Why do face masks tingle?

Why do face masks tingle

You may like the tingling sensation you feel when you put on a face mask. The tingling isn’t necessaly a good thing though, this is why.

Face masks tingle because they either contain irritating ingredients which react on your skin and cause tingling or because your moisture barrier is damaged and gets irritated when you apply the mask onto your face. If you’re using a mask that contains chemical exfoliators you may also feel some tingling as well.

Why do face masks tingle? It’s a pretty common question.

The thought process among most people and old beauty magazines is that if the product is tingling then it means that the product is working right?

Well in truth, it’s more complicated than that. I’m here to debunk that myth.

Why do face masks tingle?

When I started using products I assumed that the tingling and burning sensations caused by products meant that they were working. I wasn’t satisfied with products that just sat on my face.

Little did I know that products that tingle can be harmful.

If you’re using a skin product that is causing tingling, burning or stinging then this is an indication that your skins moisture barrier is being irritated and the product is causing an unwanted reaction on your face.

The skins moisture barrier is a protective layer on your skin. It can get damaged by the products you use as well as by external irritants.

When irritants touch or enter your skin the skin starts to burn, tingle, turn red and develop a rash. This is your skins way of telling you that it feels comfortable.

Don’t confuse this reaction with what chemical exfoliators do. Chemical exfoliators contain AHA’s and BHA’s which work to exfoliate the skin. These products will also contain natural fruit enzymes.

The tingling feeling you get on the skin from chemical exfoliators is from the pumpkin, papaya, pineapple and other fruit enzymes in the formula. These enzymes work on the skin to dissolve dead skin cells.

The enzymes are great at getting rid of dead and dull skin cells by dissolving them, this process does not damage the moisture barrier if done correctly.

Here is a gentle exfoliator that will exfoliate without damaging the skins moisture barrier.

Ingredients used that make tingling not ok:

  • Camphor
  • Menthol
  • Peppermint
  • Mint

Because these ingredients are counter-irritants they cause tingling/ local inflation deep in the tissue of the skin.

They can even cause irritation to the cells in your face.  Sadly these ingredients are in many of our masks.

Products with these ingredients in the formula have been marketed as being energising, fresh and clean.

These words are sometimes used just to appeal to the masses and sell more. Companies don’t disclose what is actually happening on your skin.

Ingredients used that make tingling ok:

  • Tartaric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Malic acid
  • Retinoid

Chemical exfoliators will give you a good clean after use without the damage. Chemical exfoliators use a number of ingredients that slough off dead skin cells on the top of the face.

These ingredients give a tingling feeling as they dissolve the dead skin cells.

Note that the tingling feeling you get while using products should not last long. They should only last for about 3 seconds or less.

These products should only be used a couple of days a week, only specific exfoliators can be used daily. These ingredients are good to have in masks and might cause a slight sensation.

This article gives advice on good safe Korean chemical exfoliators you can use. Here are some good drugstore options.

Is it normal for a face mask to tingle?

It’s actually quite normal to feel some tingling as a result of your face mask. Many face masks contain ingredients that make the face tingle.

The tingling is simply your face reacting to the ingredients in the mask. If this feeling gets uncomfortable, starts to burn or starts itch then you should remove the mask

Sheet vs creamy masks vs peel off mask

Sheet Mask:

These are good to use as they are great at hydrating the skin. This can be seen from the moisture left on your skin after use.

Rubbing this serum into your skin is great for keeping it looking plump and youthful as well. Make sure to have a look at the ingredients to make sure it won’t cause an allergic reaction.

This is a widely used well-loved sheet mask

Clay masks:

I don’t recommend this for people with dry or normal skin. This is because when the mask dries it absorbs the oil on your skin.

If you have dry skin this will be a problem for you. There is too little oil (sebum) on your skin for you to be using this. clay masks are great to use if you have oily or combination skin.

This is an efficient clay mask.

Peel off:

These are the worst types of mask. We have all seen the videos that show the gunk being pulled out of pores.

If it can do that to the gunk in pores what does that mean for the top layer of your skin? This is very damaging and I would not recommend it at all.

Led masks

These masks use LED lights to emit lights at different wavelengths to change your skin, whether the mask improves wrinkles, fights dry skin, reverses the signs of ageing, stimulate collagen and elastin or reduce inflammation to name a few.

If you would like to know more about the masks these articles can help: This one is great for wrinkles, this one helps with rosacea, this one helps with hyperpigmentation.

Why do face masks tingle

Additional tips to masking

Your skin might just be allergic to some ingredient in the mask if it shows more than just signs of tinging on the face:

  • This can include an increase in tingling on the face over time when the mask is on.
  • If the feeling of tingling turns into a feeling of burning this means your skin is really not happy with the product.
  • Be ready to count: If the tingling on your skin is still happening after a minute and your skin has not gotten used to it then it’s not a good fit for you.
  • If after you removed the mask you find that your skin is very red and irritated or is starting to peel then don’t use the mask again.

All in all, it depends on your skin type, what your skin can handle and how it reacts to these face masks.

If you have sensitive skin then you might have to look harder for good products but they will be worth it.

Why does toner make my face tingle?

The tingling feeling you get after using skincare products isn’t only associated with using face masks, tinging feelings can happen when you use toners as well.

If you apply your toner and get a tingling feeling then this means that the toner contains some alcohol.

Your skin reacts to alcohol by giving you a tingling sensation, unfortunately, alcohol can dry your skin out.

To avoid this feeling and to avoid alcohol drying your skin you should switch to a toner that doesn’t contain alcohol.

Should you moisturize after face mask?

