When it comes to our skincare routines, there’s no step that might be more indulgent than one face mask. Whether you prefer a deep-cleansing clay mask or a hydrating overnight gel formula, there’s no better form of beauty care than devoting 20 to 30 minutes to your skin care routine. “[Face masks] were designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to your skin,” said Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City Curls. “Generally, masks are used intermittently to give your skin a boost when it needs it.”
The exact way a face mask is used generally depends on the type of mask used, since there are so many options on the market – and each has a specific function in overall skin health. “You can get masks for clarifying, brightening, hydrating, soothing, or anti-aging,” explains Dr. Claire Wolinsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC. “If you have sensitive skin, you should test the ingredients in the mask on your hand first and always leave it on for as few minutes as possible the first time you use it.” After applying and drying, wash off with water (or a gentle cleanser if it’s an acid-based mask) and apply a moisturizer. Wolinsky also suggests using dry masks no more than twice a week, but you can use moisturizing masks more frequently if you must.
And while our desks are adorned with new product launches daily (a tough job, we know, but someone’s got to do it), we’re taking a step back to shine a spotlight on the best face masks that have made our complexions brighter, fresher, and less clogged and just generally lit up.
Here we’ve rounded up 23 of our best face masks of all time, including editor’s favourites, past and current Best of Beauty winners and dermatologist-approved formulas that deliver every time. Time for a well-deserved self-care moment.
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