- 15 of The Best Hydrating Face Masks To Quench Parched Skin
- No, You Should Not Use Coconut Oil On Your Face
- According to dermatologists, few topical collagen skin supplements live up to the hype, and coconut oil is no exception
- “Look for coconut oil as an added ingredient in various skincare products so you can reap the benefits and use a product that can be used on most skin types.”
- Do Face Masks Actually Work or Are They Just a Fad?
- Being basic is OK
- Focus on ingredients, especially for young skin
- What face masks are good for your skin?
- Are at-home face masks safe?
- Price isn’t everything
- Best Face Masks for Every Skin Type – Top Skincare Masks 2020
15 of The Best Hydrating Face Masks To Quench Parched Skin
Sometimes it seems no matter how much moisturizer you slather onto your face, your skin still feels parched.
What you really need is a product that will deeply penetrate the skin to soothe, hydrate, and restore its luminous glow.
But navigating the overcrowded sea of moisturizers that promise to do everything for your skin—short of beaming down and giving you a completely new face—can be daunting, to say the least.
Enter your new best friend: the hydrating face mask.
Whether you choose to saturate your thirsty complexion with a paper, gel, or fiber sheet doused in moisture-boosting collagen, brush on a rich, emollient cream, or apply a skin-nourishing overnight mask before getting some shuteye, rest assured there's definitely a moisturizing mask out there that's perfect for your unique skin type and your lifestyle.
So, if your face is feeling tight, or you're experiencing more serious symptoms of extreme dryness, redness, acne flareups, flaking, cracked skin, fine lines, and rough patches, it's high time to rebuild your skin's natural moisture barrier, says the New York-based dermatologic surgeon, Dendy Engelman, MD.
Meet the Expert
Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon in New York. Dr. Engelman has also been featured in the media as a consultant and is heavily involved in the MDSC Skinceuticals skin care line.
With Engelman's help, we've cracked the code on the best hydrating face masks for dry skin to find out just exactly what makes them so great, plus how to get the best results for your skin type, whether it's sensitive, dry, normal, oily, acne-prone, or combination. Here we break down the three types of masks for dry skin and drop 15 of Engelman's top picks for the best hydrating face masks that plump, nourish, and soothe parched skin.
Generally, sheet masks are composed of either paper, cotton, nonwoven fiber, cellulose, pulp (from rayon to wood and coconut), or even a combination of these materials. “Hydrating sheet masks contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which binds more water molecules to restore moisture to the skin,” says Engelman.
Paper masks tend to be thin and don't actually contain enough moisture to effectively hydrate skin—even if their labels promise they will. Engelman suggests using a hydrating mask made with bio-cellulose or hydro-gel, which tightly adheres to the face and doesn't dry out.
Both act as occlusive mechanisms (they close off the skin to the air) that force product penetration and enable active ingredients to stay on the skin longer.
If you're looking to be proactive in developing an anti-aging regimen while solving dry skin problems, use masks (they can be a combination of sheet masks, overnight, or rinse-off versions) specifically targeted to those concerns (fine lines, deep wrinkles, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, etc.
) instead of one conventional hydrating mask, says Engelman. “If you use a hydrating mask or targeted treatment every day, you don't need anything too potent,” she adds. “I mix-and-match my hydrating treatments to include an in-shower mask, rinse-off hydrating mask, sheet mask, and overnight mask.
If you use a hydrating mask or targeted treatment every day, you don't need anything too potent…I mix-and-match my hydrating treatments to include an in-shower mask, rinse-off hydrating mask, sheet mask, and overnight mask.
According to Engelman, overnight masks can actually be the holy grail for people with dry skin. They work while you're asleep, which is when the body naturally rebalances hydration. “When the body is in a deep, restful sleep, the skin's metabolism increases and cell-turnover and -renewal escalate,” she says.
Skin is, therefore, able to recover moisture while excess water in the body is processed for removal.
Since skin can lose water while you're sleeping, the application of overnight serums and creams creates an impermeable seal on the skin's surface (again, an occlusive layer) that locks in the mask's hydrating ingredients so that they penetrate more deeply into the skin.
Trust us, there's a mask out there for you, no matter your budget or skin type.
Eve LomMoisture Mask$90
This hydrating, antiaging gel mask targets skin dryness, dullness, uneven texture, and loss of firmness and elasticity—in all skin types.
It's packed with moisture-boosting sodium hyaluronate, which also helps prevent future dryness and vitamin E for its skin-firming properties. For best results, slather this over your face, neck, and décolletage and leave it on for at least 15 minutes.
