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If you want your skin to feel soft and look radiant — no matter how windy and cold the winter weather gets — the key is to use the right products.
One way to achieve gorgeous, glowy skin is with a face mask. From a rinse-off clay formula that clears pores to a hydrating overnight mask that plumps skin, face masks deliver instant gratification. So it's no wonder dermatologists love these fast-acting products.
To navigate the crowded face mask market, we turned to dermatologists for recommendations that will rejuvenate skin and soothe those winter skin woes. Whether you have oily, dry or acne-prone skin, we've got you covered with the best face masks on the market, according to the professionals.
To shop the best face masks by category, click the links below:
- Best face masks for acne and oily skin
- Best hydrating face masks
- Best face masks for dry skin
- Best exfoliating face masks
- Best face masks for dull skin
Best face masks for acne and oily skin
This Clean & Clear mask is affordable and effective. The clay base helps clear pores, which means fewer breakouts and smooth skin.
"This mask combines both soothing kaolin clay with drying bentonite clay to absorb excess oil from the skin and has a calming effect on the skin, which is useful if you tend to breakout," said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “The mask is gentle enough for daily use.”
This is another great clay mask suitable for oily, acne-prone skin, according to Dr. Y. Claire Chang, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City.
"It contains kaolin clay which can remove excess oil from the skin pores without drying out the skin," explained Chang.
The formula also contains tea tree oil, which helps calm redness and soothes skin. "It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits that can help improve mild to moderate acne," she added.
Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist, told TODAY she always recommends this product because it doesn't contain irritating ingredients (like added fragrance, alcohol and sulfates).
While there are many benefits to clay-based products, it can also be very drying; so it's important to follow directions on the label.
"The goal is to absorb excess oil, but not absorb so much that your skin is dry and overcompensating by producing extra oil," Engelman explained. "Stick to the recommended time or rinse off when you start to feel tightness from the mask."
If you have oily skin and feel like splurging on a luxurious face mask to calm skin, look no further.
"This purifying mask contains clays to draw out oil, tea tree oil to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, as well as chamomile to soothe the skin," said Chang.
You can use this product all over your face or as a spot treatment for blemishes. Either way, the formula is enriched with botanical extracts to help boost radiance.
Best hydrating face masks
This hydrating overnight Neutrogena mask contains hyaluronic acid, which is a "hero ingredient" in skin care, according to Zeichner. "Think of it as a sponge that pulls in hydration to the outer skin layer," he said of the moisture-boosting ingredient.
Ulta customers praise this product for its results-driven formula and low price.
"This product hydrates, calms, and plumps my skin better than $90 night creams," wrote one reviewer. "I can't believe the price of this product compared to its effectiveness. I am stocking up on these!"
If you only have a few minutes to spare, this nourishing mask will revive dry skin quickly.
Chang notes it's made with hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing green tea extracts.
"It will nourish the skin and protect the skin barrier while leaving your skin feeling smooth and hydrated," she explained. "Apply the mask over a clean face and leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes. I recommend using it two to four times per week."
Best face masks for dry skin
This mask has colloidal oatmeal, which Zeichner says is one of the "best ingredients" to moisturize dry skin. He said it forms a protective seal over the skin's surface to protect and lock in hydration.
"The mask also contains pumpkin extract, which is rich in vitamin C and offers antioxidant benefits," he noted. "Apply this mask when the skin feels dry. It can be used daily."
This rich mask is an excellent option for people with rosacea or sensitive skin. Plus, it has anti-aging benefits, says dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell.
"For dry, irritated skin, the hyaluronic acid helps to restore the skin's moisture, and the peptides help to stimulate collagen," she explained. Campbell recommends applying it overnight to reap the benefits of the mask.
"If you ever accidentally got a sunburn, windburn or irritated skin, this would be the go-to mask," she added. "This mask is unique in that clinical trials have shown it lowers the skin's temperature by an average of 5% after use."
Best exfoliating face masks
"This Soap & Glory product contains exfoliating salicylic acid, which removes excess oil and dead cells from the skin," said Zeichner of his favorite exfoliating face mask. "Use it as a scrub, let it sit on the skin while you sing the alphabet, then rinse off. Start off using it every few days and advance to daily use if your skin can tolerate it."
One Target reviewer raved about this product as well. "I have really large pores on my nose and wear lots of makeup, so I’ve always struggled to keep them clear," they wrote. "This mask is amazing. Although my pores aren’t fully clear, it’s a lot better than before, and I’ve only used it three times!"
While this Ren face mask is definitely a splurge, Chang thinks it's worth the price tag.
"This face mask contains a blend of glycolic and lactic acid to exfoliate the skin," she explained, noting that the process of exfoliating with these acids is what helps brighten skin over time.
With over 1,000 positive reviews on Sephora, it seems like many users agree.
"This stuff delivers. I have been repurchasing this product for as long as I can remember," wrote one happy customer.
"Made me look younger, took off some of my sun spots, gave me collagen on my neck and even tightened up my skin," raved another.
Best face masks for dull skin
This single sheet face mask is a great on-the-go travel option as it instantly brightens your complexion in a matter of minutes.
"This mask is loaded with vitamin C, which not only provides antioxidant benefits but interferes with the production of abnormal pigmentation to brighten the skin and even skin tone," Zeichner said.
The sheet itself is made from biocellulose, which Zeichner says is a natural fiber that helps create a protective seal over the skin, allowing the activated serum to work its magic.
If you're willing to splurge, this is an awesome brightening mask, says Chang.
"This sheet mask helps hydrate, brighten and illuminate the skin with a mixture of Korean herbs, licorice root extract and green tea," she said.
One Sephora reviewer raved about the results. "Every time I remove this mask I am always amazed by now plump and glowy my skin looks. My skin feels hydrated, and it doesn't irritate my skin," they wrote.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Dermatologists say this $13 gel is one of the best drugstore anti-aging products
- 12 dermatologist-approved skin care products for eczema relief
- Dermatologists say these are the best exfoliators for smooth skin