By: Rasheedah Billups
Good skin days are a thing, just like good hair days. Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower and by the time you’re face to face with the melanin goddess in the mirror you notice a glow that should be captured from every angle and shared with the world? We all have. Those are the days! How do we hold onto that glow? Is drinking water, minding our business, and using coconut oil enough? Unfortunately, no.
Gone are the days of a two-step skin care routine. Although we’ve been enjoying the privilege of ‘black don’t crack’ there are a few steps we cannot afford to skip over anymore. A complete skincare routine should be solid and consistent, leaving your skin clean, moisturized, nourished, and protected with all natural products.
How can I elevate my skincare routine?
Clearly a fresh face requires a cleanser and moisturizer, but a lot of people tend to turn a blind eye to other needs, especially if there aren’t any noticeable issues. What may be missing from completing your five-star routine: micellar water to remove makeup; a toner to remove dirt and oil left behind by your cleanser; serums to nourish and condition; sunscreen to protect the skin from the powerful sun rays; and masks to target specific skin concerns.
What are masks?
Masks are a category of skincare products used to address a specific concern such as oily skin or dry skin. There are different types of masks. There are clay masks, cream masks, gel masks, and sheet masks. Different masks are formulated to detox the skin, help with blemishes, soothe, or hydrate.
Similar to how we turn to deep conditioners, hot oil treatments, and hair masks to fill the gaps in our hair by healing damaged hair shafts, hydrating, and adding shine when required, face masks help to fill the gaps in our skincare regimen.
What should I look for in a mask?
When finding a mask that’s right for you, consider your specific skin needs, beginning with identifying if your skin is dry or oily. Depending on the ingredients of the mask you choose, it will impact your skin differently. So it is important to assess your skin so you can give it exactly what it craves.
If you have dry skin your first choice wouldn’t be a clay mask formulated to reduce oil, as some clays will absorb the oil in your skin. However, there are clay masks that are great for dry skin depending on how it is made. Paying attention to ingredients and their purpose is key.
For oily skin you may consider Kaike Green Tea Mask + Scrub. This mask is made with a French green clay and matcha formula that draws excess oil and impurities from the skin. This all natural mask will help to detox your skin.
If your skin concern is dryness, you’ll want to look for a mask that will hydrate, like The Lacial Masque: Moisturizing and Repairing mask by Eve Milan New York. As an added bonus, the maker of this mask encourages you to warm it by placing the unopened package in hot water prior to using, to increase product absorption into the skin.
Sometimes things aren’t always black and white, there’s grey too. In other words you might not have only oily skin or only dry skin, you might have combination skin, skin that is dry in some areas and oily in others. There are options, other than turning your face into a color by numbers piece of art. Hunnybunny makes Sea Clay Face Mask which is perfect for combination skin.
The skin is our largest organ. It protects us by defending what lies within from the external environment which includes chemicals and other irritants that would harm us. This large organ has a huge job in the maintenance of life, complicated by the burden of over 3,000 possible skin disorders.
As you make selections about what products to apply to your skin, steer clear of harmful ingredients and opt for all natural products like the ones we’ve discussed above and others available in the BLK + GRN marketplace. Natural products won’t hinder the skin as it functions to maintain life and glow at the same time.
In addition to strengthening your skincare routine with masks to address your specific concerns you can fill in the gaps by ensuring you are getting the vitamins, nutrients and hydration you need through your diet. A diet with the right nutrient rich foods will help mitigate inflammation, increase circulation, produce oils necessary for a healthy barrier, add to your glow, protect against sun damage, and more.
Cleanser and moisturizer alone won’t hold you down. Don’t skip the masks. Not only will masks complete your routine, but they also feel great when you take the time to sit back, relax and let them do their job. Whether at the spa or at home, masks scream me time and what better way to detox your face and your life than with some much needed YOU-time! Whether you have time for the whole shebang or not, be sure to add regular masks to the schedule. Your skin will appreciate the TLC and those good skin days won’t be so far and few between.
How do you mask? Is mask time relaxing time? Do you mask while you clean?