The 15 Best Drugstore Face Masks of 2022 That Actually Deliver

Our best overall pick is Neutrogena Hydro Boost 100% Hydrogel Sheet Mask

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Byrdie / Amelia Manley

Drugstore products have a place in every cosmetics category, and face masks are no exception. When you take affordability out of the equation, choosing the right one is really a matter of your skin type, concerns, and goals. Face masks can help regulate oil production, reduce acne, exfoliate, brighten, or hydrate skin when used correctly. 

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is Neutrogena's Hydrogel Sheet Mask, which contains dermatologist-recommended ingredients to moisturize, soothe, and leave skin noticeably softer. If you're looking to control oil and address acne, consider the Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Mask, which gently exfoliates, balances oil production, and evens out your complexion.

"There are so many different kinds of face masks—clay, cream, gel, exfoliating, sheet—and each one accomplishes something different," says celebrity facialist Taylor Worden. "Using a mask can hydrate the skin, smooth out uneven texture, brighten, minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, refine big pores, absorb excess oil, or help with breakouts."

We conducted hours of research on the best drugstore face masks, evaluating each on active ingredients, targeted benefits to skin concerns, and ease of application. We then combined expert recommendations from a celebrity facialist and board-certified dermatologist with our own research of fan favorites to compile this list of best in show.

Ahead are the best drugstore face masks currently on the market.

Best Overall: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

4.7
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

Ulta

What We Like
  • Leaves skin supple

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Dermatologist-recommended ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

  • Contains PEGs

"Popular ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and botanicals can help soothe and restore the skin barrier in hydrating masks," says board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Claire Wolinsky. That's why our number one pick is Neutrogena Hydro Boost.

This single-use sheet mask contains all the skin-quenchers Dr. Wolinsky mentioned. The specific botanicals include anti-inflammatory algae and protective snow mushroom extract. Upon rinsing it off, you can expect supple, dewy skin and a calm complexion. It's also non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores.

Benefits: Hydrating, soothing | Skin Type: Dry, combination, sensitive, oily | Amount: 1–12 masks | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Value: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

aztec-secret-indian-healing-clay

Target

What We Like
  • Generous amount

  • Only one ingredient

  • Controls oil production

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly messy

  • May irritate sensitive skin

Aztec Secret is a drugstore product with a dedicated following—and not just because the huge tub offers lots of bang for your buck. Containing nothing more than bentonite clay, this one-ingredient wonder does a great job absorbing excess oil to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.

Benefits: Absorbs sebum, prevents breakouts | Skin Type: Combination, oily, acne-prone | Amount: 16–32 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What Our Testers Say

While my skin didn’t have any wow-worthy results, more pores did appear smaller (especially on my nose).” —Bianca Lambert, Product Tester


Best Clay: L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask

L'Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask

Walgreens

What We Like
  • Balances oil production

  • Addresses dullness

  • Non-drying

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

  • Contains fragrance

L'Oréal makes a great clay mask. This one calls on kaolin, Moroccan lava, and charcoal powder to soak up excess sebum and clear your pores, while seaweed offers a soothing, hydrating effect.

Benefits: Unclogs pores, absorbs sebum, soothing | Skin Type: All | Amount: 1.7 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Charcoal: Buttah Charcoal Detox Mask

Buttah Skin Charcoal Detox Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Balances oil production

  • Non-drying

  • Replenishes skin

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

  • Pricey for drugstore

Buttah's charcoal mask promises to absorb excess oil, prevent clogged pores, and tighten up your complexion. Thanks to argan oil and shea butter, the skin-replenishing formula won't dry you out, leaving you with a healthy glow instead. Although this option is a bit pricier than others on this list, we think the inclusion of natural oils justifies the spend.

Benefits: Tightening, unclogs pores, absorbs sebum | Skin Type: Oily, combination, sensitive, acne-prone | Amount: 1 ounce | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Vitamin C: Milani Supercharged Brightening Prep Mask

Milani Supercharged Brightening Prep Mask

Milani

What We Like
  • Addresses dullness

  • Leaves skin radiant

  • Hygienic container

What We Don't Like
  • May irritate sensitive skin

Supercharged contains everyone's favorite antioxidant, vitamin C, to brighten and even out your skin tone. Meanwhile, a blend of fruit enzymes offers gentle exfoliation to address dullness and reveal a more radiant complexion.

