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Masks and Exfoliants: Love Your Skin All Year

There is something luxurious about the routine of doing a skin care mask. The mask ritual always seems to include a period of downtime, comfort (your favorite music), soothing (a comfy robe?), and self-care that is all too often not prioritized. Whether you’re a mask aficionado or a beginner, we have a guide for you that will leave you with a greater understanding of what types of masks there are, what they can do, and how to use them in your weekly skincare routine.

This Blog will Cover:

–the history of masks

–types of masks and exfoliants

–what visible differences masks can target

–how to include masks and exfoliant treatments in your routine

Defining A Mask

Masks have long been used as an intensive treatment to cleanse and/or moisturize the skin’s surface. Think of historic accounts of using clay, mud, milk, or honey masks. According to myths, even the Greeks were known to use natural elements on the face and body; Cleopatra is said to have done a mud mask on her face at least twice a week!

a close up of a woman

Only until recently in history has science-based research allowed skin care products to include powerful chemical ingredients that can go further than “skin deep.”

Overall, there are many masks available to give the skin an intensive boost of results in between professional treatments.

a close up of a hand

Defining an Exfoliant

Products described as exfoliators usually have one or more keratolytic agents in them. A keratolytic agent is a compound that helps break down outer layers of skin and helps to decrease the size of plaques; Some you have likely heard of before including salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. Clay and mud masks often have mild exfoliating benefits too. Some of the best masques or overnight treatments use one or more of these keratolytic agents and are used by people who want a path to brighter, more even skin tone!

Sheet Masks 

The type of mask used depends on your skin concerns. Korean face masks recently started trending again, and it’s not surprising why. These quick, 10-20 minute, moisturizing, and easy-to-use thin sheet masks are a way to feel like you’re adding some moisture to the skin’s surface. Plus, they’re great gifts and easy to find. 

The catch– the superficial, “feel of moisture” is all they can do.

Try This Instead– a Leave-On Exfoliating Cream

Consider the use of a cream-based treatment– the Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream. Alpha Hydroxy acid is a gentle exfoliator. Remember exfoliators work to refine the skin’s appearance, balance skin tone, remove the look of sun-damaged skin, and reenergize the look of tired skin. The Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream is just that- a cream- so similar to a simple sheet mask, it doesn’t need to be washed off. Its powerful ingredients will lock in moisture and reach far deeper than a sheet mask can provide.

The Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream is formulated to work with your night moisturizer while giving your skin the glow that is achieved by exfoliation, aka cellular turnover. Because of its effective nature of exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells, the skin may be more sensitive to sun exposure; that is why it is a product designed for the night routine.

Pros of the Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream:

  • Able to seamlessly add to your routine 2-3x a week at night
  • Exfoliating
  • Balances skin tone
  • Brightens skin
  • Moisture-locking
  • Works with your favorite night moisturizer Vitamin-A

Cleopatra Would Love This Clay Masque

Many buy a clay or mud mask when they feel it can help with oily or greasy-feeling skin. While it is true a good clay mask assist in absorbing excess surface oils to gently polish the skin’s surface, it can do much more than that with the right combination of ingredients. Plus, asking your skin care professional how to treat the oily feel of your skin is a good strategy, so that a mask doesn’t just serve as a “bandaid” for a wider issue.

chart, funnel chart

A good mask is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, for example, the Hydrating Clay Masque is dynamic and can be used as a quick micro-exfoliator, a hydrating masque, or an overnight mask for more intensive results. Remember how we said clay serves as a gentle exfoliant? Why settle for a single-use mask when you can get 3 masques in one?

Pre-Masque Tips You Need To Hear

Before using the Hydrating Clay Masque, we recommend using a double-oil cleanser, the Dual Action Pre-Cleanseing Oil; yes oil on oil, especially if your skin feels like it is more oil-prone than others. Oil will attract the oils and impurities out of the skin and remove any dirt, makeup, or pollutants before cleansing.


Now you are ready to apply the Hydrating Clay Masque. 


3 Different Ways to use Environ’s Hydrating Clay Masque:

  1. For a quick micro-exfoliation, massage the mask into the skin with your fingertips in a circular motion and rinse with tepid water. Follow with your Vitamin A moisturizer. 
  2. For use as a hydrating mask, apply the masque and leave it on the face for 10-20 minutes; the masque will become transparent as it dries and is easy to remove with wet fingertips. Finish your routine by cleaning, toning, and applying moisturizer. 
  3. To use an intensive overnight mask, finish your full Environ nighttime routine and then follow with a thin layer of the masque. In the AM, remove with your favorite cleanser and then finish your morning routine. 

