These are the 20 best face masks of all time, according to our beauty team

We reveal the best face masks for each and every skin type (and we've tried hundreds)

Collage of three of the best face masks by 111skin, farmacy and murad on a marble backdrop
(Image credit: Future)

The best face masks are a treat for your skin and your soul. While many of us see masks as an added extra rather than a core element of our beauty regimen, they do serve a specific purpose compared to daily serums and moisturizers. 

Masks are the part of your skincare routine that can elevate your complexion from ticking along nicely to excelling. "Masks are miracle workers as they sit on the surface of the skin, and flood product into the epidermis without interruption or irritation," explains Dr Yannis Alexandrides MD FACS, Founder and Surgical Director of 111 Harley St. "They are an effective way to deliver an intensive burst of ingredients in one highly concentrated form."

Skincare ingredients aside, masking brings something else to the table that's just as important – self-care. "Masks are great for mood-boosting,” says Dr AJ Sturnham (opens in new tab), dermatology specialist and founder of Decree. “They can put you in a calm and relaxed state while wearing them. And work well after a late night, before a big date or special event, and on those days where your skin feels off par.”

How we tested the best face masks for this guide

Every face mask in this guide has been thoroughly tested by our beauty team, and many are personal favorites that we have used for years. To make the cut, each mask had to offer a pleasant user experience and, of course, noticeable results. We also researched ingredients, assessed packaging for its stability and ensured each formula was tested on the skin type it was designed for. “It’s always good to look out for key ingredients that work with your skin type,” agrees Dr Sturnham. These are her go-to's:

  • Dry skin: "If you have dry skin look for hyaluronic acid, ceramides, Vitamin E, and amino acids."
  • Oily skin: "If you have oily skin then ingredients such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, clay, and zinc all work well."
  • Sensitive skin: "You’re going to need hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, and Vitamin E.”

The best face masks, as chosen by our beauty team

Best face masks for dry/dehydrated skin

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask

(Image credit: Elemis)

1. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask

Best overall face mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $78.50/£52
Key ingredients: Padina pavonica (a brown algae), argan tree oil, shea butter

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious and decadent
+
Handy pump packaging
+
Potent botanical ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
It's a little pricey 

If you’re already a fan of the Elemis Pro-Collagen range (who isn’t?) then you will love this intensive mask. It has all the same wrinkle plumping capability as the moisturizing cream, but in this slightly richer, mask consistency it has been teamed with extra hydrating ingredients to give dehydrated skin that much-needed moisture hit. 

We love that, as well as instantly plumping and comforting, the brown algae included works to replenish depleted skin long-term by encouraging cell turnover and collagen synthesis. It also smells like a spa and has a beautifully spreadable texture, as with all Elemis products. 

111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask

(Image credit: 111Skin)

2. 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask

The best pre-event mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $32/£22
Key ingredients : Colloidal gold, peptides, amino acids, rose

Reasons to buy

+
Offers instant glow
+
Deeply hydrates 
+
Long-term benefits
+
Lovely to use 

Reasons to avoid

-
Single use only 

Bang for your buck treatments don't come much better than this biodegradable mask. The bio-cellulose material is flooded with beneficial ingredients, namely peptides to re-energize sluggish skin cells, hydrating sodium hyaluronate and colloidal gold (tiny particles that help other actives get where they need to be) You'll also get bags of potent botanical extracts including soothing Rosa Damascena and brightening licorice. 

Science aside, one of the best things about this face mask is using it. It feels cooling and quenching, then when you take it off skin has a dewy quality that and helps makeup sit nicely on dry patches. We love how the slippery material hugs the skin like no papery sheet mask could ever hope to. This is useful in terms of motivating you to get it out of the drawer and use it in the first place, which is half the battle with masks. You could sit happily wearing this for an hour of Netflix without checking the clock once. 

Emma Hardie Moringa Renewal Treatment Mask

(Image credit: Emma Hardie)

3. Emma Hardie Moringa Renewal Treatment Mask

Best luxury face mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $63.50/£49
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, moringa seed oil, red algae

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous texture
+
Amazing scent
+
Rich and nourishing

Reasons to avoid

-
If you don't like using oils

This creamy and indulgent mask is everything a great skincare product should be. It has a wonderful scent, a gloriously silky, smooth texture, and made our skin look plump and like it had been doused in hydration. 

