What are the Best Luxury & Drugstore Face Masks?

Face masks may not be a new skincare product, but they are becoming incredibly popular in recent years. From charcoal face masks to DIY vegan face masks, there is a seemingly endless variety out there to choose from to meet your skincare needs.

I have been using face masks since I was a teenager, and they are still an integral part of my skincare routine. When used regularly (a couple times a week), they keep my sensitive, acne-prone skin smooth and clear. I’ve even gotten into using sheet masks and moisturizing masks during long flights to keep my skin moisturized and glowing!

After testing out several masks at different price points, I thought I’d share with you today my favorite luxury and drugstore masks! Many of these are easily affordable, and you can find them online for a fraction of the cost of a spa/salon facial!

Types of Face Masks

Clay Masks

Clay masks have been around for thousands of years, and are still some of the most popular masks on the market. They are deep cleaning, gentle, and easy to use – just slap some on your face, wait 20 minutes, and wash off!

Recently, the most popular clay masks are made with activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and Dead Sea mud. Charcoal masks have become incredibly coveted recently because they claim to remove blackheads and reduce acne. Bentonite and Dead Sea mud masks are also great options for deep cleaning, reducing acne, and helping skincare products work better on your skin. I am a huge fan of mud masks, and use them once or twice a week to keep my skin clean and clear!

Peeling Masks

I remember peeling masks becoming popular in the late 1990s, and thankfully they have vastly improved since then! While some of them may claim to tear away blackheads or dirt from your pores, I find them to be used better as an alternative to serums. They absorb into the skin, and after peeling them off, they leave your skin moisturized and cleansed.

Many peeling masks are also used for skin brightening and lightening, evening out skin tone, and reducing signs of aging. They are also a lot of fun to use – the act of peeling them off the skin can be oddly satisfying!

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are a relatively new type of mask, and they are insanely popular right now! They are a silicone or cloth sheet that contains skincare ingredients that you stick to your face, then remove after 10-20 minutes. These have become popular due to the rise in Korean skincare, which was where high quality and effective sheet masks got their big start.

Unlike other types of masks, these are mainly for moisturizing the skin rather than cleaning it. They contain ingredients to soothe and plump the skin, and can be a great option to try when you have irritated or dry skin. I use them mostly in the winter months, when my skin needs a little extra care!

The other nice thing about sheet masks is that they are always individually packaged, so they are perfect for travel! They are perfect for moisturizing your face during a long flight or trip – as long as you are okay with getting some strange glances. You can also get sheet masks that target specific areas of the face: neck, nose, eyes, lips, etc. to individualize your treatments even more!

Multi-use Masks

Another recent trend I am obsessed with lately are multi-use face masks. These are masks that can double as a cleanser, toner, or scrub. Many of these can be found in your local drugstore, and are a great option for someone with sensitive skin like me who can’t always handle a mask. They are perfect for travel because instead of carrying a mask, cleanser, exfoliating scrub, and a toner, I can bring one product that does all of those things!

Benefits of Face Masks

  • Provide a deep clean and exfoliation of the skin surface; can be gentler than using microdermabrasion or exfoliating brushes
  • Helps lotions and serums work more effectively
  • Boost collagen production and lymphatic drainage if combined with facial massage
  • Clear pores and reduces acne breakouts
  • Brighten skin tone and fade scarring
  • Reduce wrinkles and hydrate aging skin
  • Masks exist for just about any skin issue, so you can find one just for your needs
  • Many have single-use packets, which are convenient for travel
  • Far more affordable than going to a spa/salon
  • Easy to use or DIY to suit your needs
  • Make great gifts or a fun activity to do with friends

What to Consider Before Using a Face Mask

  • When using a mask for the first time, do a patch test on your skin to make sure you won’t react to any of the ingredients. This is a must if you have sensitive skin or any strong allergies! I do a patch test on the back of my wrist, which is about as sensitive as my face. If you find the mask burns or is painfully irritating when doing a patch test, do not put it on your face!
  • If you have sensitive skin, only leave your face mask on for the minimum time. Leaving on a mask for too long can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Do not use a face mask if you have open scratches or cuts on your face, or if you have a sunburn. This could lead to infections or painful irritation.
  • Any time you are using a face mask, pay close attention to how your skin feels with the mask on. A little bit of tingling or burning is normal, but if it becomes unbearable, remove the mask immediately.
  • When purchasing masks made in other countries, make sure to do your research before buying. Many countries have different regulations on the quality of ingredients, or what they are allowed to put in their skincare, which could potentially be dangerous. With the rise of Korean and other international skincare trends, we are seeing more masks produced worldwide, and not all of them are safe to use. Use a trusted website like Amazon, Sephora, Ulta, etc. to research brands that are safe and effective.

