Choosing the best anti-ageing face mask & how to use it

Finding the right skincare routine for your skin can be a difficult task, especially as there are so many different factors to consider. It's important that you identify what issue you want to combat, before finding a way to work a solution into your morning/evening schedule. However, regardless of your skin type or skin concern, a face mask is a great way to give your skin some much-needed TLC. It can make a real difference when used both regularly and correctly, especially when combating signs of ageing.

This guide will explain the causes of ageing skin, recommend anti-ageing face masks and provide guidance on choosing the best one for you.

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Find out what factors commonly cause the skin to age.

Read why an anti-ageing face mask is an effective product to include in your skincare routine.

Find out which type of face mask is ideal for you, depending on your main concern.

Read how to use different face mask formulas, such as gel masks, peel-off masks and overnight masks.

Lifestyle tips to help protect your skin from ageing.

Frequently asked questions on choosing and using anti-ageing face masks.

What causes the skin to age?

Beyond the simple fact that change is unavoidable as we get older, there are many other factors that can make our skin age quicker.

These include:

- Increased exposure to sunlight or sun beds. It has been scientifically proven that UV light breaks down collagen and elastin at a higher rate than normal ageing. When these fibres break down, the skin can stretch or sag.

- Smoking. Smoking can have a very determinantal effect on the appearance of your skin and can cause wrinkles to develop more quickly.

- Not caring properly for your skin.Neglecting the skin, particularly if you forget to moisturise, can cause the skin to age as it isn’t provided with the necessary hydration and active ingredients.

Why use an anti-ageing face mask in your skincare routine?

Implementing a proper skincare routine (complete with facemasks) can help fight signs of ageing and keep your skin looking on the outside, as youthful as you feel on the inside!

Facemasks are an efficient form of skincare as they help your skin 'lock-in' the mask's ingredients by infusing the pores. This means that your skin soaks up more of the benefits from a product than it would if you were only using a face cream, for example. Furthermore, the active ingredients used in facemasks are specially chosen to combat a variety of issues - from acne to wrinkles - and can make a real difference in the appearance of your skin.

woman applying face scrub

What should I look for in an anti-ageing face mask?

Different ingredients have different effects on the look, feel and appearance of your skin, so it's important to know what to look for when purchasing an anti-ageing mask.

Below is a list of ingredients to look out for and how they can help mature skin:


Collagen is a protein that keeps your skin looking smooth; however, as we get older, this protein can start to break down, leading to wrinkles.

Glycolic Acid & Hyaluronic acids

You should look for a mask that includes these skin-boosting acids if you are looking for a form of treatment that hydrates and brightens your skin's complexion.


Retinol boosts your skins natural collagen levels.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can help repair damage to the skin.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is great for adding moisture to your skin.


Regular SPF usage helps protect your skin from damage from the sun. It is particularly useful for those with sensitive skin.

Green tea

Green tea has a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.


Chamomile also contains powerful antioxidants which can be used to reduce redness and dryness.

What anti-ageing mask is ideal for me?

In order to choose the right anti-ageing skin mask, you should primarily focus on what issue you want to solve. Here are some targeted selections.

1) Wrinkles

If you are looking to combat wrinkles, you should look for a mask that smoothens wrinkles and fine lines. Look for products containing adenosine, which decreases the appearance of wrinkles by energising the skin’s surface.

Recommended product

Neutrogena Ageless Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask 30ml
neutrogena ageless boost recovery mask
  • Contains adenosine
  • Non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores)
  • Suitable for use on sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist tested

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2) Loose skin

Treatment for loose skin is similar to anti-wrinkle treatments, and many masks will help you to combat both issues simultaneously. However, if you are looking to increase the tautness of your skin, a firming mask is a step in the right direction.

Recommended product

Nivea Q10 Power Firming Sheet Mask
nivea Q10 firming sheet mask
  • With a powerful combination of Q10 and Creatine
  • Provides a firmer skin feeling
  • 10-minute sheet mask
  • Biodegradable fibre mask
  • Super soft sheet mask and easy to fit

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3) Dark circles

Dark circles/spots are a sign of hyperpigmentation. To help reduce the symptoms, we'd recommend a face mask that is full of natural vitamins.

