Is It Possible to OD on Facial Masks?
Move over football, Sundays in the beauty sphere are dedicated to face masks. It’s a ritual that many women can attest to, and any and all face masks are welcome—be it sheet masks, clay masks, gel masks, overnight masks, body masks, eye masks, or DIY masks. These products can breathe new life into skin ahead of the impending work week with little effort and (usually) no more than 10 minutes’ time for each, so can you really blame us? Best of all, the results are often just as exciting as the application itself.
Depending on your skin’s needs and personal preferences, you might opt for just one face mask per day. Others may apply upwards of four to five while they binge-watch their favorite TV shows or scroll through their social media feeds. I usually fall in the latter camp, applying multiple face masks every Sunday that each target a different need, be it hydration, glow enhancement, or a deep clean. Given the stark contrast in Sunday face mask itineraries across the board, it’s worth asking: Is it possible to OD on facial masks? And on a similar note, how many face masks are “safe” to apply per day/week? To get to the bottom of it, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. Keep reading to find out if it’s even possible to overdose on face masks—plus, how to know if you’ve exited the safe zone!
Let’s just get right to it then, shall we? “It’s definitely possible to OD on facial masks,” Dr. Bhanusali says. Gasp! The issue is mainly with the ingredients in the masks. Some key ingredients may not play well together—here’s a list of some that don’t!—and can thus lead to an adverse skin reaction. Also, applying the same type of mask—like those made with alpha hydroxy acids for instance—one after the other can cause a host of additional skin issues and essentially do more harm than good.
So, what’s the magic number? “Masks that are calming and hydrating can be done as needed, up to 4-5 times a week,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “Those that may have alpha or beta hydroxy acids—think: glycolic or salicylic acids—should be used at most 2-3 times a week.” When used any more than that, Dr. Bhanusali warns that face masks can potentially cause more breakouts, irritation, and allergic reactions, especially in sensitive and acne-prone skin. If you have dry skin, you can probably get away with using one hydrating mask per day as long as no negative side effects are present. Bottom line: If you think you’re overdoing it, talk to your dermatologist about which masks are safe to use for your skin and at what frequency.