Yes, you should definitely moisturise your face after using a face mask. Using a moisturiser after you apply your face mask is always recommended.

There are two types of face masks available: a hydrating sheet mask or a mattifying clay mask. If you use a hydrating face mask the hydration that you’ve just added needs to be locked it to prevent evaporation.

These types of masks are made up of a sheet of cotton or plastic soaked in serum. The serum is lightweight so it penetrates into your skin very easily. Because it’s so light it can evaporate very easily.

Using a good moisturiser after using the mask will help you lock in all that hydration

If you’re using a clay face mask then you should definitely use a moisturiser on your face after the mask. Clay masks are mattifying and they can sometimes cause your skin to dry out.

You need to restore hydration and moisture back into the skin after you use this type of mask. A moisturiser will bring hydration and moisture back into your face giving you smooth and supple skin.

This is a favourite hydrating moisturiser

Do peel off masks cause wrinkles?

Yes, peel-off mask can cause wrinkles. Unfortunately, these fun to use masks aren’t too great for your skin.

We’re told that when we handle our skin we should be gentle, we shouldn’t really be pulling and tugging at our skin when handling it.

The act of pulling the face mask off can cause a loss in elasticity and can even result in skin sagging and wrinkles.

Not only that but the mask can cause skin irritation on your skin if it’s sensitive and it can pull some of your skin off. To avoid all this you should opt for a mask that you can simply wash off.

Which direction do you peel off a mask?

If you’re still interested in using a peel-off mask after having read the above then you should at least know how to peel it off to minimize damage.

When you peel these types of masks you should be pulling from the top down. Grab the edge of the mask from a loose part at the top and start to peel the mask down as slowly and as gently as possible.

Are pore strips bad for you?

Yes, pore strips can be bad for you. Just like the peel-off face masks pore strips adhere to the skin, not just the impurities you want to get out of your skin.

When you remove the strips from your skin it can leave your skin looking red, inflamed and even flaky.

If you have thinner skin the strips can cause spider veins and broken capillaries. If your skin is dry the pore strips can make your dry skin even drier.

They contain ingredients that are irritating to the skin and these can exasperate your eczema or psoriasis.

Why do face masks tingle

Should I moisturize after a nose strip?

Yes, you should moisturise after you use a nose strip. In addition to removing dirt and impurities (and some skin) off of your nose the nose strip will also remove the sebum of your skin.

Everything on the surface level of your nose will pretty much be removed.

To avoid your nose becoming dried out and your skin becoming triggered to overproduce sebum you need to moisturise your skin after you use the pore strip.

How do you clean your nose pores?

If you want to safely clean the pores around your nose the I suggest you rather exfoliate your skin then use a clay mask. Exfoliating the skin on your nose will help unclog and get rid of your dead skin cells clogging your pores.

You need to massage the exfoliator into the skin on your nose, this will enable the product to work efficiently, if your skin is sensitive then I recommend using a chemical exfoliator.

You can then proceed to use a clay mask. The clay mask will dry on your skin and draw out any impurities that may be stuck in your pores. When the mask is washed off the clog will be cleaned out and your pores will appear smaller.

You can exfoliate three times a week if you’re using a physical exfoliator or daily if you have very gentle exfoliator like this one. You can use a clay mask three times a week.

What is the best Korean face mask?

You may be interested in Korean skincare, understandable with the influx of Korean products on the market.

If you want a well-loved mask that sells like hotcakes and hydrates your skin like crazy you should try the Mediheal Tea Tree Essential Blemish Control Sheet Mask.

The brand sells five sheet masks a second yes per second and we can see why.

Whether you need a tea tree mask that will control your blemishes, a collagen mask to form the skin, a mask that intensely hydrates the skin, a brightening or tightening charcoal mask or a protein mask this company delivers.

After use, your skin will look better your make up will glide on and you’ll be glowing.

What is the difference between a mask and exfoliator?

The difference between a mask and an exfoliator is this: an exfoliator is purely used to remove dead skin cells from your face.

A mask can be designed to provide hydration and nourishment to your face, it treats skin conditions directly or it can be used to exfoliate your face depending on which you chose


Facial mask: these can be separated into two categories gel masks and clay masks.

Gel masks are face-shaped masks made with cotton or plastic. They’re soaked in a potent hydrating serum that offers many nourishing ingredients to your skin. These can be used on all skin types to bring nutrients

Clay masks are masks that absorb oil on your face. They are usually a cream consistency and dry on your face over some minutes.

As they dry they absorb the impurities on your face and when washed away they take the impurities, excess oil and dirt with them. These are used by people with oily or combination skin to remove oil


Both physical and chemical exfoliators remove the dead skin cells from your skin in one way or another.

Physical exfoliators use rougher grainer substances to buff away the dead skin cells from your face. These grainy substances can include jojoba seeds silica sugar or salt. They are used on the skin the stat isn’t sensitive

Chemical exfoliate: these are formulas that either break the bonds between your dead skin cells and the live healthy skin cells on your face or they dissolve the dead skin cells leaving you with fresh new skin cells. The ingredients in these exfoliators will include herbs, pants, mangos, yoghurt, and sugar can and other fruits.

Can I use body scrub on my face?

No, you can use a body scrub on your face. The skin on our bodies and the skin on our faces are different, the skin on our face is very delicate.

Both the skin on our face and the skin on our body needs to be exfoliated but not using the same products.

Body scrubs are generally harsher products, they are formulated with strong concentrations of acids and the grains are tougher.  If used on the skin on your face this can lead to breakouts and irritation on the skin.

This body scrub is well-loved and widely used.

That’s it for my article answering the question of why do face masks tingle. I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, if you know of anyone else who might help then please share it.

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