If you want to sit back and give your skin a little TLC, then a face mask might be exactly what you need. Choosing a mask that’s right for you and your skin can leave your complexion looking smoother, clearer, and brighter.
If your complexion is in need of a pick-me-up, the Peppy Co. All-In-One Sleeping Mask contains nourishing Aussie botanicals that can let you wake up to smoother, more supple skin.
Leaves skin softer
Glides on evenly
Provides lasting hydration
- Skin TypeNormal Skin (1) and Combination Skin (2)
- Value for Money1.0 (3)
- Causes Irritation Yes (2) · No (1)
- Ease of Application4.0 (3)
- Smell3.7 (3)
The insta-famous Alya Skin Clay Mask is vegan, cruelty-free, and promises to detoxify and brighten your skin - all while fighting acne and redness.
Smooths and brightens skin
Easy to apply and take off
Can shrink pores
Can cause irritation
- Skin TypeDry Skin (25), Normal Skin (27), Oily Skin (25), Sensitive Skin (35) and Combination Skin (58)
- Value for Money3.5 (151)
- Causes Irritation Yes (44) · No (118)
- Ease of Application4.1 (158)
- Smell3.8 (151)
For a facial in one handy little tub, you can try the Flawco Australian Blue Clay Mask - it’s packed with Australian native ingredients that work to smooth, clear, and brighten skin.
Evens skin texture
Hydrating and nourishing
- Skin TypeDry Skin (5), Normal Skin (3), Oily Skin (1), Sensitive Skin (3) and Combination Skin (5)
- Value for Money4.8 (16)
- Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (17)
- Ease of Application4.9 (17)
- Smell4.8 (16)
The Sea 2 Skin Active Hydration Face Mask is a 4-in-1 treatment that gives your skin a glow up in every way - it exfoliates, moisturises, shrinks pores, and gives your skin some much-needed nourishment.
The La Roche Posay Effaclar range contains a variety of face moisturisers, serums, cleansers, and treatments to help calm and revitalise all types of oily skin.
Latest review: My skin looked so much clearer and supple after just the first use- I left it on for 30 mins and then washed off. Didn’t have to exfoliate beforehand. It’s so cheap compared to other purifying skin pr
Latest review: Literally the only product that works to keep my acne at bay plus keep my skin supple and smooth. I kid you not. I’m gutted I can’t find this product anywhere any
Latest review: This shampoo I have tried to love and use multiple times. It literally does nothing for my hair, except dry it out. I've tried leaving it on for the full recommended time, I've tried using it on dry
Latest review: I Purchased this LED mask in Nov 2020, after 4 months 1 of the LED light started to not work and showing the incorrect color of the setting. Then 4 months later another 2 of the LED DIOD did the same
Latest review: This is an excellent mask. My face looks smoother with less lines and it's soft. It's so cheap too! 5 STARS! I'm 43 and makes my skin younger and
Latest review: I use this when I get my laser done but I got very sunburnt one day and thought might give it a go the next few days I went an amazing brown. I normally would have peeled. I also used it on a burn
Latest review: This was my all time favourite shampoo and conditioner for many years. My frizzy hair was always tamed with this duo and was left silky soft and strong to the pull. My scalp was always conditioned
Latest review: This Purifying Mask from QV is a gentle and worthwhile addition to the QV Face range. Unlike most facial masks or face packs on the market which contain plenty of irritating ingredients like menthol,
Latest review: my sister gave me the miracle rejuvenation mask ..it was the best mask i,ve ever used ,the results were fantastic...soft smooth hydrated skin ,lines around eyes and mouth were almost invisible i,ll
Latest review: I have combination skin, and I found this Australian pink clay mask made my skin feel and look amazing! It has gentle aloe vera and cucumber for sensitive skin, and lots of nice fruit and flower
Latest review: This Jurlique mask is one of my favourites. Packed in a plastic flip-top tube of 100ml, this creamy white rose-scented mask is easy to dispense and can be used in multiple ways to give a moisture
Latest review: My mum bought this for herself and told me to use it once on a few prominent spots that i had. By the morning my pimples had dried up. i use this every time i have an odd spot that is too big to
Latest review: I have been using the L'or De Vie Serum, La Creme and Eye La Creme since May this year (2012) and as I'm soon approaching 50, I can't believe the difference in my complexion since using this product.
Latest review: With Menopause I seemed to have developed a highly sensitive dry skin and this mask is the only thing that reduces the redness and really helps moisturise. Would recommend it to anyone. I apply it 2
Latest review: This is really a fantastic product. I use it once a week mixed with my night cream. It is so concentrated the tube should last you for months. I have quite dry skin and always feel better the
How do skincare masks work?
Skincare masks work differently to other types of skincare, such as , as they’re generally on your skin for a short period of time. These facial masks penetrate the skin to usually do one or a combination of the following:
- Hydrate the skin
- Absorb excess oil
- Unclog and refine pores
- Reduce acne
- Minimise the appearance of fine lines
- Smoothen out textured skin
- Improve the elasticity of skin
- Brighten your complexion
Applying a mask should follow cleansing (and toning if you use a toner), so that your skin is free of impurities and excess oil for your skin to better absorb the mask.
Do beauty face masks work?
If you use a quality mask that’s intended for your skin type and concern, then yes, masks do work.
Because masks are usually on your face for a short period of time, it’s understandable that there are people who don’t think face masks actually do anything for your skin, but a high-quality mask has a much higher concentration of active ingredients that let a mask have visible effects on your skin.
Can face masks damage your skin?
Face masks can potentially damage your skin, particularly if you don’t use them correctly or if the ingredients in them are too harsh for your skin.
