Hand Glasses Face Mask Pursed Lips

How to Maximize Results from Face Masks

Walking into any beauty store nowadays, there are tons of face masks to choose from: clay, sheet, gel… the list goes on! With so many face masks on the market, picking the right one can definitely be overwhelming. And even if we do purchase one, how do we know if we’re using it to its full potential? How often should I use it? Is it even worth the effort? I got some tips from dermatologist Dr. Kally Papantoniou on how to maximize results from face masks!

Cucumber Facial Mask, How to Maximize Results from Face Masks

How to Maximize Results from Face Masks?

Expensive Masks Don’t Always Mean They’re Good

When it comes to different face masks, she says that the products with the most expensive price tags aren’t necessarily going to be the best. As consumers, we have to be aware of what we’re purchasing and do our research because we can often be swayed by packaging & advertisement. Because of this, we’re more likely to spend more on products that are expensive just because the higher price point makes us believe that it must be a better product. Take it from Dr. Papantoniou; “Do your homework before making a purchase. Read reviews if available! Also know that certain face masks will work best for certain specific skin conditions or results, so look to see what kind of face mask will work best for you”.

Look at the Type and Quality of Ingredients in the Face Mask

I agree 100% with her advice on this one! You never know what you’re buying until you look at the ingredients list! According to Dr. Papantoniou, “face masks definitely serve a very useful purpose but in order to get the best result, it’s important to know what ingredients address certain skin issues.” She says that for a more acne prone skin, finding masks that contain charcoal, kaolin, or salicylic acid can help to draw out impurities, excess oils and help to unclog pores. For those who struggle with rosacea should look for masks that contain green tea, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, sulphur as well as aloe vera to help soothe and reduce redness. Lastly, rejuvenating masks are great for mature skin where wrinkles are more of a concern so hydrating masks with antioxidants can help plump lines and rehydrate skin cells. Look for masks that contain hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, vitamin C (for brightness and faster skin cell turnover rate!), CoQ10, retinol, vitamin E, coconut oil and glycolic acid. Unfortunately, there are some cases where expensive sheet masks don’t even contain active ingredients!

Should I Exfoliate Pre-mask?

This seems counter-intuitive since I usually want to exfoliate as I’m always wondering how to maximize results from face masks. When using a mask, make sure you apply it to a clean face! A gentle facial cleanser should be used so it doesn’t dry out the skin. If a cleanser isn’t used, the makeup or moisturizers would create a barrier to the mask and won’t work effectively. But Dr. Papantoniou says that exfoliating prior to applying a mask might be too irritating on the skin, especially if you have more sensitive skin, as the chemicals and active ingredients may be too intense since the mask will be staying on for a while!

Can You Use Two Face Masks a Day?

I’m definitely guilty of this! Dr. Papantoniou suggests only applying a mask 1-3 times a week maximum! She says that some of these masks (such as the charcoal or clay-based ones) can pull natural oils from the skin, so if overused… can lead to dryness and irritation. On the flip side, she also says that a hydrating mask, if used too much, can also lead to clogging pores or breaking out which would defeat the purpose of the mask.


When in doubt, ask your dermatologist which masks are best for your skin concern! There are so many to choose from but provide great results.


Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical professor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via Twitter @DrPapantoniou or her website www.DrPapantoniou.com