Whether you are the "I'm all natural" type or the "don't check the mailbox without makeup" type, you have probably used a facial cleanser to clean and clear your pores and remove unsightly blackheads. One of the products you might have tried is a purifying peel off mask. These masks are designed to adhere to the impurities in your skin and peel them away as you peel off the mask.
Purifying peel off masks are made from a variety of ingredients, from cucumber to clay to something resembling tar. These black masks are made from activated charcoal, the latest cleansing trend. We use charcoal to purify our water, so why not use it to clean our faces? The purpose of a peel away mask is to get that deep down clean feeling, so whether it is cucumber, coffee, or charcoal, your face is sure to feel refreshed afterward.
Benefits of Peel Off Masks
Peel off masks have recently been trending on social media, but they have been a part of the skincare business for decades, if not longer. Dermatologists and spa treatment centers have almost always used peel away face masks for deep cleansing. If the skincare experts use them, you can be sure there are benefits to the face masks. Let's look at some of those benefits!
Deep Clean Your Pores
Peel off masks are created to clean your skin. They go on smooth and creamy, become stiff as they dry, and during the drying process they stick to any dead skin or gunk in your clogged pores. Peeling away the mask also peels away the dead skin and debris.
Used in conjunction with a pore-opening steam or facial, peel off masks can remove all the oils and pollutants that are clogging your pores.
Remove and Prevent Blackheads
During the deep cleaning, blackheads and the oils that created them are removed. One of the benefits of regularly using your peel off mask is that regular use helps prevent blackheads from developing. Making the masks part of your weekly routine prevents those oils from accumulating and building up into blackheads. Over time, your pores will shrink, and blackheads may become a bad memory.
Many peels contain antioxidant ingredients to protect your skin from age spots, dark spots, and in some cases, acne. Any peel that contains fruit or plant-based ingredients is surely loaded with antioxidants.
The antioxidants work with the exfoliative properties of peel off masks to help your skin look younger and feel refreshed. Adding a peel off mask to your beauty routine will increase the youthful look of your face by filling in the fine lines, removing the dead skin, cleaning up excess oils, and plucking the fine facial hair that can create a shadowy look. Your mirror will show a much younger looking you.
Hydrating and moisturizing masks increase this regeneration of your facial skin and can eventually remove crow's feet and laugh lines. Moisturizing is especially important if you live in a dry area, where the very air around you ages your skin.
Five of the Best-Selling Peel Off Masks
We've studied a few of these masks and have prepared some reviews. Here are the facts about five of the best-selling peel off masks
Cucumber: Freeman's Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask
This cucumber based facial cleansing peel off mask has been around a lot longer than social media, so it hasn't relied on YouTube and Instagram to increase its popularity. The all natural ingredients of ginseng, cucumber, and melon combine to offer a fresh, clean scent along with a deep clean.
Freeman's Feeling Beautiful line offers several scents and varieties of peel-off masks, but the cucumber has been a staple in their niche for nearly 20 years. Reasonably priced at about $4 to $6 per tube, this is one of the highest rated peel-off masks on amazon.com and wal-mart.com.
Reviewers rave about how soft their skin feels after the peel. They also, almost unanimously, love the fact that it peels without pain. Its quick drying time, when compared to other peel off masks, is also a positive. On the downside, it does contain a lot of fruit and herbal ingredients, which may trigger allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.
- Softens skin
- Painless peel
- Quick drying time
- May trigger allergies
- Scent might seem strong
The all natural ingredients, which are not tested on animals, Cucumber Facial Peel from Freeman's Feel Beautiful is one of the best-selling purifying peel off masks on the market.
Clay: First Aid Beauty's Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay
Red clay is the primary ingredient in this peel off mask. It also contains rosemary leaf and green tea. This mask doesn't exfoliate, so it is recommended that you exfoliate or steam before using the mask. With your pores open from steam, the red clay mash can deeply penetrate the pores and really clear out the unwanted oils and impurities.