And there's no need to rinse it off, either—just rub in the excess gel once you're done. It also works great as a leave-on overnight mask.
Glow RecipeWatermelon +AHA Glow Sleeping Mask$45
This lightweight mask is best for normal, dry, combination, and oily skin types.
It contains a potent mixture of skin-soothing watermelon extract, moisture-infusing hyaluronic acid, exfoliating and pore-refining alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and glycolic acid, and skin-brightening peony root.
Pat a thick layer over your face until it's absorbed, and leave it on overnight. Those with sensitive skin should rinse it off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes' time.
Perricone MDCocoa Moisture Mask$90
Aside from being super-hydrating, this rich cream mask contains a skin-tightening and plumping blend of DMAE (a water-soluble skin-firming molecule), hyaluronic acid, and cocoa extract that targets fine lines and wrinkles.
During application, the mask's cocoa microcapsules burst and turn dark-brown while releasing a delicious, chocolatey fragrance.
Massage it into your skin until the cream turns a darker shade, leave it on for five to 10 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
Elizabeth ArdenCeramide Overnight Firming Mask$88
“The ceramides within this overnight mask help restore skin's natural barrier,” says Engelman. “This mask is also great at sealing in moisture and preventing further loss,” she adds.
“Its amino acids help support collagen and elastin production, too, while its light fragrance and alfalfa extract promote a restful night's sleep.
” This hydrating cream mask is best used twice per week: Massage it into the face and neck and let it work its magic while you sleep. When you awake, simply wash your face as you normally would.
Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareHyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask$48
This gel-and-loose-powder mask's formula of hyaluronic acid, humectants, algae, and calcium helps skin retain and produce its own moisture, boost radiance, remove impurities, and smooth fine lines—all while cooling and calming the skin.
With the applicator and bowl provided, mix one packet of the Hyaluronic Cushion Gel with one packet of Activating Powder.
Spread a thick layer onto dry skin with upward strokes, let the mask sit for up to 15 minutes, and then peel it off and wipe away any excess with a damp cotton ball.
Tata HarperMoisturizing Mask$115
This rose-scented cream mask's ingredients are 100-percent derived from nature, and it works just as well as a daily treatment as it does an overnight mask.
It counts moisture-locking and ultra-emollient hyaluronic acid, aloe, shea butter, coconut extract, camellia seed oil, and olive oil among its chief ingredients that replenish dried-out skin and instill a dewy glow.
Massage one or two pumps into your face and neck after your morning routine or smooth it on just before bedtime.
Freeman Beauty InfusionHydrating Sheet Mask$3
Drugstore beauty brands can be hit-or-miss, but Engelman always recommends Freeman Beauty products for their maximum bang for your buck.
This 100-percent cotton sheet mask won't irritate the skin, and is infused with a powerful collagen-and-manuka-honey blend that boosts moisture, restores smoothness, and improves elasticity in dry skin.
Use the mask two times a week, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then pat excess serum into the skin.
Dr SebaghRose de Vie Hydrating Mask$83
This silky gel-cream mask is chock full of antiaging ingredients, is incredibly gentle, and is also enriched with antioxidants and vitamin C which purify and soothe tired, dry, and stressed-out skin while protecting the skin's natural barrier function. Once a week, massage into dry skin, leave on 10 to 15 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.
Dr. Barbara SturmFace Mask$120
Apply this creamy mask to your face once a week, and your complexion will feel suppler and silky-smooth. Purslane—a leafy succulent plant and the mask's key active ingredient—stimulates your skin's own antioxidant system and protects against free radicals.
It's also packed with aloe vera, kaolin, vitamin E, and chamomile, which all serve to deeply hydrate parched skin. Smooth it over your face and décolletage two-to-three times a week, then leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse off with lukewarm water and commence your usual, daily skincare routine.
Peter Thomas RothBlue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask$52
This cooling, blue gel mask is infused with nutrient-rich blue marine algae and skin-energizing Korean green tea to protect and nourish skin, prevent its dehydration, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Layer onto the face and leave on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water. Use it two to three times a week or daily for an extra hydrated and plumped complexion.
Earth Tu FaceHoney + Coconut Mask$52
This plant-based hydrating face mask is perfect for wintertime dryness because it helps to heal redness and inflammation while tightening pores and plumping skin for a more supple look and feel.
Plus, it's a boon for folks who shy away from synthetic everything; it's full of natural, unprocessed ingredients such as raw honey, lavender, rose petals, and virgin coconut oil—and it's free of alcohol, fragrance, toxins, refined oils, and fillers.
Use on damp skin, leave on for five to 15 minutes, and then wash off with warm water.