The inclusion of facialist Emma Hardie's signature ingredient, moringa seed oil, deeply nourishes long-term, while in the short term hyaluronic acid plumps and smoothes. Apply all over the face and either leave for as long as you like or you can even apply it as part of your skincare night routine and sleep in it.

Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage

(Image credit: Gatineau)

4. Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage

The best exfoliating mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $45.12/£40
Key ingredients: Lactic acid, fruit enzymes, hyaluronic acid

Reasons to buy

+
Gentle yet effective exfoliation
+
Lovely balm texture
+
Leaves skin softened and smooth

Reasons to avoid

-
Does contain perfume 

When we think of the best face masks for dry skin we usually go straight to hydrating formulas, but don't underestimate the importance of exfoliation. Lightly exfoliating masks such as this French skincare classic will help shift dry, dead cells from the skin's surface for a softened texture that will help all your best skincare products to absorb and moisturize properly. 

This made our list because it's one of those masks that feels completely delicious to use. The texture is a unique balm that then melts as you work it into the skin, while enzymes and gentle lactic acid nibble away the joins between dead cells. Rinse after a couple of minutes and, like us, you'll be left with peachy-soft, bouncy, and lightly sheeny skin. Sensitive types may not be keen on the inclusion of fragrance, but otherwise, we predict you'll love this. 

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Intensive Mask

(Image credit: Eucerin)

5. Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Intensive Mask

Best budget face mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $8.50/£6
Key ingredients: Two types of hyaluronic acid

Reasons to buy

+
Biodegradable
+
Mess-free
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Hydrates but won’t tackle any other skin issues

Hydration hero hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water and this sheet mask is packed with the good stuff. It blends two sizes of molecules—the larger ones sit on the outer layers of skin, plumping and smoothing while the smaller ones penetrate further to tackle deeper lines and wrinkles like crow's feet

On testing, we found this a treat to use. Our skin felt instantly softer and we also liked that the mask is biodegradable. This would be perfect if you’re trying to make more budget and eco-conscious beauty choices with your skincare for dry skin. 

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

(Image credit: Glossier)

6. Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

Best pre-makeup mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $20/£18
Key ingredients: Plant-based squalane, hyaluronic acid, sweet almond oil

Reasons to buy

+
Cruelty-free
+
Fragrance-free
+
Minimalist packaging

Glossier don’t create products just for the sake of it, so you know whatever they come out with it’s got a good reason to be on your skincare shelf—and that it works. 

This mask has a rich, creamy consistency that dehydrated skins will just lap up, it's based around squalane a deeply nourishing ingredient, as well as natural oils to encourage a dewy texture. Slather on a good, thick layer and let it sink in for as long as time allows, and then wipe away with a warm, damp cloth. Your skin will feel soft, look hydrated and if you are getting ready to put your face on, then you will have created a perfectly smooth, comfortable base for easy makeup looks.

Clarins SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask

(Image credit: Clarins)

7. Clarins SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask

Best cooling face mask for dehydrated skin

Specifications

RRP: $35/£30
Key ingredients: Leaf of life, hyaluronic acid

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous cream-gel texture
+
Feels cool on the skin
+
Great for combination skins too

Reasons to avoid

-
Some might prefer a richer consistency

Thanks to their spa heritage Clarins know how to formulate a great face mask, and this is no exception. As well as including all-important hydrator hyaluronic acid (HA) it's also packed with natural botanical extracts such as the leaf of life, designed to soothe and plump the skin. 

Whilst it is a great choice for dehydrated skin types, we feel that this would also be one of the best face masks to use as skincare for oily skin. This is thanks to its light cream-gel texture, which we loved during testing. Plus it and uses HA, a clever humectant that pulls water into the skin without creating a claggy, cloggy layer that will feel heavy on the skin. 

