The 7 best face masks of luxury skincare

Whether you prefer sheet, charcoal, or mud — these high-end facial masks won’t break you out.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Feb 28, 2020 · 5 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

It’s like a great blues singer once said — a good mask is hard to find. That goes double if your face is sensitive or acne-prone. The truth is that face masks are a routine option, but not a skin necessity. That said — personally? Clay masks have been a regular self-care ritual of mine for years now. If this makes me basic, I don’t wanna be complex. To me, a face mask is an attainable luxury that you can roll out once or twice a week to indulge yourself and your skin — so long as they don’t have pore-clogging or irritating ingredients.

That’s where I, your favorite skincare blogger, can help you out. I took a look at the trendiest and top-rated face masks and analyzed their ingredients to pick the best ones for those who are sensitive or acne-prone. Read on to learn about the best face mask for your unique skin!

Looking for something more budget-friendly? Check out my review of clay face masks under $15.

The best sheet mask

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask

This sheet mask from one of my favorite j-beauty brands has a silky texture reminiscent of a kimono — it doesn’t get much more soothing or relaxing than that. While suitable for all skin types, dry, mature skin can get the most out of this mask due to age-defying moisturizing ingredients like squalane and hyaluronic acid.

$12.00 for 1 sheet (0.68 oz) via Sephora

The best charcoal face mask

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

I wouldn’t be a good skincare blogger if I didn’t at least mention the lack of medical evidence surrounding skin benefits of activated charcoal, but I still like them! The real skin benefits of the mask come from clay, which gently physically exfoliates to clear away dead skin cells while absorbing excess oil to shrink pores. While oily skin types will enjoy this mask the most, light moisturizing ingredients like butylene glycol and glycerin make this suitable for all skin types.

$26.00 for 2.5 oz via Sephora

The best hydrating face mask

Farmacy Beauty Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask

Fans of natural skincare, meet your match: this hydrating honey mask combines the ancient ritual of slathering one’s face in bee-spit with dermatology-vetted moisturizing ingredients. In addition to this formula’s 3 instances of bee by-products (honey, honey extract, and royal jelly), I’m most stoked on allantoin, which soothes the complexion and reinforces your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

$38.00 for 1.7 oz via Farmacy Beauty

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The best Korean face mask

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Looking for a hydrating mask that’s a little less rustic than the aforementioned? Laneige has got you covered — not only are they one of the very best korean beauty brands, but they’ve built their reputation on hydration. Two of the main ingredients in this overnight mask are butylene glycol and glycerin, which are great moisturizing ingredients that mesh well with most skin types.

$25.00 for 2.3 oz via Laneige USA

The best face mask for men

Lab Series for Men Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask

While — in my opinion — skincare for men is just marketing, I’ve been consistently impressed by men’s skincare brands for their focus on quality formulas and multi-tasking products, and Lab Series for Men is the latest greatest in my book. This clay mask is great for combo/oily skin that may be acne prone, particularly because it has AHA’s and BHA’s to support cell turnover rate. I wouldn’t use this as a daily cleanser — that’s too much chemical exfoliation for even the most macho! — but I do co-sign it as a mask and spot treatment.

$26.00 for 3.4 oz via Sephora

The best mud mask

Exuviance Detox Mud Mask

This gem from Exuviance has the holy trinity of mud: kaolin, bentonite, and illite clay. While each type of clay has their own nuances, the overall effect is a mask that gently physically exfoliates when you wash it off. This mask is specifically designed to reduce the appearance of pores, absorb excess oil, and clear away dead skin cells, which makes it a perfect match for oily, acne-prone skin — but it also has a few moisturizing ingredients that will keep you from feeling high and dry!

$45.00 for 3.4 oz via Ulta

The best face mask for acne

GLAMGLOW Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask

I’ll be totally transparent: I’ve tried many different kinds of face masks, but the Supermud Treatment will always be my first love. Call it confirmation bias, but it came as no surprise when my research showed this as being one of the most consistently recommended masks for skin with active breakouts. This multi-tasking mask physically exfoliates with kaolin while chemically exfoliation with lactic acid and salicylic acid (the latter of which is especially known for treating acne). Among other moisturizers, it also features aloe, which is great for soothing inflamed skin.

$59.00 for 1.7 oz via Sephora

Custom skincare — no splurge required

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino might do 3 face masks a day, but who do you trust more, him or most dermatologists? The truth is, your daily skincare routine should be simple and restorative, curated to your specific needs, with no extra fluff. If you’re dealing with stubborn concerns like acne or signs of aging, prescription skincare might be your best bet. Fortunately, it’s never been easier or more accessible to give dermatologist-designed skincare a try than with a free month of Curology — just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover the cost of shipping and handling.

Need the routine basics? We’ll throw in our cleanser and your choice of moisturizer at no extra cost. Not only will you receive a skin routine backed by medical research, but you’ll also be paired with one of our in-house dermatology providers who can give you expert advice and formula tweaks as needed. So go ahead — give Curology a try for 30 days and see for yourself what custom skincare is all about.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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