How Often Should You Use an Exfoliating Face Mask?

Written by Verdilab Calendar
  1. Exfoliating Gives Skin a Needed Overhaul
  2. How Frequently Should You Exfoliate?
  3. How Often Dermatologists Say You Should Exfoliate Your Face
  4. Benefits of Using a Mask
  5. Two Options: Mechanical and Chemical Exfoliation
  6. How Face Masks Work
  7. You are Probably Making these Big Mistakes in Your Skincare Regimen
  8. How to Exfoliate Your Face without Wrecking Your Skin
  9. VERDILAB’s Illuminating Micro-Exfoliating Mask
  10. When to Talk to a Dermatologist

We all hate when our skin starts to feel dull, rough and dry but love that fresh, soft feeling they get after exfoliating. However, that may leave you wondering: How often should I use an exfoliating mask? That’s a good question, and dermatologists say that exfoliating your face once a week is not enough. Instead, they recommend that you exfoliate two or three times each week unless you have particularly sensitive skin.

Read on and learn more about why exfoliating your face is so important, including how it can help with breakouts, discoloration and wrinkles.

Exfoliating Gives Skin a Needed Overhaul

The human body sheds about 500 million skin cells every day, and it sheds its entire outer layer of skin every three or four weeks. This process is entirely natural and nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately, it can have a few unpleasant side effects. Namely, the dead cells we shed sometimes remain on the face and body, clogging pores and causing flaky patches of skin.

This is where exfoliation comes in. Exfoliating regularly removes dead skin cells, deeply cleans pores to prevent blemishes, reduces excessive sebum secretion and leaves skin looking radiant and feeling great. Plus, it is remarkably easy to do.

How Frequently Should You Exfoliate?

Some people believe in the ‘more is better’ philosophy and suggest exfoliating every day. Meanwhile, others think this is overkill and that once a week is plenty.

Dermatologists base their advice on research and science rather than opinion. For example, they say that two or three times a week is the perfect exfoliation regimen for all but those with especially sensitive skin. Meanwhile, if your skin gets irritated easily and is prone to redness, you should still exfoliate at least once a week. But even in this case, if you have sensitive skin, you should be extremely careful in choosing the right cosmetic. This precautionary measure means paying close attention to its composition, using only products dedicated to sensitive skin, without irritants and common allergens in the composition. Therefore, we suggest that you use gentle and natural exfoliating masks.

We recommend using VERDILAB’s Illuminating Micro-Exfoliating Mask since it is 100% natural and created to be safe for sensitive skin. It combines extremely gentle enzymatic and physical exfoliators to deeply cleanse and immediately illuminate your skin, stimulating cell renewal and unblocking clogged pores. In addition, it will provide a sense of relaxation thanks to its luxurious fragrance-free composition.

Can an Exfoliating Mask be Used Daily?

The answer to this question will depend on the kind of exfoliating mask you are using. Here’s a guide to the main types and how often you should them.

Clay or Mud Masks

Clay, mud or activated charcoal exfoliating masks are quite safe and work wonders for the skin. They work by drawing oil, dirt and other impurities out of skin pores. Unfortunately, using them too often can rob the skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and raw. As such, they should not be part of your daily routine.

Cream and Gel Masks

You can use cream and gel masks more often because they contain ingredients that hydrate and refresh the skin. They contain chemical or natural exfoliants.

Their ingredients range from hyaluronic acid, a substance the body makes naturally to retain water, to different alpha hydroxy acids, such as papaya extracts. And while gel and cream exfoliating masks are milder than their mud and clay counterparts, they are not recommended for daily use either.

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are strips of cotton, cellulose, fiber or coconut pulp infused with a liquid hydrating formula. They feel wet and may even drip a little when they are taken out of their packaging. Most of them are fine to use every day. However, exfoliating sheet masks that contain ingredients like glycolic acid may be too harsh for daily use.

How Often Dermatologists Say You Should Exfoliate Your Face

It is best to plan your exfoliation regimen in the same way you would approach going to the gym. We allow our muscles at least a day to recover between workouts, and we should give our faces the same consideration.

When dermatologists advise us to exfoliate two or three times a week, what they are really saying is we should give our faces a day or two to recuperate between exfoliations. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the most commonly chosen days to exfoliate as this schedule leaves the weekends free.

Is it Better to Exfoliate in the Morning or at Night?

The time of day you exfoliate simply boils down to your preferences and daily routine. The best plan is a plan that you can stick to, so you may want to exfoliate in the morning if you like to get out of bed early or at night if you like to stay up late.

