Take it from someone who owns more than 50
face masks (give or take) but only uses, oh, about five regularly: You don’t need enough face masks to fill a gigantic Sephora store or, heck, even one-sixth of your bathroom cabinet. In fact, face masks (although extremely delightful to use and fun to shop for) can be considered a mere add-on to your regular skincare routine. Using too many formulas—especially if they’re not suited for your specific skin type or concerns—might actually lead to unintended skin issues, not to mention a wounded bank account. Often, though, scrolling through Instagram or shopping our favorite beauty retailers (where we see roughly a million face masks per minute) makes us feel like we’re supposed to have a super-bountiful collection of masking options. Well, we’re here to shout nay.
beauty-and-skincare enthusiasts we are, we decided to help you pare down your options depending on how your complexion is wired. Whether you veer oily, combination, sensitive, dry, normal, or acne-prone or are looking for the best face masks geared toward anti-aging, we found four of the best options specifically suited to enhance, improve, and heal your skin. Below, you’ll find one splurge-worthy face mask, one budget-priced face mask, one sheet mask, and one super-clean face mask targeted for each skin type. (Some handily happen to fall into more than one category for a few win-win situations.) So feel free to browse through all of our editor-selected face-mask options, or simply speed ahead to your specific complexion type. Keep scrolling!
Topped up with potent anti-aging ingredients (such as lush black rose extract, shea butter, vitamins, and oils from magnolia and rose), this mask is specifically formulated to brighten, plump, and reinvigorate aging skin for a more youthful-looking complexion.
This skin-enhancing face mask features a complexion-refreshing gel texture that’s strategically enriched with delicate peony extract, AHAs derived from fruit acids, and a unique mineral exfoliant that helps wake up aging, dull, or tired-looking skin.
This multitasking sheet mask has so much to offer any skin type but mature skin, in particular. It’s specifically designed to restore suppleness, luminosity, and plumpness in just one application using the brand’s signature Pure Liquid Retinol and anti-photo wrinkle system, which is boosted with hero ingredient chlorella plant extract.
If you’re on the hunt for a nontoxic masking formula that will also help firm and re-contour skin that’s begun to lose its elasticity, you’re in for a treat. This is a serum-strength face mask that’s meant to dramatically increase your skin’s moisture levels while a unique blend of marine glycobiology helps to restructure and smooth the complexion.
This hyper-gentle yet fast-working detoxifying mask has a gained a cult following among the beauty-editor set. You can use it as often as you need all over or as a spot treatment, and the sparkling, honey-like formula features a breakout-targeting roster of ingredients such as tea tree oil, allantoin, sodium hyaluronate, manuka, and a 2% salicylic acid complex to thoroughly eradicate oil and bacteria deep within the pores.
The Ordinary is known for its highly efficacious formulas that have budget-friendly price tags. For those looking to combat acne and oil, this best-selling face mask uses salicylic acid, charcoal, and clays to improve skin clarity, blemishes, and uneven skin tone all in one go.
As someone who personally deals with acne and regular cycles of stubborn breakouts, I staunchly believe all of my fellow acne experiencers should have this detoxifying and decongesting French sheet mask in their weekly skincare arsenal. It turns into a cool, foamy texture upon application that helps detoxify, renew, and re-moisturize lackluster skin and angry pores.
We’re newly infatuated with this ultra-pure face mask from LaBruna, which essentially absorbs impurities and congestion associated with acne-prone skin. It utilizes yummy, circulation-boosting MVPs such as antioxidant-rich berries, skin-calming rose, and hibiscus, plus a dose of vitamin A, arnica, and reishi mushroom to help repair existing skin damage.
This luxurious face mask is the ultimate balm for anyone with sensitive skin. Whether you’re dry, irritated, dull, chapped, or dealing with specific conditions like rosacea, this face mask (which conveniently doubles as a nutritive night cream) helps heal any kind of upset.
Aveeno is known as one of the best drugstore brands for those with sensitive skin. This mask, in particular, is one of the best options thanks to its calming complex of pumpkin seed, feverfew, and prebiotic-rich oats.
Pretty much every product French brand Avène makes is a soothing, non-irritating antidote for sensitive skin. That said, this face mask easily adheres to the face and surges grumpy skin with lots of TLC via the brand’s superstar ingredient, calming Thermal Spring Water.
This just-launched brand is already generating tons of (very glowing) buzz within the beauty industry. This buttery, naturally formulated mask is especially wonderful for anyone with sensitive skin, irritation, or conditions like eczema. Some of its standout ingredients include colloidal oatmeal, green tea extract, turmeric root, and madecassoside (centella asiatica extract), which work in tandem to keep skin calm, cool, and balanced.
This is a painful price point for a face mask, but this best-selling formula from Dr. Barbara Sturm is well worth the investment if your funds allow. (And luckily, a little goes a long way!) It’s fragrance-free and fortified with aloe vera, chamomile, purslane, and kaolin clay to soothe, soften, moisturize, protect, and illuminate dehydrated skin.
The name of this face mask doesn’t lie, and quite honestly, the second you apply the honey- and lavender-spiked formula, you’ll think you paid 10 times the price.
