Face masks complement your skin care regimen and help address any skin care concerns you might have. The right face mask can help hydrate, remove excess oils and even help improve the appearance of your pores, fine lines and pigmentation. 

Face masks can be very broadly categorised into five types: Clay, exfoliating, hydrating, moisturising and sheet masks.

After a month plus of rigorous testing and eliminating, we have finally listed down our favourite masks for each category.

Clay And Detoxing Masks

Clay masks are great for everyone, but they are especially good for people with oily or acne prone skin. Clay has incredible, natural detoxification properties and because of its strong negative electrical charge, it binds to negatively charged toxins and pulls them from the skin when used in a topical mask. A clay mask is recomended for use weekly to detox your skin of any pore clogging pollutants.

This is a list of clay masks that we are loving:

The Bodyshop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask $35

As huge fans of alternative treatments, we are loving that this mask was inspired by traditional Ayurvedic treatments. This tingling mud mask is chock full of powerful ingredients like bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills – known to draw out impurities and excess oils from the skin. •

Green tea leaves from Japan that are rich in antioxidants and catechins to effectively exfoliate the skin together with Community Trade organic tea tree oil from Kenya, known to help keep skin looking clearer.

This mask is a must to detox and deep cleanse all the gunk from your pores once a week, if you want clear glowing skin.

Jowae Purifying Clay Mask $28

Antioxidant lumiphenols and sacred lotus purifies combination to oily skin and even sensitive skin.

The mask instantly matifies even the shinest of skin, to leave it looking clear, rebalanced and less like an oil slick. It also unclogs and tightens the pores and is a perfect weekly treatment to keep your skin looking and feeling healthier.

Sothys Masque Absorbant $69

This is a must for those of you with oily skin. This purifying and softening mask absorbs impurities and excess sebum, tightens pores, dries up small spots and breakouts and leaves skin looking clearer and mattified.

The menthol in the mask, provides a long-lasting refreshing cool feeling, which is lovely in our humid climate.

Maria Galland 68 Masque Purifiant D-Tox $138.03

This mask removes dead skin cells, absorbs sebum and pollutants, and reduces imperfections. Horseradish-tree extract eliminates microparticles originating from environmental pollution and prevents dirt from adhering to the skin, because we all know that pollution is one of the biggest culprits of skin ageing.

Very importantly it also restores the skin’s natural pH level after exfoliation to reveal a more refined, clarified and radiant complexion.

Exfoliating, Brightening And Lifting Masks

Exfoliating, brightening and/or lifting masks help to gently remove dead surface skin cells, improving the texture of the skin and allowing for the better penetration of products into the skin.

Here are our top exfoliating/brightening/lifting masks:

The Body Shop Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask $35

This mask smells so good that I was tempted to eat it, which I did (and while I don’t recommend eating it, I do recommend you using it).

Enriched with a powerful blend of coffee bean particles from Nicaragua and Community Trade ingredients from around the world, this deliciously scented mask warms and gently exfoliates your skin to help reduce signs of fatigue.

It leaves skin feeling awakened, cleared of impurities and looking more radiant. It is enriched with coffee and Community Trade sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, Community Trade cocoa butter and shea butter from Ghana and organic Community Trade cane sugar from Paraguay

Jowae Clarifying Mineral Mask $32

This self-warming mask with its antioxidant lumiphenols and white tea, instantly reveals more radiant looking skin with its micro-exfoliating perlite – an ultra soft mineral powder that is recognized to help clarify the complexion. It is gentle enough to be used even by those with sensitive skin.

Hydrating And/Or Moisturising Masks

First of all, its important to understand the difference between hydration and moisture. Dehydrated skin lacks water and therefore needs to be hydrated. Dry skin on the other hand lacks oil and needs to be moisturized.

Moisturizing your skin works by trapping and sealing in moisture to build the skin’s protective barrier, prevent water loss and keep the skin soft and smooth.

Hydration on the other hand refers to the water content within the cells that leads them to swell and be plump and bouncy, so when you hydrate your skin using a topical hydrator, you’re infusing your cells with water and improving your skin’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients.

Understanding the type of skin you have will enable you to select the right mask.

Here are picks for the best Hydrating and Moisturising masks in the market:

The Bodyshop Drops of Youth™ Youth Concentrate Sheet Mask $9 per piece

Let me first say that I love the fact that this mask is biodegradable, which means I can use it without any guilt. Just 15 minutes is all you need for bouncier, healthier-looking skin.

Enriched with a concentrated dose (70%) of the brand’s iconic Drops of Youth™ formula, this mask is perfect for those of you with dehydrated or parched skin that is screaming for some much needed hydration.

Jowae Replumping Water Mask $28

Suitable for all skin types, the antioxidant lumiphenols and sakura blossom water plumps skin instantly.

After a single application, the skin is re-plumped, more comfortable and re-hydrated.

Maria Galland 92 Hydrating Cooling Mask $113.42

This refreshing and cooling mask with its velvety soft cream-gel texture moisturises and protects skin against dehydration. It also invigorates the skin and reduces dryness-induced wrinkles.

After use, the skin feels more supple and the complexion more radiant.

Porcelain Hydrocare Bio Cellulose Mask $38 per piece

With a powerful blend of natural ingredients to pump moisture into the skin, this mask clarifies the complexion with natural enzymes and prevents the signs of premature ageing.

It adheres tightly to your skin to ensure maximum absorption of actives and nutrients and even doubles as an eye mask to prevent puffiness.

Sothys Hydra-smoothing Mask

With boletus extract and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, this mask is a must for very dehydrated skin.

After use, skin is immediately moisturised and elasticity is fully restored.