Leaving a face mask on for too long, for example, can cause irritation and dry out your skin - while it may seem that leaving it on longer means you’ll reap more benefits from the mask, doing this is often counterintuitive.
It’s generally recommended not to use face masks everyday because of this, especially if you have sensitive skin. Stick to using a mask once or twice a week.
Should I wash my face after wearing a mask?
Generally speaking, no, you shouldn’t cleanse your face after washing or taking your mask off. Most masks are designed to be applied after you’ve washed your face, and washing again after using a face mask can dry out your skin.
Some masks still continue to nourish your skin after you’ve removed them, such as sheet masks, which still leave some serum on your face after you’ve taken one off. This is where washing your face would prevent you from absorbing all the goodness a mask can give your skin.
Types of face masks
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer choice of face masks and difficult to understand what they can do for your skin, so we’ve outlined the different types of face masks below and what type of skin they’re suited for.
When you see a thick layer of paste on someone’s face, chances are they’re sporting a clay mask. These masks contain clay and other minerals that have healing properties. A popular clay type is pink clay, which is rich in silica and helps make your skin smoother and more supple.
Clay masks help get rid of excess sebum and can remove toxins and other impurities from the skin, making them great for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
A staple in South Korean beauty, sheet masks are single-use sheets (usually made from cotton, hydrogel, or biocellulose) that are either drenched in a serum or essence, or infused with active ingredients that nourish the skin.
Although different facial mask sheets treat different skin concerns, they’re generally suited to people who want to add moisture to and brighten up a dull complexion.
Peel-off masks are usually applied as a cream that when dried, is supposed to be peeled off your face rather than washed off. Along with the mask, you also peel off the top layer of dead skin, making these masks great at exfoliating.
These masks don’t often have many active ingredients, as they’re designed to remove dead skin rather than penetrate the skin.
Peel-offs are great for those who want to smooth out bumpy or more textured skin. Use them with caution if you have ultra-sensitive skin, as they can irritate your skin as you peel them away.
Cream masks are ones which you wash off your face after a certain period of time (usually somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes).
Depending on the active ingredients in a cream mask, they can be used by people with all skin types. They are however often hydrating, so are generally suited to those with dry skin.
If you want a facial while you sleep, you can try an overnight or sleeping mask. These are applied before you hit the hay and work their magic on your skin while you sleep. They’re usually packed with more active ingredients than your standard night cream.
Overnight masks are great for people of all skin types, particularly for those who need some more hydration or want their skin to look revitalised the next day.
Other types of masks
- Charcoal masks: These are great at targeting specific issues, such as removing dead skin and bacteria or removing excess oil from the skin, making them generally suited for those with oily skin. You can also use them as a spot treatment to target inflammation.
- Bubble masks: Yep, these are the funny masks that foam up while on your face, and are thought to help with skin circulation. They’re harder to find and the benefits of them aren’t proven, but they do make for a great photo.
- Eye masks: Eye masks are often sheet or gel patches that are placed under the eyes to help reduce the appearance of dark circles or fine lines.
- Body masks: Name a body part and there’s probably a mask out there for it, but the most common body masks are those that hydrate the hands and lips.
Common ingredients in face masks
Face masks contain a host of active ingredients that work together to nourish your skin - we’ve listed a few of them below.
- Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the skin and aid it in retaining moisture.
- Alpha hydroxy (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin, making it more even in tone and texture.
- Salicylic acid can help remove dead skin and unclog pores, making it a popular ingredient for masks designed for acne-prone skin.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent hyperpigmentation, making it great for brightening dark spots. It also boosts the production of collagen, helping tighten sagging skin.
- Azelaic acid also brightens the complexion, as does kojic acid.
- Retinol increases the turnover of skin cells and lowers oil production, making it effective in fighting acne, reducing wrinkles, and giving your skin a healthy glow.
- Shea butter softens and smoothes skin.
- Vitamin E protects skin from pollution and sun damage, making it a great anti-aging ingredient that can help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Jojoba oil adds moisture to the skin.
There are also plenty of household ingredients that are commonly found in face masks - oatmeal and aloe vera, for example, have soothing properties and so are great for those with easily inflamed skin.
Other things to consider
Ease of use
How easy a mask is to use can often depend on how you like to do your masking. If you’re a multitasker, you may find that sheet masks - which can slide around your face - aren’t particularly convenient for you, while those who like to sit back and relax may love that sheet masks make them lie still.
Masks which require you to wash them off may also be annoying for some people to use, especially if they’ve applied a thicker mask (such as a clay one) that can be more difficult to remove.
You should also consider how long the mask is meant to be kept on your face for - some people find that masks that require a longer time on your face to work don’t really suit their routine.
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll probably have to do a bit more research before buying a face mask. You can find masks designed for use on sensitive skin - these usually don’t contain strong exfoliants (such as retinoids) or particularly drying ingredients.
Sheet masks can cost anywhere from $2 to $190 for a single sheet (yes, you read that right). Other types of masks can cost anywhere from $10 to almost $500 for a tub or tube.
High-end masks that set you back over $100 are often enriched with “luxurious” ingredients (such as gold or even placenta) that are thought to improve the appearance of skin.
Pricier doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to masks; our tip is to look first at the active ingredients a mask has to determine whether it represents good value for money.
The bottom line
Although they can help improve the appearance of your skin, don’t expect a face mask to work miracles. While masks are a short-term solution to glowing skin, having a skin care regime that’s suited to your skin type and concerns and using a face mask a few times a week can help you maintain a healthy complexion.