The next best thing to a professional facial? Applying our favorite face mask right in the comforts of home! While we love these pamper-me products due to their ease of use, even the simplest ones out there aren’t foolproof. Here’s a simple guide to navigating the world of face masks.
Frustrated that clay-based mask is leaving residue everywhere? Whatever you do, don’t forcibly rub your skin to remove it. Instead, enlist the help of a warm, wet wash cloth and let it sit on your skin for a minute or so. The steam will “loosen” the product and easy, gentle removal will be well within your reach. Using a sheet mask? Skip any kind of rinsing altogether and instead seal in the effects of the mask with your favorite moisturizer, which you should apply immediately after use.
We get it: when you find a product that fosters results, as so many of our masks do, it’s only natural to want to maximize their potential. But it turns out that overdoing it isn’t a wise M.O., particularly when certain ingredients are involved. “If the mask contains acids, enzymes or other exfoliating ingredients, it should not be used more than once a week,” says Diana Ralys, an LA-based esthetician.
Certain masks, anti-acne and exfoliating masks for example, are notorious for being drying. Exfoliation “tricks” the skin into acting younger by encouraging cell turnover—a process that slows dramatically with age— to rev up. Score! Additionally, the use of an exfoliating mask, given that it works to remove dead skin cells, puts skin in the best possible position to absorb treatments and moisture—so don’t let the window pass.
While most masks are generally great, not all masks are good for your skin type or concern. “I see a lot of people using clay masks, which are really best for oily or acneic skin types, since they dry the skin,” says esthetician Pearl Dworkin. “On the other hand, gentle exfoliating masks are good for most skin types.” If have dry or mature skin and do crave a purifying mask that contains clay or similar ingredients, that’s fine—just make sure the active ingredients are tempered with gentle, nourishing ones. “Some purifying masks are dosed with oils or other hydrating ingredients, such as sodium, which purify and refine skin’s appearance without drying,” says dermatologist Dr. De Fiori. “They’re good for improving pore appearance in dry or aged skin.”
Not sure which face mask is right for you? We’ve done our homework. These at-home face masks will help you accomplish your most pressing skin care objectives on your own time.
Why we love it: Uniquely engineered with a 95% water and 5% plant cellulose hydrogel technology for immense hydration, the mask becomes visibly and texturally thinner as it absorbs into the skin with longer wear. Aloe binds water to the skin while vitamin C, coffee arabica extract and green tea nourishes skin with antioxidants.
Why shoppers love it: “I left it on for the full 20 minutes. It moisturized my skin and made it look de-stressed. Would use again-especially in the summer time after a day in the sun.” – From North Andover, MA
Why we love it: This is a unique oil-free gel mask that lavishes parched skin with comforting moisture, restoring a youthfully supple appearance in a flash.
Why shoppers love it: “The best hydrating masque I’ve tried—and I’ve tried dozens! It really makes my pores appear smaller and gives the skin a tightened, toned and soft appearance.” – From Whitman, MA
Why we love it: This rich and creamy mask is infused with Avene thermal spring water to reduce redness and inflammation and calm overly stressed skin.
Why shoppers love it: “This mask is perfect for my hyper-sensitive eczema prone facial skin. When my face becomes red and reactive, I can trust this mask will help lessen the redness and prevent over-drying.” – From Charleston, SC
Why we love it: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask provides the benefits of a professional-strength peel, mask and exfoliator all in one deliciously scented formula. Loaded with real pumpkin puree and enzymes, it dissolves facial impurities and replenishes moisture to leave your skin touchably soft and smooth.
Why shoppers love it: “I have used it a couple times in the past month and love it. You can feel it working right away and it leaves your skin smooth and soft!” – From Los Angeles, CA
Why we love it: A luxurious mud treatment that helps balance oil production, reduce breakouts, and invigorate a lackluster complexion.
Why shoppers love it: “This product is amazing! I have had trouble most of life with cystic acne and I this mud treatment has made a world of difference. I have not had a breakout in months since I starting using it.” – From Phoenix, AZ
Why we love it: We’ve never seen anything like this! Created by the renowned dermatologist to the stars, Dr. Harold Lancer, this next-generation treatment mask features the Lancer-exclusive formula, which leaves wrinkle-reducing properties while declogging your pores, and gets lifted off your skin with an innovative, magnetic tool.
Why shoppers love it: “After removal and slightly rubbing it in, my lines disappeared, my skin was totally hydrated and super soft. I’m totally obsessed with this. I might be using this more often than recommended, but totally worth every penny.” – From El Segundo, CA