In the back of my bathroom cabinet, behind two almost-empty cans of dry shampoo and the curling tong I use once every couple of months, there’s a bundle of sheet masks that I’ve been “saving” for “something special.” These are the masks I’ve been holding onto for long flights, the morning of friends’ weddings, and the rare Sunday night when I feel the need to lean into a particular aesthetic of “self-care.” However, staying home for the indefinite future has made me realize that the time to use the things I’ve been saving for the right time is actually right now. I may not be prepping my skin for a special occasion, but I am feeling a need to find little things to look forward to each day and, yes, I’m finding that face masks totally count.
In the name of finding tiny things that make you feel good, Team MR tested four face masks we had on hand, so you know which are the very best. Whether you’re looking for a mask you can wear during a Zoom happy hour or one that might scare your roommates (while also calming red and generally stressed-out skin), we’ve got it, tried it, and reviewed it below.
Tested by: Tiffany
The mask: Dr. Jart+ Rubber Mask “Bright Lover”
Where did you find your mask? Inspired by Harling’s love of Dr. Jart+’s Ceramidin Cream, I hopped aboard the Dr. Jart+ train just over a month ago. After purchasing this mask, it languished in a bathroom drawer between an eye shadow palette I’ve never used and three TP rolls, waiting for a worthy moment.
How did your skin feel before the mask? A bit gray and fatigued—like the rest of me after my first week of full social distancing! So, it felt good to smother my face with this serum and then cover up with a two-part rubber mask, which feels like luxe Saran Wrap. Sadly, the rubber part of the mask was not the canary yellow promised on the package—more of a soft, buttermilk color. This made my selfie slightly less funny but did not inhibit the humectant properties.
How did your skin feel after? The rubber mask stays on for 20 minutes, during which I experienced some reassuring tingling. After that, you massage in the remaining serum and leave that on for another 20 minutes. After washing off the serum, the texture of my skin felt smoother and a little plumped. The previous gray-ness had gone. The difference was not HUGE (my boyfriend was still able to recognize me), but my skin was “brighter” looking.
Who should use it? Humans in need of a self-care moment, the WFH-er looking to lift the gray veil of too much time indoors, sci-fi fans, rubber fetishists, and anyone looking to fully conceal their face during a conference call.
Tested by: Jasmin
The mask: Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask
Where did you find your mask? I’m trying to do one key task a day. Yesterday I embarked on cleaning out my bathroom cupboards, and my God I have a lot of crap. Tons of cotton pads, individual tampons scattered around, and many a half-used bottle of shampoo (I bore easily). I also stumbled across this face mask I’ve used before, but had been saving.
How did your skin feel before the mask? Due to wearing barely any makeup while also lathering on the CeraVe, my skin is currently in pretty decent shape. However, it is Monday morning, I just woke up, and my combination skin is pretty oily in the T-zone area.
How did your skin feel after? I washed it off in the shower and definitely had some remnants in my hair, but it feels super refreshed. Like I’ve had a mildly deep pore clean-out. It started to feel a bit tight, too, so I made sure to moisturize quite soon after drying my face.
Who should use it? It starts to get a bit tight, so not ideal if you’re looking to both mask and chat. If you lean more on the oily side and like to do a NYT crossword puzzle on your phone in silence, then this is for you.
Tested by: Sabrina
The mask: Tata Harper Clarifying Mask
Where did you find your mask? It was hidden behind my more affordable face mask options. This is definitely the most expensive mask I’ve ever bought.
How did your skin feel before the mask? Honestly, pretty good. I usually have some breakouts, but do not at the moment. I’ve been doubling down on my vitamins for obvious reasons, and I haven’t been wearing makeup much. My skin feels a bit tired, as do I, which is another reason for breaking out this mask.
How did your skin feel after? Soothed by the green slime and the mask’s very earthy smell. Some of the redness I had before has definitely calmed down.
Who should use it? People who are prone to acne and anyone who’s looking to work on their skin texture. Also great for those looking to scare their partners/roommates while being home, even if for only a brief moment.
Tested by: Lorenza
The mask: Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask
Where did you find your mask? This is my go-to mask, so it sits among my bathroom essentials on an overcrowded bathroom shelf. That said, I try not to use it often because I really want it to last. I originally came across it stalking the Glossier website in an attempt to try every product (because they’re alway that good).
How did your skin feel before the mask? Although my skin has felt extremely clean due to lack of makeup and an immense skin care regimen in this time of quarantine, it still felt compromised, with irritation from me picking at my face and a little more congestion than usual.
How did your skin feel after? I love this mask because it calms down my skin, and also truly cleans out stubborn pores—all while leaving my cheeks and other sensitive areas of my face feeling soft and hydrated.
Who should use it? I would recommend this mask for any skin type, especially if you are in need of an “exfoliator”-type that isn’t harsh. I usually only put exfoliating masks on my T-zone because they tend to dry out my cheeks, but this mask is so gentle I slather it all over. Would also recommend to anyone who has clogged pores—it loosens up any impurities, which I then pull out with a pore extraction tool*, easy peasy.
*pore extraction tool similar to this