The new generation of face masks

They do much more than keep your skin hydrated

Think face masks only hydrate and soften your skin? Totally wrong. The newest products on the market work to brighten, detoxify, address texture and make sure you look like you’ve had ample rest even when you’re not feeling so fresh. Here are four kinds of face masks you’ll want to get familiar with this season.

Hydrogel masks

What it is: Hydrogel masks are just like cloth masks in that they are soaked in a serum formula, and can be applied straight to the face and discarded after a single use. However, they’ve fast become a firm favourite in Korea (and now the rest of the world) as they’re slightly thicker (meaning much more durable), they don’t lose their shape when they’re unfolded and they actually stay on your skin even when you’re standing upright.

Why you need it: They may feel slimy, but they’re ace at efficiently feeding your skin with micronutrients and making sure your skin drinks it all up. Great for thirsty, dry skin types, especially for the warmer season ahead.

Toolkit:

Erno Laszlo Soothe & Calm Hydrogel Mask fuses rose oil, honeysuckle extract and skullcap root to boost moisture, even out skin tone and protect skin.

Target the delicate skin around your eyes with Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patches, which contain aloe vera and vitamins A and E to nourish and hydrate.  

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Masks deserve a special mention here as the foil backing helps push product deep into skin with minimal wastage.

Erno Laszlo Soothe & Calm Hydrogel Mask

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patches

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask

Exfoliating masks

What it is: Exfoliating face masks contain chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs in their formulas to gently lift away dead skin cells and reveal younger-looking skin in a matter of minutes. They’re known to tingle on the skin once applied, but secretly, we’re addicted to that feeling… after all, you can literally feel it working.

Why you need it: Love the way your skin looks after an intensive facial? Chances are your facialist has used an exfoliating mask to refresh your complexion. When you’re short on time but have a big event, forgo booking in an appointment and instead, try these products in the comfort of your own home.

Toolkit:

Elizabeth Arden Pro Illuminating Enzyme Masque features ginger root extract to brighten and pineapple, pumpkin and black willow bark to address uneven skin texture.

The colloidal sulfur inside Dr Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask helps treat acne-prone skin by preventing breakouts while enhancing radiance at the same time.

Cosmedix Define Resurfacing Treatment uses fruit acid to buff the skin’s surface and retinol A to target pigmentation.

Elizabeth Arden Pro Illuminating Enzyme Masque

Dr Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask

Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask

Charcoal masks

What it is: First utilised to purify water (yes, it dates back thousands of years), charcoal has since made its way into the daily lives of Indians, Egyptians and the Japanese, who have been taking advantage of its cleansing properties.

Why you need it: Charcoal may have been one of the biggest buzzwords of the year, but its power to remove toxins and clear congestion without stripping it from moisture is the number one reason why it’s earned its place in our skin care routines.

Toolkit:

The standout ingredient in The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is bamboo charcoal, a super-ingredient that effectively cleanses, purifies and de-clogs in a single application.

Perfect for problematic skin, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten features charcoal and three types of clay to draw out impurities.

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub can effectively smooth uneven texture and improve clarity in skin. Simply wash it off after five minutes (or when it turns blue), and you’re good to go.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub

Sleeping masks

What it is: Think of this product as a supercharged face mask that works around the clock as you sleep. We’re totally obsessed with the texture of these miracle creams; they’re rich enough to keep skin hydrated through the night, yet are light enough to be easily absorbed by skin (eliminating the worry of staining your pillowcase). In the morning, simply cleanse your face as you normally would, and you’re ready to take on the day.

Why you need it: Not only do these masks work while you’re fast asleep, they’re also the perfect international travel accessory: layer it on your face straight after take-off, and tissue off when you’re about to land. Your skin will seriously thank you for it.

Toolkit:

It’s the ultimate hangover treat: apply Lancome Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Mask after a big night out and wake up to a complexion that looks like you’ve had ten hours of sleep.

Specially formulated with alfalfa extract, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask can support your skin’s natural healing process, revealing healthier-looking skin all over.  

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask feels just like a decadent night cream. Apply once a week as a supercharged treatment to address fine lines and dehydration.

Lancome Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Mask

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask

Want to up your knowledge on skin care? Read up on why you need to try essences and the top benefits of manuka honey.

Main image credit: Instagram @ladygaga

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.