Recommended product

Neutrogena Radiance Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask 30ml
Neutrogena radiance recovery mask
  • Dermatologist tested
  • The illuminator
  • Vitamin B3
  • Hydrogel cooling technology
  • 100% made from active serum
  • Intense moisturising for glowing and radiant skin
  • One mask = one month's usage of serum

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4) Dull skin

Dull skin is a common symptom of ageing. However, it can be easily resolved by using a mask that includes ingredients rich in antioxidants such as green tea to brighten the skin tone.

Recommended product

Garnier Moisture Bomb Green Tea Hydrating Face Sheet Mask
Garnier moisture bomb hydrating face mask
  • Super-hydrating
  • Re-balancing mask that intensely hydrates, mattifies skin and makes pores appear less visible

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For more guidance on using a hydrating mask, you can read our full guide here.

How to use different kinds of face masks

Sheet masks

Simply apply the sheet mask to your skin for the recommended amount of time, then wipe away any excess moisture. Be extra gentle when applying the mask to ensure it does not rip/tear.

Read our full guide to using sheet masks here.

Gel masks/cream masks

A gel or cream face mask works best when you apply it by adding a small amount to your fingers or brush and apply slowly. Remember, you only need a light layer of treatment to be effective.

Read our full guide to using gel face masks here.

Peel-off mask

Similar to gel masks, you should apply a peel-off mask using a brush/fingertips. When removing the mask, peel off slowly and in downward strokes.

Overnight mask

The key thing to remember when applying an overnight mask is to only apply a thin layer of cream, avoiding areas around your eyes our mouth.

What face masks should I avoid for anti-ageing?

When applied properly and with care, most face masks will have a truly positive effect on your skin and will cause little to no negative side effects. However, if you already suffer from dull or dry skin, you may wish to avoid face masks that have drying properties, such as a clay or charcoal mask. While useful for breakouts and acne, over-use of these products may make mature skin look older.

What else can I do to protect my skin against anti-ageing?

In addition to keeping an up-to-date skincare routine, there are other things you can do to keep your facial skin looking youthful:

- Apply SPF products daily, not just during warm weather. Remember, you are always being exposed to UV lights whether you realise it or not. Ireland’s Public Health Agency states: “Cool bright days even with light cloud can have damaging levels of UV radiation.” However, regular application of sun cream or moisturizers with SPF qualities can help protect you.

- Moisturise every morning and night.

- Avoiding using products with harsh chemical ingredients, such as skin peels.

- Avoid sunbeds. Research shows that skin damage caused by sunbeds increases the need to use anti-ageing products.

- Make good decisions and try to live a healthy lifestyle. This may mean minimizing your alcohol intake and ensuring you exercise regularly. Drinking enough water is also important. The European Food Safety Authority recommends a minimum daily intake of 1.6 litres for women and two litres for men. A 2018 study found that just 18% of Irish people drink the recommended amount of water per day.

Frequently asked questions: using anti-ageing face masks

Does honey help anti-ageing?

Honey - is not only delicious, but it is also a great ingredient in skincare! It has powerful antioxidant qualities that can nourish the skin and leave it feeling soft, smooth and healthy.

Can a face mask be used twice?

If you purchase a gel, peel, overnight or mud mask, they usually come with enough cream to cover several uses. However, you should never re-use a sheet mask, as they are designed for single use.

How can you tighten your face skin?

As we get older, our skin naturally gets a little loose. However, you can help tighten your skin and reduce the signs of ageing by using skin treatments that help boost your collagen levels.

Which oil is best for skin tightening?

Oil should only be used by those who do not already have oily skin. However, if you have dry skin, oils can be useful to add moisture and tighten skin. We'd recommend looking at treatments that use tea tree oil.

Is charcoal the best ingredient for your skin?

Charcoal is often used in skincare, and it can be particularly useful if you are prone to blackheads and clogged pores. However, it is important to remember that charcoal treatments can occasionally dry your skin, so you should not use them too frequently. When used sparingly, charcoal is a great tool in skincare and can help remove dead skin cells.

You can read our guide to choosing charcoal face masks here.

Does SPF in cosmetics protect your skin?

SPF products are great for protecting your skin on a daily basis. They help protect you from the sun and the UV rays, leaving you with fuller, brighter skin.

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