Friday, August 22, 2008

Moisturizing Masks - Hydration is Vital

Moisturizing masks enhance moisture levels in the skin and diminish fine lines caused by dehydration. It is known that if we boost and protect hydration in the surface layers of the skin we can slow down the transepidermal moisture loss and protect the collagen in the deeper layers of the skin. Hydration is vital.

There are many different types of moisturizing masks on the market with consistencies ranging from cool refreshing gels to rubber-like setting occlusive films, second-skin films, or clay bases. If the hydrating mask is clay (kaolin) based, do not to let it dry on the skin. The clay gives consistency but also has great absorption properties. Letting it dry will actually draw moisture out of the skin and promote dehydration. Clay based masks are only active when moist, so watch the time you are leaving it on the skin and apply it thicker if you want it on longer. A good idea is to use this type of mask while soaking in a bath as the extra humidity will keep it moist longer. Occlusive masks usually contain some type of algae and are used to promote the penetration of the underlying product, or serum, giving more in-depth hydration.

Most masks should be left on the skin for at least ten minutes, although a quick 5 minute thirst quenching application will give the skin a nice boost. It is usually recommended to use a mask once a week, but if you really want to see some incredible results, try masking daily for a week to 10 days even if it is a five minute "quickie" while you make your morning coffee. You will be amazed!

Next week: Reviews of moisturizing masks . . . stay tuned!