The Magic of Face Masques

The Magic of Face Masques

November 14, 2021

Masque therapy has been a part of skincare going way way back.

Think mud baths in mineral springs, and harking back to the use of poultices and packs for healing, cooling or heating to treat skin conditions or systemic issues such as fevers or nausea.

Masques have their roots in plant medicine and the healing medicinal practices of most cultures around the world for eons of time.

And while the thought of 'face mask' has brought on a completely new significance for us over the past two years, we wanted to bring back the original masque and remind you how a beautiful blend of ingredients can help to renew, replenish, clear, calm, tone, tighten, hydrate, brighten, lighten and decongest the skin.

Masques, poultices and packs are still in use for cosmeceutical health and healing (that is a cosmetic that has or is claimed to have medicinal properties), but masques can also be handy as a quick fix or intensive treatment in our busy lives.

That means that even if we've got a busy schedule and not a lot of time, we can easily support our skin function in a matter of minutes, while also receiving a delicious mind and emotion reset.

As well as the internal microbiome of our body, healthy skin also has an active microbiome.

With our daily skincare routine, it's important to remember the basics and to nurture the natural microbiome – the delicate balance of bacteria and other microorganisms that are found both internally and externally.

It is now widely understood that our gut microbiome plays an important role in our metabolic and hormonal regulation and balance. The gut–skin axis is intimately linked and even changes and adjusts as we move through life.

Care of our skin asks that we also consider our broader wellbeing – stress management, ensuring you are supporting your gut bacteria with a healthy diet packed full of fruit, vegetables, concentrated nutrition, prebiotics and probiotics. Even perhaps jotting down your daily activity to understand any triggers that may cause inflammations or outbreaks so you can notice any correlation between social life, even intense sad or stressful days and outbreaks or rashes.

Ways to nurture your natural microbiome topically:

The key thing is to avoid harsh stripping cleansers and exfoliants.

Use exfoliators with gentle, natural, mechanical exfoliants such as jojoba beads and with acid exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids. They are beneficial to stimulate circulation and drain toxins (one of our lymph system's important jobs) and to prevent the buildup of oils and dead skin cells.

Understanding that the products we use on our skin can affect our microbiomes can be empowering to help us make good choices around clean, natural and organic skincare products that don't need to be aggressive to be effective.

Masques are, in effect, deep cleansing

In general (depending on the quality of the product and its ingredients), masques will very effectively, deeply and gently cleanse your skin. This includes the pores, flaky skin, dead skin cell clusters and sebum build-up. Remember to always cleanse your skin before applying any masque to make sure the masque can do the deeper cleanse without being blocked by daily buildup like sweat, makeup and sunscreen.

Face masques allow us to support specific skin conditions and skin concerns as well as assisting the efficacy of your skincare products. Using a masque regularly will assist in making all the beautiful ingredients in your skincare penetrate deeper and more effectively into your skin. Result = your products are going to be working better for you.

Most masques feel cool to apply and are very sensory (though some are special, heat-activated on applying = thermal masque). There are many nerve and meridian pathways over our face which is why a facial massage is so deliciously relaxing and often sends us into a deep meditative sleep. 

This means that applying a masque can be a beautiful experience if you make it into one. Here's what we recommend...

How to apply a face masque:

  • Pull on a headband to hold back your hair
  • Cleanse by massaging your cleanser in well and into the bone structure and all the folds around your nose, lips, brow. Gently remove with lukewarm water.
  • Use a damp or slightly wet brush to apply your masque, beginning with brush strokes from the centre of your forehead and out to each side. Then stroke down your nose from between your brow and out across each cheek from the bridge of the nose to the side of your face and hairline. Be careful not to brush too far into your hairline as some masques will absorb into the hair shaft or colour the hair with the clay pigments.
  • Apply the masque in smooth, round sweeping circles around the mouth and upper lip, brushing across the chin and out to the sides of the jaw.
  • To brush the masque over the neck, start with brush strokes from the base of the neck and brush upwards to the jaw. Brush from the centre of the base of the neck and out across the collarbone, sweeping in a circle and back across the décolletage (chest).

Et voilà - you are now masqued up and ready to relax with a nice cup of herbal tea - we might know of one or two :) Use this time as part of the therapy – unwind, escape the busy, be still for a bit. Read a book or put on an eye pad and have a cat nap.

Tip – if you're going to lie back and relax, best to set an alarm with a gentle wake up sound for the recommended masque time so you don’t slip off like sleeping beauty for a hundred years!

Removing a face masque:

  • First wet your fingertips with lukewarm water and massage into the masque to loosen from your skin and avoid the dragging feeling.
  • Wet a soft face cloth with lukewarm water and apply it over your face, pressing it into your skin so it soaks into the masque. Leave for a moment or two as you press and massage the wet cloth into your skin and then start removing the masque.
  • Once all traces of the masque have been removed, apply your favourite serum or lotion. It's important not to take off your masque and leave the skin without any protection afterwards. Good skincare will help to recreate the acid mantle immediately and provide beneficial support to the skin function and the all-important microbiome. We find our Mayella Vitamin C Lift Serum is perfect to absorb fully in and leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, hydrated and glowing!

And that's how simple an at-home masque experience can be!

Enjoy the mini pampering as often as you like, even up to every week, so long as you replenish the moisture in the skin once it's off.

Do you love applying a masque to your skin?

Have you ever made it into a whole pampering experience, either by yourself or with friends?

Let us know in the comments!

Pin me
Pinterest image for this blog post. The top half is a photo of a small pot of Replenish and Hydrate Masque with the lid off. There is a timber-handled bristle brush which has been dipped into the masque, leaving some light brown-coloured mix on the brush. The bottom half of the image is text that reads: The Magic of Face Masques Pinterest image for this blog post. The top half is a photo of a woman lying down on a spa salon table. She has a white face masque on her face and neck and there are two hand of a woman behind her holding a brush as she adds more masque on. The bottom half of the image is text that reads: The Magic of Face Masques


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