Learn How to Multi-Mask with These Tips

Aly Walansky
Face mask

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As seasons change, so does our skin and the regimen it requires. While we may sometimes be dry, other times will find us sensitive, oily, or prone to breakouts. The complications happen when our skin has a whole bunch of varied drama going on at once. Can we cocktail our skin care regimen – just like we do with our hair products – by “multi-masking” or layering our masks? We decided to find out, and see if we could cure multiple skin issues in just one sitting.

You can focus a mask on a particular area of the skin, mix them, or layer them:
If layering, be sure to choose the most important mask first, that one will have the most benefit. “After letting the first mask sit for a couple of minutes then layer the other mask on top and massage them on the skin for 3-5 minutes,” says  Jamie Palmer, BSN, RN – Research & Development / Corporate Educator for Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare. Apply a warm towel (or you can use steam) let sit for 2 -3 minutes and remove towel then remove mask entirely from the skin.

MORE: Are You In a Skin Care Rut? Look Out For These Signs

Map out a recipe that works for your skin:
“If you are layering masks to maximize treatment benefits, a purifying mask like Fango Purificante Purifying Mud Mask ($72.50, BorgheseSpa.com) would be a best first-step, as most will purge toxins and assist in cell turnover, prepping skin for the next course,” says Borghese‘s Director of Research and Development Charlene Deegan. A brightening mask would follow beautifully, and then a hydrating or firming.

Start slow:
It’s important to keep in mind that masks are intensive treatments and so it’s best to build slowly.  “It may be best to select two masks to start and add to this in the weeks that follow, and then as well, adjusting the combinations that you consider depending on skin’s seasonal or other needs,” says Deegan.

If it sounds overwhelming, “cheat” with a product like boscia’s The Art of Multi-Masking set ($42, Sephora.com), a collection of four peel-off masks. The set allows you to mix and match your masks, so you can target any areas of concern with the right mask. You may want to use Bright White Mask on cheeks to help with dark spots and Luminizing Black Mask on your nose to refine pores. It also comes with a cheat sheet that maps out a bunch of ideas of how to multi-mask, complete with pictures.

Is multi-masking right for you?
Multi-masking is good for people who have multiple skin issues. For example inflammation, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone and oiliness. “You can layer any masks that you like two at a time by putting one on top of another, then remove those and do another two masks. Only patients with very sensitive skin, like eczema, might not do well with multi-masking,” says dermatologist  Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules.

If you aren’t ready to try layering, consider trying products with ingredients that work on many layers, suggests dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla. For example, clay or charcoal helps with inflammation and helps tighten pores and improves acne.  Tea tree oil does the same. Honey is usually just for moisturizing and things like salicylic acid really are just for acne.