If the last few weeks have taught us anything about beauty, it's that a face mask really is the ultimate form of self-care. With a bit more free time on our hands, I think it's safe to say we're all masking more than ever. In fact, our Who What Wear editors' instant chat has seen talk of masks increase tenfold. Whereas previously we'd reach for a face mask once in a blue moon, when our skin was looking particular dismal, now we've found ourselves asking if there is such a thing as too much masking.
And the answer is, kinda, sorta. You see, face masks shouldn't be used flippantly. They contain some of the most hardworking and potent ingredients around, meaning they have the ability to make or break your complexion. If you ask me, it is all too often because of this blasé approach to masking that so many people complain of post-mask breakouts.
The truth is that masks shouldn't cause angry breakouts. Providing you have found the right formula for you, they should better your complexion. The key is in working out which masks your specific skin type will benefit from. To help make things easier for you, keep scrolling for the best masks for every concern.
If your skin is feeling particularly dry, a moisturising face mask could be just what it needs. Look for creamy formulas and deeply hydrating sheets that work to repair the barrier and deliver essential nourishment. Steer clear of anything deeply exfoliating or drying, like clays and potent acids.
If you ask me, no mask compares to Summer Fridays Jet Lag. It's nourishing, plumping, calming and soothing all at once. Jam-packed with ceramides and vitamins, it turns dull, dry skin glowing and plump.
As someone that doesn't have overwhelmingly dry skin, even I was flabbergasted by just how wonderful this sheet mask is. It's a little pricey but if you're after an instant moisture boost that leaves skin looking healthy and glowing beyond belief, it's the one to go for.
In normal circumstances, I'd be reluctant to recommend a face mask that costs £99. However, this is Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask. Heralded as just about the best nourishing face mask ever made, I'm warning you that if you try it once, you'll never want to be without it again. Softening, smoothing and glow-giving, it's a winner.
For when skin is feeling a little dry and over-sensitised, I love reaching for this sheet. With coconut juice and amino acids, it's seriously calming and hydrating.
For complexions plagued with blackheads and congestion, I feel you. Whether you're just oily on your T-zone or oily all over, clay and other detoxifying masks could just be the thing you need. With potential to be overly drying, I have found that the trick is to apply detoxifying masks only where you need them. Formulated to absorb any excess oil and decongest pores, they are some of my most-reached-for skincare products.
The thing I love most about this mask is that it doesn't dry down to a tightening clay. It contains zinc oxide to calm inflammation and sulphur to decongest porea and regulate sebum production. For days when my pores are looking rather obvious, this stuff is my go-to.
Formulated with colloidal silver, which is known for its antibacterial and healing properties, this face mask is one of the most efficacious that I own. Containing other powerhouse ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and niacinamide, it helps minimise blemishes and breakouts with minimal irritation.
You might have seen this pink mask on your Instagram feed, but it's far from just a pretty face. With Australian pink clay, not only does it detoxify pores with ease, but it also leaves the skin looking bright and radiant. If it's results you want, look no further.
I recently rediscovered my love for this mask. A few years ago, it was all anyone could talk about, and for some reason, it dropped off my radar. Since reordering it, I've been using it more or less every week. With purifying clay, antioxidant-rich rosehip and parsley seed extract and aloe vera to soothe, it's a real all-rounder.
Sometimes, mother nature knows best. This natural mask champions umbrian clay as its main purifier but also contains sandalwood oil, chamomile flower and lavender water to soothe and calm.
Those with sensitive or sensitised skin will know the perils of choosing the wrong mask all too well. One wrong choice has the power to turn your complexion red, blotchy, sore and breakout-prone. The key to finding a face mask that works for your sensitive skin is to steer clear of aggressive ingredients such as acids and instead opt for barrier-repairing and restorative concoctions like the ones below.
It's important to remember that not all sensitive skin is dry. For those that have congestion-prone, sensitive skin like me, this mask is truly wonderful. It has the most soothing and creamy almond milk formula but also contains oatmeal to provide super-gentle exfoliation.
For just £2, I really don't think you can go wrong with the Garnier Moisture Bomb masks. A particular favourite, this lavender- and hyaluronic acid-infused sheet plumps and hydrates and is perfect for those with highly reactive skin types.
If you ask me, nothing helps sensitive skin out quite like Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair range. Holding a double-dose of ANR's powerful moisturising concoction, these foil masks don't just look great—they feel it too.
Often, sensitive skin might find natural masks a little too irritating. However, this jelly-like mask uses calendula flower petals and aloe vera to cool, nourish and soothe. The minute I sense any sort of irritation, this is one of the first things I apply and it works every single time.
Whether it's because of dehydration, diet, stress or lack of sleep, dull-looking skin affects even the glowiest of complexions from time to time. And, if your skin looks like it could do with a little radiance-boosting pick-me-up, a mask is the best way to go. Look for hydrating formulas that work to revive tired skin. For an extra radiance boost, actives such as vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids can take glow to the next level.
With an ice-cool gel texture, this lightweight mask really knows how to inject some life into a tired complexion. Formulated with Arctic spring water and Nordic birch sap, it offers round-the-clock hydration and glow.
Okay, the price is ridiculous, I know, but this mask is truly amazing. Besides the fact it's the prettiest mask I have ever laid eyes on (it's gold and iridescent), it also contains a healthy dose of vitamin C and ATP (which helps with skin function) for the glowiest, most reviving, brightening results.
If you find that your skin struggles with vitamin C and breaks out after use, may I turn attention to this wonderful morning mask. Using water-activated vitamin C granules, not only does this balmy mask offer some glow-giving exfoliation it also contains sweet almond oil to nourish.
With aloe vera, rose and sodium hyaluronate, this sheet mask is no doubt moisturising, however, it's the inclusion of caffeine that I think makes all of the invigorating difference.