Table of Contents
Why Trust Us When Buying Face Masks?
What Ingredients To Look For in the Best Face Masks for Men
Face Mask FAQ, with Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green
How To Use a Face Mask
Who doesn’t want to be like Chris Pratt? While we can’t all play superheroes or follow his workout routine, there is one easy thing we can copy from the most likable man in the world: face masks. He’s not the only superstar in on the self-care grooming trend, and why should he be? The best skincare face masks for men are a key step in caring for your skin.
In case Pratt didn’t make it obvious, face masks aren’t just for the ladies — they’re for everyone. The best face masks for men can really step up your skincare game. So, if you don’t currently have a face mask in your grooming routine, it’s definitely time to add one. These treatments come in all shapes and sizes, allowing you to target your skin’s specific issues, from a lack of moisture to wrinkles and excess oil.
But we wanted a bit more info from a pro before diving into the best face masks for men. We reached out to Dr. Michele Green, a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist, for some advice on face masks. She answered a few questions for us, gave us some of the top ingredients to look out for and pointed out a few great face mask brands.
Why Trust Us When Buying Face Masks?
Here at SPY, our grooming editors are big fans of skincare masks, and we’ve previously written about clay face masks, face scrubs, charcoal face masks, sheet masks, and the best Korean skincare masks. In addition, we’re always on the lookout for new grooming products, and our writers and editors have tested countless skincare and grooming products in 2021. We want to make sure our readers can make informed decisions about their skincare, and to put together this guide, we’ve personally tested dozens of the best face masks for men. We’ve recently written about viral Tik Tok grooming products, newly released skincare products from Harry’s, and top-rated grooming lines like Disco.
Finally, for important shopping guides like this, our grooming writers speak with trusted dermatologists and other experts to make sure we’re presenting you with only the best of the best. We take skincare seriously, so if you’re looking for the best skincare face masks for men, we’re confident you’ll find the right one for you below.
What Ingredients To Look For in the Best Face Masks for Men
When picking the best skincare face masks for men, it’s all about the ingredients. That’s true whether you’re shopping for sheet masks, clay face masks or anti-aging products. When putting together our list of the year’s best skincare face masks for men, we consulted New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. According to Green, the best ingredients are moisturizing and naturally strengthen the delicate skin on your face.
Hyaluronic acid: “Hyaluronic acid … is one of the most natural ways to boost skin hydration in all skin types.” Green told SPY. It also helps to gently soften and hydrate skin without clogging pores, which will fight signs of aging, minimize breakouts and repair dry skin, she said. “Additionally, hyaluronic acid has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin against free radicals and other environmental pollutants. Using products that contain Hyaluronic acid can help skin look plumper, smoother, and more radiant.”
Glycerin: “Glycerin is a safe, effective and lightweight ingredient for hydration that works with any skin type,” Green said. “As a humectant, Glycerin draws water to the top layer of your skin from deeper layers of skin and the air. Glycerin also promotes retention of moisture, reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier and keeping it healthy and hydrated.”
Aloe vera: “Aloe vera … absorbs easily and is especially effective for treating sensitive skin. [It’s] anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants in addition to Vitamins A and C,” Green said. “The healing properties of aloe vera are of great benefit to dry and dehydrated skin and a powerful tool for sealing in moisture.”
Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid, alongside salicylic acid, can help break down unsightly skin, discoloration and blemishes. Green told SPY. “Glycolic acid is a gentle chemical exfoliant that replenishes skin by removing dull top layers and promoting the production of collagen and elastin. This ingredient is beneficial not only for rehydrating dry skin but also for treating and preventing signs of aging.”
Colloidal oatmeal: Oats and oatmeal have long been known to soothe skin (remember chickenpox?), and they’re useful in face masks too. “Colloidal oatmeal-infused [masks are] great for dry skin sufferers,” Green said. “Oats have been known to calm the skin inflammation of the skin as well as stimulate the production of collagen. The oats bind to the skin creating a shield against irritation while locking in natural moisture from your skin.”
