What Is Multi Mask Layering and How to Master It
Multi mask layering is the best way to customize your intensive skin care and is actually recommended by aestheticians. As a person who has no qualms about admitting to hoarding masks and other skin care products, I can attest to that moment when you are trying to figure out if you want to tackle one skin care problem over another.
At more than one point I thought about mixing different facial masks, but chose not to in the end because mixing masks seems ludicrous – I bought them to use, not ruin. The thing is, it is not a great idea to mix the products together and slather it on, but you can use multi mask layering to improve your skin’s health and appearance.
As with everything, using more than one mask at a time can be done – it just has to be done right. The goal of this article is to serve as a guide on multi masking and mask layering, so if this helps, leave a comment for us below!
What is Multi Mask Layering?
Mask layering is the utilization of more than one skin mask at the same time to address more than one skin problem. Multi mask layering is also called ‘mask cocktailing’ creating the best mix for your needs at the time.
It is not a rarity for people to have combination skin, nor is it unheard of for skin problems that a person did not have to suddenly manifest and cause a befuddling problem. Face masks are a way to mitigate these problems at home, treating yourself in the comfort of your own home and on your schedule. The best benefit of using multiple facial masks is the ability for the masks to act a facial treatment, giving you the deep effects that last.
Back in 2014, Vogue published an article about layering face masks and the benefit of layering them was explained by Joanna Czech, the Dallas aesthetician that owns and runs Joanna Czech Spa. Her celebrity clientele includes Christy Turlington and Anna Wintour, if celebrity trust is your cup of tea.
In the article, she explained that the best results come from a solid process. She recommends first prepping the skin with cleansing, using a pH balancing toner and depending on the type of mask used, possibly adding in a serum that will help the ingredients settle into the skin well. After applying the masks, use a toner and finally your moisturizer.
Why Should Anyone Mask Layer?
Face masks are a way to supplement a good skin care routine to give your skin a boost when needed. For many of us, stress can cause an alarming reaction in our skin, and who really lives stress free?
With experts reliably suggesting that doubling up on your face masks is a great way to customize your skin care to address your specific issues, masks cocktails or multitasks are a great way to address multiple skin issues rather than one at a time. In all honesty, who turns away a great solution?
If you have eczema or extremely sensitive skin, multi mask layering may not be ideal for you, but you can always work with a dermatologist and take their suggestions. If you have sensitive skin and masks that you rely on already, these should be okay, just be certain to test them individually.
If you are looking to test out multi mask layering, but are unsure of what to begin with, Sephora has a collection of four peel off masks called The Art of Multi Masking set. The set comes with a cheat sheet to help you figure out which masks to place where and photos to help along.
As an example, there is a Luminizing Black Mask that helps to refine pores and a Bright White Mask that can help with fading dark spots. Using this set will give you a leg up in mask cocktailing and figuring out how to apply facial masks with zoning to create the best results.
How Do I Multi Mask?
Since multi masking is not necessarily a brand new concept, just a relatively new one, there are authorities on the topic. One fantastic authority would be the Director of Research and Development for Borghese, Charlene Deegan – Calello.
In an article published by Stylecaster, Charlene Deegan Calello said: “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.”
Building your multi mask recipe is important. First identify your issues, and find the masks that will respond to them. Once you have your products chosen for whatever issues you want to repair, it is a matter of deciding how to apply them for optimal results.
Mask layering can be done in one of two ways. The first way is actually by zoning the masks. What I mean by zoning is that you would apply the necessary mask to the area that needs it most.
So if you have a portion of your face that is prone to inflammation, redness and irritation, a mask with chamomile, aloe or green tea would be ideal for those areas. For really oily areas of the skin, a heavy clay or charcoal mask or even a mask with salicylic acid would be best.
In my opinion, zoning is the best method to use. Sure, you may be wearing several different masks at once, but isn’t that the point? Directly addressing problem areas with an appropriate mask will greatly aid in your final result.
If you are zoning, it is still important to follow the steps to make certain the treatments are successful. Cleanse and exfoliate first for maximum absorption. Apply your masks, and follow up with a toner and moisturizer at the end for incredibly radiant skin. You can also try Boscia’s Multi Masking Medley as well – it’s excellent.
The point is that zoning your masks when multimasking will appropriately address the different concerns. This makes sense on more than one level, especially addressing the different types of skin on the face.
