How to choose the best at-home facial mask for your skin

Rachel Meyer

Face masks are synonymous with relaxation, so they’re the perfect way to give your skin and your soul some much-needed TLC. There are so many options if you’re looking for an at-home face mask, and if you choose the right one for your skin type and skin requirements, you can often get most of the benefits of a luxury facial treatment at home. 

From the most effective high street face mask options for a relaxing spa day in the comfort of your own home, to the ultimate medical-grade face mask to combat whatever is causing your skin issues, we’re sharing a rundown of the best face masks for exactly what you need. 

Want to know what face masks could help with your skin issues? Book a free consultation with one of our Skin Experts to chat about all things masks:



Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • What are face masks? 
  • What are the benefits of using a face mask?
  • Are there medical-grade face masks? 
  • What face mask is best for dry skin? 
  • What face mask is best for oily or acne-prone skin?
  • What face mask is best for hyperpigmentation or dull skin?
  • What face mask is best for ageing skin? 
  • Summary: Should I try a face mask?



Woman with Face Mask and Towel



What are face masks? 

If you’ve never used a face mask before, you may be wondering why they’re so popular and which ones could be best for you. Face masks are a type of skincare product that enables effective ingredients in a more concentrated form to be better absorbed by the skin because they are designed to be left on for longer. 

There are multiple types of face masks, such as cream masks, clay masks, sheet masks, and peel-off masks, each created to help deliver ingredients to the skin in the most effective way possible. 

Typically you will leave a mask on for around 10-20 minutes, depending on the ingredients, but always read the packaging instructions or listen to the advice of your Skin Expert if you have been prescribed a mask. 




Woman with Face Mask and Cucumbers



What are the benefits of using a face mask?

Face masks are designed to be left on for a specific length of time, allowing ingredients to be absorbed by the skin for longer than other products would normally allow. 

The specific skin benefits vary as face masks can be used for different purposes, but generally you will find face masks provide a potent dose of the best ingredients to help:

  • Hydrate dry skin 
  • Calm inflamed, irritated skin 
  • Create balance for oily skin 
  • Dry out acne 
  • Fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots 
  • Brighten dull skin 
  • Tighten and smooth fine lines

Face masks often offer immediate effects, which make them perfect for addressing specific skin issues before an event or on an occasional basis. The ingredients are usually stronger than everyday products, so face masks are not designed to be used every day.


Are there medical-grade face masks?

Yes, you can purchase face masks containing medical-grade ingredients, however in some cases you will need to speak to a professional and get these via prescription. At Face Dr, we have a number of face masks on our website formulated with medical-grade ingredients, offering incredible results for our clients across many skin concerns. 




Dry Skin



What face mask is best for dry skin?

If you suffer from dry skin, you may enjoy treating it to a boost of hydration every now and then, and a face mask can be a great way to do this. One ingredient you’ll want to look out for is hyaluronic acid, which is designed to help trap moisture in skin — it’s one of our top 5 skincare ingredients to treat dry skin

Sheet masks are pieces of material — usually fibre, cotton or cellulose — soaked in specific ingredients, and these can be an effective way to encourage the retention of skin hydration, as well as soothing skin after any inflammation or sunburn. 

One example of a hydrating sheet mask you can purchase online is the Medik8 Ultimate Recovery™ Bio-Cellulose Mask. This hydrating, soothing mask is made of bio-cellulose, formed from millions of tiny natural fibres that hold many times their own weight in liquid. The mask locks in moisture, and is infused with a lightweight serum containing zinc, hyaluronic acid and rockweed algae extract to promote refreshed, plump, soothed skin after use. 

If you are looking for a face mask with medical grade ingredients that could be more effective, the ZO Complexion Clearing Masque is one our Skin Experts regularly recommend. This mask removes impurities and dead skin cells while combating dryness with the addition of glycerin, which helps to replenish hydration and restore skin barrier function.



Dermalogica Sebum Control vs ZO Complexion Clearing Mask



What face mask is best for oily or acne-prone skin?

If you suffer from oily skin or you are forever trying to find ways to manage acne-prone skin, you may be on the lookout for any products that remove excess oil and sebum to prevent clogged pores and the oily sheen that sometimes settles on skin. A longer-term, everyday product will likely be recommended to properly treat acne, but on some occasions a face mask can offer a quick fix to calm redness and inflammation ahead of an event. For this, you’ll want a mask that contains some of the best skincare ingredients for people with oily skin, such as salicylic acid, sulfur, glycolic acid and charcoal. 

