Skincare masks are specially formulated treats for your skin, designed to address a particular concern with a combination of active ingredients, botanicals, and hydrators. They are meant to deliver a direct hit of nourishment by forming a “film” over the skin, allowing the actives to sink deeper into your epidermis and providing an immediate boost to your complexion.

One crucial benefit is that you can apply different types of masks to areas of your skin depending on the specific concern you have. For example, those with combination skin might use a humectant-based mask on their cheeks and a clay mask on their T-Zone. In one fell swoop, you’re adding potent moisture to the dry skin and addressing excessive sebum on oily skin.

5 Types of Skincare Masks

While there are seemingly infinite options for brands, active ingredients, and skin perfecting promises when it comes to skincare masks, most can be categorized into 5 key types:

1. Clay Masks

Best For: Oily and acne-prone skin

Our Top Pick: Revision Skincare Pore Purifying Clay Mask

Active Ingredients to Look Out For: Green Clay, Bentonite, Kaolin, Fuller’s Earth

Clay masks are intentionally drying, acting like a vacuum to suction oil, toxins, and dead skin cells from deep within your pores. They can also help draw impurities out of blemishes, helping them heal faster while preventing future breakouts. Try Revision Skincare Pore Purifying Clay Mask  or NuCelle Mandelic Glacial Clay Deep Cleansing Masque

2. Biocellulose Mask

Best For: Sensitive skin, eco-conscious skincare enthusiasts

Active Ingredients to Look Out For: Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Water

Biocellulose masks, like Neostrata Pure Hyaluronic Acid Biocellulose Mask, offer a sustainable and effective deeply hydrating treatment that contours to every curve of your face.

They’re made with nata de coco, a fermented coconut water extract, which effectively blocks evaporation from your skin while drawing moisture from the environment in.

3. Mud Masks

Best For: Tired skin in need of nourishment

Active Ingredients to Look Out For: Honey, Dead Sea Minerals, Vitamins E and C, Shea Butter

Unlike clay masks, which tend to dry out the skin as it works to remove impurities, mud masks are essentially a smoothie for tired skin that needs a healthy dose of nutrients to truly glow.

In addition to mud, typically from the Dead Sea, because of the high concentrations of salts and minerals, your mud mask should have a laundry list of additional humectants and soothers for an ultra indulgent experience.

4. Exfoliating Masks

Best For: Flaky skin, dull, uneven skin tone and texture

Active Ingredients to Look Out For: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, AHA, BHA

Exfoliating face masks slough away dead skin cells to reveal bright, radiant skin hidden beneath.

While some cream-based masks contain physical exfoliants, such as ground nut hulls, the balance of chemical exfoliants, moisturizers, and minerals in a high-quality exfoliant mask is a gentler option for increasing cell turnover and evening out an inconsistent texture. Try Clinician’s Complex Microdermabrasion, NeoStrata Exfoliating Mask or Revision Skincare Finishing Touch

5. Enzyme Masks

Best For: Sensitive skin in need of exfoliation

Active Ingredients to Look Out For: Pumpkin Enzymes, Pineapple Enzymes, Papaya Enzymes, Collagen, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera

For those living with reactive skin, some chemical exfoliants can be too harsh. Enzyme masks are a sensitive skin-safe alternative that rely on natural ingredients to reveal your healthy glow.

The most popular fruit enzymes include papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin, like the Revision Skincare Pumpkin Enzyme Mask,  or NuCelle Papaya Skin Exfoliator. An added benefit is that many of these masks are aromatic and fruity, adding another dimension of luxury to your weekly mask routine.

If you’ve already tailored your skincare routine around turning back the hands of time, a weekly face mask can be an invaluable tool in your arsenal. Many of the above will address fine lines, dullness, lifting and firming with ingredients like Peptides, Retinol, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Antioxidants and Glycolic Acid, while aiding in skin elasticity, cell turnover, and collagen production. The result is a dewy, youthful complexion with a supple texture and firmer feel.

Get the Most Impact from Your Skincare Masks

Wondering what skincare masks would be best for your concerns? Spend some time chatting with one of the experts at Advanced Skin Therapeutics to learn more about our dermatologist-approved picks!