How to Properly Use Sheet Masks | Mask Sheet 101

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How to Apply Face Masks Correctly

Three Parts:

Face masks are an easy and inexpensive way to perk up your skin and pamper yourself. Different types of masks can be purchased (or made at home) to accomplish many different skin benefits. In order to apply your mask effectively, you will first want to prep your skin, then carefully apply your mask. You will also want to gather the right materials. With just a little effort and time, you can have healthy, glowing skin.


Gathering Materials

  1. Assess your skin.There are many types of masks on the market, and even more that you can make at home. First, look in the mirror and determine what you want your mask to accomplish. Are you aiming to hydrate your skin or to clear up oil? Do you want to get rid of breakouts or are you looking for an anti-aging product? Once you know what kind of mask (or masks) you need, you can find, or make, the right product.
  2. Prepare your mask.There are two routes you can take when using a mask product: purchasing a store-bought mask, or making a DIY mask at home. If you will be using a store-bought mask, read any preparation instructions and follow them. (Some clay masks, for example, require the addition of water or apple cider vinegar). If you will be using a homemade mask, gather all of your ingredients and follow the recipe.
    • Homemade masks can be made from egg whites, avocado, milk, oatmeal, and many other household products. Find a recipe that works for you.
    • Store-bought masks can be found for all manner of skin ailments and skin types. Read ingredient labels and find a mask that you’d like to use.
  3. Get a brush.Face masks are best applied with a soft-bristle brush, such as a paintbrush (normally used for art making) or a tint brush (normally used to apply hair dye). Invest in a brush that you will use for this purpose, and be sure to clean it when you are done.
    • You will also need a bowl for your mask, and possibly a washcloth.
  4. Cut some cucumber (optional).You may want to cut two very thin slices of cucumber to place over your eyes. This will relax your eye area and reduce any eye puffiness while your mask works.
    • If you do not have any cucumber at home, slices of raw potato will work as well.
  5. Refrigerate your items.Keep all of these things in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. This is especially true if you are using perishable ingredients in your mask, but even if you are using a store-bought mask product, applying it cold can feel great and be good for your skin.
    • For a cooling effect, place face mask in the refrigerator at least one hour prior to application.

Part 1 Quiz

Why would you want to refrigerate your mask?

Prepping Your Skin

  1. Wash your face.Before you apply your mask, be sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly. Using warm water and your favorite facial cleanser, remove any makeup, dirt, and oil. Do not apply moisturizer.
  2. Exfoliate.If it has been a while since you last exfoliated, it is a good idea to do so before you apply your mask. It removes the dead skin cells and helps your mask absorb better.
    • You can use a store-bough facial scrub, such as St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
    • Alternatively, you can mix a small bit of ground coffee or sugar into your face wash.
    • Apply the product to wet skin, gently scrub, and rinse with warm water.
  3. Open your pores.Your mask will do the most good if open up your pores before applying it. The simplest way to do this is to take a hot shower before applying your mask.
    • As an alternative, you can take a washcloth and dip it in hot water (as hot as your face can bear) and cover your face with the washcloth until it cools off.
    • A third option is to hold your face over a bowl of steaming water for 1-2 minutes.

Part 2 Quiz

True or False: It's not necessary to wash your face first — the mask will clean your skin.

Applying the Mask

  1. Apply the mask.Using a paintbrush (or another soft-bristled wide brush) or your fingertips apply the mask evenly to your face. If you do not have a brush and plan to use your fingertips, then make sure your hands are clean before applying the mask. Be sure that the application of the product is even and smooth. Avoid going too close to your eyes or mouth, but don’t forget your neck!
  2. Set cucumber slices on your eyes (optional).After applying the mask, set cucumber (or potato) slices on your eyes, if you are using them, and relax. You may want to switch off the light. It relaxes you better.
  3. Set a timer and wait.The length of time you will leave on your mask will vary based on the type of mask you are using, and the type of skin you have. In general, 15 minutes is a good average for most masks. Set a timer for yourself and relax.
    • If using a clay mask, do not wait for the clay to dry. Remove the mask while the clay is still slightly wet.
    • If using a store-bought mask, read the instructions to know how long to leave it on.
  4. Remove the mask.After the proper waiting time, use warm water and a washcloth to gently remove the mask. Be sure to gently wipe away the mask from around your hairline and under your chin.
  5. Follow with a toner and a moisturizer.Use a cotton ball to apply toner to your face and neck. This shrinks your pores and locks in all the benefits of your mask. Finally, apply a bit of your favorite moisturizer.
    • Avoid applying too much moisturizer, as this will clog your freshly-cleared pores.
  6. Repeat the process once per week.It is important to avoid using clay masks too often because it can irritate your skin. However, using a clay mask can be a refreshing treatment for your skin. Use a clay mask only once per week to reduce the chances of irritation.
    • If your skin is dry, then you may want to use a clay mask less often.
    • If your skin is oily, then you might be able to use the treatment more often.