If your skin looks dull in the morning, exfoliating early will give you a boost of joy as it makes you look vibrant. Using an exfoliating mask at night removes the dirt and debris your skin picks up during the day, along with any lingering traces of makeup. It also perfectly prepares the skin for the intake of nutrients from your intensive night care.

What’s Best? Exfoliating Before or After a Shower?

This question is a far easier one to answer. For one thing, you should undoubtedly exfoliate after you take a shower. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, the warmth of a shower opens the pores, releases the body’s natural oils and softens the skin.

Second, washing off dirt and grime will make your exfoliant’s job a lot easier. Exfoliating masks work much better when applied to clean and dry skin.

When is the Best Time to Use Toner When Exfoliating?

Skin toners infused with aloe, chamomile, eucalyptus or other soothing elements refresh the skin and restore its pH levels. Also, they should be applied after using an exfoliating mask. The toner will get rid of any debris or dirt that the mask loosened but did not remove, and it will also soothe your skin and prevent irritation.

Chemical exfoliants work differently and produce better results when the skin has been prepared for them, so you should apply toner first if you use one.

7 Benefits of Using a Mask

Now that you know when you should exfoliate, you may be wondering whether you should bother. The benefits of exfoliation are clear if you have oily skin or acne. But what if your skin is fine the way it is, and you have not had a breakout in years? Is it still really worth all the fuss? The answer is a resounding yes for many reasons, and here are just a few of them:

  1. Improved appearance and more confidence: Following a regular exfoliating regimen gives the skin a healthy glow. And looking good makes us feel good and gives us more confidence.
  2. Skincare products work better: The skincare products you use will penetrate more deeply and be much more effective if they are applied to clean skin and are not blocked by dirt or dead cells.
  3. Avoid breakouts: Exfoliating clears pores and prevents clogging, which means clearer skin and fewer breakouts.
  4. Fewer wrinkles: Exfoliation stimulates skin renewal, and skin that is exfoliated regularly produces more collagen. This fact is important because collagen is the protein that gives our skin its glow, vibrancy and elasticity. Collagen prevents sagging and minimizes the signs of aging, so exfoliating can help to keep you looking young.
  5. More even skin tone: Peeling smooths the texture of the skin and minimizes the appearance of light and dark patches for a more even and uniform look.
  6. Improved circulation: Exfoliation stimulates lymphatic drainage and encourages oxygen-rich blood to nourish the skin. This cleansing effect removes unhealthy toxins and boosts cellular health.
  7. Faster cell turnover: Exfoliation produces a glowing and dewy complexion because it removes dead skin cells and stimulates skin renewal.

Two Options: Mechanical and Chemical Exfoliation

The benefits listed above make it pretty clear that exfoliating your face two or three times a week is a really good idea, so how should you go about it? There are basically two options. You can exfoliate manually by rubbing or scrubbing dead skin cells away, or you can let a chemical do the job for you.

Using chemicals on your face might sound scary and dangerous, but there is no need to worry. The chemicals used in exfoliants are usually very mild and specifically chosen for use on the skin. Still, you should always read the label first to ensure that you don’t overdo it.

Also, remember that facial skin is not as tough as the skin on some other parts of the body, so make sure that you use a facial exfoliant on yours. No matter which option you go with, you will have choices. Here are some pointers to help you decide:

  • Fine-grain scrubs: Vigorous manual exfoliation could be too much for people with sensitive skin, but face scrubs made with very fine granules are easier on the face and can be used more often. Some of the finest manual exfoliants are made using natural marine salt or silica that has been extracted from bamboo sap. If you want to find out if the scrub you chose is suitable for your face, rub a little on the back of your hand and look for any signs of redness or irritation.
  • Coarse-grain scrubs: Facial scrubs with coarse grains like sugar or synthetic grains have traditionally been the most popular manual exfoliants. However, they should be used with care, as they can cause microtearing and break down the delicate barriers that keep skin hydrated. When this happens, the skin is left raw, dry and vulnerable to bacteria. Moreover, synthetic granules are not eco-friendly as they pollute the aquatic environment and harm the creatures living there. Therefore, we advise against using them.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids: Also known as AHAs, alpha hydroxy acids ­­are a lot less formidable than they sound. They are water-based acids that are extracted from sugar or fruits, which are the best natural chemical exfoliants, and list pomegranate, lemon or sugar cane among their ingredients. AHAs are great at breaking the bonds between dead skin cells and removing surface imperfections, but they do not penetrate very deeply. This property means that they are suitable for all but the most sensitive skin.
  • Beta hydroxy acids: BHAs penetrate more deeply than AHAs because they are oil soluble, meaning they are more effective at cleaning and unclogging pores on people with oily or combination skin. BHAs are also active ingredients in many prescription and over-the-counter acne medications.

