The 8 Best Face Masks for Beautiful, Glowing Skin
Thanks to the new menu of no-rinse formulas and upgraded classics, your home-spa options are more customized than ever.
Masks are an extra step to hydrate, brighten, or clean your skin, and they’re no longer limited to a lazy Sunday. The me-time staple has evolved to fit more needs, including your Netflix binge-watching schedule. Here are the best face masks for every skin type and concern, plus tips for how to use them.
We adore sheet masks for their no-rinse convenience. They're ideal for travel, and devotees have been known to wear them to combat dry air. Materials like paper and hydrogel (a biodegradable jelly) prevent the serums in these masks from evaporating, which means more time for your skin to absorb the active ingredients. Drape a mask over your entire face (think of it as the beauty version of a hockey mask) or apply patches on targeted areas, like under eyes.
Clay is a perennial favorite for the way it absorbs oil and draws impurities out of skin. The only drawback is that it can be drying for some skin types. But new universal versions infused with soothing botanicals or anti-aging ingredients make this mask type appropriate for everyone (see our staff's review of this top-rated Indian Healing clay mask). If you need clay only on occasion—a sudden breakout, for example—single-use pods are a no-waste solution. Clay masks are best for T-zone TLC.
Use thermal masks for deep cleansing or hydration. They contain ingredients that heat up when exposed to water (just use damp fingers to unleash their magic). The warmth dilates blood vessels so ingredients—whether hydrating or exfoliating—penetrate better, says NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. Those with sensitive skin should avoid thermal masks because the heat may worsen flushing.
Want an "I woke up like this" glow? Reach for an overnight mask. Also known as sleeping masks, these gel-base moisturizers work like a night cream but without the typical heaviness or mess on your pillow. In fact, people with oily or combination skin often prefer an overnight mask in place of night cream because the lightweight formulas are less likely to clog pores. Apply to clean skin or as a top layer to seal in serum.