Most face masks, whether homemade or bought, seem straightforward: Simply smooth the mask onto your face, then rinse off after a period of time. But properly applying the mask can make a big difference.
Gently rub the face mask into your skin. The massaging motions will help increase blood flow, improving your skin's appearance [source: Goins]. To get the most of your massage, apply light pressure to your jaw line with your fingertips. Slowly move upward until you reach your forehead, then start again.
Other benefits of massage include a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, which can in turn lower blood pressure and boost your immune system, although this is more likely to occur if the massage covers more than your face [source: Ehrenfeld].
After the massage, let the mask set for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the specific recipe instructions. Set a timer. When the appropriate time period has passed, rinse the mask off with warm water using a washcloth.
Don't be afraid to add other spa-like experiences to your home beauty regimen. In addition to facial massage, set the tone for your face mask by changing your surroundings. Dim the lights, gather a few candles and play some soft music. Relaxing in the tub for a warm soak while your mask is doing its magic can help you unwind by providing a stress-busting experience without the hefty price tag.
Ready to prepare your time of pampering and relaxation? To learn more, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Ehrenfeld, Temma. "Five Surprising Benefits of Massage." Newsweek. Sept. 4, 2008. (Accessed 7/17/09). http://www.newsweek.com/id/157196
- Fountain, Henry. "Ancient Beauty Secrets." The New York Times. Nov. 9, 2004. (Accessed 7/17/09). http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/09/science/09obse.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=ancient%20beauty&st=cse
- Goins, Liesa. "Make Yourself Beautiful On a Budget." WebMD. (Accessed 7/17/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/make-yourself-beautiful-on-a-budget
- Lustig, Andrea Pomerantz. "Best in Beauty." Glamour. April 2009. (Accessed 7/17/09) http://www.glamour.com/beauty/2009/04/best-in-beauty#slide=10
- Mukhtar, Hasan, Santosh Katiyar and Rarjesh Agarwal. "Green Tea and Skin -- Anticarcinogenic Effects." Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Vol. 102, 3-7. 1994.
- Myers, Susanne. "Exfoliating Tomato Facial Mask." KinderInfo. (Accessed 7/17/09) http://www.kinderinfo.com/category/just-for-mom/spa-recipes/
- National Honey Board. "Beauty and Honey." (Accessed 7/17/09).http://www.honey.com/consumers/honeyhealth/beauty.asp
- Slapak, Nahum. "How Ancients Improved On Their Natural Good Looks." The New York Times. Jan. 1, 1990. (Accessed 7/17/09)http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/01/arts/how-ancients-improved-on-their-natural-good-looks.html
- VivaWoman. "DIY Beauty: Matcha Green Tea Facial Mask." 6/24/09. (Accessed 7/17/09)http://www.vivawoman.net/2009/06/24/diy-beauty-matcha-green-tea-facial-mask/
- Web MD. "Natural Skin Care Treatments." June 5, 2003. (Accessed 8/18/2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/younger-looking-skin-with-natural-ingredients
- Woman's Day. "No Appointment Necessary." Dec. 23, 2008. (Accessed 7/17/09) http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Beauty/No-Appointment-Necessary.html