Why you should avoid peel-off face masks, even though they’re fun

Peel-off face masks may be fun but they can ultimately lead to skin troubles. AGF/GettyImages
  • Peel-off face masks are increasingly popular, but, like with any mask, it’s important to understand how they might affect your skin.
  • Peel-off face masks may lead to sagging facial skin.
  • There’s potential they might also irritate sensitive skin.

Face masks can be a great part of a skin-care or self-care routine, but you need to be mindful of what the masks you’re using are meant to do and how they might affect your skin. This is especially true of peel-off masks as they can be particularly harsh on your skin.

Peel-off face masks may cause sagging skin and irritation

Peel off mask
Peeling off a face mask can damage your skin. iStock

“Sad to say that the ‘peel-off’ aspect which makes this mask type so fun and photo-worthy is the same reason this mask makes skin-care professionals cringe ever so slightly,” Evie Reyna, a licensed esthetician, told INSIDER. “Repeatedly pulling your skin out and down as we do when removing this mask can cause a loss of elasticity, which can ultimately lead to sagging skin.”

Irritation is also a real concern, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Consider checking in with a skin-care professional or spot-testing the product before you slather it all over your face. You also might want to consider a mask that you can gently wash off.

Read more: The best face wash you can buy for sensitive skin

“If you have sensitive skin, or are using other products or medications, some of the masks can cause a great deal of irritation and even damage the skin,” Dr. Toni Stockton of Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, Arizona, told INSIDER.

Combining masks with other skin-care products or using them when you have a predisposing skin condition may cause an adverse reaction

In some cases, face masks can be super beneficial, but there are some things you need to consider when selecting the right one. For example, you might want to consider what other products you put on your face and whether or not you have any skin conditions that could be irritated from a peel-off mask.

“Face masks have different intended effects, which depend on the ‘active’ ingredients used,” Brundha Balaraman, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of SkinTRUST Society, told INSIDER.

“Some masks are intended for hydration, while others may be for brightening or oil-reduction. So, it’s important to know your skin’s needs and which ingredients are optimised to address your concerns. Combining face masks with other skin-care products that you regularly use, like retinoid creams, may increase your risk of adverse reactions,” she added.

Further, according to Balaraman, if you have a predisposing skin condition such as eczema, rosacea, or acne, you’re more likely to experience an adverse reaction to peel-off masks. Overall, Balaraman recommends talking to a board-certified dermatologist to determine how best to achieve your skin-care goals.

There are specific times a peel-off mask definitely shouldn’t be used

Plucking eyebrows
Don’t use a peel-off mask after any hair-removal process. South China Morning Post / Contributor

“A peel-off mask can help with removing blackheads, can decrease sun damage, improve skin texture, and hydrate the skin,” Stockton said. She also, however, said there are many instances in which a person should avoid peel-off masks.

“Avoid using these products if you have had any recent procedures such as waxing or threading or if you have had any recent injury, sunburn, or infection of the skin,” she said.

If you’re worried that you shouldn’t peel off the peel-off mask that you’ve applied to your face, there are other options for how you can use it.

“If peeling off a mask is not for you, traditional warm-water removal is always an option,” Reyna said.

Before trying out a peel-off mask, consider consulting a skin-care professional. Doing so could potentially save you from a multitude of skin troubles.