Of all the forms of self-care I’ve tried over the last decade, a good ol’ face mask has been the most fail-safe way to make me feel better. Plus, with the changing of the seasons and all my recent travel plans, my complexion has been a bit of a minefield. Not only do I suffer from dryness on my cheeks and jawline, but I’m also tackling seasonal breakouts, too. And while I’m sure I could find a face mask that tackles all my issues if I put in a few hours of research, I’ve got a better solution: multi-masking.
Multi-masking, or wearing specialized face masks to target certain areas of the face based on the results you want, isn’t new—but I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on in the ways that other practices like microcurrent or LED masks have. It basically allows you to customize your masking experience in the same way that you’d treat flyaways differently than the ends of your hair.
I always start with a freshly washed face—I like to double-cleanse with a balm, then with micellar water—then exfoliate with a light physical product, like Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which is formulated with rice powder, which gently sloughs away dead skin cells and other grit that can live in your pores unchecked.
Now, it’s time to take stock of your skin: Is your T-zone oily? Your cheeks and underlies dry? Do you have issues with brightness after a bout of breakouts, or need some extra exfoliation help? I break down my complexion in three or four zones that have varying needs. For me, it’s my jawline and nose, which suffer from blackheads and breakouts; my cheeks, which are dry and prone to hyperpigmentation, and my forehead, which is forever oily. Ahead, the three masks I use every single week to keep my skin balanced:
This mineral-rich clay mask is my secret weapon when I have a particularly rough breakout. Its combination of bentonite and kaolin clays, as well as apple cider vinegar and salicylic acid, helps pull gunk out of pores without drying it out. It’s even great for stopping under-the-skin breakouts in their tracks, making it my go-to mask for the week before my period.
A bit of a wonder product, this cult-favorite mask smells unquestionably bad thanks to its potent mix of yeast, cucumber, and witch hazel extracts that help to tone and balance oily skin. I like to use it on my forehead, where I rarely break out but is prone to shine. If you can stand the smell, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with bright, even-toned skin.
When my skin’s extra dry, I like to wear this creamy, hydrating pick as a sleeping mask. Though it has a slight floral fragrance, I love the way it instantly plumps and hydrates my thirsty skin with black rose, vitamin E, and shea butter. My cheeks and eyes are always the first place to show creeping, so I’m extra-careful to apply it diligently.