15 of the best face masks for every skin type (and we've tried them all)

We've searched for the best face masks to treat you and your skin—whether it's dry, dehydrated, oily, or combination

Three of the best face masks by decleor, faace and ranavat on a peach backdrop
(Image credit: Future)

The best face masks will keep your skin looking and feeling great. And 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 your daily serums and moisturizers. 

“Face masks seal in ingredients and give the surface skin layers a real boost,” says Dr AJ Sturnham, a GP who specializes in dermatology and founder of skincare brand, Decree. “They work well after a late night, before a big date or special event, and on those days where your skin feels off par.” Face masks also contribute something else to your skincare routine that runs slightly deeper than skin concerns. “Masks are also great for mood-boosting,” says Dr Sturnham. “They can put you in a calm and relaxed state while wearing them.” And who doesn’t want that? 

So while it's true you shouldn’t be relying on a weekly mask to deliver all the good stuff your skin needs (the best skincare products such as creams, serums, and the best cleansers should be doing that) The best face masks do contain highly concentrated levels of skincare ingredients like super-hydrator glycerin and skincare acids so are brilliant for targeting specific, niggling concerns.

How to pick the best face masks for you

Face masks should be a considered purchase because they are a treat. Chances are you’ll be using it every ten days, maybe once a week, which makes even the best face mask a high cost-per-use item, so it's essential that you choose the right one. “It’s always good to look out for key ingredients that work with your skin type,” advises Dr Sturnam. Here are her go-to ingredients:

  • 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.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to brands you already use. If your best face moisturizer is by a particular brand, then you’re probably going to love their mask too. 

The best face masks, as chosen by our experts

Best face masks for dehydrated skin

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask

(Image credit: Elemis)

1. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask

Best luxury face mask for dehydrated skin

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

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. 

As well as instantly plumping and comforting, brown algae work 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. 

Emma Hardie Moringa Renewal Treatment Mask

(Image credit: Emma Hardie)

2. Emma Hardie Moringa Renewal Treatment Mask

Best luxury face mask for dehydrated skin

RRP: $63.50/£49
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, moringa seed oil, red algae
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous texture+Amazing scent
Reasons to avoid
-Your bank balance won’t thank you

This creamy and indulgent mask is everything a great skincare product should be. It has a wonderful scent, a gloriously silky, smooth texture, and makes your skin look plump and like it’s 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.

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Intensive Mask

(Image credit: Eucerin)

3. Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Intensive Mask

Best budget face mask for dehydrated skin

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 deeper to tackle deeper lines and wrinkles like crow's feet

A treat to use, skin feels instantly softer and the mask is biodegradable. This would be perfect if you’re trying to make more eco-conscious beauty choices with your skincare for dry skin. 

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

(Image credit: Glossier)

4. Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask

Best pre-makeup mask for dehydrated skin

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)

5. Clarins SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask

Best all-rounder face mask for dehydrated skin

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, 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 and using HA, a 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

Ranavat Resurfacing Saffron Masque

(Image credit: Ranavat)

6. Ranavat Resurfacing Saffron Masque

Best luxury face mask for oily skin

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's great 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. 

L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Glow Mask

(Image credit: L'Oreal Paris)

7. L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Glow Mask

Best budget face mask for oily skin

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. This is a brilliant, bargain-priced mask that everyone except those with very dry skin will love. 

Faace period mask

(Image credit: Faace)

8. Faace Period Mask

Best for face mask for hormonal skin

RRP: $34/£24
Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, green tea, zinc
Reasons to buy
+You can rinse off or sleep in it+Comes with hair clips+Cool branding

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 funky packaging and cute hair clips to keep strands out of the way, both 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 we agree! 

Decléor Green Mandarin Exfoliating Scrub Mask

(Image credit: Decléor)

9. Decleor Green Mandarin Exfoliating Scrub Mask

Best multi-tasking face mask for oily skin

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. This leaves the green mandarin and natural oils to deliver serious hydration whilst the carrot extract leaves a natural-looking glow to the skin. A beautiful luxury buy. 

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

(Image credit: Herbivore)

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

Best rebalancing face mask for oily skin

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 will get to work on exfoliating inside and out. This means your skin texture will be glowing, your pores will get cleaned out and oil production can rebalance itself. 

Best face masks for sensitive skin

Cultured Biome One Mask

(Image credit: Cultured)

11. Cultured Biome One Mask

Best luxury face mask for sensitive skin

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. Apply a thin layer of the amber-toned oily liquid, leave it for ten minutes and then rinse away for calm, soothed skin. You won’t regret it. 

Simple ultra calming sheet mask

(Image credit: Simple)

12. Simple Ultra Calming Sheet Mask

Best budget face mask for sensitive skin

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)

13. Avène Soothing Radiance Mask

Best everyday face mask for sensitive skin

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. 

This mask is a great big cocooning comfort blanket for 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 for your skin. 

Algenist active prebiotic balancing mask

(Image credit: Look Fantastic)

14. Algenist active prebiotic balancing mask

Best fast-working face mask for sensitive skin

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)

15. Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Masque Hydratant

Best overnight face mask for sensitive skin

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. 

woman&home thanks Dr AJ Sturnham for her time and expertise

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. 

She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!

Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress. 

The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.