Alert! The key to mastering your mask regimen is adding another one.
Double masking, aka mask layering, consists of applying one mask, washing it off, then applying another so that each formula can serve its own purpose in one sitting.
My first foray into this concept was when I used Glossier's Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturizing Moon Mask, which were designed to be used in tandem. The former seeks to detoxify by drawing out impurities and injecting super nutrients into the skin, while the latter hydrates and brightens with a slew of moisturizing and soothing ingredients. My skin's post-treatment glow was nothing short of amazing, and since then, I've been convinced that one, in fact, is the loneliest number when it comes to face masks.
"I often mix masks together because most of the time, the skin needs more than one thing." —Joanna Vargas, Facialist
Joanna Vargas designed her masks to be mixed for maximum effect. Euphoria Face Mask, $75; Forever Glow Face Mask, $75; all joannavargas.com.
On the day I spoke with Vargas, she was working with an actress client who travels constantly and needed the double-down mask treatment. "She was super-dry, but also needed something soothing because her skin was splotchy," explains Vargas. "We did my Euphoria Face Mask first and followed it with the Forever Glow Anti-Aging Face Mask."
"Any mask will always be more effective when the skin is freshly exfoliated." —Renée Rouleau, aesthetician
For celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau (the woman behind Demi Lovato's radiant complexion), her favorite double-masking combinations always begin with one that exfoliates.
"Any mask will always be more effective when the skin is freshly exfoliated," explains Rouleau. "If you have surface dry cells, the mask will have a harder time absorbing into the skin. The main goal is all about getting action ingredients to penetrate the skin's surface as deeply as possible to create positive change and give maximum benefits."
Triple Berry Smoothie Peel, $87; Rapid Response Detox Masque, $61; all reneerouleau.com.
Since I learned this, Rouleau has turned me onto her Triple Berry Smoothing Peel, which converts the skin into an acidic state to effectively dissolve and digest all surface cellular buildup. I apply it prior to slathering on her Rapid Response Detox Masque so that the soothing gel can really seep into my skin, calming and clearing up my complexion to the best of its ability. The duo is the holy grail of skin resetting: removing buildup, lifting discoloration, reducing acne-causing bacteria, easing redness, and cooling the skin for a healthy glow.
Double-masking can be a great way to address multiple skin care needs, but only when done so carefully.
The Don'ts of Double-Masking
One method of double-masking that's a little bit trickier is literally layering one mask over the other. For example, if you use a deeply hydrating mask that contains some oils, then layer another mask on top, you could render the latter practically useless. "Because the first mask contained oils, whatever you layered on top will not be able to penetrate through to the skin since oils create a barrier over the skin," explains Rouleau.
Furthermore, your skin can only absorb so much before you reach a point of oversaturation. Then, products just sit on top of the skin and layering is ineffective. The moral of the story is that double-masking can be a great way to address multiple skin-care needs, but only when done so carefully.