Finding the perfect face mask can feel like a minefield. And with so many claims and promises made by brands, how do we know which ones are worth spending our hard-earned cash on?
First, ask yourself some key questions: what kind of skin do you have and what is your main concern? If it’s dryness, choose a hydrating formula. Acne or pigmentation are best tackled by something with an AHA/BHA formula or brightening vitamin C.
Next, consider the results you wish to achieve. Is it to feel relaxed? Or to look more radiant? Maybe it’s to ensure your skin is given a deep clean and pores are properly cleansed. Whatever your goal, this will help guide your search.
Finally, decide how much you’re willing to spend. There is a great range of face masks out there, from ultra-affordable brands you can pick up in your local Boots or Superdrug, to higher-end buys using premium ingredients and technology.
With all of this in mind, we’ve come up with a comprehensive face mask guide so you can find your perfect fit. Keep reading to discover your new favourite…
Best face mask options for dehydration
Perfect for: skin that feels dry or dehydrated, cracks, feels tight, or just needs some TLC
This washes away dirt and clears out pores, leaving your skin with a hydrated glow. The super hygienic pump is very handy, too.
A thirst-quenching option that provides a generous dose of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, this is also brilliant at refreshing sunburnt skin that’s struggling – and you only need to leave it on for five minutes.
An incredible mask that nourishes the skin like no other, this smells as amazing as it feels. Use on dry and/or dehydrated skin as a mask, or even as a night cream if skin is really struggling.
Sweet almond oil, plant-based squalane, and hyaluronic acid boost the skin’s hydration levels, while liquorice root and lemon fruit extract gently brighten.
Best face mask options for clogged pores
Perfect for: anyone who has enlarged or congested pores, and suffers from blackheads
Formulated with an Oxygen Complex, along with intensive ingredients such as Volcanic Clay, and Activated Charcoal, this will clear out your pores in no time at all.
This hard-hitting mask targets problem skin, blemishes and pores with a blend of six acids, activated-x charcoal, and K-17 clay.
Using Amazonian white clay, Kiehl’s offering draws out oil, dirt and toxins that clog pores, so you can fully hit refresh with your skincare routine.
A clay-based mask, this draws out impurities deep from the pores, yet doesn’t feel drying. It also comes in a handy tube which is ideal for travel.
Best face mask options for blemish-prone skin
Perfect for: skin that suffers from breakouts, congestion, or clogged pores
A beautiful mask that tackles and comforts inflammation, while using ingredients such as witch hazel, this is a great option for sensitive skin with enlarged pores.
Origins’ masks are some of the best out there when it comes to stressed-out skin, and this formula uses powerful zinc oxide and sulfur to shrink nasty blemishes easily.
Rather than attacking blemishes with strong, overpowering ingredients, Aesop’s mask takes a ‘softly softly’ approach, using chamomile to calm and soothe breakouts.
Best face mask options for dullness
Perfect for: Complexions that lack radiance and seek glow, or those that suffer from pigmentation or dark spots
Dull skin usually needs a touch of exfoliation in order to unveil a fresh layer of radiant skin. This uses both chemicals (citrus fruit extracts) as well as mechanical exfoliants (apricot kernel extracts) to lightly slough away dead skin.
Dull skin that suffers from pigmentation will benefit from a boost of vitamin C, which also acts as an antioxidant to protect skin from external aggressors like pollution. This intense mask leaves skin noticeably more radiant.
Clean beauty brand Tata Harper has a number of bestselling face mask formulas, but their Resurfacing Mask is the one that gives the most amazing glow for skin that needs a little extra help.
As mentioned, dull and lifeless skin can usually benefit from exfoliation, and this Alpha Hydroxy Acid fuelled mask uses natural ingredients that boost your all-over glow.
Best face mask options for excess oil
Perfect for: combination to oily types that want to balance out their skin
A clay-based mask that draws out impurities and deeply cleanses the skin to reduce excess oil on the surface, this uses Hungarian thermal water to perfect any complexion.
This mask – which will still give you change from a ten pound note – uses salicylic acid to target oil as well as spots.
Caudalie’s bestselling mask uses papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate, along with pink clay and coffee to clear out the pores responsible for producing excess oil.
Words by Rebecca Fearn