OK, So Maybe Masks Aren't Over


Last week (on, can you believe it, the blog you are reading right now) a simple yet potentially earth-shattering question was put forward: Are masks over? Has their time under the blue light of Instagram come to an end? Have they been reduced to a mere skincare accessory? And was this accessory, much like the slapstick bracelet, most certainly never coming back? Well, you all had some thoughts on the matter. No need to strain your finger and click back—you'll find the best compiled here. Below you'll find the comments that shocked! Intrigued! Maybe we don't know if masks are over or not, but we can all be certain that they will continue to fan strong opinions. So sit back, relax, and scroll down for a parade (mask-erade?) of opinions and tips.

The Brand Loyalists

Eight mentioned Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask. Here’s one of the reviews that stood out.

“I am on my third or fourth jar of the Herbivore Blue Tansy mask. It really makes my skin glow in a way that other people even notice. The perfect, gentle chemical exfoliant and it's so pretty on my shelf.” —bb

The Mixologists

Several approach masking like a chef. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then boom, presto—smooth, soft skin.

“I mask pretty constantly, but it's 70% sheet masks, 20% masks from a jar or tube or bottle that I remove, and 10% sleeping masks. I also use serums and peels (lots of lactic acid, vitamin C, retinol, peptides, AHA/BHA from Caudalie, Herbivore, Ordinary, Ole Henriksen, Drunk Elephant, YTTP) but masks just seem to dial in harder for my skin in my 40s.” —Meg Tripp

“LOVE masks (try to do one every other day). Individual masks keep changing but I keep five types in circulation at all times—a moisturizing/hydrating mask (for post-workouts and hangover days); a clarifying/deep cleansing mask once/twice because I wear makeup and sunscreen every day; a treatment/superhero mask—once/twice a week; an exfoliating mask—once every two weeks; and a fast 2-minute mask for days/evenings out when I don't have much time to get ready." —Saleha Waqar

The Full-Body Masker

Why stop at your face?

“I've been using the Aztec mask for a little over 15 years—I do masks from the buttocks up to my hairline weekly! I'd estimate I've gone through 35+ of the large tubs. I keep a glass bowl, plastic spoon, tub of Aztec clay, and bottle of ACV in a cupboard in my bathroom, ready to go. Every week (on a day when I am not washing my hair), I dry brush really well, then mask from the upper thigh/gluteal area (a place where I sometimes break out when I am hormonal—the masking helps!), all of my back, sides, stomach, breasts, décolleté, arms, armpits, neck, and face... I hang out naked for about 20 minutes, with a lit incense and a YouTube video playing on my phone, letting everything dry and do its magic! Once it starts feeling tight, I hop in the shower and use a Salux cloth and a little black soap or Dr. Bronner's mixed with honey to buff my skin. When I get out, I like to use an AHA toner on my arms, chest, and face/neck, since that is where I experience the most congestion. Then, moisturize with either hemp seed oil, or pure aloe gel, depending on the weather/what I am wearing that day. It may sound like overkill, but I really enjoy this time to myself, and it helps tremendously in keeping my skin clear and bright! Depending on my skin's needs, I do sometimes add a little turmeric powder, activated charcoal, neem powder, matcha, essential oils... experimenting is fun!” —TheViridiFiles

Sheet Masks!!!!

Ten percent of ITG comments were in favor of this specific genre of masks.

“I will always do a hydrating mask or sheet mask after flying.” —Meredith Huddle

“Sheet masks are amazingly easy to travel with.” —Jenelle

“They satisfy something psychological that tells me to do a LOT every once in a while.” —tortoiseshell

“I love sheet masks because they are easy” —Laila

“Sometimes instead of a serum/emulsion, a sheet mask is easier and more effective.” —Katie

“Nothing like a cold sheet mask from the fridge on a hot California summer day.” —Stella

The Sheet Mask Haters

...And 10 percent were against.

“They never seem to lay on my face right." —Ashley Marie Eppinger

“I just don't think it sounds fun or indulgent to sit with a wet piece of paper on your face for half an hour.” —Django Durango

“I find that most just irritate my skin.” —dayman

“I am very much over the sliminess of sheet masks.” —Julia Maiman

“They are such an environmental waste as almost none of them are compostable.” —runningscissors

“They usually contain something my skin hates, like hydrogenated castor oil.” —Alyssa

The Overnighters

Because everyone is tired.

“Overnight hydrating masks (Laneige Time Freeze) are amazing if you want to be both lazy and plump.” —Julia Maiman

“Whenever I use Moon Mask I just treat it as a sleeping pack so maybe that doesn't count!” —patyof

The Bargain Hunter

Go broke for what?

“Face masks are a way for me to feel like a card carrying member of the bourgeoisie. Face masks are equitable; there's a face mask that you can get for $5; and a face mask you can get for $500; and (stick with me here guys and gals) I'm going to go so far as to say the $500 ones probably aren't significantly better than the $5 ones. If I can ever afford May Lindstrom or Sturm I'll probably buy it too, but for now I'm sitting over with my Pacifica (on sale from Target) and living my best life.” —Jillian Eileen

The DIY-er

Let your refrigerator be your inspiration.

“I never use sheet masks anymore, but I do still make a Greek yogurt/honey/turmeric mask and apply it in layers. A woman I used to work with recommended doing this. She was in her early 60's, and her skin was gorgeous and taut and bright. It’s messy, but cheap and it works.” —Kelley

The Multitasker

Who says a mask needs to be a mask?

“I just use the Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2 cleanser as a mask when I have time (apply a thick layer of it, feel it tingle for 5 odd minutes and wash it off). It just does the job! The aesthetician at the BR counter suggested this to me because it can double duty as a mask if you have sensitive skin! Just apply a thicker-than-usual layer and you're good!” —Divya

The Ingenious Masker

Creative and cheap.

Moisturizing Moon Mask in the fridge I don't own an AC heyyyy” —Taylor Linsmeier

The Ones That Understand The True Purpose Of Masks

To relax, OK?

“The type of masks may change...sheet masks, mask packs, mint julep masks, cold cream masks with grandma, irresponsible lemon and yogurt masks as a pre-teen with my sister... we could write beauty autobiographies in chronological lists of masks. It's about the ritual. I just don't think that something so eternal can ever really be over. Aren't there records of ancient roman women using masks?” —Elizabeth Regina

“I think this might be a seasonal thing. I love to mask in the winter, when I'm generally more inclined to hang out in my apartment with a book, tea, and mask to accompany that mood. In the summer I'm getting home way too late, after too much wine, and I just flop into bed. No time to mask!!” —sonn

“I have masked twice this week! What else am I supposed to do while watching reality tv, Into The Gloss? It's practically the eleventh commandment, thou must mask when kim and kourtney fight” —kash

Photo via ITG