From clay to gel - 6 different types of face masks you should know about and their skincare benefits

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Woman wearing a beauty mask.
Woman wearing a beauty mask.
Photo: Getty Images

Everyone wants a flawless, selfie-worthy complexion and this is possible with the right skincare products.

Whether you are dealing with breakouts or just looking for a quick step to add to your selfcare routine, there is a mask for you. No matter what type of skin you have, you need to rehydrate and plump up your skin cells. Never underestimate what facial masks can do for your skin.

Here are six different types of masks you should know about:

1. Clay masks

Best for: Oily and acne-prone skin.

Clay masks absorb excess oil without drying your skin. They contain natural clay properties that are good for eliminating toxins and refining pores and come in different colours such as yellow, which is good for brightening and green for exfoliation. Don’t rub your skin aggressively to remove the mask: rather put a damp, warm cloth on your face for a few minutes to let the steam soften it first.

2. Peel-off masks 

Best for: Oily and combination skin.

Peel-off masks are exfoliants with a gel-like texture that dries on the skin. They gently remove a thin layer of dead cells, revealing a brighter, smoother surface. Avoid the types that contain a high concentration of alcohol, menthol or fragrances, since they can have a drying effect on your skin.

3. Sheet mask

Best for: All skin types.

These are the most popular masks at the moment, and are fuss-free and easy to use. These don’t replace the traditional masks, but they can boost hydration, brighten skin, and even treat fine lines. Pop one onto your face before bed and wake up to visibly brighter skin.

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4. Cream masks

Best for: Normal and dry skin.

Cream masks are packed with oils and moisturising ingredients to penetrate deeply and replenish dry skin. Choose ones with ingredients such as beta hydroxy acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and essential oils – all important for plumper, supple skin. Cream masks are an ideal way to boost your skin’s hydration after a hectic week.

5. Overnight masks 

Best for: All skin types, especially dry skin.

If your skin is going through a dryness-meets-stress moment, you need a skin saviour such as a sleep mask. These provide extra nourishment overnight, which you won’t get from your night cream. Your skin repairs itself at night, but it also loses water, so using an overnight mask creates a seal, making sure that moisture is locked in.

6. Gel mask

Best for: Dry and sensitive skin. Gel masks are gentle and lightweight, and are absorbed very quickly. If you find that your skin needs a little bit of TLC, then gel masks will calm it, while firming and tightening it. They have a cooling effect too, because they are made of a soothing, gel-like substance and are usually packed with refreshing ingredients such as cucumber, mint or green tea.

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