The Best Face Masks for Every Skin Type, Condition, and Concern, According to Dermatologists
The Best Face Masks for Every Skin Type, Condition, and Concern
There’s no better way to prove to the world that you prioritize #selfcare than slathering on a creamy face mask on a Sunday night—and posting it on your Instagram Story. But aside from the aesthetic they add to your profile, face masks have physical benefits, too: They give your skin the undivided attention and quality time it needs to recuperate, or as Sandy Skotnicki, M.D., the founding director of the Bay Dermatology Centre in Toronto, puts it, face masks slowly deliver an active ingredient to your skin over time.
And while Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D, a dermatologist based in New York City, says most face masks can be used by most skin types (those with sensitive skin should gradually incorporate products into their routines), there’s no harm in using a mask formulated to treat your specific needs. So whether you’re looking for a product to brighten your tired skin or ease redness and inflammation, these are the best face masks for your skin type, condition, or concern, according to dermatologists.
The Best Face Masks for Normal Skin
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
If you have a habit of falling asleep with a face mask on, this all-in-one mask is for you. The overnight mask contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich watermelon extract to hydrate the skin, plus AHA chemical exfoliators to gently smooth and brighten, says Dr. Garshick. Factor in its bubblegum pink hue, and this face mask is a must-have for your at-home spa night. (After your DIY facial, give yourself these mindful beauty treatments.)
PCA Skin Purifying Mask
A clay-based treatment, this detoxifying face mask works for all skin types, says Dr. Garshick. While the clay works to unclog pores, absorb oil, and detox the skin, the algae hydrates the skin. To show your skin a bit of exfoliating love, the face mask contains pumice to break up built-up debris.
The Best Face Masks for Dry or Flaky Skin
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask
If you have both dry and sensitive skin, Dr. Garshick recommends this nourishing and non-irritating face mask. The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask works in just 10 minutes to reduce inflammation and hydrate with the help of soothing oats.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask
When little white flakes are floating off your face, turn to this drugstore favorite. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient to quench parched skin, as it helps bring moisture to the skin and keep it there, says Dr. Garshick, and this face mask is packed with it. Unlike other sheet masks that are made from paper, this Neutrogena product is made from hydrogel material, allowing it to hold up to 50 percent more essence than its paper competitors.
The Best Face Masks for Oily Skin
Acne Free Kaolin Clay Mask with Charcoal
To simplify your skincare routine, use this two-in-one face mask and cleanser. This face mask for acne uses kaolin clay to absorb excess oil that can cause breakouts and zinc to stifle excess oil production. To prevent over-drying, the clay and charcoal face mask contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps the skin retain moisture. (Related: Activated Charcoal Beauty Products That Work [Black] Magic)
Cetaphil Pro DermaControl Purifying Clay Mask
Another drugstore favorite? Cetaphil’s DermaControl Purifying Clay Mask. This face mask features two types of clay—bentonite and kaolin—an unstoppable combination for combating oily skin. As the bentonite works its absorption magic, the kaolin gently exfoliates and clears out dead skin cells, so it won’t make you break out, says Dr. Garshick. (Everyone's obsessed with this clay mask, and it's only $10.)
The Best Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
Avène Soothing Moisture Mask
If you have sensitive skin but want something to enrich your beauty routine, this face mask is a great option, says Dr. Garshick. Derived from thermal spring water to soften and calm the skin, the creamy mask contains safflower oil to help nourish and moisturize the skin. It’s gentle enough to use on sunburns, burns, and other skin injuries, for relief, too.
The Best Face Mask for Dull Skin
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
To brighten dull skin, opt for this revitalizing face mask. The face mask's AHA blend will exfoliate your skin, removing the layer of dead skin cells and leading to a brightened skin tone, while the matcha will provide your skin with a dose of calming antioxidants.
The Best Face Mask for Acne
Sunday Riley Saturn Acne Treatment Mask
Sulfur is one of the best ingredients to find in a face mask for acne, says Dr. Garshick. This Sunday Riley mask uses sulfur to clear up existing acne and prevent new whiteheads, blackheads, and pesky red blemishes from popping up. The product also helps decrease inflammation with niacinamide and zinc. (Here's how you get those annoying blackheads in the first place.)
The Best Face Mask for Whiteheads and Blackheads
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
Salicylic acid face masks are great for combatting whiteheads and blackheads, but if you’re looking for a natural product, turn to this botanical-based face mask, says Dr. Garshick. Willow bark has a salicylic acid effect to remove surface skin cells, and beta hydroxy acid from pomegranate enzymes naturally exfoliate the skin. To round out the acne-fighting regime, clay absorbs any excess oil and unclogs pores.
The Best Face Mask for Large or Clogged Pores
Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner
Together, salicylic acid and glycolic acid are an unbeatable force for large, clogged pores. In this face mask, the two ingredients exfoliate, remove dead skin cells, and dislodge the built-up gunk out of your pores. Mineral powder then sweeps in to absorb excess oil, and delicate rose extract works to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.
The Best Face Masks for Melasma or Discoloration
First Aid Beauty’s Hello FAB Ginger and Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask
To even out skin tone, Dr. Garshick recommends a face mask that has a one-two punch of exfoliators and antioxidants. First Aid Beauty’s Hello FAB Ginger and Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask uses lactic acid to exfoliate the skin and antioxidants like vitamin C to brighten. The product even provides a cooling effect ideal for flushed, stressed-out skin.
GlamGlow FLASHMUD Brightening Treatment Mask
Much like First Aid Beauty’s Jelly Mask, this face mask has a combination of lactic acid and vitamin C, but it also contains salicylic acid to clear out pores and natural exfoliators like betulin and ellagic acid to even out skin tone.
The Best Face Mask for Redness or Inflammation
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask
This botanical-based face mask calms the skin with dipeptide and rehydrates it with hyaluronic acid, says Dr. Garshick. The beauty product also has a cooling effect, an extra benefit to those who feel warmth in the skin when experiencing redness. Use it daily after an intense workout or when your skin feels discomfort, like after swimming in chlorine water or after experiencing windburn. (Wait, what causes lasting skin redness?)
The Best Face Mask for Puffiness
SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative Mask
Things that can make your skin red and inflamed can also make it puffy, so some products may work for both conditions, says Dr. Garshick. This biocellulose sheet face mask has a powerful healing effect on damaged or irritated skin, as its biofibers disperse heat-reducing water to the skin barrier for immediate swelling relief. If your skin needs a quick boost, this face mask will work, too, so don’t be afraid to put this sucker on during a long flight (à la Gabrielle Union).
The Best Face Masks for Anti-Aging
Olay Overnight Firming Gel Mask
If retinol is too strong for your skin, use this gel face mask, which contains a less irritating form of vitamin A that does the same trick. (For a plant-based retinol alternative, try bakuchiol.) The skincare product also features hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized and vitamin B3 to encourage surface skin cells to turnover and regenerate, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Lancer Lift and Plump Sheet Mask
Thanks to apple stem cells, this face mask has a tightening effect, giving the appearance of firm-looking skin, says Dr. Garshick. The hyaluronic acid also helps create plump-appearing skin, as it attracts and retains moisture close to the skin, and niacin works to reduce inflammation and encourage collagen production. All in all, this mask will give your skin a refreshed, youthful glow.