Part 3 Quiz

What's the most important step in applying the mask?

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What will happen if I don't use a toner or moisturizer after application

    Licensed Cosmetologist
    Ashley Adams is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Illinois. She completed her Cosmetology education from John Amico School of Hair Design in 2019.
    Licensed Cosmetologist
    Expert Answer
    You won't receive the maximum benefits of the mask. Your face will lack moisture, and look and feel dry.
  • Question
    Can I apply aloe vera gel as a moisturizer after applying a homemade suntan mask?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Aloe vera is an extremely helpful cooling and relaxation agent, so there would be no harm in using it, however I cannot say whether or not it would help the tanning process.
  • Question
    Should I do this before sleeping or in the morning?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It can be done any time throughout the day, but for a more effective result, you should do it before sleep. This will allow the mask and moisture to truly seep into your skin and pores for a more lasting effect.
  • Question
    What time should I apply my facial mask?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Whenever you have enough free time to relax and enjoy it.
  • Question
    Should I get a brush to apply the mask to my face, or just use a bare finger?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I highly recommend using a brush, but a finger will work too.
  • Question
    What will happen if I don't use a potato or a cucumber?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You just don't get the added benefits of reduced eye puffiness from the hydration and coolness of the cucumber/potato. Nothing bad will happen.
  • Question
    What do I do if mask temperature is too cold for person?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Wait a little while and let the mask warm up after taking it out of the fridge/freezer. You can also warm it up by lathering it between your fingertips before applying it to the person's face.
  • Question
    What will happen if I only apply the mask once?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You may find that you break out a few days after doing the mask. This is because most masks deep clean your skin and bring all the junk and impurities to the surface. This can result in breakouts.
  • Question
    What happens after using the mask?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You may find that you break out a few days later. This is because most masks deep clean your skin and bring all the junk and impurities to the surface, resulting in breakouts.
  • Question
    Do I need to apply toner and moisturizer before applying a face mask?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, apply toner and moisturizer after washing off your mask. The mask needs a fresh canvas to do its magic and if there is moisturizer in the way, then it won't cling to your skin and work as well.
Unanswered Questions
  • In which direction we have to remove pack from our face?
  • Can I use a peel after the mask?
  • Will a facial mask lighten my skin?
  • What does it mean when my skin breaks out if the mask is not used for a while?
  • After applying a face mask, can I cover the mask with a cloth face mask for extra tightening?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
  • Splash cold water (not too cold) on your face after removing the mask. It helps close the pores and improve circulation.
  • If you are using a homemade mask, try to prepare a fresh batch every time you are pampering yourself.
  • Include essential oils in your mask for better nourishment.
  • Follow a face mask routine after a manicure so that your nail beds are clean in case you are using your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Your DIY face mask / product
  • Brush / Applicator
  • Washcloth
  • Cucumber / Potato
  • Toner/Moisturizer

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

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Expert Review By:
Licensed Cosmetologist

of How to Apply Face Masks Correctly was reviewed by on June 30, 2019.

Views: 631,202
of readers found this articlehelpful.
124 votes - 90%
Click a star to add your vote
90% of people told us that this article helped them.

Emma Jenkinson

Apr 30, 2019

"I've only been doing face masks for a few weeks, but the difference between just applying the mask and followingthese clear steps has made a massive difference to how my skin looks and feels."

Dolma Sherpa

Sep 2, 2019

"Worth reading this article! I was using my clay mask the wrong way till now. Thanks for the warning! It's a veryuseful article."

Hannah Zaidan

Jan 1, 2019

"This was so helpful! I was having a friend over and wanted to pamper her, and this has given me so many ideas."

Alice Turner

Jun 9, 2019

"Helped me to care for my skin correctly. I didn't even know I was doing some things wrong! "
Rated this article:

Sol Abraheem

Feb 12, 2019

"This article is really helping, since it is my first experience using a face mask. Thanks!"

Dawn Reid

Aug 20, 2019

"I made a homemade mask and followed the directions and my skin felt awesome. Thanks. "

Aira Benitez

Jan 16

"It helps me because I want to use a face mask and I want to have a good skin."

Candy Johnson

Apr 26, 2019

"It's my first time using a mask so this was extremely helpful!!"

Ania Moreau

Dec 11, 2019

"I am definitely going to do the face mask!! So excited!!"

Kanages B.

Feb 28, 2019

"It helps me to get more instruction, which helps me."

Domminiquea Rush

Apr 2, 2019

"Very informative and I enjoyed the quiz."
Rated this article:


Jul 5, 2019

"I know more than I did before I read it!"
Rated this article:


Feb 25, 2019

"It works and I feel wonderful!"

Yanet Rodriguez

Jun 28, 2019

"It reaffirms my knowledge. "

Julia J.

Video: 7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Face Masks!

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Date: 06.12.2018, 14:14 / Views: 55165