Benefits: Brightening, exfoliating | Skin Type: Combination, oily, dry, mature | Amount: 2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin: Simple Water Boost Hydrating Sheet Mask

Simple Water Boost Hydrating Sheet Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Non-irritating formula

  • Fragrance-free

  • Dermatologist-recommended ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Contains PEGs

Simple Water Boost is the best drugstore mask for sensitive skin. This fragrance-free sheet mask contains a few of Dr. Wolinsky's recommended ingredients, including glycerin and hyaluronic acid for plumping hydration, plus soothing botanicals like allantoin and mallow extract.

Benefits: Hydrating, plumping, soothing | Skin Type: Sensitive, dry | Amount: 1 mask | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dry Skin: Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Super Hydrating Sheet Mask

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Super Hydrating Sheet Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Long-lasting moisture

  • Calms inflammation

  • Non-greasy formula

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

  • Contains PEGs

For parched complexions, we recommend Garnier's Moisture Bomb. This sheet mask contains go-to humectant hyaluronic acid to draw moisture from the air and into the skin, plus naturally calming chamomile for good measure.

Benefits: Hydrating, soothing | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive, combination, mature | Amount: 1 mask | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Oily Skin: Cetaphil Pro DermaControl Purifying Clay Mask

cetaphil-pro-dermacontrol-purifying-clay-mask

Target

What We Like
  • Balances oil production

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Fragrance-free

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

  • Contains PEGs

If you're dealing with greasy skin or a shiny T-zone, go with Cetaphil. This non-comedogenic clay mask combines kaolin and bentonite to absorb excess sebum and unclog pores, while a small dose of natural plant oils helps balance oil production.

Benefits: Absorbs oil, unclogs pores | Skin Type: Oily, combination, acne-prone, sensitive | Amount: 3 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: ZitSticka Pore Vac Unclogging Clay Mask

ZitSticka Pore Vac Unclogging Clay Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Clears and prevents

  • Reduces redness

  • Calms inflammation

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey for drugstore

Those battling breakouts should consider ZitSticka's Pore Vac. As the name suggests, this clay mask gets deep into your pores and sucks up sebum—but it doesn't stop there. Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids offer gentle exfoliation to prevent more pimples from forming, while chamomile and aloe calm redness and soothe inflammation. This product is a bit more expensive than others on this list, but we love that it contains alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, which are clinically proven to give results.

Benefits: Unclogs pores, soothing, gently exfoliates | Skin Type: Acne-prone, combination, oily, sensitive | Amount: 2–3.4 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Combination Skin: Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Mask

Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Calms inflammation

  • Balances oil production

  • Leaves skin radiant

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

  • Contains PEGs

If your skin can't decide if it's dry, oily, or sensitive, this multi-beneficial face mask might be your best bet. It also provides gentle physical exfoliation while zinc PCA balances oil production,¹³ and a blend of antioxidants offers a brightening, tone-evening effect.

Benefits: Calms redness, evens skin tone, hydrating | Skin Type: All | Amount: 1.7 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Soothing: Sun Bum Skin Care Restoring Facial Mask

 Sun Bum Skin Care Restoring Facial Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Calms inflammation

  • Protects skin barrier

  • Hygienic container

What We Don't Like
  • Blue color may be off-putting

  • Contains fragrance

What about red, reactive skin? Sun Bum's Restoring Mask soothes irritation with brown algae and aloe while glycerin and antioxidants hydrate, brighten, and protect.

Benefits: Calms redness, hydrating, brightening | Skin Type: All | Amount: 2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Hydrating : Freeman Hydrating Gel Cream Mask

Freeman Hydrating Gel Cream Mask

Amazon

What We Like
  • Generous amount

  • Leave-on formula

  • Dermatologist-recommended ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Contains PEGs

  • Contains fragrance

This gel mask from Freeman contains Dr. Wolinsky's recommended hydrators for restoring the skin barrier: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and botanicals. We also like that the versatile formula can be rinsed off after 15 minutes, left on as an overnight mask, or used as a daytime moisturizer.