Senka Perfect Aqua Rich Luminous Moist Mask $13.90 for 7 pieces

This mask provides skin with deep moisture that lasts up to 24 hours. It promotes skin regeneration for healthier, luminous skin and the Natural Silk Essence and Double Hyaluronic Acid upgraded with Pearl Essence and Extra Collagen, ensures that skin looks and feels nourished, comforted and deeply hydrated.

Jyunka Ultra Peptide Lifting Mask $138

This is an intensive lifting and softening treatment mask. It works by boosting the skin’s muscle memory.

Fortified with Sodium Hyaluronate, a smaller and stronger version of the Hyaluronate Acid chain that exists naturally in the skin, this super Hyaluronate retains large amounts of moisture and protects the skin from bacteria, dust and ultraviolet rays.

Senka Perfect Aqua Rich Extra Moist Mask $13.90 for 7 pieces

This mask is infused with rich moisturizing essence and Collagen G to boost moisture levels for smooth and supple skin that looks youthful and radiant. 

Formulated with Senka’s signature Naturally Derived Cocoon Silk Essence and Double Hyaluronic Acids for deep and rich long-lasting moisture that lasts up to 24 hours.

Minon Amino Moist Mask $18.90 for 4 pieces

This mask contains nine types of hydrating amino acids, two types of clarifying amino acids (Lysine HCl, carnosine) and is very generously soaked in a unique gel serum that penetrates into skin to provide extreme and intensive moisture, leaving skin looking and feeling soft, supple and infused with hydration.

It reduces the appearance of fine lines caused by dryness and supports the barrier function of the skin enabling it to retain moisture more effectively.
We also like the fact that it is made from a soft, form-fitting sheet with fibers that adhere closely to your skin without dripping.

Sheet Masks

Sheet masks work as an occlusive or physical barrier that seals your skin with a mixture of skin-saving ingredients. The physical mask prevents the evaporation of beneficial ingredients, ensuring that it is better absobed into your skin.

There is literally a sheet mask for nearly every single skin problem, from dehydration to pigmentation to acne to dullness, you name it, and it probably exists.

Here is a list of our must-have sheet masks for 2019:

Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Sheet Mask, $54 for 6 pieces 

Featuring the goodness of the famed Origins Mega-Mushroom Blend, the Mega-Mushroom Relief and Resilience Soothing Sheet Mask works to rapidly restore resilience to the skin by reducing visible redness. In just one 3 min application, skin is left calm, refreshed and comfortably hydrated.

We also love the unique packaging of the mask, which comes as a dry sheet on one end and the serum on the other. When you are ready to use it, you simply squeeze the packaging and the serum is released, saturating the sheet mask. Total fun and a definite must have for those days when your skin needs an urgent boost but you only have three minutes to spare.

Senka Perfect Aqua White Mask Extra White $13.90 for 7 pieces

This mask is infused with a unique brightening formula that is rich in moisturizing essence and rose serum to promote the skin’s natural turnover revealing brighter and translucent glowing skin. 

Formulated with Senka’s signature naturally derived Cocoon Silk Essence and Double Hyaluronic Acid for brighter and more radiant skin after just one application, makes this a must use before a big date.

Senka Aqua White Mask Soothing White $13.90 for 7 pieces

This mask help remove traces of UV Damage with its natural silk essence and double Hyaluronic Acid combined with Noibara and Aloe Essence. It also soothes, hydrates, calms and nourishes irritated and aggravated skin.

We would recommend this mask after sun exposure or when you skin is feeling hypersensitive.

Porcelain Revitaleyes Multipeptide Silk Mask $12 a piece

This mask uses a patented ingredient named Eyeliss, which has been shown to lighten undereye circles, strengthen the eye area, boost fluid draining and combat puffiness in just 20 minutes.

This is a definite must before a big date or after a long weekend of too much partying and not enough sleeping.

The Faceshop Yehwadam Pure Brightening Nourishing Facial Mask $10 a piece

First of all, this mask is made out of silk, how luxurious is that! This two-step brightening care treatment comes with four small essence patches that deliver intensive care to your problem areas and a sheet mask that is then placed over the whole face.  

This mask provides brightening, anti-aging and intense moisturizing benefits and is a must after too much OT or after a session of binge watching Netflix.

With seven Korean traditional herbs known for their active brightening properties, it is the perfect treat for skin that has lost its radiance.

The Face Shop Yehwadam Heaven Grade Ginseng Regenerating Intense Facial Mask $10 a piece

The hydrogel sheet packed with the energy of six year old ginseng root, wild pine mushroom and a rejuvenating formula called Yaksanbang helps to restore firmness and delivers energy to tired and stressed skin. 

The mask moisturizes and soothes the skin and has a lovely natural herbal floral scent, that we found very relaxing. We would recomend using this mask when your skin needs some urgent TLC or after pulling an all nighter.  

The Face Shop Dearpacker’s Black Ginseng Gold Hydrogel Mask $5.90 a piece

This hypoallergenic nourishing mask made with premium ingredients like 24K gold and black ginseng is what we would recommend before a big date or when your skin needs some TLC.

The anti-aging hydrogel sheet adheres to the skin tightly and comes in two parts, which enables easier attachment onto the curves of the face, because we all know that most masks, just don’t fit right.

Art By Veritas Stem Cell Coconut Mask $38 a piece

This super gentle mask is a godsend post laser or after sunburn, as it speeds up the healing process with its nano sized hydrolized pea protein, liposomized peptides and stem cell extract that activates collagen production and the proliferation of fibroblasts.

The mask also improves the moisture retention capacity of the skin and is anti inflamatory and calming, which is exactly what you need after something ablative like laser or when you spend a day in the sun and forget to reapply your sunscreen.

We hope this guide will help you to pick the perfect mask for your skin type and condition.

To boost the efficacy of the mask, we suggest you try using it over a serum and after exfoliation. Happy masking!