Pros of the Hydrating Clay Masque:

  • Kaolin Clay assists to refine the skin’s texture through micro-exfoliation
  • Absorption of excess oils from the surface of the skin
  • Vitamin E and antioxidants hydrate the skin
  • Panthenol/Pro-Vitamin B5 soothes and hydrates the skin
  • Pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil helps to clear the appearance of blocked pores and congestion

What About a Charcoal Mask?

Cleansing and removing impurities from our skins and bodies seems more important now than ever. For those that live in and around a large city, keep reading. A good purifying masque should assist in absorbing skin impurities while soothing, moisturizing, and protecting the look of the skin barrier. Environ had this in mind when it formulated a purifying, gentle anti-pollution masque that can be used 2-3x a week in the evening.


Pre-cleanse and cleanse with your favorite products. Apply the Purifying Anti-Pollution Masque in an even thin-to-moderate layer. Allow the masque to dry for up to 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water, massaging in a circular motion to gently polish and purify the skin. Follow with toner and Vitamin A moisturizer. Use 2-3x/ week. 

Pros of the Purifying Anti-Pollution Masque:

  • Utilizes charcoal and botanical elements to leave skin feeling relieved and healthy-looking
  • Comfort-enhancing benefits, especially for sensitive skin
  • Assist with removing skin impurities while moisturizing the skin barrier

I Want My Skin to Glow

There is no denying Vitamin C is the go-to ingredient for a quick “glowy skin” look, however, skin experts will tell you there are more options for glowing, radiant skin than our friend, Vitamin C. Environ’s Tri Bio-Botanical Revival Masque is another dynamic masque that works to dramatically improve the skin’s overall look and feel in between professional skin care visits. Three powerful ingredients, Lactic Acid, Asiatic Acid, and Mandelic Acid, leave the skin looking fresh and simply radiant.


Use the Revival Masque as a 10-20 minute booster the day or two before a big event, or use it as an overnight mask (once you know your skin is able to tolerate a 20-minute daily application). Precleanse, cleanse, and tone, and then apply the mask evenly with the brush provided. Upon removal, rinse with tepid water and follow with your Environ Vitamin A moisturizer. 

For years, I have used this as my go-to weekly overnight masque for a major skin boost, especially the week of a big event or gathering where photos will be taken. The masque can be used more often than weekly, even daily, as your skin tolerance allows for the most intensive, radiant results.

Pros of the Tri Bio-Botanical Revival Masque:

  • Lactic Acid improves skin hydration and works to lighten the appearance of pigment marks
  • Asiatic Acid improves the look of dull skin and improves skin tone
  • Mandelic Acid works to even the appearance of pigment areas

Big-time Breakout? “Sebu-Clear” It

For anyone who has had a breakout appear at the worst timing possible, you know it’s valuable to have a power-player masque ready to take control of the emergency. We recommend the Sebu-Clear Masque for those very moments. Similar to the alpha hydroxy night cream, this mask includes Salicylic acid, another keratolytic agent (effectively a compound that helps break down outer layers of skin and helps to decrease the size of plaques), making it especially powerful for problematic skin concerns. To ensure proper usage, follow these steps and ask your local skin care expert if there is any dryness or redness.



Cleanse and tone with the Sebu-Wash Cleaner and Sebu-Wash Clarifier

Apply an even layer of the Sebu-Clear Masque to the affected area. Remove after 10 minutes. Use every second or third evening. Mild tingling is okay to be expected. 

Rinse thoroughly with tepid water and moisturize with Sebu-Lac Lotion and Sebu-ACE Oil; Mix equal quantities in your hand and gently massage into the skin.

graphical user interface, application

Pros for using Sebu-Clear Masque:

  • Low pH exfoliating cream masque results in clearing look of breakouts
  • Clay-based masque helps to reduce excel oils and rehydrates skin
  • Ultra-mild exfoliation to help alleviate the look of congested pores and skin

a hand holding a toothbrush

This winter, don’t wait to call us for a consultation to see which professional treatments and at-home masks you should use to achieve your best-looking skin yet. 

Let’s get in touch and discuss how we can best serve you on your journey to caring for your best skin ever.

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