How Face Masks Work

Face masks can range from masks with anti-aging and brightening properties to charcoal and clay masks. Here’s more about how these different kinds of face masks work:

1. Anti-aging Masks

Ingredients like plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid in anti-aging masks are touted as the new fountain of youth because they stimulate cell turnover. This stimulating action helps to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles while also improving elasticity.

2. Brightening Masks

If you have dull, sallow skin that looks like it has seen better days, then a brightening face mask with ingredients like potent glabridin from licorice root extract and vitamin C is the perfect solution. Their formulations also can contain ingredients like gluconolactone (PHA) and azelaic acid to lighten age spots and reduce inflammation.

3. Charcoal Masks

Charcoal is a highly absorbent substance that can suck impurities out of your pores when used as a face mask. These masks are suitable for people who suffer from oily skin, but they should only be used on the t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and not all over the face because charcoal can stifle dry skin if left in place too long without being washed off. In addition, charcoal masks are not recommended for people with sensitive skin.

4. Clay Masks

Clay has been used to cleanse the face for centuries because of its ability to absorb excess oil. Nevertheless, it can be very drying if it is not balanced with moisturizing ingredients, so make sure you look for one that has moisturizing hyaluronic acid or ultra-calming natural α-Bisabolol in the mix.

You are Probably Making these Big Mistakes in Your Skincare Regimen

The biggest mistake you are probably making in your skincare regimen, besides not wearing sunscreen, is exfoliating too little or not enough. Also, not moisturizing your skin enough is another common mistake.

As mentioned previously, skincare products, which include sunscreen and moisturizers, penetrate your skin and work more effectively when you use exfoliating masks beforehand. In addition, people also make the big mistake of not exfoliating correctly, and we are going to discuss the right way to do it next.

How to Exfoliate Your Face without Wrecking Your Skin

If done incorrectly or too much, exfoliating can damage your skin by breaking down its natural barrier, which kills beneficial bacteria and makes it vulnerable to harmful bacteria. As a result, potential breakouts and inflammation are likely to occur.

Here are a few tips to exfoliate the proper way.

Don’t Scrub Too Hard

A common blunder people often make when they are first learning to exfoliate is to scrub the skin with too much pressure. And that can be extremely damaging to sensitive facial skin. Instead, gently massage the skin with your fingers, or use a soft-bristled brush, loofa pad or washcloth, and apply very little pressure.

Apply the Facial Exfoliating Mask Evenly

Face exfoliating masks can be a wonderful product for your skin. They tighten pores, help with acne and even out the complexion of your face. But it is important to apply them evenly, or else they will not work as effectively.

When applying a clay mask, make sure that there is an even layer all over the face so that no part is left out. However, be sure to avoid the area around the eyes as the skin in this area is very thin and delicate and should not be exfoliated. Allow it time to work before thoroughly rinsing the product off.

Be sure to Include the Neck Area and Décolleté

It is very important to remember that you should not just focus on your face when it comes to exfoliating. You should also pay attention to the neck and décolleté (the French term for the upper border that’s cut out of a woman’s dress or top if you are unfamiliar).

The skin in these areas is still prone to fine lines because of sun damage or age, so if you want a more youthful appearance and glowing skin, then make sure to take care of this demanding area of your body. 

Don’t Leave the Mask on Too Long

When exfoliating, it is essential to remember not to leave the product on for too long. That can irritate skin and cause breakouts as well as dryness.

Allow your skin around 5-10 minutes before rinsing off completely after applying an exfoliator mask or scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. If you want to leave a mask on for longer, then be sure to go with something that has moisturizing ingredients in it so your skin does not dry out.

Remove the Mask the Right Way

Using a washcloth to remove your exfoliating mask can be effective, but it is vital that you proceed gently when scrubbing your face. For instance, if you are scrubbing too hard when removing the mask, you could irritate and break out sensitive facial skin. In addition, we suggest using a washcloth made only of delicate natural bamboo or cotton fabrics to avoid irritation.

Instead of using pressure, try rinsing off your face with warm water and then take a damp washcloth to remove the product. This technique will work best for exfoliating masks in powder form or cleansers containing oil, such as coconut oil.

VERDILAB’s Illuminating Micro-Exfoliating Mask

Are you looking for a safe and natural exfoliating face mask? VERDILAB offers a unique solution on the market, which provides a double effect through a combination of physical and enzymatic exfoliation.

