In the year of self-care, face masks fall into that feel-good category of beauty we can't help but indulge in. In the midst of your busy life, it might sound like a tedious task to set aside time and lather your face with a mask. But what if glowing, plumped, and hydrated skin is promised on the other side? There's nothing better in beauty than instant results with a product that totally transforms the texture of your skin in minutes. Preventative products are necessary, but masks that deliver immediate results are more fun.
Whether you want to wake up with glowing skin or you're prepping your skin for a night out, having a clean canvas to work with is never a bad idea. Packed with the good stuff like vitamins and antioxidants, these masks promote elasticity, brightening, and full-on radiance. Ahead are the face masks for glowing skin that Byrdie editors love. Treat your skin to one of these gems for the ultimate glow-up.
"When a skincare product falls just short of $400, you expect it to deliver. And if it's a glowing, radiant, even, and clear complexion you seek, this sleeping mask from La Priaire checks every box. Even though I'm pretty much married to my current skincare routine, I just couldn't resist trying this sleeping mask recently considering all the hype I've heard and the considerable price tag. And honestly, I was expecting to be underwhelmed. However, after brushing it on as the last step in my routine one night and waking up the next morning with the dewiest (non-greasy) of glows, I was eating my words.
There is a little bit of a strong fragrance, which I'm not particularly a fan of, but the formula more than makes up for it with skin-improving ingredients like exfoliating enzymes, caviar extract, and the brand's special cellular complex." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"I'm convinced anything and everything from Tatcha gives me the dewy glow of my dreams, but this vitamin C–infused mask is on another level entirely. After letting the pretty purple formula sit on my face for about 20 minutes, the tone of my skin is noticeably more even, and it pretty much looks like someone literally pumped one of Kreation's vitamin-enriched Syringe Shots ($5) into my complexion. It's my go-to when I haven't been getting enough sleep or just look a little more peaked than I'd like to." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"In my humble opinion, this is the queen of all charcoal masks. It's basically like a pore-clearing vacuum, which is why I use it when I feel blemishes cropping up on my complexion—especially before big events when I need clear skin the most. It even seems to cinch my pores, so my skin looks even and uniform. All I do is apply this mask, wash it off, apply moisturizer, a dab of concealer, and some highlighter, and I'm good to go. My skin looks clearer, brighter, and generally just better." — Kaitlyn McLintock, news writer
"This is the mask I reach for when I want my skin to glow as bright as the sun. All it takes is mixing the green clay powder with a bit of water to perfect a customized texture. After applying it to my T-zone, I wait until it dries down (which usually takes about 10 minutes). While this is happening the ever-hardening clay is increasing blood flow to the surface of my skin, drawing away toxins and impurities, and plumping it with oxygen. It's exfoliating it too, thanks to the slightly grainy texture of the clay.
After I rinse it off my skin is red, so I have to wait about half an hour before leaving my apartment, but when I do, my skin's radiance is increased by a factor of a million. Seriously, I'm always so happy with the glowy results that I go without makeup completely, save for a little mascara and brow gel." — Kaitlyn McLintock, news writer
"If my skin is looking dull or broken out, Renée's iconic peel (which literally smells like raspberry jam—dare you not to want to lick it) gives it the kick in the ass it needs. Invariably, every time I apply this goopy purple thing—which is packed with natural exfoliating ingredients like mandelic, lactic, salicylic, tartaric, and malic acids—and rinse it off 10 minutes later, I look three years and 50 hangovers younger." — Amanda Montell, features editor
"My one-two punch for glowy skin involves an exfoliating mask followed up by a deeply hydrating pick, so after Renée's Triple Berry Peel, I like to reach for this anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich treasure from German skincare genius Dr. Sturm. Ingredients like kaolin, vitamin E, and aloe make this impossibly creamy mask one of the most deliciously glow-inducing on the market." — Amanda Montell, features editor
"My chief requirements for an exfoliating treatment are that A) it visibly brightens up my skin after a single treatment, and B) it doesn't irritate my sensitive, dryness-prone skin. Drunk Elephant's Babyfacial passes these requirements with flying colors: I use it twice a week to ensure that my complexion stays even, smooth, and maintains that lit-from-within glow." — Victoria Hoff, managing editor, THE/THIRTY