Best face masks for oily/combination skin

Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

(Image credit: Murad)

8. Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

The best glow-boosting mask for oily/combination skin

Specifications

RRP: $79/£68
Key ingredients: Vitamin C, salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycerin

Reasons to buy

+
Gets to work fast
+
Contains several exfoliators
+
Boosts texture and tone

Reasons to avoid

-
May not suit sensitive skin

This mask was designed by doctor-owned brand Murad to replicate professional microdermabrasion (intense exfoliation, to you or I) and in many ways, it succeeds. It combines a holy trinity of exfoliants - physical, enzymatic and chemical - plus, it's also got brightening vitamin C in its most potent form, ascorbic acid

And how does it perform? As long as you're not sensitive to acids, brilliantly. The combination of exfoliants, while intense, left our combo-skin smooth, decongested, and glowing. It's a cinch to use in the morning, we applied pre-shower, left it on while we washed our hair et al and it was ready to rinse by the time we finished. There is something addictive about how satisfying this feels, and the results it offers. Although it's a pricy product, you only need the tiniest little teaspoonful each time, so one tube will last a while. 

Ranavat Resurfacing Saffron Masque

(Image credit: Ranavat)

9. Ranavat Resurfacing Saffron Masque

Best luxury face mask for oily skin

Specifications

RRP: $75/£75
Key ingredients: Papaya enzyme, saffron strands, aloe vera

Reasons to buy

+
Brightens
+
Completely unique
+
Natural exfoliators

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit tricky to get out of the jar 

This is a very clever mask that comes with a side of utter decadence. It has a fresh, slightly jelly-like texture that glides over the skin while the inclusion of saffron strands provides anti-inflammatory benefits as well as giving it a unique color that we found great fun for a mask selfie (if you're into those)

You only need to leave it on for a few minutes for the fruit-based alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) to get to work exfoliating away dull, dead skin cells and congestion. Then rinse it all off, saffron strands included, to reveal instantly brighter-looking skin. We did find the narrow-topped jar a little trickier than some to get the product out of, but for a mask this good, it's worth the extra effort. 

L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Glow Mask

(Image credit: L'Oreal Paris)

10. L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Glow Mask

Best budget face mask for oily skin

Specifications

RRP: $10.49/£7.99
Key ingredients: Red algae extract, kaolin clay, apricot seed powder

Reasons to buy

+
Creamy texture that doesn’t dry skin out
+
Feels light on the skin
+
Very good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Can easily use too much

Nothing draws out impurities in the skin like clay, but often it can work a bit too hard and strip the skin of its own natural essential oils, leaving it feeling taut and dehydrated. 

Not here. This mask combines three different types of clay to draw out impurities and balance oil production whilst also delivering minerals to the skin to keep it hydrated and make it look glowy and fresh. It worked a treat on our oily skin, and if you're a combination type you could use it in targeted spots only, as it's fairly easy to control. A little goes a very long way with this, so take it bit by bit and you'll be golden. Overall this is a brilliant, bargain-priced mask that everyone except those with very dry skin will love. 

Sachi skin Complexion Clarifying Accelerator

(Image credit: Sachi)

11. Sachi skin Complexion Clarifying Accelerator

Best overnight mask for oily/combination skin

Specifications

RRP: $69/£57
Key ingredients: Acid complex, centella asiatica, Ayurvedic botanicals

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra effective ingredient blend
+
Calms and exfoliates
+
Easy and fast to use 
+
You'll wake up glowing

Reasons to avoid

-
More potent than it is pampering

Sometimes the biggest hurdle between us and our best face masks is finding the time to use them. You'd never have that problem with this clever treatment though, you can apply it to clean skin as you would any night-time skincare, then it works as you snooze, smoothing, refining, and unclogging. Clever. 

The texture is closer to a serum than other masks on this list, which helps it to absorb speedily and not smear all over your pillow. It contains a cocktail of skincare acids, including glycolic, salicylic, and mandelic, which is known as a particularly effective acid for deeper skin tones. Plus there are soothing and hydrating ingredients like centella Asiatica in the mix too. We honestly couldn't believe how soft our skin felt and how clarified our blackhead-ridden pores looked the morning after using this, all for so little effort. The only problem you'll have is holding yourself back from using it every night (please don't, nobody needs that much exfoliation)

Faace period mask

(Image credit: Faace)

12. Faace Period Mask

Best for face mask for hormonal skin

Specifications

RRP: $34/£24
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, green tea, zinc

Reasons to buy

+
Rebalancing ingredients
+
Versatile protocol 
+
Comes with hair clips
+
A great brand that's fab for gifting

Reasons to avoid

-
If hormonal skin isn't an issue for you

Hormones can play havoc with our skin, and no more so than around that time of the month when even the clearest of complexions can suddenly become oilier and more breakout prone. Step in this clever mask that contains everything your skin needs—Zinc to target breakouts, white willow to minimize pore size, and lavender to help balance oil. 

