There’s nothing more luxurious than applying a rejuvenating face mask to your skin when you want a bit of a boost. Not to mention, the vast variety of clay, jellied and peel-off makes the experience a beauty playground you want to swing and slide on.
That said, the formulations available ad infinitum begs the question: what’s the best face mask for my skin type? You asked, we answered — and put 33 to the test.
What’s more, we consulted a board-certified dermatologist to answer all your burning questions in our FAQ section on what ingredients to look for, tips on how to use each type most effectively and more. (Related: best under-eye masks).
“Face masks help cleanse, moisturize and nourish the skin,” Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in aesthetic dermatology and associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital with 31 years of experience, told the New York Post. “Different masks can help with different skin concerns; there are face masks that can help with acne, others that can help with hyperpigmentation and others that are nourishing.”
And, unlike cleansers, face masks will have longer contact with the skin which can give you an added benefit.
Click to jump to a specific face mask for every skin type:
What’s the best face mask for my skin type?
Ahead, Peredo highlights what ingredients to look for, depending on your skin type:
- Dry: Look for a face mask with hyaluronic acid, honey, glycerin, shea butter or ceramides to help nourish and moisturize the skin. You can use any of the ingredients or a combination of them all.
- Sensitive: Look for face masks with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe, chamomile, green tea, niacinamide or cucumber extract to soothe the skin. Cucumber extract can be very cooling. Don’t use a face mask with ingredients such as alcohol or fragrance as those can be harmful to sensitive skin.
- Oily: Clay or charcoal masks are ideal for those who have oily skin because they absorb excess oil. Charcoal can also help clear clogged pores.
- Combination: Clay or charcoal masks are also good for combination skin because they can help with the oil in the T-Zone. Hyaluronic acid is also good to moisturize and salicylic acid can help with acne.
- Acne-prone: Look for a face mask with salicylic acid to help fight acne and unclog pores. Clay and charcoal masks are also good for acne-prone skin to unclog pores. Benzoyl peroxide is also good for acne-prone skin because of its antibacterial properties.
An overview of our skin types
As commerce reporters who are a-buzz with all things skincare, we knew we had to tag-team on this months-long review — especially since we have dry and sensitive skin and combination and oily skin, respectively.
- Ruby: I have a complicated relationship with my skin — like most do. I struggle with texture and hormonal acne around my time of the month. I also have combination skin, as it can become dry and flaky if not hydrated or too oily if I pack on a heavyweight moisturizer. Though, my complexion is even and bright.
- Victoria: Though I don’t struggle with acne-prone skin all that much, my skin has always been sensitive (one ingredient that doesn’t agree with me can instantly cause a breakout). I have some dry, eczema-like spots, too, so choosing a good face mask is a finely grained process.
Enjoy reading our first impressions and long-term testing notes to help aid your skincare routine into pure bliss.
Best Clay Face Masks
1. Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore-Fining Face Mask, $40
This face masks blew up all over the internet, as no other skincare mask works quite like it
We applied a layer of the pink clay onto our faces and had all impurities, toxins and pollutants be lifted away. But what we loved most about it was how the 4-in-1 treatment left our skin glowing and tightened our pores.
2. Pacifica Kale Charcoal Ultimate Detox Mask, $10 to $15
Made with charcoal, kale and willow herb, this detox mask is tough enough to get rid of grime and build up but gentle enough to keep your skin healthy and smooth.
If you’re someone who struggles with oily skin, blemishes, blackheads and skin clogging nasties, then you’ll especially love this find.
3. Youth To The People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial, $54
The closest thing you’ll find to an at-home facial? This Youth To The People resurfacing treatment.
It’s not as thick as a typical clay face mask, but rather feels like a soft cream with added texture. Simply apply, scrub away in circular motions and look forward to a completely renewed complexion. We will say, if you have sensitive skin, you’re going to want to use this one sporadically, as no one wants irritated skin.
4. innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask, $16
Ideal for all skin types, this clay mask tackles enlarged pores, excess oil, dull skin and uneven texture. We love it because it’s made without parabens while still getting the job done. And did we mention it’s incredibly gentle for being an exfoliating mask? Because it is.
5. Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, $24 to $32
For a nourishing mask that works wonders on sensitive skin, try the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay. Namely, it helps draw out impurities, is buildable (so if you like a thick mask, this one is for you) and is certified Clean at Sephora, so your skin will feel good upon your purchase.
6. Disco Rejuvenating Face Mask, $38
While this is a men’s face mask, we think skincare is for all.
Packed with acne and inflammation fighting ingredients, your skin will undoubtedly enjoy this perfect relaxation-inducing treat. We know ours did! Plus, this face mask purifies, evens skin tone and restores.
7. Fenty Skin Cookies N Clean Whipped Clay Detox Face Mask with Salicylic Acid & Charcoal, $32
As fans of cookies and cream ice cream, we knew we had to try Fenty Skin’s new Cookies N Clean Whipped Clay Detox Face Mask. Since it’s infused with salicylic acid, it “exfoliates the surface of the skin and penetrates into pores to remove oil,” according to Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical Center.
And indeed, it did. Its decadent whipped texture is enough to use again and again. We love how it’s a detox mask without being too tightening. Instead, it’s apt for any skin type and leaves your skin soft and bouncy. Read our full review here.
8. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, $42
Made popular on TikTok, we knew we had to try Caudalie’s Instant Detox Mask which grew a cult-following, basically, overnight. Not only is its packaging akin to what you’d find at a day spa, but its firming nature is especially great for that purifying feel, one we’d recommend for mature skin, specifically (though we’re in our 20s and adore it all the same).
Its caffeine and rose clay combination is one of the most effective and skin-boosting we’ve tried, too. Keep in mind that it may take a bit longer to wash off (but it’s worth the extra work).
9. Alpyn Beauty Wild Huckberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel Mask, $56
If we could write a love letter to Alpyn Beauty, we would. A note from Victoria: I use the entire line — from its bubbly cleanser to top-rated moisturizer almost every day, and that says something considering I test a bunch of beauty products.
While it’s not an oversized container by any means, quality over quantity is the name of the game for this clean beauty brand. The founder of the brand handpicks ingredients from nearby fields, too, so the wild huckleberry is fresh and a natural ingredient for polishing your skin to near-perfection.
Read our full brand review here.
10. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Face Mask with 10.5% Squalane, $45
We came across Kiehl’s Since 1851’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Face Mask on social media — and boy, are we thrilled it appeared on our feed.
When applied to your face, the texture is almost like a room-temperature sorbet, feeling baby smooth and lightweight to the touch. While we recommend any skin type trying it out for that much-needed skin refresh, it’s impeccable on dry skin, specifically, removing some of the flakiness that inevitably appears on our jawlines and eyebrow area.
11. Korres Pomegranate Triple-Dose Resurfacing Mask, $29
All of Korres’ products make us want to book a flight to Greece ASAP (so if you love that vibe, we’re just about sure you’ll love the brand’s Pomegranate Triple-Dose Resurfacing Mask.
It’s fairly priced compared to some others we tested and noticeably targets oiliness, pores and uneven texture, making up the ultimate skincare trifecta you can imagine. It’s one of the best for combination skin, namely because its texture leans in the middle of ultra-whipped moisturizer and lightweight serum.
12. Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask, $41
Oh, Ole Henriksen, how we love you. If there’s a face mask that has that green-pigmented, self-care charm, it’s the brand’s Cold Plunge Pore Mask — a renowned formulation that has a bit of a minty scent to enliven and refresher your skin.
Though we enjoy it for making even the smallest of our pores even smaller, it’s stellar for combining active botanicals like green tea, eucalyptus and kelp algae to add to its soothing charm.
13. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, $49
Summer Fridays has been a brand we’ve always wanted to try, and, after doing so, its Jet Lag Mask made the cut. Mostly purchased for its throw-in-your-travel-bag aesthetic or to pamper yourself after a long flight, we love using it on random Monday nights at home all the same.
Because of its versatile, buildable consistency, it doubles as your daily moisturizer with just a few squeezes and your ultimate face mask with just a bit more pumped out of the tube. It’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free, too, so it’s optimal for sensitive skin, especially.
14. First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask, $28
First Aid Beauty’s FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask has a cult following, so we decided to give it a test. It helped our skin become more soft and supple and we saw it even helped mitigate the appearance of dark circles (a score!) For a new product to try, this one’s a great one to add to your shopping cart.