"I've used May Lindstrom's Problem Solver for years—it really delivers on its namesake promise, and it's completely natural. I always describe it as putting a warm spice cookie on my face, because the combination of ginger, cinnamon, cacao, and clay actually heats up and tingles on your face. It vacuums out my pores so that nary a blackhead exists on my face—perfect after long summer days or a lot of traveling." — Victoria Hoff, managing editor, THE/THIRTY
"Glycolic and lactic acids are both skin-polishing power players (glycolic has the ability to penetrate a bit deeper for better pore-unclogging prowess), so combining them together in one glow-inducing tonic creates magic. My skin always has a light-catching glow the morning after I use it, like I've just gotten an expensive facial." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"Derm Institute Anti-Oxidant Hydration Gel Mask: Dendy Engelman introduced me to these insanely moisturizing gel packets. They're all the good stuff you'd get from a sheet mask (moisturizing plant extracts and antioxidants) minus she sheet, making it perfect for public wear (I always bring them on planes)." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"I feel like I've written about this mask a hundred times, and that's because it really works. Most people associate Charlotte Tilbury with makeup, but her skincare is incredible too. This mask is my favorite because unlike other clay masks, it doesn't dry your skin out. It smells slightly floral and very fancy, and it always leaves my skin looking noticeably brighter after using it. I’ve even gotten an ex-boyfriend hooked—that's how good it is." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"I love using this creamy green mask whenever my skin is looking lackluster or tired (which, lately, has been often). It's super hydrating and brightening and is especially good for travel. It's made with a bunch of amazing soothing ingredients like chlorophyll, fern, and hyaluronic acid, and my skin glows like none other after every use." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask is a product I kept in my medicine cabinet but never tried (I'll blame my undying love for Renée Rouleau's Triple Smoothing Berry Peel). Once I did get into it, however, I realized the two formulas serve different purposes. The mask has a really cool texture, kind of like Jell-O, and is made to be used more often than the other. It's super gentle, never causes redness or irritation, and works perfectly to smooth and retexturize before a night out. In fact, and I don't really understand why, but it (temporarily) fills and flattens my forehead wrinkles to the point where it looks as if they never existed to begin with." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"Biologique Recherche's Masque VIP02 is an oxygenating, moisturizing antipollution treatment that restores stressed, asphyxiated skin—which is exactly what happens when you're hungover. Its formula is rich in moisturizing botanical ingredients and contains an oxygenating complex that stimulates epidermal regeneration. Pro tip: Stick it in the refrigerator prior to using it and apply a thick layer all over, but especially under your eyes and around your lips. You'll be glowing in 30 minutes." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"My favorite skincare ritual before I go out is pampering my skin with a mask. I swear my makeup goes on so much smoother, and my selfies look lit after I've prepped my skin with a mask. I've learned the secret to an incredible finished makeup look is a good skincare routine. I've been using this restorative radiance mask for years, and I give it all the praise for my skin's glow-up. It's full of natural things like floral waters, lotus, and baobab. My face feels like a baby's bottom afterward and looks so luminous.
The soft pink shade seeps right into my pores, and for a full 24 hours after, I don't need to put on as much face oil, because my skin is so hydrated." — Maya Allen, assistant editor
"This brightening mask is a newfound love that I don't plan on letting go of anytime soon. Byrdie's editorial director, Faith Xue, put me on to this best seller from the brand. I was having a self-care weekend a few weeks ago, which involved a pretty intense face mask marathon. This guy was definitely the winner. I massaged its luxuriously rich texture over my skin, and it instantly melted right onto my face. It's made with oats, blueberries, grape extracts, and other natural botanical ingredients.
It also has light reflecting particles, which explains the crazy glow I witnessed that has my skin hooked. You're welcome." — Maya Allen, assistant editor
We all have those days when our tired, stressed-out skin needs a little extra. Next time, spoil yourself with one of these. You'll look like you slept for 15 hours, and can you really ask for anything else?