La MerThe Hydrating Facial$250
La Mer is known the world over for injecting its Miracle Broth into all of its products. It's a cell-renewing formula produced from hand-harvested sea kelp, other proprietary nutrients, and a long fermentation process—.
Its hydrating sheet mask is no exception; it comes in two parts, one for the top half of your face, and one for the lower half.
Infused with jojoba seed oil, alfalfa, marine algae extracts, and essence of melon, these potent 100-percent cotton masks work to reduce signs of premature aging such as fine lines, loss of elasticity, and diminished volume. With masks on, rest for eight minutes. Then remove and massage excess product into the skin.
OribeGold Envy Luminous Face Mask$95
Not only does this gold-infused mask make a gorgeous addition to any vanity, but it also contains peptides that deliver real gold particles straight to the skin, giving it an instant dewy glow.
With sodium hyaluronate, edelweiss flower, evening primrose, and sweet almond oil, this mask is uber-hydrating and improves skin's elasticity and evenness while diminishing fine lines.
Apply onto dry skin, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse or towel off.
Kiehl'sUltra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque$35
This hydrating overnight mask smooths and softens skin while you're catching some Zs.
Its active ingredients are fountain plant (known to resist droughts), glacial glycoprotein extract, (defends and hydrates skin in extremely cold temperatures), and desert plant extract (contains high concentrations of potassium to hydrate).
You'll wake up seriously moisturized whenever you've used it, even on the coldest, rawest, winter mornings. Before bedtime, apply a thick layer to your dry face and simply wipe off excess before hitting the sheets. In the morning, wash your face as usual.
TatchaLuminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask$95
This coconut-derived bio-cellulose sheet mask is formulated for all skin types. Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid instantly hydrate parched skin while giving it a firmed, lifted appearance.
Once applied, this mask forms an occlusive layer that enables efficient penetration of its skin-quenching ingredients, which also include green tea, rice extracts, royal jelly, and ginseng root extracts.
Place the mask, gel side down, onto dry skin and let sit for 15 minutes. Then, no need to rinse off—just remove and pat excess into the skin.
No, You Should Not Use Coconut Oil On Your Face
First Published: https://www.healthyway.com/content/coconut-oil-for-face/
by Katie Martin
This past Christmas, my aunt gifted each of her sisters a jumbo jar of coconut oil because she loves it so much. She keeps a jar in the kitchen (it’s her favorite way to make light and airy stovetop popcorn) and a jar in the bathroom, where she slathers the coconut oil on her skin instead of regular lotion.
Despite my aunt’s enthusiasm, my mom—who has notoriously sensitive skin—was skeptical about using coconut oil, especially when I told her I used it to treat my dog’s seasonal eczema with mixed success. Still, she tried it one night instead of her favorite nighttime facial moisturizer. The next morning, my mother woke up with a rash of angry, red bumps all over the lower part of her face and neck.
My mom is far from the only one to suffer this same fate, which is why, to put it bluntly, I’m completely flummoxed by the fact that coconut oil continues to be touted as a great natural facial skincare solution.
We talked to dermatologists to find out why you shouldn’t use coconut oil on your face. Here’s what they had to say.
“Coconut oil has one of the highest comedogenic ratings, which means that it could be a big problem for sensitive or blemish-prone skin,” explains dermatologist Paul Dean, MD, creator of Skin Resource.MD. “This means coconut oil can’t penetrate the pores and actually can suffocate your skin and will clog your pores because it sits on top of the skin.”
What is a comedogenic rating? Essentially, beauty products are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 their pore-clogging potential, with 1 being the least ly to clog your pores, and 5 being reserved for the worst offenders.
The scale doesn’t mean that every single product that’s considered highly comedogenic will clog your pores and cause breakouts, though. A lot of factors— pore size and how oily or dry your skin is—also affect how your face will react to comedogenic products.
But a higher rating does increase the lihood that a comedogenic ingredient, coconut oil (which scores a whopping 4 5 on the scale!) will cause a negative reaction.
A quick Google search reveals that many people believe coconut oil is basically facial skincare magic. Even dermatologists (skincare experts, no less!) have hopped on the coconut-oil-for-your-face bandwagon.
So do these purported claims have any merit? Here’s what our experts have to say.
Myth: Coconut oil can get rid of acne.
Reality: “While coconut oil is soothing and contains lauric acid, it is never a good idea to put any oil on broken skin. It can clog the pores and irritate the skin and make the condition worse,” says Berenice Rothenberg, a certified clinical electrologist (CCE) and licensed cosmetologist practicing in New York.
