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As more and more men own up to the fact that looking their best means abiding by a consistent skincare routine, they’re discovering one of the best parts of skincare: face masks. Now while there’s really no mask out there that would unequivocally work better on a man than a woman (and vice versa), there are quite a few that go above and beyond to meet the unique needs of men’s skin, from soothing post-shave irritation to a mask that is shaped to fit a bearded face. Masks form that crucial step between cleansing and applying serum, helping to address a wide range of skincare concerns—think breakouts, dryness, excess oil—in a targeted way. Since formulas can sit on the skin for 10, 20, even 30 minutes at a time, the active ingredients really have a chance to get to work.
Masks are also a great way to up the ante on personal wellness time. Setting aside a few minutes each week to pop on a mask, put on some comfortable music, and just relax can do wonders for the skin as well as the mind.
There are plenty of face masks for men to choose from, and the results are enough to prove that masking for men is no passing trend but is here to stay.
What To Look For in Men’s Face Masks
Consider Your Individual Concerns
Before choosing a mask, ask what your skin needs. While clay masks may be the most popular, they can also be quite drying, which is the opposite of what dry skin needs. In that case, a hydrating gel mask or deep moisturizing sheet mask may be more up your alley. On the other hand, if you’re oily and/or acne-prone, a clay mask can be your saving grace. Take the time to get to know your skin and pick the right products accordingly.
Acids = Exfoliation
There are so many great masks out there today that harness the myriad benefits of chemical exfoliants like salicylic, glycolic and lactic acid. However, these acids can be as harmful as they can be effective if used incorrectly or too frequently. If you decide to go for a heavy-duty exfoliating mask, follow the directions and don’t overdo it.
Many males have two distinct “zones” to their face: the oilier T-zone comprising the nose and forehead, and the rest of the face. And if you’re a guy who shaves, you may feel your “rest of the face” zone is drier than your T-zone. In that case, why not target both zones with a mask for each? Try an oil-absorbing clay mask in your T-zone and a hydrating mask on the rest of your face.
Below, we're sharing our list of the best face masks for men.
Best Overall: Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask
This top-selling mask is ideal for concerns like acne, redness, and enlarged pores. Blue tansy oil, white willow bark, and fruit enzymes in the formula gently exfoliate and help resurface the skin. The lightweight gel texture delivers a subtle cooling sensation when applied—just imagine how much better it would feel still if stored in the fridge. We just love it.
Best Clay Mask: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
If you're an avid Byrdie reader, then you know that the team is a huge fan of this budget-friendly clay mask. It has just one ingredient–bentonite clay–which is known for its pore-purifying properties. Smooth this over your face to help decongest pores—it works like a charm. You could also use it on your body or hair or even mix it with apple cider vinegar for even stronger results. Long story short: It's a versatile tub of clay that you want in your cabinet—trust.
Runner-Up, Best Clay Mask: Baxter of California Clay Mask AHA
From the brand widely known for its male grooming products comes this clay mask that doesn't skimp on benefits. It uses a combo of kaolin and bentonite clay to deep clean, while aloe leaf juice and witch hazel help soothe and hydrate the skin. It's a purifying formula, so you can expect your skin to feel refreshed and uber-clean post-use, with a smoother and more even-looking appearance.
Best Budget: THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Although this mask is on the affordable side, it’s incredibly effective. This 10-minute peeling gel exfoliates to reveal smoother textured skin over time. Potent glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids provide powerful exfoliation to help resurface and clarify rough, uneven and congested skin. Plus, you get results without a major financial investment.
This formula is suggested for nighttime use only, and not recommended for sensitive skin types.
Best Splurge: Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque
Suitable for normal skin types and ideal for those with dry skin, this lightweight gel mask can be worn for 30 minutes and then wiped off. It can also be worn overnight as a treatment sleep mask that you wash off in the morning. Its main ingredient is niacinamide, which is known to have anti-inflammatory, oil-controlling, and pore-minimizing benefits.
Best Oily Skin: Paula's Choice SKIN BALANCING Oil-Absorbing Mask
Bring balance to combination and oily skin with this mineral clay mask. In 10-15 minutes it helps manage excess sebum, clear out debris, and unclogs congested pores. Natural kaolin and bentonite clays draw out impurities while glycerin hydrates. This mask does the trick without overdrying your skin for a shine-free look that lasts throughout the day. You can even use it several times a week to keep skin in check.
