Get More Out Of Your Favorite Cleanser By Using It As A Mask

Why spend money on a mask when you can just leave your face wash on for a few minutes?
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Why spend money on a mask when you can just leave your face wash on for a few minutes?

Have you ever heard it isn’t important what active ingredients are in a cleanser because they just get washed away? I believe that to be somewhat true. Sometimes your skin needs to be exposed to the skin-healing ingredients in a cleanser for longer than a few seconds.

Once, at a small spa in the suburbs, I had one of the best facials of my life because I was introduced to a great cleanser: Murad AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser. I was still a teenager when this cleanser was used on me, but the package claims it “reverses the visible signs of aging.” When the facialist used this cleanser on me, I noticed she left it on for a few minutes before rinsing off, so I started doing the same thing. 

When I do this, I notice more exfoliation than if I rinsed immediately, and I’m convinced it’s because I’m giving my skin longer to interact with the active ingredients.

This is Murad’s AHA/BHA Cleanser. I pretty much always own this.

Wearing Murad’s AHA/BHA Cleanser as a mask.

This is easy for me to do because I love taking baths, and so I do it in the bath at least once a week after I remove my makeup. I’ll use a scrub and leave it on for a little while, and I swear it’s almost as effective as using actual masks, which I have been too lazy to do lately. It might be a winter thing, but I just want to be in hot water. All the time.

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There are three cleansers in my current arsenal that work awesomely when left to sit on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing off. Murad AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser, Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (step 1) and Mario Badescu’s Almond and Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub.

I only use Proactiv once in a while. My subscription is set to once every twenty weeks; I’m pretty sure that’s the least often you can get Proactiv and I still have extra all the time. My skin can’t handle all three steps of Proactiv for consecutive days, but when I’m really oily and broken out, a good wash with Proactiv just makes everything feel better. 

In the wintertime, my skin would probably crack if I used Proactiv all the time. But the Proactiv Renewing Cleanser is a great cleanser-mask on skin that is just about to break out. Just scrub a quarter size amount around, and then let it sit for 30 seconds or so. It will help soak up excess oil and make your life better. 

I am modelling all of these cleansers as masks. This is Proactiv.

Yes, I am modeling all of these cleansers as masks.

Mario Badescu’s Almond and Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub is nice to leave on for the entire duration of a bath, if you can keep yourself from eating the stuff because it smells so good and has real almonds and corn meal in it. 

It also has zinc oxide, which I am a huge fan of. I like to leave it on for a few minutes whenever I want to calm my skin down. The honey is super-moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, and the mask… see I’m even calling it a mask now… just makes your skin feel soft and look glowy afterward. 

You don’t need to wait and let it harden or anything, which is nice when you’re mostly submerged in water.

Sorry I couldn’t take photos for this article in the bath.

Sorry I couldn’t take photos in the bath.

This is how my skin looked after doing all three:

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Do you ever keep a cleanser on as a mask? Which ones?