The “TRIPLE THREAT” Mask Routine

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There must be a reason why this is my most liked Instagram photo of all time, right? An accompanying blog post simply had to be done.


I’m the first person to raise an eyebrow at anyone who says they’ve come up with some revolutionary new thing… because let’s be honest—there are no new ideas. But I’ll be damned if I go uncredited for inventing (yeah, right) the triple threat mask. That’s why whenever you see me mention it on Instagram I’ll always have patent pending in parentheses right next to the name. Face masks are concentrated skincare products designed to do something very specific to the skin in a short period of time. A great way to give it a kick in the rear when needed! The triple threat mask routine is fantastic for restoring the skin to normalcy when it’s going through any sort of rough patch (spots, dryness, dullness, etc.).


The three (hence, triple threat) types of masks imperative to this routine are: a resurfacing/exfoliating mask, a clay/mud/purifying mask, and a nourishing/soothing/hydrating mask. Ideally, each mask should be left on for one full hour, or for however long you can tolerate them on your skin without irritation or annoyance. The longer the better. The first mask should be applied after using an exfoliating toner, or anything with a very low pH. Setting up a low pH on the skin will optimize the effects of the exfoliating mask. Each mask should be removed with a warm (not hot!) washcloth before proceeding to the next. After the exfoliating and clay masks, I like to mist the skin with either a thermal water spray or something with a cleansing agent (e.g., La Roche-Posay Serozinc, which contains zinc sulfate). After the hydrating mask I will use a hydrating toner, like Caudalie’s Grape Water aerosol, or the White Tea Facial Mist by Neal’s Yard.


The first step in the routine is to use the exfoliating mask, which should contain ingredients that chemically demolish dead skin—hydroxy acids, fruit acids, and enzymes. The purpose of this mask is to gently remove the uppermost, dead layers of the skin. A thorough exfoliation will unearth everything that may have been lurking beneath the surface, and at the same time create a clear and virginal area for the succeeding masks to act upon. Next up is the clay mask. Clay is great for pulling and trapping. I’m sure we’ve all used a “too strong” clay mask that has simultaneously dried the hell out of our skin and caused it to break out, right? Now, was it the mask that made us break out, or was it that all the gunk the mask was pulling out got blocked beneath several layers of dead skin that we didn’t exfoliate prior to using it? You see where I’m going with this, right? The final mask is the hydrating mask. Now that our skin has been thoroughly exfoliated and cleansed of impurities, we need to provide it with some well-deserved nourishment. We did just put it through the ringer, after all. If this is your first time doing the triple threat mask, you’ll see that this will be the best your skin has ever responded to a hydrating mask. I leave the hydrating mask on the longest, even though this isn’t necessary. At the end of the routine you should remove the final mask, mist (or swipe over) a hydrating toner onto the skin, and follow with a facial oil. Even though it’s a time-consuming routine, I guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results. Just ask any one of the dozens of people on Instagram I’ve turned on to it!


If you have any questions, you know what to do…


7 thoughts on “The “TRIPLE THREAT” Mask Routine

  1. I had so many light bulb moments reading this. It all makes complete sense and explains so much at the same time. I’m waking away from reading this completely understanding why when I used a clay mask my skin had a category 5 temper tantrum.

    Thank you for this post!! Feels great being informed/knowledgeable about how to better care for my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! 🙂 Any recommendations for the three different masks (preferably more than the ones on the picture, as not all of those are sold here in Norway)? 🙂 Will the Clarins HydraQuench mask do for the hydrating step?


    1. Thank YOU! Yes, HydraQuench will work for step 3. For exfoliating masks, what about REN Glycolactic, Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask with Lavender, Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask, or the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask? For clay, you could do Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask, Fresh Umbrian Clay Face Treatment Mask, Origins Clear Improvement, Origins Out Of Trouble, one of the GlamGlow ones, or the Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque… for hydrating, you could do Jurlique Intense Recovery Mask, Avene Soothing Moisture Mask, Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque, Clarins HydraQuench, Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, Clinique Moisture Surge, Origins Drink Up Intensive, Sisley Black Rose… possibilities are endless, really!


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