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Bad skin days happen to the very best of us, and when they strike, a face mask can help your skin back on the right track. But instead of just selecting a face mask willy-nilly, make sure it's formulated to address your key skin concerns, whether that be blemishes or dullness. To save you the trouble, we went ahead and rounded up our top face mask picks.
Here, explore the best face masks for every skin type and concern.
Best Overall: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
The beauty world is full of hyperbole, but this really is the closest thing to a miracle product. The Babyfacial is an unheard-of 25% AHA and 2% BHA—a powerful blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids that slough off dead skin for a baby-faced complexion.
The exfoliating action is powerful, so this isn't a face mask you'll want to use every day. But when you do use it—once weekly is recommended—be prepared for dramatic results, including brighter, more even-looking skin that's touchably soft.
Best Budget: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
Glycolic acid masks are all the rage right now and rightfully so. If you're thinking about adding one to your arsenal without spending a fortune, look to the Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask. It's formulated with glycolic acid (of course) as well as pumpkin enzyme and manuka honey to resurface the skin, boost cellular turnover, promote collagen and elastin formation, and protect the skin against free radicals. Bonus: It smells like pumpkin pie, just not the cloying kind, and feels like a rich pudding.
Best Drugstore: Vichy Double Glow Peel Face Mask
Drugstore face masks are a dime a dozen, but we're particularly fond of this formula rich with volcanic rock particles and AHAs—blueberry, sugar cane, maple sugar, orange, and lemon extracts, to be exact—to harness the powers of both chemical and physical exfoliation. The result is refined skin texture and enviable luminosity.
Need more convincing? Like all Vichy products, this mask contains the brand's exclusive mineralizing water from French volcanoes to boost skin barrier function and protect against aggressors. Think of it as a 5-minute solution to dull, tired-looking skin.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask
Clogged pores can easily translate into blemishes, especially on acne-prone skin, which is why an exfoliating and clarifying face mask like this one can work wonders for prevention. It's formulated with white willow bark and fruit enzymes like papaya and pineapple (gentle, effective AHAs and BHAs) to decongest the skin and slough away flakes without irritation.
The hero ingredient, blue tansy essential oil, is beloved for reducing inflammation and soothing the skin, two benefits that blemish-prone skin types can certainly get behind. Best of all, the mask is gentle enough for even sensitive skin types, so you don't have to worry about unwanted reactions.
Best Overnight Mask: Huxley Good Night Sleep Mask
Korean brand Huxley, named after the “Brave New World” writer, bases its entire skincare line on prickly pear extract, a fruit-producing succulent rich in anti-inflammatory vitamin E. Prickly pear also reduces redness and heals wounds, which is good news if your skin has been going through it. In fact, Korean flight attendants love the skincare line as an antidote to the stresses of constant travel.
As for the mask itself, Good Night Sleep Mask comes in a convenient squeeze tube and works its magic while you snooze. Apply as the last layer in your skincare routine before bed, and wake up with brighter, calmer skin.
Check out our guide to the best Korean face masks you can buy today.
Best for Brightening: Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
The unique texture of this brightening mask resembles a milky jelly pudding. Aside from feeling great on the skin, the jelly texture helps cling the mask to the skin. The best part of that you can choose to use it three different ways: as a daily moisturizer, daytime mask, or overnight mask.
When used alone, the mask leaves dewy, healthy-looking skin behind, but results are more incredible when paired with a vitamin C serum. Need a rec? Here are some of our favorite vitamin C serums.
Best for Oily Skin: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Facial & Body Mask
Few ingredients are better at sopping up excess oil on the skin's surface than clay. And this powerful mask features no shortage of bentonite clay to absorb excess sebum and prevent clogged pores (and potential breakouts).
Unlike other bentonite clay masks, which may be diluted with a laundry list of ingredients, this mask has just one ingredient listed on its packaging: natural calcium bentonite clay. That's right, this mask features 100% bentonite clay making it an absolute must-have for oily, acne-prone skin types looking to deep clean pores and remove impurities and dirt before they have a chance to wreak havoc.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best face masks for oily skin.
Best for Blackheads: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask
This combination of pore-vacuuming Australian pink clay, Kakadu plum extract, and licorice purifies the skin while evening out your complexion. The clay cuts through oil and grime and whatever else you have in your pores, while also reducing redness and even calming existing acne.
It also comes with an applicator brush to spread the mixture on your face, which when it comes to clay masks, is preferable to using your fingers.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop the best clay masks available online.
Best for Dryness: nügg Hydrating and Moisturizing Face Mask
Give dry flakes the boot with this moisture-boosting gel face mask. One pack includes five single-serve pods rich in the hydrating formula, which—for the record—includes 94% natural ingredients like aloe juice and camellia seed oil. What's not included is mineral oil, parabens, and synthetic fragrances or colors, so you can feel good about what you're putting on your face.
In addition to softer, smoother, and brighter-looking skin, this mask virtually eliminates uncomfortable (and unsightly) dryness. Plus, if you're constantly on the go, you'll love the mask's compact size and ease of use anytime, anywhere.
Best for Travel: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
Even with all the skincare innovations available to us, a full night’s sleep is still one of the best things you can do for your skin. That being said, if you can’t manage that, there’s always the Jet Lag Mask, which treats puffy, tired, dehydrated skin, symptoms you may experience after brutal red-eye flights.
The formula contains a hydrating, soothing cocktail of ceramides to fortify skin, anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce redness, and vitamins C and E for radiance. Richer than a gel but lighter than a cream, the mask comes in a compact blue-gray tube and is a must for travel, long nights, and everything in between.
Prefer sheet masks instead? Check out our guide to the best sheet masks for bright, refreshed skin.