Best Luxury At-Home Masks

AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask

Price: $31.00 for 3.4 fl. oz.

Description:

I have been an AHAVA fan for several years, and their Dead Sea mud masks are some of the highest quality out there. The company uses only the finest mud and minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel, and their skincare line includes not only mud masks, but also creams, serums, body oils, and more.

This is a detoxifying mask made to deep clean the skin, ridding your pores of dirt and other impurities. It is a much smoother consistency than most mud masks, which makes it feel even more luxurious on the skin. It also smells divine – something about the smell of Dead Sea mud is so soothing and natural.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores

Price: $22.95 for 1.7 fl. oz.

Description:

Active charcoal masks are all the rage lately! The Origins mask is like a traditional clay mask, but with charcoal to rid pores of impurities and prevent future acne breakouts. It is a great mask to use a few times a week, or as a spot treatment for pimples.

This is one of the most popular charcoal masks among beauty bloggers, and is very highly rated on Amazon. While it is a bit expensive, I can say that a little bit goes a long way! I have used it on and off for years, and can say it’s effective at clearing up and preventing breakouts!

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay + Apple Cider Vinegar Set

Price: $38.97 for one kit (includes 1 lb. of clay and 16 oz. apple cider vinegar)

Description:

While this isn’t exactly a “luxury” product, I wanted to include this here because vegan face masks and DIY face masks are also gaining in popularity lately. This kit is great for people who want a DIY mask experience, or people who are particular about what ingredients are in their skincare. You can mix the clay powder with water, your favorite toner, or apple cider vinegar for a truly potent facial.

Indian Healing Clay has been a well-kept beauty secret for years. It is made of bentonite clay – considered to be one of the world’s most powerful facial ingredients. It is said that bentonite clay can cleanse the skin and treat eczema, acne, scarring, insect bites, and many other skincare problems.

The only thing I read in the reviews to consider is the clay does clog sink and shower drains. Make sure when removing the mask that you place a towel over your sink drain to catch the mud and throw in the trash instead of down the drain. Other than that, it’s a great mask that can help fix a wide variety of skincare issues!

Pro-nu Spa Quality 24k Karat Gold Deep Tissue Rejuvenation Facial Mask for Men and Women

Price: $49.99 for 5 masks

Description:

24k gold sheet masks are something I am dying to try! They pack a heavy punch of high-quality, spa quality ingredients: 24k super fine active gold, hyaluronic acid, rose oil, vitamin E, and more. These sheet masks are made to promote collage production, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin tone and brightness. Rather than cleansing the skin, these sheet masks are more like a highly concentrated serum or moisturizer.

While I have yet to try this type of mask, I know it will work for me because it contains ingredients I find in my own luxury skincare serums. It also comes with 5 masks, which are perfect for travel or a spa night at home with friends.

Best Cheap DIY Masks

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Price: $3-5 for 8 oz.

Description:

This is, hands down, my favorite drugstore mud mask. I have been using the Mint Julep Mask since I was in college, and it is a great option to get a deep clean on a budget. It tingles a little bit, smells amazing, and always leaves my skin smooth and happy. I think it performs just as good as many luxury face masks for a fraction of the cost!

The only issue people may have with it is that the mint can be irritating if you have sensitive skin. I like using this mask in the summer, when I have more oily skin that can handle a more potent mask.

Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask & Scrub

Price: $8.09 for 6 oz.

Description:

This is one of those multi-use masks I was talking about earlier! You can put it on your face and let it dry like a traditional clay mask, or you can mix it with water for a foamy, exfoliating scrub! The apple cider vinegar acts as a strong toner, leaving your skin squeaky clean and smelling amazing.

I love using this mask in the fall because it smells like apple cider, and is gentle enough for the cooler, drier months. I also take this with me when I travel because it’s basically a 3-in-1 product!

Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet, 16 Combo Pack

Price: $8.85 for a pack of 16 sheet masks

Description:

If you relatively new to Korean skincare like me, this 16-pack combo of sheet masks is a great place to start! Each mask contains a different type of mineral, vitamin, or natural ingredient to add to your skincare routine. If you’ve always wanted to try a gold, platinum, aloe, royal jelly, or snail mask – they have all of these and more!

I think this would make a great gift for a beauty junkie in your life, or for yourself to try out a bunch of different masks at an affordable price point. They are also highly reviewed through Amazon, and the company is very popular on there, so it is probably safe to trust this company will send you a great product.

Best Face Masks
  • Winner - Best Face Mask