Benefits: Hydrating, calms redness | Skin Type: All | Amount: 6 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Exfoliating: Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off

Skinfood Wash Off Black Sugar Mask

Ulta

This fan-favorite mask from Skinfood leans on Brazilian black sugar to offer gentle physical exfoliation and make your skin oh-so-smooth. Not only that but macadamia oil and shea butter deliver a nourishing dose of moisture, leaving you with a soft face and a dewy complexion.

Benefits: Gently exfoliates, moisturizing, softening | Skin Type: All | Amount: 3.5 ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best AHA: Mad Hippie Microdermabrasion Facial

Mad Hippie Microdermabrasion Facial

Amazon

Prefer chemical exfoliation? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, recommends this alpha hydroxy acid-rich mask from Mad Hippie. "It can be used twice weekly and really gets rid of all the dead skin because it has six different acids," she tells Byrdie. "It doesn't dry your skin out because it has hyaluronic acid as well as squalane, which are both super hydrating." Yes, this pick will run you more, but the derm-recommended formula has clinical results behind it, which justifies the spend in our book.

Benefits: Gently exfoliates, brightening | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive, combination | Amount: 2.1 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Overnight: CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

Walmart

What We Like
  • Leave-on formula

  • Fragrance-free

  • Hygienic container

What We Don't Like
  • Results aren't dramatic

CosRx's Overnight Spa Mask gets to work while you get your beauty sleep. The creamy formula flaunts a blend of rice extract and antioxidants to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your skin.

Benefits: Hydrating, soothing, brightening | Skin Type: All | Amount: 2 ounces | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Our favorite drugstore face mask is Neutrogena's Hydrogel Sheet Mask, which contains dermatologist-recommended ingredients to moisturize, soothe, and leave skin supple. If you're looking for more noticeable results, go with the Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Mask, which gently exfoliates, balances oil production and evens out your complexion.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Claire Wolinsky is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in facial rejuvenation.


Taylor Worden is a New York-based celebrity esthetician and the founder of Taylor Worden Skin.


Dr. Debra Jaliman, is a world-renowned board-certified dermatologist and an assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

What to Look For in a Drugstore Face Mask

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells—thus, the plumping effect. Although it's found naturally in your body, adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine can have huge benefits. This little molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and is considered a hydration superstar.

Vitamin C

This antioxidant does everything from protecting skin from future damage to helping create a more even skin tone and promoting collagen production. Since we can't produce it on our own you'll have to add vitamin C to your routine—like in a face mask—to reap its benefits.

Vitamin B3

You may have heard of this ingredient under the names niacinamide and nicotinamide. It's used to help treat skin issues including acne and dark spots and can help improve the skin's barrier function. Needless to say, it's the perfect addition to a face mask.

Charcoal

It was popular years ago as an internal ingredient, but charcoal is also excellent at removing impurities from your skin's surface, in addition to inside your body. Experts generally recommend using masks that have charcoal as an ingredient, rather than the harsh peel-off charcoal masks that may be too irritating for some.

FAQ
  • Are store bought face masks good for you?

    Store-bought face masks are a wise choice to boost up your skincare routine. They can't solve all your problems at once, but they can provide a hit of moisture, remove impurities, and/or help to brighten your skin and give you a healthy glow, depending on the ingredients. Sheet masks are particularly easy to use.

  • Do dermatologists recommend face masks?

    Dermatologists generally agree that the beneficial ingredients in face masks can provide a quick upgrade to your routine. But like all things, moderation is key. Doing them too often can result in over masking, which should be avoided. Use face masks occasionally, not daily.

  • Do V line face masks work?

    These masks are used for face slimming more so than cleansing. They're used on just the lower part of your face, unlike the standard full face mask. They're useful for a temporary improvement in the appearance of your face, particularly through your jaw and chin areas; as for long-term changes, dermatologists say those results are more subtle.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a self-proclaimed skincare nerd and beauty commerce writer. For this article, she compiled insights and product recommendations from three experts, including two board-certified dermatologists and an esthetician. She has tried face masks from several of the featured brands, including Neutrogena, Aztec Secret, CosRX, and Freeman. Theresa covers skincare, haircare, and makeup products at Byrdie.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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