IT'S EASY to write off a face mask as a non-essential beauty 'indulgence'. You've cleansed, toned and moisturised and that's enough, right? Wrong.
The best face masks can boost dull, lacklustre skin, help clear blemish-prone complexions, and give dry skin a serious moisture-surge.
An at-home mask session isn't just about pampering (but who doesn't love that anyway?), it's also about giving your skin the TLC it needs.
Detoxifying clay masks can give skin an in-depth clean – reducing pores and absorbing excess oil. Hydrating acid masks will quench dry, thirsty skin; collagen-infused masks will give a fine line-smoothing youth-boost; and a radiance mask will renew, brighten and give a good glow to tired-looking skin.
So whether you're after a cream, clay, peel-off, gel or sheet, our roundup of the best face masks below has it all.
So no matter what your skin type is, fresh-faced feels coming up…
Do face masks really work?
Yes. The way to secure their benefits is to use them in accordance with other beauty items such as serums and creams.
Face masks can help to fight the signs of ageing, clean your pores and stimulate blood flow.
We tested: Sand&Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask
- Sand&Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask, £36.90 from Cult Beauty – buy here
Schitt's Creek star Annie Murphy is just one of the many loyal fans of Sand&Sky's Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask.
Equipped with a trusty brush, this mask combines botanical ingredients with vitamin A, clearing your pores of congestion and boosting radiance.
First impressions? The 60g tub is super generous and it's a luxuriously thick, creamy formula that glides on your face so softly with the brush. A wonderful application experience.
It's also really convenient that you only have to wait 10 minutes for this to work its magic as you can quickly pop it on before you get ready to go out.
We have been using this for around three weeks so far, and we're loving the results as a frequent go-to in the evenings to wind down.
Our skin feels brighter and we've definitely noticed a decline in our blackheads. We're with Annie on this one.
Best face mask to boost radiance: REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Expensive? Yes. Good? Very.
If you feel like your skin's permanently 'meh', it may need a little radiance boost. And this peel-off Ren renewal mask is just the thing.
Formulated with the complexion-boosting 'fab four' – glycolic, citric, lactic and tartaric acid – it's a powerful exfoliator, removing dead skin cells and reducing large pores for a more even skin tone. It can even help with sun-damage dark spots and acne scars.
Just slather it over your face, leave for 10 minutes and then gently wash off with a damp cloth to reveal the smooth new you. Sensitive skin kinda gal? You should probably steer clear of this one.
- REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, £32.40 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Best face mask for dry skin: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask
- Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask with Avocado & Swiss Glacier Water, £19.20 from Look Fantastic – buy here
If you liked the original Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask (who didn't?) then you're going to love this little upgrade even more.
This moisturising marvel does exactly what it says on the tin: hydrates thirsty skin. And now, the added Swiss glacier water and hyaluronic acid means skin can lock-in moisture for a 72-hour hydration marathon.
Vitamins A, D, and E and omega-3 fatty acids also work to leave you with soft-to-touch skin and a smooth complexion. Truly one of our faves.
Best face mask for oily skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clay Mask
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clay Mask, £14 from Feel Unique – buy here
Anyone that suffers from oily skin will know it's often associated with breakouts.
So a double-action face mask that targets spots and absorbs oil is just the ticket.
Cue this La Roche-Posay mask, which sees Argilla and Kaolin clay work to soak up excess oil without stripping essential moisture from your skin.
It doesn't just stop at the surface layer either – sebum inside the skin is targeted, helping to mattify your complexion as well as giving it a deep cleanse to prevent future breakouts.
Best face mask for acne: L'Oréal Paris Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Face Mask
- L'Oréal Paris Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Face Mask, £7.99 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Fed up of pesky pimples? Help clear a blemish-prone complexion with a detoxifying face mask twice a week.
A mix of three clays give pores a deep-clean, banishing bacteria and unclogging blackheads.
While purifying clay works to absorb excess oil, marine algae extract will ensure your skin doesn't dry out, ultimately leaving you with clearer, smoother skin. Yes, please.
Best sheet mask: Neutrogena Ageless Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask
- Dr Jart+ Cryo Rubber Mask with Soothing Allantoin, £10 from CultBeauty – buy here
Loved by A-listers everywhere, Dr Jart+ have the ultimate sheet, rubber mask which offers an indulgent and effective way to renew, re-energise and reinvigorate your skin.
Jumping on the Korean beauty wave, this two-step mask set boosts blood circulation and reduces the appearance of redness, by cooling your face.
Just lie back, relax and let the skin-reviving begin…
Best multi-buy face mask: Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven Basket Full of Goodies
- Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven Basket Full of Goodies, £10 from Feel Unique – buy here
Whether you're looking for beauty treats for yourself or to pamper a loved one, 7th Heaven's face mask gift basket should be on your go-to list.
Best clarifying face mask: Omorovicza Ultra Moor Mud Mask
- Omorovicza Ultra Moor Mud Mask, £72 from Omorovicza – buy here
This is one of those masks that has an eye-watering price tag that users find completely justifies itself after they've tried it.
It contains Hungarian Moor mud, which is rich in calcium and magnesium, to help exfoliate and clarify the skin, giving it a deep cleanse.
Plankton extracts help to lift and tighten.
Reviewers swear it's 'incredible' and 'the best mask ever'. It's particularly popular with those who have combination skin.
Best LED face mask: Sensse Restore LED Silicon Face Mask
- Sensse Restore LED Silicon Face Mask, £129.99 from Argos – buy here
This LED face mask uses light therapy to give skin a range of benefits based on the colour setting you choose.
Red is meant to promote collagen growth and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, blue minimises skin's oil production, yellow works to improve lymphatic drainage which improves elasticity and purple combines blue and red to help improve the appearance of scars and any skin imperfections.
This mask is made from high-grade silicone to comfortably fit any face shape and is rechargeable, with a handheld remote to switch between settings.
Welcome to the future of face masks.
What is the best face mask for ageing skin?
Use face masks regularly to tackle early ageing.
We'd suggest choosing products with hydrogel and adenosine such as this Neutrogena one, because it tackles the appearance of wrinkles and improves your complexion.
Don't forget to keep your skin hydrated with overnight masks such as Origins Drink Up Overnight Hydrating Mask.
Are face masks good for your skin?
Depending on what you need them to do, face masks can be very effective and beneficial for the skin.
Face masks penetrate the skin more deeply (usually the main ingredients are the ones to get absorbed), so can work well if you're looking for a quick-fix temporary glow for an event, or for a more hydrated overall appearance.
Mud and clay-based face masks can be useful for deep-cleaning the skin and getting rid of any impurities.
Sheet masks are best when you are looking to hydrate and calm the skin.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best face masks on the market? Take a look at Sun Selects to discover more of our recommendations.
Do you love beauty products? Us too! Check out our beauty recommendations here.
Does your hair need some pampering too? Then take a look at our selection of the best hair masks.
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