According to dermatologists, few topical collagen skin supplements live up to the hype, and coconut oil is no exception
Rothenberg is right; coconut oil does contain high levels of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid with antimicrobial properties. And lauric acid has been shown to reduce inflammation from acne, hence the claims that the lauric acid in coconut oil will result in clearer skin.
It’s also true that coconut oil is a good antibacterial agent. In addition to being full of vitamin E, it also contains other proteins and caprylic acids that are known for their antifungal properties, says Dean. And since bacteria causes acne, coconut oil should be great for getting rid of bumps…right?
Sadly, Dean says coconut oil “will actually act as a barrier and can cause or worsen acne-prone skin.”
Alternative solutions for face acne: If you’ve turned to coconut oil for face acne, there are better ways to treat your acne. The best thing you can do to prevent acne according to Rothenberg? “Never go to sleep with your makeup on!”
We love a good double cleanse, but for that first oil cleanse, avoid the coconut oil. Instead, Dean recommends grapeseed oil or hemp seed oil to remove makeup at the end of the day because, despite being oils, both have a low comedogenic rating.
Rather avoid oils altogether? Another alternative is micellar water, a French skincare product that can be used as an all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover.
(It really is a skincare miracle!) You can even make your own micellar water at home if you use herbalist Rebekah Epling’s recipe.
After removing makeup with a makeup remover, you still need to cleanse your skin with a face wash that’s right for your skin type.
For acne-prone skin, choose a face wash that contains benzoyl peroxide, an antibacterial agent that helps dry the skin to treat pimples.
Or if you’re looking for an all-natural facial cleanser, try a face wash that contains witch hazel or lavender, both of which inhibit bacterial growth, according to Epling.
Myth: Coconut oil is a great facial moisturizer.
Reality: “Coconut oil is primarily made up of saturated fats. This is great for repairing your skin’s natural barrier and trapping in moisture. Because of these properties it soothes rashes, combats dry, flaky skin, and speeds up the healing process,” says Dean.
Sounds great, right? Well, from the neck down, coconut oil is a great moisturizer. But on your face? Not so much, says Dean.
In fact, the very properties that make coconut oil work so well on your ashy elbows and cracked heels are the same properties that make it less than ideal for your face. Though it’ll make quick work of those areas where your skin is thicker, it’s just too heavy for most skin types, leading to clogged pores.
Alternatives to using coconut oil for facial moisturizer: Ideally, facial moisturizers should keep your skin hydrated while remaining light enough that they don’t clog your pores.
Aloe vera gel is a great all-natural moisturizer for all skin types. coconut oil, it can help soothe skin irritation and help wounds heal faster, but un coconut oil, it won’t clog your pores. Just make sure you look for aloe vera gel products that actually contain aloe vera—many of the aloe products sold by big-box retailers have been found to contain little or no aloe vera!
And, says Rothenberg, don’t forget the power of drinking the daily recommended amount of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Myth: Coconut oil can turn back time and minimize face wrinkles.
Reality: Our bodies’ store of collagen, the protein that helps skin maintain elasticity, naturally depletes as we age. Because of its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is purported to be a great collagen-boosting supplement to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.
But according to dermatologists, few topical collagen skin supplements live up to the hype, and coconut oil is no exception. “All oils, when applied to the skin, give the appearance of smoothing out lines,” says Rothenberg. “But these oils do not penetrate the basic layer and cannot produce collagen.”
Alternatives to coconut oil for face wrinkles: While coconut oil won’t work to get rid of wrinkles, there are several things that do work to reverse early signs of aging—no expensive creams or serums required.
For one, it’s no secret that UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin, so stay the sun as much as possible. I know how hard that can be for some of you sun goddesses, so if you must get your tan on, always wear a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (even if it’s overcast).
And, if you’re a smoker (even if it’s just the occasional cigarette), kicking the habit is key if you want to maintain a youthful glow. Plus, going smoke-free is just plain good for your overall health.
“Look for coconut oil as an added ingredient in various skincare products so you can reap the benefits and use a product that can be used on most skin types.”
—Paul Dean, MD
Finally, your daily cardio may be doing more than keeping your booty toned; according to recent studies, daily exercise may actually help reverse the signs of aging.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, getting more of certain antioxidants in your diet may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In particular, vitamin C may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face.
Myth: Coconut oil is a good overnight emollient.
Reality: If you can’t even use coconut oil as a reliable daytime moisturizer because of its comedogenic properties, you sure as heck can’t leave coconut oil on your face overnight for eight hours. (Okay, who am I kidding? I get a full 10.)