While peel-off masks can be effective on acne by peeling away any excess dirt and impurities to prevent future breakouts, mud or clay masks are perfect for oily skin and acne as they are designed to deeply cleanse skin. Clay masks also help to absorb excess oil which helps dry out spots and blemishes, but keep in mind this can be quite drying on skin — great for oily skin, not so great for skin that’s already on the dry side. Ingredients like bentonite clay have even been known to provide benefits such as a reduction in symptoms of dermatitis caused by poisonous plants, according to a 2017 review of studies

One of the best high street masks to tackle acne is Dermalogica’s Sebum Clearing Masque, designed to clear spots and breakouts and control oil on skin. With oil-absorbing kaolin and bentonite clay to help detoxify, 0.5% salicylic acid to clear pore congestion, and calming ingredients like oat and bisabolol to soothe inflammation, this mask provides great results. 

The best clay-based face mask in our range which features medical grade ingredients is undoubtedly the ZO Complexion Clearing Masque, which is designed to absorb surface oils, reduce oiliness, and prevent clogged pores. This mask contains 10% sulfur to reduce sebum and prevent future acne, and kaolin and bentonite clay to absorb oils and remove dirt and impurities from pores. 

“Love this product as a masque to keep my skin clear and also as a targeted treatment to zap overnight any pesky spots that pop up.” 

- Rebecca H., Face Dr client using ZO Complexion Clearing Masque

You can learn more about ZO Complexion Clearing Masque on our YouTube channel, here.



Woman in Towel looking in Mirror



What face mask is best for hyperpigmentation or dull skin?

If you’re struggling with dark spots or hyperpigmentation, face masks containing ingredients like vitamin C, arbutin, and niacinamide can be extremely helpful. You could also look for exfoliating ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and lactic acid to effectively remove dead cells from the skin’s surface, leaving behind a more balanced, even skin tone. 

If dull skin is more of a problem for you, as mentioned in our article — Top 5 skincare ingredients to treat dull skin — the best ingredients for brightening dull skin are the likes of glycolic acid, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and glycerin, among others. As dull skin is often caused by a buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface, exfoliating masks like at-home skin peels can be the best way to brighten your complexion. 

One of the best high street products available for both hyperpigmentation and dull skin is the Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask. This brightening mask is designed to combat dark spots, and is formulated as an overnight mask with skin brightening ingredients that provide a soft finish on skin. Ingredients like arbutin and bearberry extract help to brighten skin, while niacinamide and vitamin B3 are known to be very effective at restoring an even skin tone. 

A medical grade alternative that could offer more effective results is the ZO Enzymatic Peel, which is a real client favourite that our Skin Experts recommend for dull, lacklustre skin, or to those struggling with dark spots or other types of pigmentation. Designed to smooth uneven and rough textured skin, the result is a revived, brighter complexion with a softer skin feel. 

The ZO Enzymatic Peel contains papaya and pineapple plant enzymes, glycolic acid (AHA) to exfoliate the skin’s surface and remove dead skin cells, and natural ingredients like kukui seed oil and safflower seed oil to replenish hydration and restore the skin barrier. You can learn more about the ZO Enzymatic Peel on our YouTube channel, here

Another excellent product for brightening is the Professional-C® Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask, which exfoliates away dead skin cells and introduces L-ascorbic acid (the most effective type of vitamin C) to the skin to reveal a more even, brighter skin tone.



Obagi Professional C Exfoliating Mask



What face mask is best for ageing skin?

Ageing skin may not seem like something you would tackle with a face mask, and while your Skin Expert will likely still advise a daily skincare routine for this, an occasional face mask may be useful for tackling fine lines. Ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and resveratrol are the ones to look for, which all help to defend skin against environmental factors like pollution and sun damage.

At Face Dr, our Skin Experts regularly recommend the Professional-C® Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask, which is a dual-action product to first exfoliate away dead skin cells, then introduce 30% L-ascorbic acid to brighten skin and neutralise the effects of free radicals. The result is smooth, radiant-looking skin with an immediate boost in luminosity and youthfulness. 

You can learn more about this amazing product in our article; What is Obagi's Professional-C® Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask, and how does it work? 



Woman Removing Face Mask



Summary: Should I try a face mask?

Face masks can be a brilliant way to introduce a potent dose of effective ingredients to your skin for tackling all manner of skin issues, and while they won’t be effective as a long-term treatment, the biggest benefit of masks is you don’t need to commit to regular use — simply try one out and see if you like the results. If so, add it to your skincare routine throughout the month if and when you need it. 

Some of the medical-grade masks mentioned above will require a free consultation video call with one of our Skin Experts to find out if they could be the best products for your skin type and the issues you’re trying to improve. 

You’ll find our face masks on our website, but if you’re ready to chat about which one is best for your skin type, book a consultation with a Skin Expert here:



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