How Often Should You Use Face Masks?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
by Ramona Sinha

Too much of anything is good for nothing. This is true for face masks as well. All of us love to pamper our skin with face masks. Be it a DIY mask or the latest sheet mask you picked up at the store, each has specific skin benefits to offer. But do you have any idea how often you should use these masks? We have discussed that and a lot more in this article. Scroll down to find out.

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What Does A Face Mask Do To Your Skin?

What Does A Face Mask Do To Your Skin


What your face mask does to your skin depends on the type of mask or the formula you are using.

When it comes to face masks, there are infinite varieties to choose from. Not all have the same formulation and ingredients. The way a collagen-boosting mask works on your face is totally different from the way a mud mask would work. Irrespective of the type of mask you choose or the formula you pick, your face mask can do the following things to your skin:

  • Improves skin texture
  • Refines skin pores
  • Makes your skin soft and smooth by removing dead cells
  • Keeps your skin hydrated
  • Removes excess dirt, oil, and impurities
  • Makes your skin radiant
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles
  • Unclogs the skin pores
  • Improves the elasticity of your skin
  • Reduces acne
  • Reduces eye puffiness

Using a face mask regularly has its benefits. But wait, what does “regularly” mean? Is it every alternate day or once a week? What should be the frequency? Let’s find out.

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How Often Should You Use A Face Mask?


How often you should use a face mask depends entirely on the purpose of the mask. Let us explain with the example of the different types of masks you usually use:

1. Korean Sheet Face Mask

These K-beauty sheet masks contain ingredients that can help your skin recover and heal in numerous ways. They are extremely hydrating. However, on the flip side, the benefits of a Korean sheet mask last only until it is wet. Once the sheet has dried, it can pull back all the minerals and vitamins from your face! Some sheet masks may also contain chemicals, and that’s why you should always read the ingredients thoroughly before picking one.

It is very tempting to use Korean sheet masks every day, but we do not recommend it. Some ingredients in the masks might clog your skin pores when used every day. Hence, it is better to use Korean sheet face masks once a week.

2. Activated Charcoal Face Mask

Charcoal peel-off facial masks are incredibly beneficial for clearing the impurities from your skin and removing blackheads and whiteheads. However, these can be extremely harsh on your skin (remember the charcoal mask fail videos).

There is no doubt that activated charcoal is a perfect skin clearing agent. It can draw bacteria, impurities, and toxins from your skin pores. The problem is, along with dirt and impurities, activated charcoal can also strip the natural oils of your skin. So, when you peel that mask off, you are leaving your skin vulnerable to all the pollutants in the air.

Hence, you should use charcoal face masks once a month, not more than that.

3. Clay Or Mud Face Masks

Clay face masks usually suit all skin types and do not irritate the skin. Depending on the type of clay you are using, clay masks can battle acne, dark spots, and signs of photoaging. They can also remove excess oil from your face. Also, since clays are rich in natural minerals, your skin absorbs all the goodness of these masks.

However, using them daily can harm your skin. This also depends on the type of clay you are using (like Fuller’s earth, which when used every day may make your skin dry).

Depending on your skin type, you may use clay or mud masks once or twice a week.

4. Gelatin Face Masks

These face masks are great for improving the collagen production of your skin. Gelatin is made from the collagen obtained from animal cartilage, skin, and bones. When this mask dries on your skin, it boosts the collagen levels, improves the elasticity of your skin, and makes it smoother.

However, when you apply gelatin on your face and peel it off, it also takes away a tiny layer of your skin with it. Imagine ripping your skin off every day! Hence, gelatin face masks shouldn’t be used more than twice a month to prevent overexfoliation.

5. Tea Face Masks

Tea face masks are best for improving your skin health. They not only fight the signs of aging but also neutralize the effect of harmful free radicals. They also help prevent acne and pimples. Tea masks are loaded with antioxidant benefits, irrespective of the type of tea mask you are using. Despite their skin benefits, tea masks shouldn’t be used more than once a week.

6. DIY Face Masks

These are not just fun but also super easy to prepare. DIY face masks may include a variety of ingredients, such as turmeric, yogurt, aloe vera, coconut oil, clay, and rose water. Since these are natural ingredients, you can use DIY face masks three times a week.

However, if you are using citrus fruits (such as lemon juice or grape extracts), be careful. Do not leave the mask for long on your face.

The frequency of applying face masks also depends on your skin type.

  • For Dry Skin

Hydrating masks work best for dry skin. If you have dry skin, you can use a gentle and hydrating face mask almost 3-4 times a week. Hydrating masks usually contain concentrated water, so they will not irritate your skin much.

  • For Oily Skin

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, charcoal and clay masks are the best options for you. Acne treatment masks usually contain ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These might irritate your skin if used every day. It is best to use them 1-2 times a week. The same goes for charcoal and clay masks.

  • For Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you should be extra careful with face masks and ingredients. Just like dry skinned people, you should apply hydrating face masks, which can be used daily or three times a week. Avoid any face mask that contains chemicals and artificial fragrance.

  • For Mature Skin

Mature skin can lose its elasticity fast, which is why you will need a face mask that hydrates and tones your skin. Ingredients like niacinamide can offer anti-aging benefits. Exfoliating masks containing AHAs are also beneficial for you. However, do not use them more than two times a week.

Apart from these factors, you need to consider the weather conditions and the season before applying face masks. For instance, your skin turns dry during winters, so a clay mask will not work well. You need a moisturizing and hydrating face mask during winter.

Considering all these factors, face masks should be used periodically to complement your daily skin care routine. When you feel like your skin care routine has hit a plateau or you need something additional for your skin, go for a face mask. But then, for how long you should leave it on your face?

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How Long Should You Leave A Face Mask On Your Skin?


Always follow the instructions and guidelines written on the package. Face masks often contain active ingredients that should not be left on your skin for more than 5-10 minutes. If you leave it on for a longer time, the same face mask can give negative results. However, some face masks are pretty flexible in terms of time.

For instance, overnight face masks can be left on for the entire night. These masks nourish and heal your skin while you are asleep. Some even boost collagen development and improve skin elasticity.

In case you are using DIY masks with natural ingredients, you can keep them as long as you want or until they dry. However, be careful if you are using citrus ingredients.

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Using a face mask is a step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. From choosing the right mask for your skin to applying it properly – you need to be aware and make informed choices. We hope you have gained an idea of how often you should pamper your face with nourishing masks. If you have any more questions, post a comment right below.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.