The essential face masks for dry, dull, acne-prone, ageing, or congested skin.
No matter how tired, stressed, broken-out, or parched your skin may be, a face mask is out there to help. Now with more ways to apply them than ever before—sheet, mud, gel—and tons of sustainable options, it can be hard to determine which one is right for your skin.
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So as a necessary public service, we did the homework for you, rounding up the best masks for every single skin concern, so whether you’re fighting off a batch of blemishes, suffering from stress-induced blotchiness, or simply want to tame your oily complexion, there’s likely a version out there that will work for you.
Keep scrolling for the best face masks for every skin type.
Best for...stressed-out skin
We’re living in unprecedented times and it’s not easy. We don’t need to rehash why that is - you already know. From constant COVID-19 news updates to an over-whelming WFH to-do list, there's a lot to be stressed about and your skin is getting the brunt of it. With the body into fight or flight mode, it prioritises oxygen and blood flow for your vital organs, dropping skin to the bottom of the list. This leaves it prone to a whole host of skin conditions, from acne to rosacea. Using clay sourced from Umbria, Italy, this mask thoroughly cleanses and purifies the skin. Sandalwood oil, chamomile flower, and lavender water are also included to calm and soothe your complexion.
Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, €59.75, FRESH
Best for...hormonal skin
Periods suck for a multitude of reasons but possibly one of the most frustrating aspects of our monthly visitor is the damage it does to our skin. What was once normally well-behaved skin is now stressed, spotty and sad. Targeting one woe at a time, this mask uses hyaluronic acid to nourish, green tea to soothe, zinc to stop spots from forming and clary sage for its antiseptic properties. What's more, it’s beauty that does good too. For every product sold, Faace donates one sanitary product to period-poverty charity Hey Girls.
Period Faace Mask, €25, Faace
Best for...sensitive skin
If you have the type of skin that tingles, breaks out and turns bright the red the second you so much as open a new skincare product, you need to stay away from heavy-duty masks. Instead, look out for terms like “soothing” and “calming” on mask packaging and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera and oat. Image Skincare's gel sheet face mask is loaded with soothing, hydrating ingredients like glycerin, aloe, green tea, hyaluronic acid and chamomile to calm dehydrated or irritated skin helping you to achieve glowing skin without the added irritation.
IMAGE I Mask Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Mask, €9, Image Skincare
best for...under eye bags
While the jury is still out on whether eye cream is really all that necessary, eye masks are very much a necessity. These cooling eye patches from MILK MAKEUP are packed with caffeine, lavender, and aloe barbadensis leaf extract to soothe and calm inflammation and brighten up the eye area. Basically, say goodbye to under-eye bags and dark circles.
Cooling Water Undereye Patches, €25, MILK Makeup
Best for...rough skin
Regularly using a chemical exfoliant is one of the most effective ways to maintain clear, smooth skin. But for a quick-fix solution, you can't underestimate the power of a good exfoliating mask. Though it may seem gimmicky, the pumpkins (or more specifically, the pumpkin enzymes) in the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask actually serve a legitimate purpose. Pumpkins are naturally rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which, as you probably already know, are great for smoothing out and resurfacing your skin. But that's not the only source of exfoliation in this mask: sodium lactate and aluminium oxide crystals offer further brightening and skin-polishing benefits (and the crystals give the mask a granular texture, which is why the brand recommends massaging it into your skin like you would a scrub).
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, €61, Peter Thomas Roth
Best for...DULL skin
Fans of this mask include some serious A-listers (*cough* Gigi Hadid *cough*). It's probably because of the megawatt glow and velvety softness that results from a quick rendezvous with this formula. Spanish clay, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, and peptides work together to detoxify, nourish, and plump the skin. Take it from the queen herself, Charlotte Tilbury: "It has fail-proof results, dramatically purifying the skin, creating a smooth, clear, youthfully dewy surface, revealing new baby skin."
Goddess Clay Mask, €48, Charlotte Tilburry
Dealing with acne can feel like getting the Spinning Wheel of Death while working on your Macbook. But that's why face masks were invented. Treating your skin with a mask full of acne-fighting and soothing ingredients a couple of times a week can be worth the extra step. However, if you're using prescription acne products just check with your dermatologist first to make sure the formulas will jive. Our top pick? The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid 2% Masque. With 2% salicylic acid, clay, and charcoal, it's powerful enough to cut through the oil that's clogging up your pores and suck up that extra sebum. Your skin will feel refreshed and clean — but definitely not tight. That's because this mask doesn't completely dry up when you let it marinate on your face.
Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, €12, The Ordinary
best for...fine lines + wrinkles
Sadly, ageing is unavoidable but there are ways to delay visible signs. One being this carefully crafted anti-ageing mask from No7. The number one ingredient? Moisturising and plumping hyaluronic acid. Pair that with the brand’s very own anti-wrinkle peptide, Matrixyl 3000, and you’ve got an intensive formula that battles all signs of ageing. Use once a week for four weeks to see visible results.
Best For...Redness, Inflammation
Best for...dry skin
This renowned mask from Sisley has a reputation that’s well deserved. Beautiful to use, it gets to work quickly, giving skin a burst of hydration. The soothing formulation contains extract of black rose, essential oils and extract of red vine leaf to improve radiance.
Black Rose Cream Mask, €114, Sisley
Best for...oiLY skin
This Glamglow mask was literally made for oily skin issues, but also addresses redness, helps treat razor burn and even minimises inflammation. So, how does it work magic? It contains charcoal to lift away dirt and other impurities, while the other six acids it contains works to brighten and soften your skin.
SuperMud Clearing Treatment, €49, Glamglow
Best for...COMBINATION skin
When it comes to skin types, some of us have the best of both worlds — an oily T-zone and dry cheeks and, yes, you detect a bit of sarcasm here. The best masks to use on confused skin are clay masks which contain effective ingredients that can address a shiny nose, forehead, and chin — all while tackling flaky cheeks. This multitasking mask has both sides of combination skin covered: soothing oatmeal and sea whip is heaven on dry skin, while bentonite and kaolin clays absorb oils from pores and willow bark helps treat and prevent acne. Use it once or twice week for 10-15 minutes and you'll notice a change in your skin as it becomes clearer and smoother.
Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask, €26, Paula's Choice
best for...Large, Clogged Pores
Chances are you've used a blackhead mask or two as a teenager. But even if you’re well past your teen years (raises hand), know that blackheads can still rear their ugly heads. After all, plenty of people experience acne well into their 30s, 40s, and beyond. That’s where those blackhead masks of your youth come in—although the formulas available today are arguably better than they were years ago. This blackhead mask has a powerful yet gentle formula making it safe and effective for all skin types. Ingredients include grape marc (the remains of grapes after being pressed) to detoxify, pink clay and coffee to absorb dirt and oil, papaya enzymes to brighten, and organic essential oils like lavender and sage to fight bacteria. Users rave about the ease of use and how soft, smooth, and clear their skin looks and feels after using it.
Main image by @bellamichlo on Instagram