Using coconut oil overnight is a great way to get clogged pores and wake up to a breakout. Good morning, sunshine, indeed.
Alternatives to coconut oil on your face overnight: Not all oils are bad for your face.
Grapeseed oil and hemp seed oil aren’t just great makeup removers; they’re also wonderful as overnight emollients to soften skin as you sleep.
“Jojoba oil has a low comedogenic rating as well,” says Epling, “It’s ideal as a carrier for other essential essences, lavender or tea tree oil, to use overnight.”
I know I’ve been giving coconut oil a bad rap so far, but coconut oil actually is great for a variety of skin conditions (that aren’t on your face).
In particular, coconut oil was shown to alleviate physical symptoms of atopic dermatitis—a skin condition that causes an itchy red rash—in pediatric patients.
Another study found that in addition to reducing the appearance of atopic dermatitis, coconut oil was effective at combating colonization of Staphylococcus aureus, which produces a certain toxin that causes the immune system to react by breaking out in dry, scaly patches.
Another study found that coconut oil was as effective as mineral oil in treating xerosis, a condition similar to atopic dermatitis that also causes dry, scaly skin.
Finally, a 2010 study of animal subjects also should that wounds treated with virgin coconut oil healed much faster than those that were not treated with coconut oil. So, if you have a scrape or cut and don’t have Neosporin handy, a dab of coconut oil (and a cute bandage) may help your wound heal faster.
So here’s the deal: For a very, very small number of people, coconut oil may help skin conditions. As Dean puts it, “Using coconut oil directly on your skin can be extremely beneficial, but not good for everyone.”
For instance, he says that for people with severely dry skin, coconut oil may help restore moisture content.
But for most of us, using coconut oil on our faces will ly result in more breakouts and clogged pores.
All is not lost, however. If you absolutely must have coconut oil as part of your facial skincare routine, Dean says to “look for coconut oil as an added ingredient in various skincare products so you can reap the benefits and use a product that can be used on most skin types.”
The bottom line on coconut oil? Skip using coconut oil on your face, and stick to using coconut oil as a delicious addition to stovetop popcorn instead.
Do Face Masks Actually Work or Are They Just a Fad?
In our obsession and quest to embrace self-care, face maskshave emerged as a front runner. Feeling sad, stressed out or anxious? Nothing agood face mask can’t fix. Right?
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From skin complaints, to tween sleepover activities, to alluring sparkly little packages – guys and gals of all ages are reaching for face masks. But are these beauty indulgences overpromising the dramatic skin results they claim?
Here’s what dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, wants you to know about face masks.
Being basic is OK
“When it comes to skin care I tell all my patients that your priority should be cleansing, daily sunscreen and daily moisturizing,” says Dr. Khetarpal. “But a face mask can be complimentary to a good skin care routine.”
Face masks work by driving ingredients closer and deeper into the skin, infusing your pores and allowing the skin to soak up more of the product. Face masks can have the immediate effect that people are looking for, so although it may be temporary, it can give you a boost or glow for an event.
Dr. Khetarpal says that sheet masks (or Korean face masks) are great for soothing if the skin is sensitive or inflamed from a procedure or even a sunburn.
Sheets masks also tend to be more hydrating as it allows the moisturizer to be distributed and absorbed directly on the area via the paper.
Cream masks, on the other hand, tend to be geared towards specific skin complaints and concerns such as acne or wrinkles.
Before using a face mask, be sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water to remove any makeup, dirt or residue. Using warm water allows the pores to stay open and for the ingredients to seep in better.
Focus on ingredients, especially for young skin
A lot of face masks on the market today claim to includeexotic ingredients. But do you really want to slather glitter, mushroom juice orsnail jelly all over your face? Many times, these fancy masks have a lot offragrance, dyes and parabens – all of which can wreak havoc on your skin(especially sensitive skin).
So what should you look for when picking out a face mask?
Dr. Khetarpal recommends reading the product label and looking for words such as: Fragrance free, hypoallergenic and free of dyes and parabens.
Using harsh chemicals, allergens and preservatives on your face can cause heaps of issues. You also run the risk of being allergic to one of the ingredients and irritating the skin.
This is especially true for tweens, who tend to have more sensitive skin.
“There are a lot of masks out there that aren’t as fun andexciting, but can still have a nice effect on your skin,” says Dr. Khetarpal. “Butit’s important to read the label and know the ingredients before putting it onyour face.”
It’s also important to be aware of prescription and over-the-counter medication and how it will interact with the ingredients in a face mask. Some medications alter the thickness of the skin or make skin super sensitive – all of which can clash with face mask ingredients.
