What's in Your Beauty Face Mask? Understanding Ingredients

You use it at least once or twice a week, but have you really looked at the ingredients in your beauty face mask? While it may contain a long list of even longer words, don’t be afraid to investigate what your mask is made of. While many of the components seem impossible to decipher, knowing what they are can help you to make an educated decision as to which mask is best for you.


Bentonite is a type of clay and is used in certain kinds of clay masks. Bentorite draws impurities out of the skin. It also refines pores and reduces shine.

Propylene Glycol

This is an organic compound that is used in many face masks. In cosmetics, it functions well as a moisturizer. However, it is also used in windshield de-icers and antifreeze. This makes it a rather controversial ingredient in the cosmetics industry. Researchers are working to determine whether or not propylene glycol can be considered a carcinogen, although it is generally believed to be safe. It can irritate sensitive skin, so if you are having a reaction to your face mask, try one that does not contain propylene glycol.


Kaolin is another clay component. It helps to regulate oil production and reduces shine.

Titanium Dioxide

In the cosmetic industry, titanium dioxide can be used as a sunscreen, pigment or thickening agent. It causes less irritation than some other similar ingredients and is therefore used frequently in products made specifically for sensitive skin.

Butylene Glycol

Butylene glycol is rapidly absorbed by the skin, which makes it an ideal component of facial products. It hydrates and soothes skin. It can also be added to cosmetics as a preservative or as a pigment.

Glyceryl Polymethacrylate

Glyceryl polymethacrylate is a natural elastin, so it is found in many anti-aging products. It helps reconstruct dermis, and it increases skin firmness. It is a frequent ingredient in most facial products that claim to fight the effects of aging.


Sulfur is a natural element that can help skin in many forms. It reduces the amount of oil in the skin and therefore helps to control and prevent acne. It has antibacterial properties that allow it to fight germs. Sulfur also softens skin. Don’t be afraid that a product with sulfur will smell like rotten eggs. There may be other ingredients to mask the unpleasant odor without deterring from the benefits of sulfur.


Zinc is another element that is found in many cosmetics. It helps to reduce inflammation and keeps skin looking smooth and  even. It soothes irritated skin and heals wounds. Zinc is also required for collagen production, which will allow your skin to look fresh and youthful. As a natural astringent, zinc tightens pores.

There are many other face mask ingredients that are not listed here. If some of these make you uneasy, find a mask that does not contain them, such as organic or all-natural masks. You can also easily make your own masks at home so that you know exactly what they contain.


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