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We Promise These 10 Face Masks Actually Work
So many options, so little time. These are the only ones to try.
We just counted, and there are currently more than a dozen never-been-opened face masks lurking in the far-reaches of our bathroom cabinet, plus a few more real losers we don’t even want to think about shoved under the sink. They all seemed so great as they bragged about their abilities in bold-faced type, making promises they wouldn’t keep. The following 9, however, never let us down. And for this reason, they live proudly on our countertop.
To Firm It Up: Dr. Jart+ Firm Lover Rubber Mask
You've heard the phrase "fine lines and wrinkles" for years but thought it was directed towards women in their late-40s and 50s. Oh, how wrong you were...us, too. Combat those pesky problems with this hilarious-looking but highly-effective two-step mask. Yes you'll look like an alien baby while donning the second mask (one is firming, one is rubber), but during that time actives penetrate your skin, boosting its natural elasticity—and resulting in a firmer-looking visage. Bonus: Red seaweed ingredients provides a much-needed dose of moisture to our collective dry skin. If you're looking for a super-boost of moisture, try Dr. Jart+ Hydration Lover Rubber Mask ($12), which comes in a nifty blue shade and aids dryness, redness and irritation.
To Defy the Laws of Gravity: Borghese Fango Active Mud for Face and Body
Clocking its $100 price tag, you might snap-judge this mask as a bit too much of a Kardashian-level indulgence. Especially for something that’s essentially a tub of mud—but what mud! Sourced from the hills of Tuscany, the skincare classic harnesses local volcanic minerals, avocado oil, and almond oil. Our recommendation: Slather it on and immediately take some photos of your delightfully (frightfully?) green face. Then wait for it to tighten as it dries. When you reach the point of feeling like you’ve mummified, rinse. Get your phone out again and snap shots of your newly firm skin that suddenly looks like you’ve spent the past couple decades floating around in gravity-free space station rather than standing on terra firma.
To Regain a Misspent Youth: Joanna Vargas The Forever Glow Anti-Aging Face Mask
What exactly were we doing in our twenties? Forgetting to wear sunscreen, for one. Remembering to drink that third (fourth?) martini, for another. Forgetting to wash off our makeup and put on anti-aging creams before we finally managed to crawl into bed... In other words, lots of stuff we’re paying for now. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas seems to understand our youthful folly, and just a few minutes spent cloaked in her sheet masks, infused with inflammation-fighting ginko biloba and hyaluronic acid, ticks back the damage done when we just didn’t know any better—or possibly just didn’t care.
To Sleep It Off: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery
Beauty sleep is more than just an excuse to exit a dull date or escape drinks with friends you didn’t really want to be hanging out with in the first place. Let’s talk a little science, here. Night is the time when your body’s circadian rhythms change their beat from protection to recovery, meaning sleep allows your body to optimize a skincare product’s actives. And this overnight mask makes the most of that time, with gentle plant oils and lipids that punch the clock while you’re dreaming of a clearer complexion.
To Indulge Our OCD: H20+ AquaDefense Refining Matcha Mask
Middle school was the first time we encountered the magic that is a peel-off mask. We sat there for hours with our BFF (what was her name again?) applying, drying and peeling away the dead skin cells from complexions we were too young to realize were already perfect. Turns out, our ‘tween selves were onto something: Peel-off masks are just as satisfying now, but H20+’s grown-up take builds on what we loved then (the weirdly enjoyable peeling, of course) with matcha tea’s age-fighting antioxidants and toxin-expelling rice bran.
To Keep Our Options Open: Glamglow Multitasking Mask Treatment Set
Each dinner out we spend approximately 15 minutes in a low-grade panic trying to decide whether we should go with salmon steak or beef cheeks, pinot grigio or pinot noir. We’ve found that our skin IS no less uncertain about what it might want at any given moment. And that’s where Glamglow’s Multitasking Mask Kit comes in. Curated with six mask options, the kit covers pretty much any issue your skin might be experiencing.
To Get Our Minds Off Our Pores: Yes To Grapefruit Pore Perfection Paper Mask
Some days we can't help but feel all “poor me” about the state of our pores. While this pore-shrinking mask doesn’t quite get us to the point where we’d post our first #nomakeup selfie, the grapefruit extract concoction tightens pores, soaks up oil, quells acne and generally just makes our skin look brighter and better, no filter required.
To End Our Dry Spell: Caudalie Moisturizing Mask
According to the label, you only need to use this mask twice a week. But why all the restraint, when it works better than just about anything to hydrate skin? OK, OK, there’s nothing wrong with just using it as the one-off treatment it was designed to be, but we’ve found that the formula has a hidden talent as a daily hydrating face cream we can wear under makeup, too. After all, we’ve never been ones for sticking to the rules.
To De-grease: Mario Badescu Special Mask for Oily Skin
On those days when our skin feels like we’ve slathered it in end-of-shift french-fry grease, we know things passed the tipping point from dewy to oily. This mask sops up sebum, shrinks pores and improves texture, all without over-drying our complexions in the process.
To Pretend That Pollution Is #Fakenews: The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask
With environmental regulations slated to go all loosey-goosey in the near future, there’s arguably more need than ever to protect skin against pollutants. This kaolin-clay mineral mask siphons off toxins and hydrates while warming cozily on contact, making you feel like maybe things aren’t so bad after all.