There are so many good face masks out there in the market these days so don’t think that this list I’ve compiled here today is exhaustive. I’ve just had to narrow it down to the top 10 that I’ve found myself returning to time and time again. Sometimes I need hydration, sometimes I need to clean out my pores, and sometimes I’m wrangling a nasty breakout.
I’ve also included three of my favorite chemical exfoliators on this list. I use one of them at least once a week since, as we know, chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells and other debris, helping to speed up cell turnover, leaving your skin looking fresher, brighter, and clearer. I prefer chemical exfoliants to physical ones, such as an apricot scrub, as they can be too harsh on the skin if not done properly and I just don’t trust these heavy hands, mmkay? I get overly excited.
One must be careful with exfoliants, especially as a beginner, as over-usage strips away the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to sun damage and dryness. While not as potentially damaging as chemical exfoliators, clay face masks can be used improperly as well. They’re a must-have for those with oily skin but when a clay mask is left on the skin for too long, it can draw out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation. That can lead the skin to produce more oil to make up for this imbalance, causing your skin to become more oily in the end. We don’t want that (obvs).
As far as hydrating masks are concerned, some people may be unaware that they are filled with rich serums that are not meant to be rinsed or washed off the skin. The same goes for eye patches. Remember my post about applying masks after you’ve cleaned your face? (If not, click here.) The serums from hydrating masks are an amazing way to re-hydrate and plump the skin after cleansing and before applying moisturizer. I talk about how and when to apply your serums, moisturizers, and facial oils here.
To sum it up, just follow the directions and you won’t waste your money or harm your skin. You’ll only reap the benefits. With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to the face masks, shall we?
This first group of face masks are what I call the hydrators and brighteners. These masks help with dark spots, dullness, dryness, and puffiness, and deliver a dewy glow in just one use. Dry skin people, these are for you.
This next group of masks are the ones that target problematic skin and breakouts. These can be used on oily skin or when more pressing problems start to pop up. They help to flush out environmental toxins, dirt, and debris that can clog pores. I also like to use these for spot treatments, leaving them on overnight.
The final group of face masks on my list are the exfoliators that I mentioned earlier. All of these chemical exfoliators sweep away dead skin cells, giving it a brightened and renewed appearance, particularly the morning after if you’ve applied them at night (which I do recommend doing). When used properly (again, save your skin and read the directions), these masks effectively peel and help uncover a smooth, fresh, new complexion without drying, irritating or causing undue stress to the skin. Just be careful if you have very sensitive skin. These may not be for you.
One more thing, it is imperative that you wear sunscreen if you’re going to use any kind of chemical exfoliator. Otherwise, you will only further damage and age your skin.