Remember when you’d slather on a pore-tightening mask and then hide indoors hoping that no one would see you? Click! Those days are gone. Now that #masking has become a popular Instagram pastime, where everyone from Bella Hadid to Lady Gaga posts selfies, there’s no shame in showing off your own masked moments. The more bizarre the product, the more likely your post will blow up your feed.
Early adopters of Korean sheet masks, like Diane Kruger and Lindsay Lohan, are credited with launching the online posting frenzy, but beauty companies spotted the trend and launched their own high-tech options. The latest masks do everything from bubbling up like baking soda to peeling off like rubber.
Although it might be tempting to go on a masking binge, Gross recommends using them a few times a week or as directed on the label. “They’re meant to be concentrated treatments,” he says. “If you’re using something beyond what the instructions recommend, there’s a chance of irritation.” And while today’s masks can accomplish the bulk of your beauty needs, there’s at least one area where it’s best to pass: “I think masks are great for anti-aging or brightening, but I wouldn’t use them for cleansing,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a New York-based dermatologist. Dr. Julia Carroll, a Toronto-based dermatologist, agrees: “The work is done by manipulating the cleanser over the skin with a cloth, the hands or a cleansing brush, so I don’t see an advantage to using a mask cleanser.”
Granted, there are limitations to any mask (those that claim to freeze wrinkles like Botox? Not buying it, says Carroll), but as the science continues to evolve along with our beauty habits and rituals, it’s important to remember that the appeal of these products is not just about hydrating, lifting and firming the skin. It’s also about having fun—and that’s something worth double-tapping for, too.
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