The world throws a lot at you every day. Between stress and pollutants in the air, your face takes the brunt of it. And your daily cleansing ritual might not be enough to dig out deep-down dirt and protect your skin from long-term damage.

Even the cleansers and other products you use on your face can leave behind residue that might clog your pores. Impurities left beneath the epidermis can encourage bacteria growth — which means blemishes and pimples are sure to follow.

One way to get out in front of these problems is to add weekly or bi-weekly facial masks to your skin care regimen. Depending on your skin type, a deep-cleaning mask can help eliminate excess oil on the surface of your skin, exfoliate dead skin cells that can clog pores and improve the overall look of your complexion by tightening and refining your pores.

Choose the Right Mask

Both men and women can reap the benefits of facial masks. Look for masks that contain elements of nature, like chamomile and almond oil, to calm and soothe redness in your complexion. Masks that contain mud from the Dead Sea are particularly powerful for pulling impurities and oil from the skin without over-drying. Above all, choose one that smells good to you and doesn’t contain any sulfates or parabens.

 

Make It an In-Home Spa Experience

A weekly facial mask is the perfect way to practice self-care. Masks can be a little messy, so an indulgent bath is a great way to transform this moment into an at-home spa experience. Light a few candles, turn on some music and wrap your hair in a soft towel. Sprinkle some delicious-smelling foaming oil into the tub, and let your cares wash away while you pamper your skin and indulge your senses.

Five Steps to a New You

Once you’ve chosen the product that’s right for your skin type and prepared your in-home spa environment, you’re ready to apply your mask. The pros at Sabon NYC have developed these five steps to make it easier to get the most from your mask experience:

1. Wash your face with your usual daily cleanser and rinse well with warm water to open your pores. Apply a small amount of eye gel or cream around your eyes to protect this delicate tissue from dehydration during the mask process.

2. With damp finger tips, apply a thick layer of your mask all over your forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. Think of it like frosting a cake: The mask should cover your face completely from the hairline to the collarbone.

3. Wait and relax. If you’re doing your mask in the tub, just lie back and breathe in the luxurious aromatherapy of the suds. If you’re in a robe and towel, consider not going through emails on your phone. Take this quiet moment to let your mind unwind.

4. When time is up — usually 10 to 15 minutes, or according to the product’s directions — place a warm, wet washcloth over your face to soften the mask. Repeating this a few times will make it easier to rinse the mask off completely. Be careful not to get any product in your eyes.

5. Admire your new glow! With refined pores and deep moisturization, your skin is now a clean, blank canvas that is ready to absorb the lotions, serums and nighttime products you usually use.