Its ultra-rich formula contains 7 natural AHAs, malic, tartaric, phytic, chlorogenic, lactic, citric & glycolic from fruits, rice, sugar cane and sugar maple tree extracts, to provide keratolytic and cell renewal effects. In addition, it is enriched with ultra-gentle French Guérande Salt and natural Lychee Seeds that clear pores and restore a naturally radiant complexion.

When to Talk to a Dermatologist

Talk to your dermatologist if you have a skin condition, as exfoliating scrubs and masks may not be a good option for you. For instance, anything that irritates skin can worsen skin conditions like rosacea. Therefore, you should choose soothing masks tested on sensitive skin to ensure safe care.

Rosacea shows up on the face in the form of broken capillaries, flaky, dry skin and bumps. People with rosacea-prone skin cannot rub or scrub their face, which means the use of washcloths, facial sponges and exfoliating are off-limits.

We hope you enjoyed our article about using exfoliating face masks and find it helpful. For more tips and tricks about skin care, be sure to check out our blog and subscribe to our newsletter!

ILLUMINATING Micro Exfoliating MaskVerdilab's Illuminating Micro Exfoliating Mask cream

ILLUMINATING Micro Exfoliating Mask

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Black list

In our clean formulations we avoid any synthetic ingredients, but also of natural origin, which may have any toxic or harmful effect on human health, animals or the environment. We are constantly following new research in the field of the safety of cosmetic ingredients, updating our blacklist to keep our cosmetics as clean and safe as possible for all skin, even the most sensitive.

Below are groups of chemicals that are banned to use in Verdilab cosmetics.

I. Synthetic preservatives including but not limited to:

1. BHA

(Butylated Hydroxyanisole) may cause cancer, skin irritation and hormonal disorders.

2. BHT

(Butylated Hydroxytoluene) suspected of causing cancer, skin irritation and hormonal disorders.

3. Parabens

some of them are already banned for cosmetic use because of risk of cancer and hormonal disruptions, but other (including methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben) are still allowed to be used In cosmetics, although some studies show they can affect reproductive functions through both, male and female. Moreover, long term impact of them on our health is largely unknown.

4. Phenoxyethanol

first choice preservatives used recently by a lot of brands, also claiming themselves “clean”. Classified as toxic (for use around the mouth) and an irritant by the European Union.

5. Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde donors

known as carcinogens, can also cause neurotoxicity.

6. MIT (Methylisothiazolinone), CMIT (Methylchloroisothiazolinone)

preservatives from the isothiazolinones family, that cause high risk of allergies, but still allowed by EU law to be used in rinse-off cosmetics.

II. Commonly used as cleaning agent, pH stabilizers and not only. Can cause allergies, hormone disruption, skin toxicity.

  1. DEA
  2. TEA
  1. MEA
  2. ETA

III. EDTA and derivatives - used in cosmetics as chelating agents. They are extremely harmful for aquatic environment from where, making a full cycle, can poison our organs.

  1. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid
  2. Disodium EDTA
  3. Calcium Disodium EDTA
  1. Tetrasodium EDTA
  2. Trisodium EDTA

IV. Chemical sunscreens – suspected causing severe allergies and hormonal disruptions and bringing potential risks to reproductive systems, they are also toxic to environment, including but not limited to:

  1. Oxybenzone
  2. Octocrylene
  3. Benzophenone
  4. Diphenylmethanone
  5. Diphenylketone
  1. Benzoylbenzene
  2. Phenylketone,
  3. 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone,
  4. Octinoxate.

V. Triclosan and Triclocarban – antimicrobial agents that may impact human health and are toxic to the environment.

VI. Toluene – solvent used in cosmetics that can be toxic for human body.

VII. Petroleum based polymers (glycols) – commonly used as a thickeners, softeners and emulsion stabilizers, cosmetics without it are really hard to find. May cause irritation, contact dermatitis, and allergies, especially when applied to damaged skin. These compounds also have a very high risk of contamination with extremely toxic ethylene dioxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are carcinogenic to humans and harmful to the environment.