We love the calming, cooling feel of this mask, the funky packaging and cute hair clips included to keep strands out of the way, all of which would make this one of the best face masks for gifting. The brand says this mask, "Can’t stop cramps but it can help keep skin clean and clear", and after testing it we agree! 

Decléor Green Mandarin Exfoliating Scrub Mask

(Image credit: Decléor)

13. Decleor Green Mandarin Exfoliating Scrub Mask

Best multi-tasking face mask for oily skin

Specifications

RRP: $40.50/£34
Key ingredients: Green mandarin, carrot extract, apricot oil

Reasons to buy

+
Doubles-up as a scrub
+
Smells amazing
+
Natural ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite gritty

This sits halfway between a physical scrub and a nourishing, brightening mask. As with everything Decleor makes it has plenty of natural essential oils included, which not only nourish the skin but make the product smell delicious. 

The formula is packed with sugar, husks, and citrus zest that act as the grit to scrub away dead skin cells. While this provides a satisfying exfoliation, you may find it a little too gritty if you have sensitive skin. We loved the zesty green mandarin and natural oils ability to deliver serious hydration, whilst the carrot extract left a natural-looking glow to our skin. A beautiful luxury buy that will bring spa vibes to your home. 

Herbivore Prism 20% AHA + 5% BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial

(Image credit: Herbivore)

14. Herbivore Prism 20% AHA + 5% BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial

Best rebalancing face mask for oily skin

Specifications

RRP: $58/£53
Key ingredients: Willow bark extract, fruit-derived glycolic, bilberry lactic acid

Reasons to buy

+
Doubles up as an exfoliator
+
Cooling jelly-like texture
+
Very effective smoothing

Reasons to avoid

-
Too harsh for sensitive skins

If you have the type of skin that gets fairly oily, with pores that get clogged up and blackheads then you need to be using this mask at least once a week. Not only does it do a great job of skin smoothing, whoever formulated it and was deciding between AHA vs BHA (Alpha vs Beta Hydroxy Acids) clearly thought, actually, why not both? 

And as long as you're not sensitive, we say why not indeed. The combination of surface-smoothing AHA and oil-clearing BHA’s got to work exfoliating our skin inside and out. This meant our skin texture was glowing, our pores were cleaned out and oil production rebalanced itself. 

Best face masks for sensitive skin

Farmacy Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask

(Image credit: Farmacy)

15. Farmacy Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask

The best face mask for sensitive skin overall

Specifications

RRP: $41/£36
Key ingredients: Royal jelly, honey extract, niacinamide, cica

Reasons to buy

+
Very hydrating and soothing
+
Boosts the skin barrier
+
All-natural smell is delicious
+
Cute jar and magnetic spatula

Reasons to avoid

-
You'll need to set aside time to use it

As you can probably suspect from the name, this product harnesses honey in its many forms in order to soothe, nourish and replenish dry, sensitive skin. The texture looks and feels as if it might be a little sticky at first, but as soon as you begin working the firm, golden balm into the skin it transforms into a lovely white cream that feels comfy, nourishing, and decidedly untacky. 

We'd recommend leaving it on for at least 15 minutes for the best results and then washing it off with warm water and a soft cloth. This means, all-in-all, you're looking at about half an hour, so this is not a quick fix – but many will see that as a good thing, in 'me time' terms. Our skin was left feeling ultra soft, soothed, and quenched after using this. Plus, you can bet the ceramides in the formula will bolster your skin barrier and prevent further sensitivity over time. 

Cultured Biome One Mask

(Image credit: Cultured)

16. Cultured Biome One Mask

Best luxury face mask for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP: $66.24/£48
Key ingredients: lactic acid, potassium azeloyl and saccharomyces

Reasons to buy

+
Works with your skin
+
Strengthens the microbiome
+
Soothing and hydrating

Reasons to avoid

-
It is pricey

The whole ethos behind Cultured is that it works with your skin rather than on your skin. What this means is it contains ingredients that strengthen and nourish the millions of microbiome (the microscopic bacteria and germs) on the top layer of your skin. When they are working in happy harmony, then your skin will look and feel great. When the microbiome is disturbed then sensitive skin flares up, so that’s when you need this mask. 