Is there anything dreamier than La Mer? For those with chapped, dry skin, we suggest trying its legendary Miracle Broth–infused elixir, which it’s formulated into easy-to-use sheet masks. Each ultra-potent mask is brimming with almost a full ounce of the brand’s beloved Treatment Lotion so you get a concentrated dose of glow and plumpness with every application. (FYI: Celebrity makeup artists love to prep their clients’ faces with this exact mask before events and red carpets.)
It’s hard to choose a favorite mask from Tata Harper, but this beautiful floral mask has to top our list. One-hundred percent of the ingredients are from natural origin and 52% are born from organic farming. Not to mention, it boasts 1000 micro and macromolecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, so dry skin gets the hydration it’s craving.
Fun fact: This is Sephora’s best-selling face mask, and while it’s safe for normal, dry, oily, and combination skin, it’s especially strategic when it comes to the latter. Wear it overnight, and let the supercharged vitamin C, super berries, squalane, and hyaluronic acid work their magic. Scout’s honor—you’ll wake up to a brighter, plumper, über-moisturized complexion.
Yes To was my main skincare squeeze before I became a beauty editor, and if you took a peek in my bathroom cabinets, you’d still find this fabulous oil-nixing face mask among all of my other favorite (significantly more expensive) products. I recommend this formula to everyone, but it’s especially handy if you’re prone to once-in-awhile breakouts and oiliness but don’t want anything too intense. Yes, it’s a salicylic acid mud mask, but conditioning additions such as tomato, aloe, watermelon, and chamomile keep skin happy, balanced, and far from any irritation.
Meet Neutrogena’s fan-favorite HydroBoost mask formula 2.0. Deeply purifying, this noncomedogenic mask features decongesting seaweed extract alongside restorative shea butter for the perfect balance of nutrition and detoxification.
Bedecked with gold sparkles, this rebalancing mask makes for more than just a pretty face. It’s a true antidote for every skin type, but combination folks will fall head over heels for the dreamy blend of organic rose-hip and argan oils along with a unique, sustainable bio-retinol analogue from the plant Bidens pilosa. Translation? Regular users will reap benefits like smoother skin, increased collagen production, increased cell turnover, and fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
GlamGlow’s holy-grail SuperMud mask has been around for years, and we still have yet to meet another option that can surpass it in terms of instant gratification and efficacy. It contains six different exfoliating acids in addition to activated charcoal, which makes it the closest thing to a packaged vacuum cleaner for your pores that we’ve ever tested.
Mario Badescu has a super-loyal following of skincare aficionados, and we love how lenient it is on our bank accounts. This top-rated mask was created for oily skin, in particular, and adeptly uses congestion- and grease-targeting power players such as bentonite, kaolin, magnesium carbonate, zinc oxide, and calamine to minimize shiny T-zones while still keeping your skin calm, collected, and cool as a cucumber.
My collection of 111Skin Bio Cellulose face masks just might be my most prized beauty possession. The brand offers a few different options geared toward different skin concerns, but this one is the ultimate blemish- and oil-blasting antidote. Scientifically formulated to closely regulate the skin’s microbiome (which aids cellular recovery), it’s also engineered to target zone-specific impurity triggers. In other words, each section of the sheet mask features a specialized formula to treat bumps and other related impurities. Your skin will feel balanced and soothed, but the upper portion of the mask will go to town treating diet-, hair product–, and perspiration-related problem spots while the lower portion focuses on inflammation or irritation triggered by hormonal acne.
My fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs and I both obsess over this clean yet super-effective mask from Goldfaden MD. The advanced lineup of ingredients stars soothing benefactors such as zinc oxide, sulfur, and camphor, which work harmoniously to not only improve your skin’s natural radiance (no highlight required) but also thoroughly eradicate clogged pores and congestion-induced breakouts.
Drunk Elephant makes a lot of iconic skincare products, but this resurfacing mask is probably its most beloved. Sensitive skin types, beware, but anyone who has normal, dry, oily, or combination skin can benefit from this investment. The trademark blend of chickpea flour (yes, really), salicylic acid, and AHAs (from tartaric, lactic, and citric acids) tackles lackluster or bumpy skin texture, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores in one fell swoop.
All of Versed’s single-use face masks are brilliant, but this hydrating and soothing mask makes your face look like you swiped a filter over it in real life. Think plump, dewy, even, replenished skin that stays happy for hours on end.
This best-selling sheet mask houses the same magic as Tatcha’s cult-loved Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, but the handy sheet-mask format allows you to let all of those same glow-enhancing ingredients (like Okinawa red algae) permeate your skin longer and more effectively. It’s a true treat at the end of a long day or as a Sunday-night good-luck charm to ward off the incoming week’s scaries.
It doesn’t get more luxe or majestic than the practically enchanted likes of this super-clean face mask from Kypris. It boasts juicy pomegranate pith enzymes to refine the look of your skin in addition to thalassic extracts, sea fennel stem cells, sea algae, and silver ear mushroom for a velvety, lit-from-within finish. Up next: 18 Brightening Serums for When Your Skin Looks Like a Help-Wanted Sign