My Favorite Face Masks

My skin and I are longtime frenemies. One day, my face is glowing; the next, discoloration, redness and spots abound. Over the years, I’ve tried tons of products, from OTC creams to prescription-only Accutane.

Recently, my skin and I have been on friendlier terms (save for some dullness and breakouts from the London pollution). While I attribute most of that to a diligent skincare routine, my favorite way to target specific skin concerns is using face masks. Face masks come in all kinds of forms, but no matter the type, a mask is a relaxing way to treat your skin – and yourself. 

Like I said, there are a million and one kinds of face masks: sheet masks, peel-off, overnight, cream-based, clay-based – the list goes on. With such a variety, I know how hard it can be to choose the right one for your needs. Now, I’m by no means a professional, but I’ve tried a face mask or two (or five or twenty) in my day. So I rounded up my favorite face masks for a variety of skin issues based on my experience. Check them out below!


face masks cucumber

I’ve struggled with redness for as long as I can remember. Regardless of sun exposure, temperature or dryness, my undertones are always rosy. But sometimes, the redness is too extreme for even the most powerful of color correcting concealers to mask. That’s when I reach for this Cucumber Gel mask by Peter Thomas Roth*. This mask is formulated with botanical extracts of cucumber, chamomile, pineapple, aloe vera and more. It’s super gentle and soothing and works to both hydrate and detoxify irritated skin. I recommend popping it in the fridge for a few hours before you plan to use it for the ultimate cooling effect.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator, $52, available at Sephora


face masks glamglow

Everyone and their mother raves about Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment. But my favorite mask from the Hollywood-favorite brand is the Flashmud Brightening Treatment. The creamy mask is formulated with white birch leaf, powerful natural actives, exfoliators, and brightening ingredients to make dull skin look radiant and bright. I love this mask when winter weather dries out my skin, as it’s great for gently exfoliating and brightening. I also found it on Amazon for almost half the price it usually sells for and I promise, it’s the real thing!

Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment, 1.7 Ounce, $39.38, available on Amazon


face masks mud

Remember when I said the London pollution left my skin very, very angry with me? Well, as soon as I got home I slathered on Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moor Mud purifying mask* to draw out the dirt, grime and oil clogging my pores. This mud mask is made with 9,000 year-old black moor mud, seaweed, volcanic ash, and activated charcoal (I am a sucker for activated charcoal). I have tried Glamglow Supermud, but I honestly think that this mask does the job just as well. It’s also hydrating, which earns bonus points.

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask, $58, available at Sephora


face masks boscia tsbuaki

Even though I struggle with breakouts, my skin is also super dry. For nights when my usual moisturizer just doesn’t cut it, I use Boscia’s Tsubaki overnight mask*. This was the first overnight mask I ever used – I was hesitant to coat my face in what I assumed would be a heavy cream that would just end up all over my pillow. But this mask is fairly lightweight (it feels like a heavier moisturizer) and instantly absorbs, leaving your skin babysoft and deeply moisturized.  It’s formulated with tsubaki oil, Japanese sea kelp, rice bran oil and Serine, an amino acid, that lock in moisture and protect skin.

Boscia Tsbuaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask, $34, available at Sephora

 Uneven Texture

face masks drunk elephant

Between flaky skin, zits, and enlarged pores, my skin can feel like a minefield (read: bumpy texture). I’m always on the lookout for a new retexturizing mask to try, so I picked up this sample size with a purchase at Sephora a while back. I absolutely love it. Drunk Elephant’s Babyfacial is a a 25 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA face mask that gently resurfaces skin and exfoliates the pore lining. It’s also packed with an antioxidant complex for antiaging benefits. This mask meant to act as an at-home facial and I won’t lie, my skin looks and feels incredible every time I use this. Just don’t forget: sunscreen is a must, as with all AHA products.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, $80, available at Sephora

Clogged Pores

face masks boscia peel

The Irish Moor Mud mask I mentioned above is great for general detoxifying. But when I need to really get down deep into my pores, I use Boscia’s black charcoal peel-off mask. This face mask is formulated with activated black charcoal that lifts away dirt from clogged pores. It also has antiaging vitamin C and antioxidants, to combat fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Essentially, this mask is a pore strip for your whole face. (It’s also super fun to peel away after it dries completely!)

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, $34, available at Sephora

What are your favorite face masks? And, let me know if you try any of these!

*These came in larger sets, so are smaller than the full-size, individually sold face masks I linked to in this post. You can find the Peter Thomas Roth six-piece mask set here; the Boscia set is no longer available.

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