Think back to the first skincare product you ever used. If your experience was anything like mine, then it was probably a sticky, goopy face mask you concocted from the contents of your kitchen. Face masks play a major role in most women's skincare routines, starting from the DIY recipes we ripped out of magazines and evolving all the way to the vast skincare section of your local beauty supply.
But the grown-up world of face masks can be difficult to navigate. There are literally hundreds to choose from: clay masks, sheet masks, gel masks, overnight masks, and more—many of which are pricy and all of which promise skincare benefits that seem almost too good to be true.
But beauty consumers are savvy, and when a mask delivers on its promises, it reaches the cult status it deserves. There's a reason you've probably purchased (and repurchased) GlamGlow's Supermud Clearing Treatment ($69) and SK-II's Facial Treatment Masks ($135). These are some of the greatest and most popular sheet masks of all time.
But which new face masks are going to take over as the next generation of top sellers? To find out, we Byrdie editors analyzed everything we know about skincare trends, popular brands, and ingredients. The result? This list of face masks that we predict will be the most popular picks of the summer.
Keep scrolling to discover which face masks you should add to your shopping cart before they're all sold out!
In the beauty editor community, buzz surrounding this multitasking mask has been steadily growing since late spring. (Just ask our associate editor Lindsey, who fell in love with the product and wrote this in-depth review.) First, the mask is unique for its intriguing consistency, which transforms from a bouncy putty to a liquid upon contact with the skin. This makes for an exciting first impression, but it's not all for show. The formula tingles on your face for 10 minutes, and once removed, it makes your skin feel instantly brightened, tightened, and refreshed. Summer is all about youth and hydration, which is exactly what this mask delivers. Translation? We see it selling out soon.
When Too Cool for School released its delightfully packaged egg cream sheet masks ($6) on Sephora last year, skincare junkies everywhere flipped. Soon the ultra-hydrating product became a best-seller. This year, the brand is back with a few new renditions, and we're confident that this anti-aging pick will be a hit. It has the same ultra-fine microfiber texture as the first generation of sheet masks, but now with firming properties as quick and effective as masks twice the price. "[After one use], my whole face felt more supple and my fine lines were almost unnoticeable," one Sephora reviewer wrote. "I use masks typically before big events and this one is now my favorite for quick results."
Anti-pollution skincare is a massive trend this summer, as is all-natural beauty. Combine the two and you get this clay mask from Tata Harper, which has already earned standing O's from Sephora customers. (It has also quickly become one of my personal go-tos for banishing breakouts.) The mask is truly luxurious, its organic formula a standout. Packed with probiotics and white clay, it deeply cleanses pores while giving the skin an energized, youthful flush, thanks to brown algae and vitamin E. Slather on a thick layer, and a cool tingling sensation immediately overcomes your face. After 20 minutes, rinse off the clay to find your skin cleared and energized. Admittedly, the product is on the pricier end, but if you struggle with summer breakouts or dull skin, you won't regret the purchase.
If uneven skin tone and texture are your cross to bear, welcome this dermatologist-approved product, which we predict will be one of the year's top sellers. Let's be clear: This is not your average mask. It's a system designed to offer results as dramatic as in-office brightening treatments. It contains three steps: a polishing mask, a vitamin C treatment, and a melting cleanser. The product's 25% concentration of vitamin C is unheard of in over-the-counter skincare, and according to early consumer reviews, it causes "a significant difference in skin texture and tone." Want to read more about this miracle product? Here's our senior editor Hallie's full review.
Beauty lovers adore Tony Moly masks not only because they're effective but also because they're fun to use. This blemish-fighting product goes on like a normal sheet mask (or half of one, anyway) and then bubbles up. Massage the bubbles into your skin, remove the sheet, and continue massaging. The formula combines charcoal, which absorbs impurities, with oxygen (that's where those bubbles come from) to clear excess sebum. Cleaning your pores has never been so amusing.
Korean skincare continues to pique American beauty interests, so this rice mask arrives at the perfect time. Inspired by the ancient Asian tradition of rice water cleansing, this mask uses nutrient-rich Odae rice water from Korea, which works to moisturize, calm inflammation, and promote cell turnover. Simply massage the product into damp skin and rinse after 10 to 15 minutes. The mask is affordable, easy to use, and suited to all skin types.
The dry-skin struggle is real in the summer, rendering this new sheet mask from Dr. Jart+ a guaranteed win. If you're familiar with the brand's Ceramidin liquid or cream, you'll be all over this mask, which boasts a creamy, lotion-like consistency, unlike most sheet mask's watery feel. The product works to lock in moisture and leave skin super smooth; plus, its paraben- and sulfate-free formula makes it safe for even the most sensitive skin. (Editor suggestion: Follow Tata Harper's clay mask with this pick for the perfect one-two punch in summer skincare.)
For years, the oily-skinned and acne-prone among us have waited for a mask like this. The product works to rid the skin of excess oil, leaving a matte finish that lasts all day. One early Sephora reviewer called it "an amazing mattifier … a great purge, and it even brightened my skin." Pro tip: Though the instructions say to leave the mask on for three minutes, users recommend keeping it on for an extra few for maximum results.
Introducing the brand-new sheet mask that even sheet mask–phobes are guaranteed to love. "I'm not usually one for sheet masks," admitted Byrdie Beauty Director Deven. "I try them when I'm bored or when out of my usual faves, but this one caught my attention." Here's what's cool about the product: It's from a just-released skincare line created by plastic surgeon Dr. George Sun. Sun started creating custom products for his clients years ago and was finally convinced to take his medical-grade formulas to market. This sheet mask is one of his new star products. "It left my skin noticeably smoother, brighter, and appropriately moisturized (that is to say, my skin looked glowing without the excess goop)," Deven said. "It's not cheap, but for special occasions (like the summer wedding I'm packing for as I write this) it's perfect."
Another giant ingredient trend of summer 2016? Gold. Yes, the modern skincare aficionado has graduated to applying precious metals to her skin for their soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. (Watch our editorial director, Faith, unbox and test another luxurious gold mask.) These anti-aging sheet masks from Peter Thomas are lovely—they form nicely to the face and stay put for the 15 minutes it takes for the humectant-, hyaluronic acid–, and peptide-packed formula to hydrate and brighten lackluster skin. The result is extreme glowiness, and if you stick to applying these masks one to two times a week, you should notice long-term benefits.
Want more summer skincare tips? Check out these nine genius hacks to combat breakouts, dryness, and more.