Best for Breakouts: BOLDEN Clear Skin Clay Mask
If you deal with breakouts on the regular, this sulfur-packed acne mask can help. Sulfur, an ingredient approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne, helps eliminates the acne-causing bacteria on the skin's surface to treat existing breakouts and prevent new ones from forming. All the while bentonite clay draws out excess oil and surface impurities from dirt, product, and sweat buildup. Talk about an awesome tag team.
Best Exfoliating: Boscia Berry Blend Smoothing Facial
For dull, lackluster skin, reach for this exfoliating powerhouse formulated with a 28% acid complex. It harnesses the power of potent AHAs (glycolic acid) and BHAs (salicylic acid) to gently exfoliate, unclog, and minimize the appearance of pores. The 20-minute treatment can be used once or twice a week.
Best Moisturizing: Soft The Moisture Mask
Soft’s flagship mask was made specifically to add moisture and life back into dry, thirsty skin. Ginger and turmeric extracts add brightening and anti-inflammatory properties while hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and squalane provide lasting hydration. As a bonus, the creamy texture is non-messy and easy to apply.
Note: This is a rinse-off mask, but can also be worn overnight for extra hydration.
Best Gel Mask: Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask
This mask dispenses as a gel but transforms into foam as it gets to work. Key ingredients like squalane and almond oil help add moisture while vitamins E and C deliver antioxidant and brightening benefits. In other words, it purifies and deep cleanses skin without sacrificing hydration.
Best Sheet Mask: HETIME Revitalizing & Hydrating Face Mask
These sheet masks are designed specifically for men’s faces, leaving off the bottom half to avoid interfering with your facial hair. It uses moringa leaf extract, cedar oil, and baobab tree oil as its main ingredients, which work together to help brighten, even the skin's tone, and reduce the appearance of blemishes. They're also super portable, so you can take them with you virtually anywhere.
Best Charcoal Mask: GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Instant Clearing Treatment Mask
This once Hollywood secret is a go-to for addressing problem skin. The cream textured mask removes dirt, toxins, and excess oil thanks to activated charcoal. K-17 clay helps wash away oil, while the six acid blend—including glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids—exfoliates to help refine the skin's texture.
Best Natural: Golde Clean Greens Superfood Face Mask
The ingredients in this face mask read more like pantry staples than mask ingredients (chlorella, spirulina, mango juice) but that's exactly why we love its 100% pure edible superfoods-based formula. It's super clean, vegan, and works really well to gently help remove impurities from the skin, fend off breakouts and environmental damage, and reveal an overall healthy-looking complexion.
What face mask is best for men?
While many masks stand out as best in their category, they’re like any skincare product: good for some skins, not so good for others. The key to finding the best mask for you comes down to choosing one that address your specific skincare needs, from oiliness to dryness, and everything in between.
Are sheet masks good for men?
One of the benefits of using a sheet mask specifically made for men is that they’re shaped to stop just above the beard line, allowing for a closer fit against the skin, and therefore more effective absorption of the active ingredients in the product.
Do dermatologists recommend face masks?
While a face mask should never be used to address a medical condition (always see a proper doctor or a derm if you have questions about a mask affecting a skin condition), some dermatologists tout certain common mask ingredients, such as bentonite clay, for its ability to absorb toxins and purify the body and skin.
Should you wash your face after wearing a mask?
Rinse, yes. Wash, no. The general rule for face masks is to wash your face before you mask, removing all traces of makeup, dirt and debris so the mask has a clean surface to penetrate. Then after the mask has done its thing, simply rinse it away with water—no cleanser—and follow with the rest of your skincare routine. Not only would a post-mask cleanse wash away valuable active ingredients, it could also strip your skin (especially if you’ve done an exfoliating mask) which could lead to irritation and excessive dryness.
Draelos ZD. The multifunctionality of 10% sodium sulfacetamide, 5% sulfur emollient foam in the treatment of inflammatory facial dermatoses. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010;9(3):234-236.