Best Jelly Face Masks
1. Sand & Sky Tasmanian Spring Water Intense Hydrating Mask, $35
In just 10 minutes, our skin felt revitalized and hydrated. Want to know how? Well, it was all thanks to this cornflower and sea kelp face mask by Sand & Sky.
By soothing redness, strengthening the skin’s barrier and deeply moisturizing the skin, the face is left with lasting hydration, luminous skin and an overall improved skin texture.
2. Florence By Mills Feed Your Soul Love U A Latte Coffee Glow Mask, $18
First and foremost, this face mask smells just like coffee and we are obsessed with it! So much so, we can’t even espresso how much we love it.
But beyond the delicious smell, this jelly and exfoliating face mask wipes away any and all dead skin cells to leave behind a radiant and hydrated complexion.
Just talking about it gets us excited for our next at-home spa day!
3. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $40
Ready to get glowing skin while you sleep? Us too!
This watermelon mask smooths, refines and boosts radiance all while you sleep. It sounded too good to be true, so we put it to the test. To our surprise, it went above and beyond, and this pillow-proof mask packs amino-acid, hyaluronic acid and AHAs into one easy-to-use face mask.
4. I Dew Care Sugar Kitten Hydrating Rose Water Peel-Off Mask, $23
You won’t believe it, but this face mask uses real ruby powder to give skin the gorgeous glow it deserves. Best of all, it’s a no-mess peel off mask that applies like a jelly mask. Once it’s time to remove, it’s comes off with no painful tugging or pulling.
5. Pipette Overnight Brightening Mask, $18
We don’t know about you, but we love a quick and easy mask that you don’t have to think about.
That’s exactly what this Pipette brightening mask does, as it works while you sleep. Simply apply to your skin before you go to bed and let the mask tackle discoloration and dullness.
6. Beautycounter Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask, $96
Get baby soft skin with this Beautycounter AHA smoothing facial mask we are in love with.
In just 10 minutes, your skin can look and feel revived with chemical and physical exfoliants. Further ingredients include AHA glycolic acid and bamboo particles to give your skin a boost of hydration, a soothed feel and a soft complexion.
7. Skinfix Redness Recovery+ Antioxidant Redness Treatment Overnight Mask, $52
If you struggle with redness, spider veins or dehydrated skin, this is the mask for you.
Used as an overnight treatment, the creamy-gel mask calms and reduces visible redness. Some reviews even claim that this mask helps with acne, so you already know what we are trying out next!
8. Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask, $38
OK, if you’re skin is super dehydrated, we can’t recommend Belif’s Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask enough. It’s one of the best night creams we reviewed, too, much ado to its cooling, ocean-like dollop that’s like a burst to your parched skin. It also gives our skin a fresh glow, too, making it a superb brightener and skin-boosting moisturizer simultaneously.
9. Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask, $52
Drunk Elephant is the Queen B of luxury skincare, and for a good reason — with one try of the brand’s F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask, you won’t go back.
Its packaging is one of the best for on-the-go use, too. This plumping mask helps to restore your skin’s moisture and create a smooth base to kick off your next day’s start. Pro tip: we’ve used this as a makeup primer and never looked back.
10. Farmacy 10% Niacinamide Night Mask, $44
When it comes to niacinamide, we automatically want to snatch every skincare product in sight. Much to our delight, Farmacy has a fabulous 10% Niacinamide Night Mask that has that sleepytime, self-care aesthetic we can’t skip.
Specifically, this product helped to balance our skin with its antioxidant-rich blueberry seed oil. Though infused with a fruity touch, it isn’t too fragrant to break out sensitive or acne-prone skin. If you’re looking for a new soothing mask to try, this one’s it.
11. innisfree Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask, $26
With a texture and subtle scent much like your refreshing lemon Italian ice, Innisfree’s Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask has that luxury feel without the luxury price. It’s similar to Belif’s mask in that it’s refreshing and cooling, though this one has a bit more texture to help really clarify your skin. If you’re on the hunt for that dreamy jellied mask, pick up this one ASAP.
12. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, $29
From the brand that brought you its top-of-the-line Lip Sleeping Mask (one of the best lip balms we tested), Laneige has a fabulous Water Sleeping Mask that’s gentle, skin-nurturing and a great addition to your evening skincare routine.
