You're Masking Wrong, But We Can Help
Face masks are one of my favorite skin care treats. There’s nothing quite like purging your pores with a detoxifying mask after traveling, drenching dry patches with a hydrating mask, brightening dull spots with a peeling mask, or sloughing off dead skin with an exfoliating mask. Face masks are one of the easiest ways to get the feel of a spa treatment at home. Plus, they’re great for filling in skin care gaps or fighting specific issues that aren’t attended to in your daily routine.
Whether you go high-end or drugstore with your masks, you want to get the most out of what you spent on a nonessential (technically, but I’d argue otherwise) part of your beauty routine. Turns out we’ve been devaluating the power of our face masks all along, and the germifobes out there are about to kick themselves for not thinking of this one.
Before you go dipping into that jar or squeezing out that tube of brand new masking magic, think about how you’re going to put it on your face. If you’re like me, you spread a face mask on with your hands, then awkwardly try to turn on the sink without getting black, green, or grainy goo on the faucet.
I know we’re all sanitary people here, and if your face is properly prepped for a mask, you just cleansed it. But did you wash your hands afterward? And did you touch your bathroom cabinet handle to grab the face mask before putting it on your face? Then you’re probably transferring dirt and germs from your hands onto your face while putting on your mask, which hinders it from reaching its full pore-cleansing potential.
But like any beauty concern, there’s a fix. You might not realize face mask brushes exist, but they do. Spoiler: They’re amazing.
Not only does putting on a face mask with a brush eliminate the need to touch your face, but there are plenty of other benefits. When you apply a mask with your hands, you’re probably sending a good bit of it down the drain when you wash your hands off. We know if you invested in a splurge mask, you don’t want to waste a bit of it. Applying masks with a face mask brush will drastically cut down on product waste, as you can get every last bit of it onto your face instead of down the drain. Plus, you won’t get that pricey mask stuck under your fingernails. After applying, you can immediately sit back and relax instead of ridding your hands and sink of face mask leftovers. Face mask brushes also spread a more even layer of the mask over your face. By using a face mask brush, you won’t waste a drop of that precious skin care, and it will be more evenly distributed over your pores.
There’s another obvious positive that comes with using a face mask brush—it feels undeniably luxurious. Gently applying a face mask with a brush feels even more like a mini spa treatment than the mask alone. After smoothing a mask on with a soft brush, you’ll feel pampered, soothed, and refreshed before the max even does its work.
If you don’t want to purchase a mask brush, a large foundation brush will work well. However, I would use one solely for face masks rather than switching back and forth, and be sure to thoroughly wash it after each use. Silicone brushes, like some of the ones below, make cleanup easier than bristle brushes. Here are some brushes specifically designed for your best masking experience. There’s a face mask brush for every price point, so there’s no reason not to treat yourself to a little skin care upgrade.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Pore Refining Brush and Mask Tool
Buy It: $5; elfcosmetics.com
This double-sided tool not only works wonders for applying masks mess-free with the spatula, but it removes dirt and grease from your pores with the smaller brush.
Erborian Precision Mask Applicator
Buy It: $19; sephora.com
This silicone brush is easier to clean and more durable than bristle brushes.
EcoTools Face Mask Mates
Buy It: $7.99; target.com
Not only does this bargain set come with a soft brush for applying your mask, it includes three sponges to help you take off your mask without a mess.
H&M Face Mask Spatula
Buy It: $5.99; hm.com
This angled silicone brush hugs the curves of your face for even application, and it’s a snap to clean.
bareMinerals Skinsorials Mask Essentials Mask Application Brush and Cloth
Buy It: $18; bareminerals.com
This angled brush can reach every angle and pore on your face so you don’t miss a spot, and the removal cloth saves your white towels from charcoal and avocado mask stains while gently removing your face mask.
The Bathery Silicone Mask Applicator
Buy It: $2.99; target.com
With a price this low, there’s no excuse to put a mask on with your hands ever again. This silicone brush makes cleanup a breeze.
I Dew Care Silicone Pack Brush
Buy It: $8; urbanoutfitters.com
This Korean skincare brand’s face masks have reached cult popularity, so you know the brush that goes with them is good, too.