It contains a mixture of algae, prebiotics, and postbiotics, which can all rebalance an unhappy microbiome. We applied a thin layer of the amber-toned oily liquid, left it for ten minutes, and then rinsed away for calm, soothed skin. It's a little trickier to control than some others on this list (and at this price you won't want to waste any) but as long as you're careful with application, you won’t regret trying this. 

Simple ultra calming sheet mask

(Image credit: Simple)

17. Simple Ultra Calming Sheet Mask

Best budget face mask for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP: £3.50 (UK only)
Key ingredients: Organic hemp seed oil, Vitamin E, omega 3

Reasons to buy

+
Fuss and mess free
+
Super hydrating
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Not currently biodegradable

When your skin is looking for a dose of calm and hydration then you can’t go wrong with this nifty sheet mask. The sheet is infused with a high concentration of nourishing ingredients such as hemp seed oil, omega 3, and gentle antioxidant Vitamin E. 

Every ingredient included here is designed to replenish and protect your skin without causing redness and sensitivity. Simply apply the mask to clean skin, leave it to sink in for 15 minutes, gently peel away and massage in any excess. Your skin will feel quenched and comfortable, without any reactiveness. 

Avène Soothing Radiance Mask

(Image credit: Avene)

18. Avène Soothing Radiance Mask

Best everyday face mask for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP: $26/£13
Key ingredients: Avène thermal spring water, safflower oil, red fruit extract

Reasons to buy

+
Suitable for even most highly sensitized skins
+
Soothes but also adds glow
+
Reliable, trustworthy brand

This mask may not come in the most exciting, shiny packaging but that's because this brand doesn't need gimmicks and fanfare to convince people how good it is. For when it comes to sensitive skin Avène is the brand that knows how to calm, reduce redness from conditions like rosacea and soothe the skin when it’s at its most inflamed and unhappy. 

We use this mask like a great big cocooning comfort blanket for our skin when it needs extra TLC. It contains Avene's signature thermal spring water, plus natural nourishing ingredients like safflower oil. It's got a creamy, lovely consistency, and just about anyone can slather it on and know it’s only going to do great things.

Algenist active prebiotic balancing mask

(Image credit: Look Fantastic)

19. Algenist active prebiotic balancing mask

Best fast-working face mask for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP: $38/£38
Key ingredients: Alguronic acid, lactic acid, turmeric root extract

Reasons to buy

+
Packed with probiotics
+
Detoxifies without aggravating 
+
Very efficient results

Just as your belly can benefit from pre and probiotics to keep it healthy, applying these ingredients topically (especially on sensitive skin) can help keep your complexion balanced, reduce redness and generally keep your skin in a happier place. 

This creamy, buttery mask turns from mint green to soft pink when massaged into the skin. As well as microbiome-friendly prebiotics it contains anti-inflammatory turmeric and one of the gentlest AHAs, lactic acid. You only need to leave it on for two to three minutes for it to work its magic, then rinse off with warm water for comfortable, hydrated skin. 

Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Masque Hydratant

(Image credit: Drunk Elephant)

20. Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Masque Hydratant

Best overnight face mask for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP: $52/£44
Key ingredients: Niacinamide, squalane, Vitamin F

Reasons to buy

+
Strengthens sensitive skin
+
Fragrance-free
+
Natural, nasty-free formula

Drunk Elephant is a brand known for leaving out 'nasties' and ingredients that can aggravate skin, so this product could be the best face mask to turn to if you're into clean beauty or particularly sensitive. As well as looking appealing in its attractive and hygienic pump bottle, F-Balm is like a hydrating, healing, comforting hug for skin that needs some extra help and TLC. 

It contains trusted skin-replenishing ingredients niacinamide and squalane as well as your usual suspect for hydration, hyaluronic acid. Apply a generous layer over the skin and either go to sleep in it or wipe it away when you're ready to. You can also combine it with any of your other regular skincare—the best Vitamin C serums would pair very well with this to give your complexion an extra boost.