Most people who have oily skin would know that most of the oil glands on the face are found on the T zone – the forehead and nose, as well as the chin. The thinnest skin is found around the eyes and presents different issues.
The other method is to quite literally layer your masks. Layering your facial masks may seem odd, but if you layer it properly, you will get the effects of both and treat multiple skin issues simultaneously.
This works similarly to zoning in that you need to match the masks to what you are trying to treat. The important thing is remembering that as the masks are layered over one another (rather than bordering each other), you have to layer them in a particular order for them to be effective.
If you are intending to use more than one lighter mask, apply the one with the most pressing benefits first, wait a few minutes, then add the second and finally, the heaviest mask should be saved for last. Thicker masks must always be applied last, as other masks with a thinner consistency will not be able to penetrate through them.
If your preference is for mask sheets, then layering is still an option for you though in a different manner. Sheet masks’ efficiency can be boosted by using the same means – exfoliate first, add a serum to the skin, then place on the sheet mask.
Once you take off the sheet mask, let all the products soak fully into your skin. Finally, as with all uses for masks, tone and moisturize. A sheet mask can also be placed over a brightening mask for example, just give the first mask a minute to soak in before applying the sheet mask on top of it.
One More Time, What Is The Process?
1. Cleanse your skin (dirt blocks absorption).
2. Exfoliate or purify your skin (dead skin cells block absorptions) (optional).
3. Steam your face with a hot towel or face steamer for just a minute or two (optional).
4. Apply your heavier masks first so they have the most time to absorb.
a. Typically pore tightening, balancing, purifying or detoxing masks are charcoal, clay or mud and heavy. These are usually applied to the oilier areas of the skin, the T zone especially, and anywhere where you have blackheads, whiteheads or acne.
5. Apply your lighter masks for hydrating, oxygenating, brightening, firming or rejuvenating mask.
6. Apply any patches for under eyes or around the mouth.
7. Finish with a toner and follow up with a moisturizer for lasting results.
8. Cleanse your skin (dirt blocks absorption).
9. Exfoliate or purify your skin (dead skin cells block absorptions).
10. Steam your face with a hot towel or face steamer for just a minute or two (optional).
11. Put on your softer mask first, i.e. hydrating, oxygenating or rejuvenating mask.
12. Wait a few minutes before applying your next layer.
13. Put your heavier clay, charcoal or mud mask on top.
14. Finish with a toner and follow up with a moisturizer for lasting results.
Here are a few tips on applying your facial masks.
• Make certain to apply them about a finger’s width away from your hairline, with the same space around your eyebrows.
• Don’t underestimate the benefit of a good serum.
• Apply your masks in a smooth even layer.
• If your skin is stressed out and responding as such, do not put on a clay or mud mask first. These masks are intense and can over stress already stressed out skin.
Do a thin layer of a soft mask made for hydrating or healing first, give it a few minutes to soak in, then add the mud mask or clay mask to improve your skin overall. The soft mask will improve the state of the skin to allow it to be ready to work with the heavier mask.
• If you choose to layer one mask over another, remember that waiting between layers will not work, if the preceding layer is a drying mud or clay mask layer or a peel-off mask.
• When using multiple masks, pay attention to the amount of time each is supposed to stay on.
• When rinsing off the masks, especially the heavier ones, it is often easier if you steam using the towel or a face steamer first.
What Is The Ideal Mask Combination?
• For tightness or dryness: Masks that include natural antioxidants and even hyaluronic acid, rose water and moisturizing ingredients.
• For increased oil production and breakouts: Masks that hydrate with grape seed oil, chamomile or flax seed oil are a great start, followed up by a clay, charcoal or salicylic acid mask are best for this issue.
• For hyper-pigmentation: Skin rejuvenating, cell boosting and healing masks are great here.
• For dullness and fine lines: Exfoliating masks are best here, as well as those that brighten and boost skin elasticity, firmness and plumpness. Vitamin C should be high on the list for these masks as well.
• For large pores: Hydrating masks followed by clay masks and firming masks are the solution for these areas, especially those that clean and clear pores with ingredients like natural essential oils and antioxidants.
• For inflammation and redness: Calming masks that have soothing ingredients listed within the first 3 spots on an ingredient list. Aloe and Chamomile are good options. These masks typically hydrate and nourish well.
Ideally speaking, combining masks just makes sense, so discover which options will work best for you and use them to your advantage. Know your skin well and work with it to achieve the best results possible.