Ask any of my friends what my favorite skincare product is, and the resounding answer will be face masks. I’m drawn to this Korean beauty staple because when I take the time to squeeze one into my busy schedule of classes and extracurriculars, I feel like I have my life together for once and am actually taking time for myself—I like to believe my face mask fantasy in which clay and charcoal will fix all my problems. In fact, I’ve often read that it’s recommended to do a mask once a week for optimal results. So I wondered, what if I really pampered myself and used a mask every day for a week? Well, it was an easy sell: I set out to pull a fast one on my face and try a different face mask every day for seven days. Here’s what happened.
Day 1: Smooth
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask
On the first day of this challenge, I used a tried-and-true favorite of mine, the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask ($2). I like this mask because it smells like fresh laundry and cocoa butter, and my face always feels smooth after I use it. Often, my experiences with mud masks are mixed because they can crack and dry uncomfortably, but this one does not. Tea tree oil in the formula helps to tame my breakouts, and the product’s soft texture leaves my skin feeling conditioned. There’s a reason I always go back to this one! Also, I typically pick this product up from Target in one-use packets that end up lasting me three to four uses. But pro tip: If you cut open your one-use face mask and store the remaining product in a sealed sandwich bag, you can keep a single dose longer and prevent it from drying out.
Day 2: Hydrate
Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask
In the colder months, my skin, bless its heart, is so insanely dry. My T-zone seems to outsmart moisturizers and serums, which means my face can feel super dry and flaky. As a result, I often tend to reach for moisturizing masks. I bought my Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask ($5) as an impulse purchase at T.J.Maxx, but it has quickly become my go-to for intense hydration. I will say that I personally find the consistency a bit odd, almost like you’re slathering thick hair conditioner on your face, but it smells like tropical coconut dreams and leaves your complexion nice and silky. My dry skin loves this mask, and while it’s definitely not a cure-all for my sensitive skin, it seems to do its job.
Day 3: Detox
Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask
I was really excited to try this mask because I enjoy anything that claims it can “detoxify” or “purify” my face. Dirt and grime? In my pores? Not today! I picked up the Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask ($2) at my local Target and was happy to find that this sheet mask smelled clean and fresh. While it’s a little big for my face, I folded some of the edges so it would fit and waited for it to tingle as the package promised. Confession: I usually love tingling products. When the mask hurts, I feel like it’s working. This was too much for me, though, especially on my cheeks, which was surprising because I thought if anything would tingle, it would be on my forehead, which is less sensitive and where I get my acne. I’m not sure everyone experiences this type of reaction or I was just going too hard testing products, but this mask didn’t agree with my skin that night.
Day 4: Soothe
Fresh Rose Face Mask
Since I was starting to feel like I was overdoing it with my skincare, I reached for a cult classic, Fresh Rose Face Mask ($25) to soothe my skin. I like this mask because the product’s jam-like gel is a calming and toning agent for rough or exhausted skin. It also feels cooling, hydrating, and refreshing; smells like roses; and has actual rose petals mixed in—it’s basically a luxury spa day in a pot. My favorite part, though? The mask even soothed some blemishes I had been picking at throughout the day and ended up being my favorite mask of my weeklong experiment. Fresh skin: 1. My zits: 0.
Day 5: Moisturize
Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment
Still feeling like my skin was irritated from testing too many new products at once, I tried another hydrating mask, the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment ($69), which I had been saving for a rainy day after I received a sample of it in a beauty subscription box. I was immediately pleased with the consistency, which is a nice jelly-cream hybrid, and smell, which reminded me of coconuts and vanilla cupcakes. The packaging notes that you can rub the excess product into your skin and leave it on overnight, so I tried just that. When I woke up in the morning, my forehead still felt a bit dry, leaving me to conclude that my skin needs a stronger product like an overnight moisturizer to get the results I crave.
Day 6: Energize
Que Bella Perfecting Superberry Mud Mask
At this point, I was honestly getting a little tired spending 30-plus minutes on skincare each night, especially after coming home from a long night of school and studying. However, the bold berry scent of the Que Bella Perfecting Superberry Mud Mask ($2) totally woke me right up. I was so impressed by the energizing, candy-like scent that I asked both of my roommates to literally smell my face while I had the mask on, and they loved it too. The mud dries and tightens on your face but not so much that it cracks when you emote, which is my personal pet peeve. This felt purifying and hydrating, and while it was another new mask for me, I think I found a new staple to add to my skincare routine.
Day 7: Cool
Tonymoly Earth Beauty Rice Mask Sheet
I thought for the last day of my mask-a-day challenge I would go out with a bang, so I bought the Tonymoly Earth Beauty Rice Mask Sheet ($7) on clearance at Urban Outfitters for $2 but was super surprised when I realized that it requires assembly! TBH, I completely messed up in preparing the mask correctly, so instead, I just put the mask cream all over my face and left it on for about 15 minutes. The essence was very cooling and soothing, and my face was much less red when I washed it off. While the preparation was not my thing, I’ll be on the lookout for other Tonymoly soothing masks, as I was super happy with the results.
Okay, so Was It Worth It?
When taking on this challenge, I thought my skin may freak out over testing so many different products, but overall, my complexion reacted well to so many new masks. I’ve always enjoyed taking care of my skin, but this test was also pretty fun and made me want to regularly incorporate more masks into my routine. I started to see results by having a more consistent self-care regimen that put the focus on extra attention to my skin’s specific needs. So in the end, am I crazy for using seven face masks in seven days? Maybe. But would I try it again if I had the chance? Totally.
What’s your favorite mask? Tell us in the comments below!