Face Mask Material The world is totally and hopelessly obsessed with face masks. Google says so. In a recent report on the top beauty-related searches around the globe, “face mask,” “masque visage,” and “feisumasuku” came out on top. South Korea has certainly been ground zero for the craze, but snail mucus and panda-face sheet masks are just a small part of the story. Women the world over have an urge to cover their faces in goop or powder or slime or cloth or a combination of all of the above, close their eyes, and by the grace of the gods and modern science, emerge brighter, cleaner, stronger, better. It’s a tradition that transcends borders. Women from Argentina and Morocco, India and the States — whether we’re building on ancestral traditions or embracing new technologies — we simply love our masks. Which is why we traveled the globe (fine, we picked up the phone) to get the details on who’s doing what and where.
Mix in sandalwood paste and rose water, and you have a mask that softens and brightens your skin. We really tried to get an exact recipe, but Arora and Navare both insisted there’s no such thing. Their only mandate: Play around — just don’t overdo the turmeric. “If you’re using a full spoon of gram flour, less than a quarter spoon of turmeric is enough. It’s very powerful — and very yellow. You could tint your skin if you use too much,” says Arora.
“You need to listen to your skin,” says makeup artist, Estée Lauder global beauty director, and very chic French person Violette. French women tend to customize their face-mask routines based on very specific goals, similar to their culturally ingrained practice of going to la pharmacie for a single purpose.
Americans Gold Mask Sheet are hyperfocused on their pores. In turn, they’re always on the lookout for new blackhead solutions. And any mask with charcoal is currently topping the list, says Jessica Richards, a beauty buyer at Free People and the founder of Shen Beauty in Brooklyn.
There are a ton of options — even the OG pore strip, Bioré, now comes in a charcoal version — but Richards’s favorite is the 100 percent natural Arlo Blak, which is a loose powder. Mix it with water until the consistency is goopy, and don’t let it overdry (five minutes does the trick). “After I rinse, my skin looks glowy, and my pores are clean and tight,” says Richards, who even adds the stuff to her toothpaste (to whiten her teeth) and drinking water (to detoxify).