Face masks are not new to the spa industry. But, just because the idea of masks themselves are not new, does not mean masks aren't changing within the beauty world. Gone are the days where a simple mask just to clear the skin was a client's only option. Today, spa-goers have a multitude of masks from which to choose. “Not all masks are the same,” says Lejla Cas, founder of Knesko Skin. “Just because they may appear similar in color, shape, or texture is not by any means an indication of the performance. Technology, delivery of actives, type of mask, and percentage of clean ingredients used determine the results clients will receive.” Here are some of the masks making headlines.
- Bubblicious Bubbles: Bubble masks, which oxygenate the skin, offer clients a unique sensorial experience. “It’s a playful ‘crackle, pop,’ like little Champagne bubbles tickling your skin,” says Le Mieux’s Janel Luu. That effect is typically courtesy of a chemical reaction, according to CBI’s Melanie Timms. “Most bubble or fizzy-type masks utilize a blend of sodium bicarbonate, which has a high pH, with citric acid, which has a low pH, to create a fizzy, bubbling effect when applied on the skin,” she says.
- Fun with Foam: For a great skin detox, try an oxygenating foam mask it’ll start to bubble when it reacts with the air, producing micro-massage bubbles on the face. It’s similar to a bubble mask, but “oxygenating foaming masks use a relatively new technology called perfluorocarbon oxygen exchange, which are fully fluorinated medical-grade ingredients that have an incredible capacity to carry gases—specifically oxygen,” says Timms. An added bonus? The foam isn’t ozone-depleting, so these masks are safe for the environment. Win-win.
- Three Sheets to the Wind: Because they’re so easy to use, sheet masks have become increasingly popular for homecare, but in the coming years, look for more developments in the professional sector. “We’re going to see innovation with sheet-based masks that are specifically designed with the professional in mind,” says Timms. They’re already off to a good start, with brands diversifying into sheet masks for parts of the body other than the face.
- Peeling Out: Peel-off masks are a great delivery system for formulators’ favorite ingredients. “They create an occlusive layer that allows prolonged direct contact and deeper penetration of beneficial and active ingredients than other masks,” says Kerstin Florian’s Trina Jefferson. They can be controversial, though, as some users have reported skin damage and pain upon removal. “Certain peel-off masks utilize a plasticizing ingredient called polyvinyl alcohol, which is primarily used as a film former and adhesion promoter in skincare formulations,” says Timms. “The action of the alcohol and water drying off the mask leaves behind the firm adhesion film of the vinyl polymer on the skin, which is the main reason it can be sometimes painful to remove the mask.”
- Two Birds, Two Stones: Why settle for one treatment at a time? Multimasking—or the simultaneous application of different masks to meet different needs—allows for unprecedented levels of personalization and control.