  1. PEGs (polyethylene glycols) including compounds
  1. PPG

VIII. Acrylates – can cause cancer and organ system toxicity, including but not limited to:

  1. Ethyl acrylate,
  2. Ethyl methacrylate,
  3. Butyl methacrylate,
  4. Methyl methacrylate,
  1. Hydroxypropyl methacrylate,
  2. Tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate,
  3. Trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate

IX. Phthalates – plasticizing chemicals commonly used in cosmetics, that can cause severe endocrine disruptions, including but not limited to

  1. DBP
  2. DEHP
  1. DEP

X. All groups of synthetic polymers, microplastics and nanoplastics – used in cosmetics as thickeners, emulsifiers, texturing agents, etc. - according to “Beet the Microbeads” initiative’s study, “every time we use anti-wrinkle cream, we can put over 90,000 plastic particles on our faces!” Some of them are smaller than diameter of a human hair. According the EU scientific body report, the toxicity of nanoplastics increases with decrease of their size. So, they can enter our body, interfering with our organs. This list includes but not limited to :

  1. Acrylates Copolymer
  2. Acrylates Crosspolymer
  3. Acrylamides
  4. Polyacrylamides
  5. Polyethylene (PE)
  6. Polyacrylates
  7. Propylen Copolymer
  1. Polypropylene (PP),
  2. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA),
  3. Nylon (PA),
  4. Polyurethane
  5. Carbomere
  6. Methacrylate Colopymers
  7. Methacrylate Crosspolymers

XI. Silicones (all groups, including dimethicone and other linear silicones, as well as cyclic / volatile, including D4-D6 and cyclomethicone – synthetic substances loved by conventional cosmetic brands because they help to create a feeling of light texture and spread easily on the skin. Today it is difficult to find cosmetics without silicones. There is a real battle of conventional brands for their "neutrality" towards the human body. We avoid them in our formulations because some data shoes that cyclic silicones can be toxic to human reproduction system and cause endocrinal disruption. Linear silicones like dimethicone, more neutral for the skin, basically bring nothing valuable to the formula, being just chemical fillers. If we apply subsequent layers of cosmetics with silicones on our faces, they accumulate on the skin, leading to its occlusion, blocking the penetration of active substances. Moreover, as they are not biodegradable, they are negative to our environment, as we all know.

XII. Sulphates – surfactants usually used in cleansing products that can cause severe skin irritation or even allergies.

  1. SLS - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  2. SLES - Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  1. ALS - Ammonium lauryl sulphate

XIII. Talc – used mostly in cosmetic powders, after a long use can cause cancer

XIV. Coal tar and derivatives – usually used as colorants, can cause cancer.

XV. Synthetic fragrances – may contain combinations of thousands of chemical ingredients, including allergens and hormone disruptors.

XVI. Petrolatum, Paraffins, Mineral oils – we have concern with these ingredients because of their unsustainable sourcing and possible PAH (Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons) contamination.

XVII. Butoxyethanol – this common solvent according to WHO it has moderate acute toxicity and is irritating to the eyes and skin.

XVIII. Nano particles - commonly used in sunscreens, applied to the skin in repeated application they can be absorbed into the body having the potential to harm living cells and organs.

XIX. Retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) – composed of palmitic acid and Vitamin A, can cause photosensitivity, skin dryness, and in repeated application may be cumulated into organs being dangerous especially for pregnant women.

XX. Alcohol & Ethanol – willingly used in conventional cosmetics to bring pleasant feeling of lightweight, mattifying formulas, especially to sunscreen or cosmetics dedicated to oily skin. It can damage skin barrier, over dry the skin, causes irritations, neurodermatitis and promotes premature skin ageing. Including but not limited to:

  1. Alcohol Denat
  2. Alcohol, Ethanol
  3. Ethyl Alcohol
  4. SD Alcohol
  5. Methanol
  6. Propyl Alcohol
  1. Propanol
  2. Isopropanol
  3. Isopropyl Alcohol
  4. Benzyl Alcohol
  5. Phenethyl Alcohol

XXI. Fragrance allergens – present in almost all cosmetics that have fragrance, listed by European Union as a potential skin sensitizers.

  1. Amyl cinnamal
  2. Amylcinnamyl alcohol
  3. Anisyl alcohol
  4. Benzyl alcohol
  5. Benzyl benzoate
  6. Benzyl cinnamate
  7. Benzyl salicylate
  8. Cinnamyl alcohol
  9. Cinnamaldehyde
  10. Citral
  11. Citronellol
  12. Coumarin
  13. Eugenol
  1. Farnesol
  2. Geraniol
  3. Hexyl cinnamaladehyde
  4. Hydroxycitronellal
  5. Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde (HICC), (also known as Lyral)
  6. Isoeugenol
  7. Lilial
  8. d-Limonene
  9. Linalool
  10. Methyl 2-octynoate
  11. g-Methylionone
  12. Oak moss extract
  13. Tree moss extract


XXIII. Gluten

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