Choosing the Best Mask

Q: When should I choose a cloth mask instead of a clay, cream, or gel?

A: It depends. If you want to moisturize or soak up excess shine, stick with a clay, cream, or gel mask in a jar, but for anti-aging, consider a cloth version. "They typically contain higher amounts of retinol, which helps stimulate elastin and collagen production, thereby helping to plump fine lines and even skin tone," says Lisa Airan, M.D., a New York dermatologist. The flexible cotton fabric also allows the retinol to penetrate as it clings to your skin, so you get the most from your mask. Try L'Oreal Revitalift Intense Lift Treatment mask ($16.60; at drugstores) or Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing mask ($60;

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