From sheet masks to clay treatments to decadently creamy moisturizers, face masks are the undisputed queens of skin care — which is probably why they hold one of the top spots when it comes to formula variety. Rather than sample your way through the metric ton on the market, The Zoe Report got in touch with the experts to figure out the best face masks for every skin type, whether you have generally dry skin, an oilier-than-average complexion, or anything in between. (This includes masks for acne treatment, too.)
Since masks are different than moisturizers, serums, and anything else already in your skincare routine. "A face mask allows for a shorter yet more intense experience, kind of the roller coaster versus the hill on the street," explains Dr. Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology. "Both can give you a thrill when you ride down them, but the coaster is faster, and more intense. In this same way, a mask delivers ingredients in a highly concentrated 'intensified' way over a shorter period of time."
Vichy Medical Consultant and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Erin Gilbert, puts it in more technical terms: "A face mask is defined as a skincare product that contains more concentrated, specific ingredients to address specific skin concerns. A moisturizer is more dilute, contains more water, and usually contains a bunch of common emollients like glycerin, sometimes oils, often plant extracts and plus/minus special ingredients or 'actives' like retinol [or] vitamin C," she explains.
But it's important to remember that regardless of your general skin type — dry, oily, something else entirely — your face can be more than one at the same time, or skew dryer or oilier on any given day. Regarding "combination" skin, celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin says, "It all depends on what you need on what parts of your face. If you have a T-zone, you can a use mask for oily skin in that area and you can use a mask for dry skin on your cheeks. That’s just one example! What really is needed is a proper daily protocol so all the areas on your skin are balanced."
Below, the tools of the trade according to the pros.
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