We love it for its focus on dry skin, though it’s also recommended for combination and oily skin. It was designed with hydration in mind, most impressively, and it contains squalane for that adds to its moisturization properties even more.
13. Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask with Vitamin C, $48
If you’re looking for a jellied face mask that leans more toward your heavier moisturizer than a bouncy jelly texture, you’re in luck. Youth to the People has a phenomenal Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask — infused with vitamin C — that we reach for frequently when we want a brightening detox.
Namely, it’s antioxidant-rich (thanks, super berries!) and was one of the best we tested for dull skin. Plus, it has hyaluronic acid in its formula to increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Best Sheet Masks
1. Venn Skincare Collagen Intensive Phyto-Retinol Mask (2 Treatments), $47
Supercharged with collagen and bakuchiol, a plant derived retinol alternative, we swear by this face mask.
Not only is the science there to back this mask up, but this pick also invigorates skin to appear plump, firm and lifted while toning and brightening the skin.
2. Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Concentrated Treatment Sheet Mask, $19
A sheet mask that conforms and holds to the contours of the face? Sign us up!
This Perricone sheet mask packs vitamin C, ester, copper tripeptide and phospholipids into one treatment that work together to improve dull skin, uneven texture, discoloration and more.
3. 111skin Celestial Black Diamond Face Mask (5-Pack), $140
Individually, 111skin’s sheet masks are a splurge (and a great one at that), and you simply can’t beat Celestial Black Diamond Face Mask. It’s tough to choose a favorite from this list, but the soft black texture of this mask is hard to come by — and, it made us think, “wow, my skin actually feels smoother and fresher than ever.
It’s even great for mature skin, helping to reduce the appearance of frown lines and giving the neck and décolletage area some love. For a calm and luxurious feel, this is where it’s at (especially for making your skin look like a “natural glow” Instagram filter shortly after use).
4. Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Masks (6-Pack), $19
We’ve been using Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Masks for years. Truly, we can’t find a better solid skincare essential for the price, especially if you love that refreshing spa aroma and easy-to-wear design. For less than $20, you can snag the six-pack to keep you stocked for months.
5. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask, $9 to $16
For less than $20, pick up Dr. Jart+’s Ceramidin Facila Barrier Mask. We enjoyed this product for bringing moisture and an unmatched sense of liveliness to our skin. Plus, it’s perfect if you’re subject to the occasional breakout (even if you don’t have acne-prone skin); it helped make our skin even clearer than before.
6. Loops Weekly Reset Rejuvenating Face Mask (5-Pack), $30
Loops’ face masks are not only fun to try out (just look at its rainbow color selection!) but they’re just as effective and have a one-of-a-kind quality. The uniquely formulated hydrogel face masks are even intended for different purposes (like your weekly reset or night shift) and will surely add to the aesthetic of your self-care night like no other.
An FAQ on Skincare
Below, we outlined some of your most frequently asked questions on skincare face masks, turning to our dermatologist expert for additional commentary.
Do face masks actually work?
The golden question. In short, they do, though it may take some effort to hand-pick the perfect one for your needs and skin type. However, be sure to note these 15-minute formulas, for the most part, won’t be a concrete remedy to some of your skincare concerns.
“Face masks are good additions to your skincare routine, but it is not a permanent fix to skin concerns you may have,” Peredo explains. “Having a good skincare routine on top of using a face mask is important. You have to find time to add the face mask into the routine.”
How often should I use a face mask?
“Use a face mask once or twice a week to promote healthy skin,” Peredo advised.
Can I use an eye mask and a face mask together?
“Yes, you can use an eye mask and face mask together,” Peredo said. “The skin around the eye is the thinnest part of the face, so if you want to nourish the area further you can.”
For more on eye masks, check out the best under-eye patches we rounded up.
How do I incorporate a face mask in my skincare routine?
“You should apply a face mask after cleansing your face so it is free of any dirt or makeup,” Peredo advises. “After the mask, I recommend applying a serum or moisturizer to lock in moisture.”
Peredo likes to put on a face mask in the evening before bedtime while she’s watching her favorite TV show and relax (much like us!)
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This article was originally posted by The New York Post.