The best face masks that’ll give your skin a bit of TLC

Nothing beats 'em

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nothing beats 'em

It's easy to write the best face masks off as non-essentials. After all, you wear them for 10-minutes, watch a little Netflix, then wash your hard-earned pennies down the plughole. Or so you might think.

The truth is, the best face masks for your skin, can transform and treat all kinds of problem skin. From tired, blotchy and dehydrated skin to blemished, dull and congested skin.

Here 's why you should use a face mask: beautifying ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and retinol, are able to penetrate further into your skin where they can impact cell turnover, collagen and elastin production and, ultimately, have a huge impact. That s because face masks literally hold these ingredients captive against your skin for 10-minutes or so, and your face has no choice but to suck all that goodness up. Neat, hey?

If your skin is dull and dry, the best face masks can make for a great exfoliator. Whilst you might be currently using a grainy scrub to rid your face of dead skin, they’re actually not gentle enough on skin. Look for masks containing mild peeling actions or ingredients like fruit enzymes, which will nibble away on dry, flaky skin to reveal the softer, plumper stuff underneath. No scrubbing involved.

We 're obsessed with the best sheet masks, and where would we be without the best eye masks? They almost instantly plump up dehydration lines and boost brightness around the eye area.

How oftens can you use face masks?

Use your face mask of choice on clean skin in the evenings, after cleansing and before any other skin care steps.

‘Masks, if used, can be applied once or twice a week,’ says London-based Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. ‘I would suggest applying a mask after cleansing in the evening, then following with the rest of your usual skincare routine.’

Best face masks for acne

Struggling with adult acne can make you a bit wary about what you put on your face. The last thing you want is a product that causes you to break out even more or make existing breakouts even worse. La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Anti-Blemish Clay Mask, £8.25, is formulated for oily, spot-prone skin. Use it a few times a week and you'll notice a marked difference in your complexion – it's no wonder that oily-skinned women rave about the entire range. Want more acne-friendly masks? Try these face masks for problem skin on our Fabled store.

Best face masks for blackheads

If blackheads are your biggest issue, seek out something with exfoliating properties to help clean out your plugged pores. Salicylic acid is a well-known hero when it comes to treating congested skin, so if it appears on a face mask's label you can put your faith in its ability to help get rid of blackheads. But think twice before trying one of those Instagram-famous black face masks, which can potentially ruin your skin.

Glamglow’s Supermud, £16, is a firm favourite of the MC Beauty Team. It has activated charcoal inside, which draws out dirt and toxins from the pores. As the mask dries, you can actually see the darker bits of oil and grim that have been extracted. Beyond satisfying.

Best face masks for dry skin

Trust us when we say that the best face masks will completely transform even the driest of complexions into soft and radiant skin. The key is to choose something that's going to supply your skin with a high concentration of moisturising ingredients. While shopping, be sure to keep your eye out for hyaluronic acid, a mega-hydrating ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Genius. The best we’ve tried? Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque, £55.

Homemade face masks

If you're not so willing to splurge on a ready-made face mask, chances are you have some of the ingredients you should slap on your skin in your fridge or kitchen cupboards already. That supermarket-bought honey is seriously moisturising, while organic yoghurt is jam-packed with lactic acid to dissolve dead skin cells as well as zinc to regulate your skin's sebum production.

Your avocado obsession will also do your skin some serious good, as they're packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that preserve skin's moisture.

Not sure where to start when it comes to the DIY version? Try out one of these six recipes for homemade face masks for an excellent skincare boost on the cheap. Scroll through our detailed round up of the best and most brilliant face masks, to suit every budget and skin type.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.