First Aid Beauty promises only the highest quality ingredients in all its products, and this mask is no exception. Free of added colors and fragrances, this all natural peel off mask runs about $20 per tube.
- Visible shrinking of pores
- Soft skin
- Balances skin tone
- No artificial ingredients
- Only about five treatments per tube
A top seller on amazon.com and Sephora, Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay boasts a quick shipping and delivery time.
Charcoal: SHILLS Black Mask
Charcoal based peel-off masks have been a staple of Asian skincare for years, but have only recently experienced a meteoric rise in US sales, thanks in part to social media. The black masks have a significant contract to any skin color and make great images for Instagram shots and YouTube videos. The activated charcoal in these masks does clean and purify your skin, although the process may be a bit painful.
The activated charcoal, combined with natural ingredients, such as rosemary and grapefruit, penetrates deep into the pores. As it dries, it transforms from a sticky, tar-like substance to a semi-pliable mask. The black mask exfoliates dead skin, removes whiteheads and blackheads, and removes facial hair. SHILLS is based in Taiwain, but its products are easily available in the US for a reasonable price.
- Deep cleaning
- Softens skin
- Visible difference in pore size
- Painful to peel off
- Pulls out facial hair
- Might smell bad
SHILLS Black Mask is one of the most popular charcoal based peel off masks on the market. And there are many, many black masks out there.
Coffee: The GinZing Peel Off Mask from Origins
Infused with coffee beans and ginseng, The GinZing Peel Off Mask from Origins cleans away the dirt and oils that your regular cleanser misses. The mask leaves your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. It has an invigorating scent and dries in less than ten minutes.
Origins doesn't claim that this product will exfoliate your skin, but does claim that it removes dead skin. The mask doesn't penetrate as deeply as other products, but the boost to your skin cells makes for a radiant glow.
Reviewers enjoyed the fresh scent and the quick drying time. They found that it left their facial skin smooth and fresh feeling without irritation. Less gritty than other caffeine-infused masks, the GinZing mask does, in fact, give your face a zing of energy and glow.
- All natural
- Fresh scent
- Smooth radiant skin
- Scent might be too strong
- Slightly higher in price — $27 for about five treatments
The GinZing Peel Off Mask from Origins is one of the best-selling caffeine based masks. It is not available directly from amazon.com, but it is sold through third-party sellers, such as Nordstrom.
Cool and Costly: Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask
Created by Dr. Dennis Gross, for his NYC skincare practice, the Marine Hydrating Mask is a two-step process for oxygenating and cleaning the pores on your face. You mix the gel at home, to create a mineral-rich moisturizing mask. While cleaning your pores, the mask also hydrates your skin, leaving your face feeling smooth and healthy.
The mask is composed of algin, a medical grade marine alga, and sodium hyaluronate, for natural hydration. These compounds are used in conjunction with magnesium and citrus to give your face a fresh, clean, and moisturized feeling. The blue mask is scented to remind you of the ocean, and its marine-based cleanser is perfect for skin that has had too much sun exposure.
- Skin looks and feels younger
- Removes fine lines and crow's feet
- Hydrates dry skin
- Price: $45 for four treatments
A specially created compound, Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Mask, moisturizes as it purifies, to refresh and beautify your face.
A Few Final Words
One of the appeals of a peel off mask is the act of peeling it off. It is rare to find an adult in this country who didn't experiment with spreading school glue over their hands, just for the fun of peeling it off.
However much fun we find in peeling, we don't want it to be painful — and pain is the primary complaint about some of these masks.
Skincare is important to most of us, and our faces are our primary concern. After all, it is our faces that we show to the world. Taking care to cleanse and moisturize your face is probably already part of your self-care regimen. If you are considering adding a peel off mask to your routine, whether you prefer a fruit-based peel or the sticky tar-like charcoal masks, we are sure you will find one that "a-peels" to you.