So before you use that bee venom-infused mask, check with your dermatologist to see if he or she can recommend a safer alternative for the results you’re looking for.
What face masks are good for your skin?
Have a skin complaint and looking for a quick fix? Here area few common ingredients to look for on the label when trying to combat a skinconcern:
Dry skin: hyaluronic acid.
Fine lines: anti-oxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol and ferulic acid.
Acne & blemishes: salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
Dark spots & pigmentation: soy, kojic acid, tranexamic acid and licorice root extract.
Oily skin: salicylic acid.
Are at-home face masks safe?
Dr. Khetarpal says that depending on what’s in it, at-homeface masks can be perfectly safe to make and use.
Curious about what at-home ingredients to include in yourmask?
- Milk and yogurt contain lactic acid, which canexfoliate the skin making it appear brighter.
- Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, E and B, whichcan brighten the skin.
- Papaya contains enzymes, which can brighten theskin.
- Coffee can minimize the appearance of pores bytemporarily drying the skin.
Avoid acidic products lemon or lime juice and apple cider vinegar. These products have low pH and can cause skin irritation.
Before using any homemade skin mask, Dr. Khetarpal recommends to test it on a small area of the face first to make sure you can tolerate the ingredients. Try testing a small area of the skin on the jaw line or behind the ear. She also suggests using a small amount of petroleum jelly around the eyes to protect the delicate and thin skin in that area.
Price isn’t everything
“Just because a product is expensive, doesn’t mean it’sbetter,” explains Dr. Khetarpal. “Fancy and exotic ingredients in some facemasks have not been studied in clinical trials and we don’t know if they’resafe yet.”
If you want to do something simple and good for your skin, try a soothing mask from your dermatologist, says Dr. Khetarpal. You could even make your own mask at home by buying a sheet mask and putting your own moisturizer or aloe vera on it.
It’s best (and safer) to stick with face masks that havebeen tried and tested – not from a random ad or influencer you saw onInstagram.
Best Face Masks for Every Skin Type – Top Skincare Masks 2020
courtesy of brands
Face skincare masks are a key step in most professional spa facials for a reason — they can quickly infuse concentrated ingredients into skin to address a laundry list of issues (dryness, acne, irritation, and more) and deliver almost any benefit (firming, brightening, purifying, the list goes on) that your skin needs. Best of all, you can get the complexion-boosting effects of a face mask at home, too, at any budget.
Do face masks really help your skin?
Yes, they can. “At-home treatments such as face masks work with consistent long-term use,” says Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, M.D., a dermatologist in Dedham, Massachusetts.
Incorporate one into your regimen once or twice per week by applying it on your clean, dry face, avoiding the eyes and mouth (unless the mask is made for those areas).
Remove it per packaging instructions, and follow with other leave-on skincare products as directed or needed.
How do I find the best face mask for my skin type?
- If you have oily skin, “masks containing ingredients such as clay or charcoal work by absorbing oil pores,” Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip says. Look for terms “purifying,” “clarifying,” or “detoxifying” on product packaging.
- Face masks for dry skin should be labeled “hydrating,” “moisturizing,” or “nourishing” and contain softening ingredients hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and plant oils and butters.
- For sensitive skin, I.D. key terms “soothing” and “calming” on mask packaging and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe and oat.
- For combination or normal complexions, look for face masks targeted to your current skin needs or goals (i.e. brightening, pore-minimizing, acne breakouts, etc.). Or try “multi-masking” and spot treat certain areas with specific masks, a purifying formula for an oilier T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and a hydrating formula for the rest of the face. You can also try DIYing a face mask with ingredients at home to suit your needs.
No matter what skin type or what you're looking for — firming, acne-nixing, blackhead-removing, a drugstore bargain, a glow — we have the sheet masks, mud masks, and overnight masks that really work. Here, the best face masks you can buy for 2020, as tested and recommended by Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and beauty experts:
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Best Overall Face Mask
Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask Mary Kay marykay.com
Treat your complexion to this rinse-off charcoal and clay Mary Kay mask, a Good Housekeeping Seal star and Beauty Award winner, which is proven to nix grease and clarify.
The formula reduces skin’s oil 89% and shine 84% in 15 minutes, Lab data evaluation showed.
It’s also a favorite of GH’s Beauty Director: “I have dry skin and am wary of clay masks, but un some that can dehydrate, I was amazed that this left my face clarified and baby-soft.”
Best Value Face Mask
Oat Face Mask with Pomegranate Seed Extract
A spa- treatment at drugstore-level price and Good Housekeeping Beauty Award winner, this clarifying, creamy clay mask is a smoothie for skin, with calming oats plus pomegranate and kiwi extracts. It leaves the face “refreshed and radiant,” a tester raved.