Ceramides: Ceramides are a regularly featured ingredient of rejuvenating skin products. “Whether you experience seasonal dry skin or suffer from dryness year-round, ceramide products help replenish skin,” Green said. “Using products that are enriched with ceramides will help restore your skin’s hydration and lock in moisture in even the most extreme temperatures. This helps your skin maintain that hydration long-term, resulting in healthy, hydrated skin.”
Vitamin E: “Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant which when added to skincare products protects the skin from oxidative stress,” Green explained. “Vitamin E also has restorative properties and is able to repair the skin at its cellular level, accelerating the production of collagen and elastin. It can reduce skin inflammation and redness. In addition, vitamin E is known for its ability to improve skin texture and protect the skin against environmental stressors.”
1. Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men
It’s about time you hit up the disco. No, we don’t mean the club, we mean the Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men. Instead of going all-in on hydration, this clay mask goes in on purification, with bentonite clay and charcoal detoxifying your skin and absorbing grime and impurities. Meanwhile, willow bark extract minimizes inflammation and puffiness, leaving your mug looking fine and stopping breakouts and blemishes before they have a chance to develop. It’s all finished with Disco’s signature ingredient: eucalyptus. Our editors and product testers love this purifying face mask for men, and we think you will too.
2. Jaxon Lane Bro Mask Facial Sheet Mask
No matter what type of skin you have, the will deliver a hydrating and cleansing treatment. This multi-award-winning mask contains vitamins, hyaluronic acid, collagen and more to ensure your skin gets everything it needs to look its best. It also uses 100% hydrogel to make sure the mask stays attached to your face while the active ingredients get to work. After a treatment with this mask, your skin will feel great and have a youthful, clear appearance with a healthy glow you and everyone around you is sure to notice.
3. SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask
Green mentioned the SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask as a great option to restore and rejuvenate skin. “This mask is infused with antioxidants, which leaves the skin looking radiant,” she said. The key ingredient, Pitera, is a yeast-based compound with over 50 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids that will, as the doc said, leave you with simply “radiant” skin.
4. The Deep from Caldera + Lab
Caldera + Lab is a new skincare company that uses ethically sourced and natural ingredients, and everything about the brand, from their production practices to their packaging, is 100% sustainable. We’re also obsessed with the quality of the brand’s products, which are truly elite. The company’s newest product is The Deep, a purifying and moisturizing face mask that we highly recommend. In our testing, this face mask did a great job of evening out skin tone and rejuvenating the skin.
5. HETIME Revitalizing & Hydrating Mask
We recently talked to the founders of HETIME, and we’re big fans of this brand’s face masks, which were designed specifically with men in mind. Dull, lackluster skin and breakouts will be a thing of the past after using this mega mask. It contains moringa, cedarwood and baobab to shrink breakouts, moisturize and help you look wide awake. It’s good for the planet too since it’s made from biodegradable cellulose fiber.
6. Lumin Intensive Repair Face Mask
BEST FOR SERIOUSLY DRY SKIN
The Lumin Intensive Repair Face Mask was one of our favorite men’s grooming products of 2020 (and remains among our 2021 favorites) because it’s just an outstanding hydrating mask. Filled with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this mask is exactly what your skin needs when it’s dry or showing a few more signs of sun damage and aging than you’d care to see. Plus, you’re getting 10 masks for a pretty great price too.
7. Wolf Project Hydrating Sheet Face Mask for Men
EXCELLENT SHEET FACE MASK FOR MEN
The Wolf Project Hydrating Sheet Face Mask for Men delivers everything a dude could want in a hydrating sheet mask. It’s easy to use and apply (read does not easily tear) and boasts a bunch of hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3/niacinamide to restore skin. Try it once for 15 minutes and we bet you’ll experience, to borrow from one satisfied reviewer, “a tingly sense of greatness” with your renewed skin. Plus, if you love it, you can subscribe for a discounted price too.
