THESE ARE THE FACE MASKS THAT ACTUALLY WORK

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words by DANIELLE RANSOM • Shop The StoryBeauty

I tested and found nine masks that will work for every skin type. From break-out reducing to anti-aging, these masks have got your skin needs covered.

Face masks are a godsend - a quickie facial for on-the-go women. But the number of options on the market can cause immense confusion and lead many (myself included) to wonder why they don’t just spend the money on a beautician who surely has all the answers. Wonder no more - I did the research and found the best of the best…


FOR THE CASUAL MASKER: Eve Lom’s Moisture Mask ($90)  

One of the most confusing things about dry skin is knowing whether your skin is dehydrated or needs moisture. It’s a struggle I understand which is how I became acquainted with this gel mask. It restores the skin’s natural moisture barrier while aqua complexes and Vitamin E deeply penetrate to hydrate and moisturize each layer of the skin. As someone who is not a big fan of using oils to moisturize, I love how easily this mask absorbs into the skin.

THE CULT FAVORITE: Sunday Riley’s Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask ($55)

This mask is the blemish and acne-fighting all-star. It’s filled with antibacterial powerhouses like neem and tea tree oil that help fight breakouts.  Zinc and bentonite clay calm redness and de-clogs pores, while Manuka oil (also antibacterial!) nourishes the skin. Sulfur is a very strong ingredient that can do wonders for acne but it can cause irritation, so I would be careful about over-applying this one. I tend to use it once a week as a spot treatment.

LUXURY IN A BOTTLE: Sisley Paris’ Black Rose Cream Mask ($162)

This rich cream mask contains emollients like Vitamin E, shea butter, squalene, and magnolia oil which deeply penetrate the skin and replenish dry cells. Actives like black rose extract and B5 replenish moisture at the cellular level, making your skin feel plump and soft. I’ve skipped washing this one off before and it left my skin feeling the same way I feel after being my most diligent self and drinking gallons of water.

INSTAGRAM’S FAVORITE : Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48)

It takes a lot to sell me on a mask that gets hype on social media, especially one that promises to deliver a “business-class complexion.” While this mask didn’t quite fly with me, it did impress me with its lineup of vitamins, ceramides, and antioxidants. As someone who is often operating on very little hours of sleep, this mask rejuvenates my skin and gives me that “I-just-got-back-from-the-spa” glow, even if I am just sitting at my desk answering emails. It’s vegan and paraben-free (also cruelty-free), so I don’t have to worry about chemicals upsetting my skin. 

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FOR THE GREEN CROWD: Tata Harper Purifying Mask ($68)

This purifying clay mask is 100 percent natural, so rest assured you’re not wasting money on filler ingredients. I normally avoid clay masks because they dry my skin out but this mask is made from white clay (also known as Kaolin clay) which is mild and gentle enough for any skin type. I’ve never had this mask crack on me, even after leaving it on for extended periods. It also has a spicy ginger scent that smells heavenly.

FACE LIFT IN A JAR: Chantecaille Bio Lifting Mask ($160)

Keeping wrinkles at bay is on all our minds and I’d be the first to admit it. Which is why I’ve enlisted this heavy hitter to pick up my slack and save me a visit to the dermatologist. The main ingredient is an anti-wrinkle hexapeptide that improves elasticity in the skin to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, while antioxidants protect against UV damage and other environmental factors. I use it as an overnight sleep mask the night before big occasions, and wake up with firmer, softer and more plump skin.

BEAUTY LOVERS: Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial ($80)

There’s always that one beauty product that is universally loved. And this mask is well-loved for a good reason. It’s a beauty lover’s dream blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids that sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal an even texture. At a pH of 3.5, it’s a very efficient exfoliating mask that unclogs your pores while leaving your skin smooth and soft. I reserve this for a once-a-month at-home facial when I’m in the mood for treating myself.

WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: Barbara Sturm’s Face Mask ($160)

I have dry and sensitive skin that gets irritated easily, so when I come across a mask that is not only amazing but makes me feel like a whole new person, I become attached. I keep this on hand when I travel because it has saved my skin from total dehydration (which can cause wrinkles and uneven texture) more times than I can count. I love that this mask contains white clay, vitamin E, chamomile, and aloe vera. My skin can break out in red splotches when I get nervous but you wouldn’t know it thanks to this mask. The purslane rejuvenates my skin from all the stress and fatigue I put it through.

WORTH ALL THE HYPE: Colbert MD illumino anti-aging brightening mask

I will never get tired of praising this mask. It’s that life-changing. For me at least. I carry a few around when I am on the go as they’re so convenient to pop on. I’ve used it at night, before putting on makeup, on the plane, and post-facial treatments. I am always amazed at how much better my skin feels after using this mask. My skin feels light and fresh without the slick, sticky feel that other serums leave behind. Any skin imperfections I have disappear. There are too many good ingredients to list them out; just know your skin will thank you. 

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