Best Firming Face Mask for Mature Skin
TimeWise Repair Lifting Bio-Cellulose Mask Mary Kay marykay.com
Give skin a professional-level treatment with this Good Housekeeping Seal star and Beauty Award-winning Mary Kay sheet mask infused with anti-aging and hydrating ingredients hyaluronic acid. An impressive 87% of testers said their skin looked and felt firm after they used it twice weekly for two weeks.
Best Face Mask for Dry Skin
Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask Fresh nordstrom.com
Yes, it’s pricey, but this Fresh pick is one of the best face masks GH's beauty director has ever tried for relieving dehydrated skin.
This super-rich and indulgent formula is made of real honey and shea butter, and full of botanical oils (meadowfoam, jojoba, sunflower seed).
“I have painfully raw and flaky skin all year long, and always apply a face mask in the shower for extra nourishment,” she says. “This feels hydrating and pampering on my desert-dry face and never irritates.”
Best Face Mask for Oily Skin
Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
charcoal and clay, this Origins face mask is a favorite of Wnek’s for getting rid of grease and shine on her oily skin. “It really cleans out my pores and mattifies my face without making it feel tight,” she notes.
Best Face Mask for Combination Skin
Blue Agave & Baking Soda Whipped Nourishing Detox Mask Bioré amazon.com
Soak away grime with Bioré's creamy balancing mask, great for combination skin, which purifies with salicylic acid and softens with glycerin. “My face felt clarified yet silky at the same time,” a tester reported.
Best Face Mask for Acne
Supermud Clearing Treatment GlamGlow dermstore.com
This GlamGlow charcoal and clay mask is a beauty editor go-to for blemishes. “Whenever my skin feels congested or I feel some breakouts coming in, I always make sure to squeeze in a dose of this,” says beauty editor Dori Price.
“If I just think my skin needs a detox, I’ll use it all over, but if blemishes are brewing, I will use it as a spot treatment on certain areas—the blend of six acids really works to unclog my pores and purify my skin.
Best Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
I Mask Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Mask Image Skincare dermstore.com
Image Skincare's gel sheet face mask is loaded with soothing, hydrating ingredients glycerin, aloe, green tea, hyaluronic acid and chamomile to calm dehydrated or irritated skin.
“After a peel and microdermabrasion treatment I received at a doctor's office, the aesthetician placed this mask on my face as a last step,” GH's beauty editor reported.
“It instantly cooled my skin, made it feel plump with moisture, and quelled any inflammation.”
Best Sheet Face Mask
Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask Skin Laundry skinlaundry.com
A winner of the GH Beauty Lab's test of trendy sheet masks (paper or cloth masks soaked in skincare ingredients), Skin Laundry gave skin the best quick infusion of moisture to plump and nourish. Per calculations with the Lab’s Corneometer device, it raised skin hydration by 25%.
Best Dermatologist-Recommended Face Mask
Hydrating B5 Masque SkinCeuticals dermstore.com
From the dermatologist-backed brand SkinCeuticals, this clear gel mask is high levels of hydrating glycerin and hyaluronic acid. “This gives instant relief for my extremely parched skin that's prone to eczema flare-ups,” GH’s beauty director says.
Best Face Mask for Blackheads
Positively Radiant MaxGlow Peel Off Face Mask Aveeno walmart.com
This clarifying peel-off mask from Aveeno with citric and glycolic acids earns raves from GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D.
“My daughter hasn’t been able to get her monthly facials which were helping keep her acne in check, so we’ve been doing at-home facials with this mask, which makes an immediate difference in de-clogging pores,” Aral says.
“You layer it on thick, wait for 15 to 20 minutes for it to dry out, then peel it off, which lifts all the dirt off the top layer of skin.” Even better, “the formula doesn’t sting or burn already-aggravated areas,” she notes.
Best Anti-Aging Face Mask
Bio Lifting Mask Chantecaille nordstrom.com
a luxurious anti-aging cream, this Chantecaille mask packs line-smoothing ingredients peptides and hyaluronic acid, plus decadent botanical extracts such as rose and jasmine, and can even be left on skin overnight. “It smells fresh wildflowers and my face instantly feels more revitalized and youthful,” GH's beauty director reports.
Best Face Mask for Eyes
Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels Skyn Iceland dermstore.com
For a fast temporary undereye fix, stick on these Skyn Iceland gel patches, a winner of the GH Beauty Lab's undereye masks test and one of Aral's go-to's. Evaluations with the Visia Complexion Analyzer device found they diminished the look of wrinkles by 23% in just 10 minutes.
