The Science of Masking – Home Facial Tips from a Singapore Dermatologist

Dr. Teo Wan Lin is an accredited dermatologist practising at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre in Singapore. She has collaborated with FOREO for this series of educational articles and digital skincare masterclasses. In her first masterclass on sonic cleansing, she shares about the LUNA 3’s benefits for acne-prone skin and how it can be effective as part of an  anti-pollution skincare regimen. She elaborates on the relevance of sonic cleansing as part of anti-pollution skincare in her podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty, available on Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts. In part two of the digital skincare masterclass, she teaches on the science behind face masking techniques and the science-backed benefits of FOREO’s face mask device the UFO 2. In this article, she goes in-depth into how one can learn to mask more efficiently with a home facial.

How do face masks work?

The science behind using face masks is based on wet occlusion therapy – the skin is able to absorb what is topically applied much better if the surface is slightly damp. We utilize this concept in the treatment of medical dermatological conditions such as eczema. Wet wrap therapy helps to increase and enhance the absorption of topical steroid medications and moisturizers to repair the skin barrier. Using face masks is an efficient way to deliver active ingredients onto your skin as part of your regular skincare regimen.

Do the ingredients in my face mask matter? Can I just apply moisturiser?

Yes, the active ingredients and formulation in your face mask matters.

Every face mask should contain a good moisturizing base to repair the skin barrier – glycerin, a humectant and a balance of lipids. Olive oil is beneficial for the skin, as it also has antioxidant properties. However, having just a moisturiser base is not enough. The ingredients in your face mask is important. Because, we are expecting it to be fully absorbed to deliver skin benefits. FOREO’s MAKE MY DAY anti-pollution mask contains hyaluronic acid, red algae and panax ginseng.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that is able to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water. This helps to plump up the skin and gives a full appearance to the dermis. It also enhances cell talk. This refers to a biological communication process between skin cells, and leads to better functioning of the skin cell processes to fight oxidative stress and ageing. Red algae is a potent antioxidant, meaning that it is able to engulf free radicals the environmental aging processes generates. Panax ginseng is also proven in studies to stimulate cellular renewal.

How can we improve absorption and delivery of skincare ingredients in our face mask?

The concept of transdermal absorption is this – the skin is a uniquely accessible organ of the body. This means that when you apply something on the skin, it penetrates the stratum corneum to deliver active ingredients. The formulation of the face mask matters. Formulas that are compatible with skin will have enhanced absorption. This has to do with the type of active ingredients involved. For example, the size of the molecules. Hyaluronic acid, in a multi molecular weighted formula, or in certain acetylated states can be better absorbed.


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In addition, I want to emphasise that the method of delivery does increase the effectiveness of the active ingredients. Home facial devices such as the UFO 2 which implement sonic technology can help optimise delivery and infusion of skincare.

What should I look out for in a home device? Can I give myself a home facial?

In the post-COVID19 era, home based skin treatments like home facials are very relevant. An ideal home facial device should have the following properties.

Firstly, it should be convenient and efficient to use. Secondly, the technology used must be safe, effective and evidence-based. The UFO 2 in this case is an effective home facial device which utilises proven sonic technology in combination with thermotherapy. UFO 2 is also a time-efficient device, with optimal effects achieved in 90 seconds.

How does the UFO 2 work? How is it superior to regular face masking alone?

Thermotherapy such as thermal heat and cold therapy can increase the surface flow of blood to enhance absorption via the skin surface. Cold therapy is also known as cryotherapy. Cryotherapy has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces skin swelling. Additional, sonic pulsations are a form of mechanical-biological stimulation, which results in increased collagen production.

Conventional face mask have limitations in terms of the following. Traditional face masks rely purely on the concept of wet occlusion therapy. Having a facial device to synergize with the delivery of active ingredients using additional technology such as sonic pulsations and thermo/cryotherapy, can harness the skin’s biological reactions to heat and cold. This enhances absorption of skincare ingredients.

There is also evidence that sonic pulsations can stimulate blood microcirculation. Facilitating skin cell renewal and turnover, when used in conjunction with appropriate dermocosmetics. The UFO 2 device harnesses thermal energies to optimize skin circulation for increased absorption and anti-inflammatory effects with cold therapy.  It is an ideal home facial device which also incorporates photofacial therapy to provide targeted delivery of the light treatment in a safe and effective manner for rejuvenation of skin.

Dermatologist’s best tips for your home skincare regimen

Masks in my opinion are key in your daily skincare regimen. My personal skincare philosophy is more maximizing a minimalist approach. This means that every step counts and that means delivering skincare more effectively. The UFO 2 is designed to increase delivery of skincare by stimulating microcirculation via patented T-sonic pulsations. It also has added features of thermotherapy and photofacial settings, which can improve the home masking regimen.

Home facial devices are very relevant in skincare routines because it enhances the absorption of active ingredients on a daily basis. The effectiveness of any skincare ingredient directly correlates with the ability to penetrate the stratum corneum layer of skin. This is where absorption to the level of the dermis occurs. This is where active ingredients participate in cell talk to rejuvenate physiological processes involved in cell turnover for improved skin radiance. The UFO 2 is a science-based approach to optimise the process of skincare delivery.

This masterclass episode is sponsored by FOREO SWEDEN as a joint collaboration to create scientific educational content relevant to skincare and dermatology. Images produced as part of editorial collaboration consistent with site policy.

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