the moisture and ensure you wake up with a well-hydrated, moisturised, and plumped skin.

“At the same time, if you are looking to treat your skin’s concerns (for example, the lack of glow), you can use an overnight exfoliating mask that contains exfoliating ingredients like AHAs or BHAs that help increase the skin cell turnover, thus helping you get the glow, over a few weeks’ time,” she suggested.

What is good for oily and acne-prone skin?

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“Mud or clay masks will cleanse your skin deeply, thus removing the excess oil, sebum, and gunk that may be clogging your pores (thus causing acne),” she explained.

Also, you can consider getting chemical peels, but only under a dermatologist’s supervision. These are also a type of face mask that works for different issues such as improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helping treat acne and acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and even out the skin tones, among others.

“The key to getting a face mask to actually work is consistency. If and only if used regularly and consistently can these face masks show results,” said Dr Manasi.

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However, it is always suggested to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe or suggest a face mask that is suitable not just for your skin’s type but also your skin’s needs because more often than not, incorrect usage or one incorrect ingredient can cause a terrible reaction to the skin, she concluded.

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First published on: 26-10-2022 at 20:00 IST
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