Face, body and hair masks are everywhere, from social media to the supermarket. Wading through endless amounts of sheet, lotion and clay can be overwhelming so our beauty editor Kelsey Ferencak breaks down which formulas are best for each skin type.
You don’t need me to bang on about why now is a great time to begin a love affair with masks. If you haven’t already indulged your skin with a few (or 30) during isolation, or in fact you’re new to masking and you do need me to bang on about it, then either way you’ve come to the right place.
I like to think of masks as prescription skincare, where you can prescribe yourself exactly what you need based on how your skin looks and feels. Angry and congested? Perhaps a detoxifying clay concoction will do the trick. Tired and dull? A brightening, exfoliating number should fix you up. They’re skincare’s answer to a quick pick-me-up that can also bolster long-term results when paired with the right skincare routine.
But there’s also a new application trick in town and it’s ideal for working from home and isolating. Dubbed ‘all-day masking’ it literally means you’re spending all day masking. You can swap between formulas or opt to wear a solution like an overnight mask during the day so skin can soak up nutrients while you’re sitting down. Remember that some formulas are better suited to the timing on the packet (sheet masks can sometimes suck the product and moisture from your skin if left on too long) and some can be drying, so if you’re unsure break it up with a breakfast mask, lunchtime mask and evening mask.
While we’re on the topic, these are the best selling face masks on Adore Beauty.
So, let’s get into it.
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The best Hyrodogel and Bio-cellulose sheet masks
The global sheet face mask market is expected to reach almost $700 million in revenue in the next five years with these jelly-type varieties superseding the original paper or cotton sheet masks. Why? Not only are they said to have better skin-absorption and ingredient transfer capabilities, they’re also better for the environment with more biodegradable and sustainable offerings. Ideal for travel, selfies and locking in nutrients and moisture.
A crowd favourite that’s garnered celebrity, supermodel and skincare experts’ approval is pretty much anything from 111Skin. Developed by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, they use the combination of his surgical expertise with innovative ingredients like retinol oils to boost skin in as little as 15 minutes.
This brightening number has five star reviews worldwide (which back up it’s hefty price tag). 111Skin Rose Gold Mask ($40, at Mecca)
But I’m also a fan of Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Skin Renewal Biocellulose Mask ($110 for 4, at Myer), Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Bio-Cellulose Mask ($110 for 6, at Adore Beauty) and Dr. Lewinn’s Recoverederm Australian Marine Algae Rescue Mask ($9.99, at Priceline).
The best overnight masks
My go-to for when I’m feeling lazy, my face is really thirsty or I have an early start. Overnight masks can also be helpful for skin types that are sensitive or sensitised. They’re almost like a potent version of your night cream and work with your skin’s renewal processes while you sleep. These are great for dehydration, and for applying before bed in cooler once when the heating overnight can suck your skin dry. You’ll walk up bouncy and full of moisture.
I like Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask ($62, at Nourished Life), Mere Phytoshphere Bio-Repair Night Guardian Mask ($59, at Mere Skincare), and Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ($44, at Sephora).
The best eye masks
I’ll be honest, I’m quite lucky to not have prominent dark circles or undereye bags however, I have woken up looking worse for wear, darker than usual and puffy. So I’m pairing these experiences with industry-approved products.
Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks ($41 for 6, at Sephora) if your skin is on the drier side, these are great for hydrating. When I’m feeling puffy I pop on Milk Makeup Cooling Water Undereye Patches ($38.37, at Cult Beauty), then for a brightening and plumping option made with natural ingredients look to KNC Beauty The Eye Mask ($7.49, at Cult Beauty), they may look like they’re just ‘for show’ but their fanbase and results speak for themselves.
The best clay and mud masks
Masking with clay or mud isn’t a new Instagram-led trend. It’s actually been around for centuries. An ancient remedy humans used to protect and heal skin that uses mineral ingredients straight from the Earth like bentonite, kaolin, green, pink, charcoal and ‘deep sea’. They work like a vacuum pulling out impurities like dirt, oil, makeup and build up from pores, aiming to clear congestion and detoxify skin, so make for the ideal mask choice for those with breakouts and blackheads.
Clay can often be drying and cause irritation, so be sure to choose a formula containing nourishing and soothing ingredients to help balance skin.
Swisse Matcha Tea Anti-Pollution Clay Mask ($21.99, at Swisse) uses a combo of green kaolin clay with matcha tea extract and tea tree oil to purify and soothe, while Australian favourite Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask ($69.90, at Adore Beauty) pairs it’s clay with antioxidants and naturally-brightening ingredients like Kakadu plum to brighten as it clears.
There’s also this newbie Carbon Theory Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil & Mineral Mud Facial Wet Mask ($24.99, at Priceline) helps to calm and reduce breakouts. Niod Flavanone Mud ($59, at Myer) is personally too strong for my skin, but I know many skin therapists and beauty editors who bow down to it’s decongesting and long-term radiance abilities.
The best wash-off masks
Lotion, mask, gel and peeling masks offer a range of complexion-boosting benefits. Formulas can be chock-full of a mix of ingredients, or focus on only a few, which allows you to focus on exactly what your skin requires. They’re also ideal for spot-treatments, multi-masking and patch-testing.
These are on high rotation: Trilogy Very Gentle Hydra-Mask ($37.95, at Trilogy) for when my perioral dermatitis and sensitivity flares up, the natural formulation is gentle and soothing.
When my face is feeling flat and I need a luminosity-lift I go for Summer Fridays Overtime Mask ($70, at Mecca) the exfoliating-mask duo helps lift dead skin cells so it can get right down into skin. Plus, it’s made with pumpkin, apricot seed powder and oats so it’s good enough to eat.
Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque ($77.44, at Adore Beauty) is my anti-hangover trick and the tube I look to for whenever my skin looks tired and weathered. The cosmeceutical-grade cream harnesses a combination of antioxidants, vitamins and collagen-producing ingredients to transform skin in a flash.
The best body masks
Your mug isn’t the only thing reaping the rewards of masking. Now body-masking is a whole beauty category, too. You can either apply your face mask to your chest, neck, hands, feet, thighs, bum – wherever you need some extra body-boosting. Or, look to the products made specifically for the area you want to treat.
Butt masks are having a moment, they help exfoliate your cheeks, plump and smooth skin – especially after we’ve been sitting down all day in tights. Aceology Cheeky Butt Mask Trio ($49, at Adore Beauty), Such Skincare Australian Green Clay Bum Mask ($49.95, at Such Skincare) and Bawdy Clay Butt Mask Butt Stick ($47.21, at Revolve) You can read about what it’s like to actually try one here.
Then there’s neck, décolletage and chest masks that help to fight pigmentation, sagging skin, wrinkles and creasing. Wrinkles Schminkles InfuseFast Decolletage Sheet Mask ($25, at Adore Beauty) is one you can sleep in, especially if you’re a side-sleeper which can make creasing worse.
Knesko Nanogold Repair Signature Facial Set ($179, at Mecca) has your face, lips, neck and dec sorted.