Facial Masque Transformations

Seven potent formulations for your most common skin problems

There’s a reason facial masques have become the breakout star of the beauty market. No other product promises such dramatic results with near-instant gratification. Just spread it on and wait. Catch up with your Netflix. Do the dishes. Take a nap. Whether your face is slathered in a moisturizing paste, a purifying clay, a dry-and-peel or a nutrient-rich sheet, you’ve got a dramatic reveal to look forward to 20 minutes from now when you wash your face clean.

Devotees of K-beauty regimens are known to use sheet masques every night. That’s fine for a gentle moisturizing treatment, but retinol and hyaluronic acid formulations should be used strictly as directed because overuse can cause serious skin irritation. Most dermatologists agree that the use of facial masques once or twice weekly is a consistent with good skin care.

To help with your most common skin problems. our editors tried dozens of masques, and we’re happy to share the best formulations to help you hit the reset button and put your best face forward. Whether your skin is in need of anti-aging, acne-fighting, or pore-reducing, we estimate that you’re about 20 minutes away from a significantly improved visage.


ANTI-AGING
Givenchy Le Soin Noir & Blanc

This anti-aging masque is packaged with two separate formulations that work in concert with one another: the white masque delivers powerful moisturizing benefits, and the black masque preserves the skin’s natural energy with algae extracts.

$300, neimanmarcus.com


PORE REDUCTION
Dior Hydra Life Pores Away Pink Clay Mask

Fortified with jojoba extract and mineral compounds, this creamy masque hydrates skin, removes impurities and reduces the appearance of pores in 3 minutes. It is gentle enough to be used 3 times a week, and its ingredients and packaging are sustainably produced, so it’s as easy on the environment as it is on your skin.

$69, sephora.com


GENTLE CLARIFYING FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Mask

Made with a blend of natural clays, botanicals and hydroxy acid, this gentle clay removes impurities and leaves skin refreshingly cleansed and exfoliated. It can be used on face, neck and décolleté twice weekly, and is easy to remove because it does dry to a hard crust.

$63.71, amazon.com


ACNE-FIGHTING
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

It can be a bit messy to use, but Aztec Secret delivers dramatic results. The powdered clay must be mixed with water or apple cider vinegar before applying to skin. It takes about 30 minutes to dry, but its minerals are so powerful, your face may begin to pulsate. The mixture needs to be scrubbed off with a face towel and warm water, and your exfoliated, cleansed skin might appear a slightly pink at first, but after a few minutes, you’ll notice that you look remarkably refreshed.

$9.38, amazon.com


BRIGHTENING
Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque

Enriched with turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory and cranberry seeds, which gently exfoliate, this masque reveals smoother, brighter skin with a healthy glow. The botanical compounds may not be optimal for some sensitive skin conditions, so be sure to perform a patch test prior to use.

$39, macys.com


DEEP CLEANSING
Aria Starr Dead Sea Mud Mask for Deep Cleansing

Loaded with minerals like calcium, iodine, zinc and potassium, this rich mud masque helps increase blood flow to the skin and removes dead cells, revealing a dramatically refined texture. The natural clay has astringent properties, so be sure to perform a patch test prior to use, and wait a few days before using if you’ve had a waxing procedure or significant sun exposure. Aria Starr’s professional spa products are all made without parabens, and are never tested on animals.

$15.95, amazon.com

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