Pick the Perfect Professional At-home Masks


One of the most important aspects of a professional facial treatment is the application of a facial mask. When chosen and applied correctly, utilizing a facial mask during your treatments can help provide moisture to the skin, draw out impurities, exfoliate, brighten, tighten and tone.

Dry and dehydrated

On dry and dehydrated skin, consider using a cream mask to help calm and restore a glowing complexion. Moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid and shea butter along with vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate), mango seed butter, water lily extracts, sunflower seed oil and coconut oil make an ideal skin-smoothing treatment. Cream masks are also excellent for sensitive skin types. A mask allows you to provide sensitive skin with delicate exfoliation. Look for a cream mask that helps gently remove dead skin cells without irritation.


For oily skin types, utilize a clay mask. Clay masks help to deeply cleanse pores and purify the skin. Kaolin clay helps to reduce oiliness and minimize larger pores. It also helps to absorb excess sebum and impurities, leaving skin clean and refreshed. To really help draw out impurities, look for a mask with ammonium bituminosulfonate. A mineral-derived mixture, this ingredient is mined from the Tyrolean Alps in Central Europe. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Clay masks help cleanse the skin from bacteria, leaving it clean, decongested and healthy.


Today, masks can also be used to help aid with the extraction process. In the past, galvanic current was one of the only choices, which can be uncomfortable for some clients. A desincrustation mask can help to soften the keratinaceous horny plug and allow extractions to proceed easily with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue. Added to your acne skin care treatment, this mask can provide beautiful results without irritation to your client.

Seaweed masks

Seaweed masks can be used on a variety of skin types. Laminaria digitata and Ascophyllum nodosum provide detoxifying, oxygenating, re-balancing, hydrating, anti-aging and renewing benefits. Codium tomentosum provides deep moisturization and Ulva lactuca seaweed provides skin-brightening, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also helps to protect the elastic fibers to help slow the signs of aging. There is truly a seaweed mask for every skin ailment. (See Treatment How-to: Lift-off Seaweed Mask.)

At-home care

Following each and every treatment, it is so important to recommend at-home care for your clients. As a professional, you need to inform them about the importance of masking at home. In between professional visits, clients should be regularly masking with the appropriate mask for their skin type from your retail area. This is essential in order to maintain the benefits of their monthly in-spa facial. It is also important that your client knows how to properly use at-home facial masks to achieve optimum results.

First, instruct clients to apply their mask to a clean face—this is your opportunity to direct them to a facial cleanser that would be beneficial for their skin type. Then, using a tester, show your clients the amount of product they should be using when applying the mask.

Proper removal of a mask is essential, as well. Facial masks should be removed by splashing the face with clean water and then gently patting the face dry with a clean towel. Clients should not scrub off the mask with a washcloth, because this could cause damage to the delicate structure of the skin and add bacteria back to the skin.

Unmask success

Masking is such an important part of a professional skin care treatment and at-home maintenance. With the right products and techniques, you can help your clients’ unmask a healthy, beautiful complexion!

Lydia Sarfati, president and founder of Repêchage, is an internationally recognized skin care expert quoted in Vogue, InStyle, Glamour and The New York Times, and she has been featured on CNN, CBS and Fox. Sarfati has more than 30 years of experience as an esthetician, spa owner, manufacturer and consultant. She is also the author of Success At Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business (Publications, Inc., 2012).

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