Best Mask for Lips
Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment 15
Best Face Mask for Pore Smoothing
Instant Detox Mask Caudalie dermstore.com
This Caudalie mask, made with purifying pink clay and nourishing botanical oils, earns raves from both GH’s beauty director with dry skin and GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek, who has an oily complexion.
“It is life-changing — hands down the best clay mask I have ever tried and I would use it every day if I could,” Wnek says. “It mattifies my face without over-drying, minimizes the appearance of pores, smooths out texture, and leaves my skin feeling baby-smooth.
” GH’s beauty director agrees that “it is the closest to a facial you can get at home.”
Best Natural Face Mask
Hydrating Floral Mask Tata Harper sephora.com
Skin drinks up this herbal-floral scented green gel Tata Harper mask. It's loaded with a laundry list of botanical ingredients to deliver nutrition and softness: sunflower, coconut, and olive oils, and extracts of flowers camellia, lavender, rose, arnica, and calendula. “My skin was dewy, plumped, and smooth,” a Sephora reviewer said.
Best Moisturizing Face Mask
Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask Amorepacific sephora.com
Amorepacific’s rich formula topped the GH Beauty Lab’s test overnight face masks test, upping skin's moisture level by a whopping 49%. The no-rinse mask is a super-strength night cream: Swap it for your go-to product before bed whenever you need an extra hydration boost.
Best Overnight Face Mask
Night Shift Deep Sleep Facial Mask Julep amazon.com
A winner of GH’s Beauty Awards and the Beauty Lab's overnight face masks test, this no-rinse Julep formula is made with a nourishing mix of shea butter and natural oils. It raised skin’s hydration levels by an impressive 43%, per evaluations with the Beauty Lab’s Corneometer device, which gauges skin moisture.
Best Face Mask for Glowing Skin
PHAT Glow Facial Mask Ole Henriksen sephora.com
GH beauty assistant Katie Berohn turns to this polyhydroxy acid mask the iconic aesthetician Ole Henriksen’s facials for giving her skin an instant glow.
“It gently exfoliates, helps even my skin texture, and brightens,” she explains.
“Some masks can make my skin feel dry or slightly irritated, but this one always leaves me glowy — plus, it smells great and goes on pink, which makes it feel extra luxurious.”
Best 2-in-1 Face Mask + Cleanser
Active Naturals Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial
This GH Beauty Award-winning Aveeno mask, a face cleanser and mask hybrid, is applied in the shower to work with the steam, exfoliating and purifying skin with glycolic acid and kaolin clay. A tester noted that her face looked clearer and more vibrant after use.
Best Brightening Face Mask
Revitalizing Beta Hydroxy Mask Youth Corridor by Dr. Gerald Imber youthcorridor.com
Developed by a famed New York City plastic surgeon, this potent mask is made with a mix of active lactic, tartaric, and salicylic acids that act as an exfoliating peel.
“I've never seen more noticeable immediate effects from any at-home face mask or even peel, and I've tried countless formulas,” GH's beauty director says.
“My skin looks visibly brighter and clearer after use.“
Best Softening Face Mask
Algae Mask Blue Lagoon Iceland bluelagoon.com
Made with a rare ingredient, this unique Blue Lagoon face mask is one of Aral’s holy grail formulas. “This mask is made with algae produced from the same algae that’s in Iceland’s blue lagoon and gives it a green hue in the summer months, and is used for its anti-aging benefits,” she explains. “Upon rinsing, skin feels moisturized and has a dewy look.”
Best Face Mask to Soothe Redness
Greek Yoghurt Probiotic Superdose Face Mask Korres sephora.com
Loaded with complexion-calming and nourishing yogurt, aloe, glycerin, plant oils, and shea butter, this Korres mask is food for reactive or red skin. “This feels so comforting when my skin is inflamed,” GH's beauty editor says.
RELATED: How to Soothe and Calm Facial Redness for Good
Best Face Mask for Dull Skin
Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask Fresh nordstrom.com
Beauty experts turn to this juicy Fresh face mask formula to give tired-looking skin a boost. “The fruit acids in this mask instantly brighten up my complexion whenever it is starting to look dull,” Price says. “Plus, it smells amazing— a fruit salad for your skin!”
Best Cooling Face Mask
Mint Chip Mania Cooling & Soothing Face Mask
A sweet treat for skin, this Bliss mask, true to its name, looks and smells just delicious chocolate chip mint ice cream. And its frozen dessert inspiration, it cools skin on contact, thanks to peppermint leaf extract.
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