A simple face mask is sometimes all you need for a midweek self-care session, but can you overdo it? Turns out, yes: one too many sheet or clay masks can cause sensitivity and irritation. That said, there are ways you can still enjoy these treatments — dermatologists Harold Lancer, MD, and Justine Kluk, MD, tell POPSUGAR how.
Could you be using too many face masks?
If you mask every day, Dr. Lancer says it could cause some problems for your skin. "Over-masking can involve too many different types of products, too frequently in one day," he said. "This can make the quality of the products inferior, and if you use a multitude of ingredients, this can cause congestion of the skin and can lead to inflammation, eczema, blemishes, or clogging." In addition, Dr. Kluk warns that although hydrating masks won't generally cause any kind of harm, those "containing clay or charcoal may potentially lead to dryness and irritation."
What can happen long-term if someone over-masks?
Dr. Lancer explains that long-term product overload from masking could lead to potentially developing an allergy like eczema or chronic inflammation, which can be hard to treat. "You'll go from having normal skin to extraordinarily sensitive skin," he said, meaning it can change the skin's immune sensitivity. "The last result you want is to give yourself a problem worse than you started with."
How often can someone use face masks?
"If you have a good skincare routine containing cleanser, moisturiser, and SPF suitable for your skin type, and a few key active ingredients targeted to your particular skin concerns, a mask is the icing on the cake and should only be needed once or twice a week as a booster," said Dr. Kluk.
Should people be multi-masking?
Every trip to Boots, you're inundated with a multitude of products on the market — but that doesn't mean you need to multi-mask for maximum results. "There is a tendency to overcomplicate things unnecessarily," said Dr. Kluk. "The key to maintaining good skin in the long run is keeping it simple and being consistent."
What if masks just aren't delivering results?
If you've got your regimen down to a fine art and mask the right amount and still aren't getting results, Dr. Kluk says it might be time for an in-office procedure such as chemical peels, medical needling, or mesotherapy. These can help you achieve smoother skin or an even complexion, and topicals can be extremely effective if you suffer with blackheads or breakouts."