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  • Writer's pictureSkin Worthy

Behind the Mask

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Skincare masks, there’s an endless supply of options for every skin type with promises to fix every skin problem under the sun, but do they work?

I guess in all fairness, masking isn’t 100% about skincare, there is something special about getting in pyjamas, pouring a glass of wine, applying your favourite mask and sitting down to binge on snacks and Netflix.

Given the choice, wouldn’t you like to know that the mask is actually improving your skin quality and doing more than delivering mild contact dermatitis?!

As someone with reactionary skin I’ve always been very cautious with skincare masks, generally I’ve found that I end up with red irritated skin and regret my decision to mask. After being introduced to ZO Skin Health some years back, my entire perception of masking changed—and so did my skin! So with that I bring my list of Medical Grade Masks that do more than your average drugstore find.

This mask is must have for anyone with oily, acneic, inflammatory skin. An effective combination of 10% Sulfur, Glycerin, Kaolin clay and Bentonite. Sulfur is a highly effective yet gentle acne treatment ingredient with antimicrobial properties, designed to remove dead skin and unclog pore while calming irritation in the skin. The combination of Sulfur with Bentonite and Kaolin clay work to deeply clean pores and attract excess oil and debris, a key factor when working to decongest skin from built of dirt and oil. The addition of Glycerin, a powerful humectant, works to protect skin for dehydration and overly stripping skin of its moisture levels. The result is balance skin hydration, reduction in dirt and oil and reduction in inflammation.

The How:

I recommend applying this mask 2-3 times per week and letting it sit on the skin for about 10-20 minutes then rinsing clean with warm water and follow with ZO’s Exfoliation Accelerator or recommended correcting product based on your skin type. The best part about the Sulfur mask is that it can be used on active acne as a leave-on spot treatment overnight, so when pesky pimples pop up you can speed up the recovery time!

This gentle resurfacing treatment will remove dead skin cells with invisible exfoliation while delivering hydration and strengthening the skin barrier. I love this mask because it's ideal for all skin types from inflammatory acne to severely dry skin and everything in between. Papain, Bromelain, and Glycolic acid work to break down dead skin cells revealing softer, smoother and more even skin. Irritated and acneic skin is soothed with a combination of Broccoli Extract and Sunflower Seed Oil and barrier function is restored with Diglycerin (reduces transepidermal water loss), Kukui seed and Safflower Seed Oil.

The How:

This mask can be used as often as daily or as little at 2 times weekly depending on your skin type. After applying it should sit in the skin for a minimum of 1 hour, but because its self neutralizing there’s no need to rinse it off. I often recommend to apply it 20 minutes before bed and keep it on overnight. If you suffer from mild acne or mild rosacea we may incorporate this as a evening treatment that you wear to bed each night. Someone from dry skin would benefit from adding it into their protocol several times weekly to slough off dry, dead skin and restore the skin's moisture barrier. I personally love using this product after retinol associated peeling to speed up the skin shedding process and calm skin.

This gentle sheet mask is one of my favourites! It’s loaded with antioxidants to protect skin and prevent future signs of aging and skin damage. It also contains green tea extract to minimize brown spots and even skin tone. Like all of Dr.Obagi’s products its all about balancing active ingredients with active hydration, barrier repair and and inflammation reduction. Aloe leaf and Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate function as anti irritants to reduce skins irritation and calm inflammation, while Glycerine and Panthenol support hydration restoration.

The How:

I recommending masking with this mask once per week in combination with a skin brightening program. Its soothing and gentle brightening ingredients work well alongside brightening programs using retinol or hydroquinone, as both can cause some irritation. We love to apply this mask post chemical peel in clinic for better penetration of ingredients and post treatment calming.

This is the heaviest hitter out of all the at home treatments, using 1% high potency micro-encapsulated retinol to improve skin’s elasticity and natural collagen health. Vitamins C, E and A, Edelweiss and Marubium Vulgare plant stem cells provides multiple antioxidant protection to prevent future skin aging. Zanthoxylum Bungeanum (sichuan pepper) fruit extract, sunflower seed oil and rosemary leaf extract suppress the appearance of inflammation and redness to restore a more youthful skin tone. Glycerin and Plukenetia Volubilis seed oil help to hydrate and restore the skin barrier with essential lipids to reverse dry, dull skin.

The How:

Apply 1-2 pumps, 1-4 times weekly as part of an appropriate skincare routine. This retinol should be applied only at night, about 30 minutes before bed and not washed off. It’s important to wear sunscreen during the day as retinol speeds up cellular turnover, exposing new skin to the sun, increasing risk of sunburn. If you really want to turn things up, once your skin has been conditioned to retinol, you can apply this evening treatments as a “Retinol Peel” the peel is done over a period of 3-5 days applying 5-10 pumps of the product in both the morning and evening. It's important to consult with the clinic prior to using this retinol as reactions are common and can be strong but the results are worth it!

At Skin Worthy, we value educating our patients on their skin concerns, if you are looking to add a mask or retinol into your routine or would like to learn more, we encourage you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your goals, assess your skin and decide the best plan of action for your specific needs.


call Skin Worthy 647-350-7546 to book your consultation today!


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