8. Baxter of California Clay Mask AHA
BEST CLAY MASK
Designed to work for men of any skin type, this mask boasts a blend of bentonite and kaolin clays to get deep into the pores to remove excess oil and impurities. As it cleans, the combination of botanicals do their duty to hydrate and soothe, refining and smoothing the skin’s texture. Best of all, it only takes five to 10 minutes to work its magic. We’ve tested this face mask, and it has a great fragrance and really does leave your skin feeling smoother. We also named this the Best Clay Face Mask of 2020.
9. M. Skin Care Sensitive Clay Mask
BEST CLAY MASK FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
The M. Skin Care Sensitive Clay Mask was made with sensitive skin in mind. The kaolin clay soaks up oils and grime, the antioxidants in algae extract take care of damaging free radicals and shea butter does what it does best, moisturize and hydrate.
The end result is a clay face mask that clears away the gunk without the irritation of stronger cleansing ingredients.
10. Cardon Men’s Cactus Soothing Face Mask
BEST KOREAN FACE MASK
Korean skincare is all the rage these days, so why not pick up a great Korean face mask like the Cardon Men’s Cactus Soothing Face Mask? The cactus extract handles the soothing, antioxidant-rich niacinamide hydrates and repairs signs of aging and takes care of redness and inflammation. Plus, if you love it, you can subscribe to receive the four-pack of masks every month or every other month at a discounted price. Price savings and a consistently delivered high-quality face mask? That’s a win-win for healthier, hydrated skin.
Read More: The Best Korean Face Masks
11. Yes To Tomatoes Acne Fighting Paper Mask
BEST FOR ACNE
When it comes to acne, you’re going to want a mask that breaks down blemished skin like the Yes To Tomatoes Acne Fighting Paper Mask. Green called it a “great choice for acne-prone skin,” saying, “In addition to antioxidant-rich tomato extract, this mask contains salicylic acid, which will target active pimples and help keep new ones from forming.” Beyond taking care of acne, this mask also contains aloe vera, witch hazel water and willow bark extract to calm and soothe red and inflamed skin.
12. Dr. Jart Ultra Jet Porecting Solution Charcoal Face Mask
BEST FOR OILY SKIN
For another Korean face mask, just with more oil and acne-fighting power, Green pointed us toward the Dr. Jart Ultra Jet Porecting Solution Charcoal Face Mask. “This mask is great for those with oily, acne-prone skin, clogged pores or an active breakout. The key ingredient here is charcoal, which gently detoxifies the skin and absorbs excess sebum, minimizing the appearance of pores without drying.”
13. Harry’s Detoxifying Face Mask
GENTLE EXFOLIATING FACE MASK
Harry’s Detoxifying Face Mask has only just been released but it’s already sold out. You’ll want to keep your eyes out for when it restocks because this is the Swiss Army Knife of face masks for men. Whether you’re dealing with dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, red skin, acne-prone skin or whatever, this mask promises to gently cleanse and restore your skin to its proper glory with just the right combo of clays, acids, essential oils and hydrating compounds. It’s also a great value because each bottle has 15-20 masks worth of product, more than enough to last you months if you use it once or twice a week.
14. Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Mask
BEST FOR ANTI-AGING
Though there’s nothing wrong with wrinkles and signs of aging, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to dial the clock back a few years on your skin either. The Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Mask makes that as easy to do as it is to say. Packed with multiple alpha hydroxy acids, this face mask breaks down old, dead skin, leaving behind smoother, firmer skin. Add in ultra-hydrating squalane and hyaluronic acid and you’ve got a face mask with the power to fight dryness, diminish wrinkles and clear away oils and grime.
15. The Grey Men’s Skincare Overnight Sleeping Mask
BEST FOR OVERNIGHT
One of the easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your skin is to put on a rejuvenating face mask before bed. If that sounds preferable to a morning routine, give The Grey Men’s Skincare Overnight Sleeping Mask a shot. Vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate (the more compatible salt form of hyaluronic acid) and a ton of plant and fruit extracts work throughout the night to strengthen, hydrate and restore your skin. Just let the mask dry for seven to 10 minutes before bedding down and rinse off in the morning. Use it two or three times per week for results you’ll have to see to believe.
16. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque
The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque can help fight against dry skin and restore your skin’s moisture balance. It’s free from silicone, parabens and artificial fragrances and comes formulated especially to deal with a lack of moisture. The mask is best applied before bed and left on overnight to leave your skin feeling refreshed, smoother and softer in the morning when it’s removed.
17. Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser
BEST CLEANSER / FACE MASK
You can almost never go wrong with something from Jack Black, including the Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser. A cleanser by name, this clay-based product is also a deep-cleansing face mask men can get on board with. Kaolin clay soaks up grime and oils while glycolic acid and volcanic ash exfoliate skin, clearing away dead skin and blemishes and leaving it more even and balanced. To use it as a mask, apply it and let it dry for five minutes before rinsing.
18. Bandito by Masque Bar Chill a Minute… or 30 Cream Mask
It’s hard to say which we like more — the actual sheet mask or the fact that it comes with a mustache printed on it for some flair. The K-beauty staple packs a punch with raspberry, lemon extract, and vitamin E to hydrate, minimize the appearance of pores and leave you with an even, bright complexion.
19. ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
BEST CHARCOAL MASK
If you’re looking to add a charcoal-forward mask to your skincare routine, this one definitely fits the bill. By gently purifying, this popular skin mask leaves your face feeling clean and conditioned. It’s ideal for men with normal, dry, oily and combination skin types and uses bamboo charcoal alongside white China clay to absorb environmental toxins and achieve a deep and nourishing clean.
Face Mask FAQ, with Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green
SPY: What are face masks and what do they do?
Green: [Face] masks are formulated with powerful ingredients that penetrate the deeper layers of skin cells to enhance the overall appearance of the skin … Using a face mask once or twice weekly can offer skin clearing and hydration among other benefits. The main effect on skin is hydration.
SPY: Are there ingredients I should avoid? Are there any I should be wary of or at least be careful about using?
Green: Depending on your skin type, it would make a difference what ingredients you should use. Masks should be used two to three times weekly and should not be used with products that can be irritating such as retinols, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide … Look for a face mask that will address your concerns and be suitable for your skin type. If you are concerned with anti-aging, acne, enlarged pores, dull, dehydrated skin, look for a face mask with ingredients that will be beneficial to your skin concerns.
SPY: Can I still use a face mask if I have a skin condition like eczema or really dry or sensitive skin?
Green: You can still use a face mask, however, the mask should contain ingredients that will hydrate the skin and not exacerbate your skin condition.
SPY: Are there any I should be wary of or be careful about using?
Green: Depending on your skin type, it would make a difference what ingredients you should use. Masks should be used two to three times weekly and should not be used with products that can be irritating such as retinols, glycolic or benzol peroxide.
SPY: What about clay face masks?
Green: Clay masks are great for acne-prone oily skin as the clay draws out the impurities from deep in the pores. It will speed up the process of healing active breakouts, [but] don’t expect your pimple to be magically gone or the size of your pores to be non-existent.
SPY: What’s the deal with Korean beauty products and face masks?
Green: With the rise of Asian skincare, sheet masks [which are common in Korean skincare] have received a lot of hype, so it’s important to be realistic about what they can and cannot do. I would always recommend using a sheet mask at night in order for your skin to absorb excess product. The main function of sheet masks, similar to cream masks, is to hydrate and calm the skin.
How To Use a Face Mask
Face masks are easy to use, whether you’re dealing with a sheet mask or a spreadable mask. They all do the same thing: Sit on your face for a while so it can soak up rejuvenating ingredients. Follow the steps below and always read the product’s directions for best results.
For a spreadable face mask, scoop out enough mask, often no more than the size of a quarter, to evenly cover your face. For sheet masks, carefully extricate it from its pack and apply it to your face. Some sheet masks come in two parts, an upper face and lower face (convenient for beardsmen). It’s OK if the pieces overlap a bit, just make sure you’re getting good coverage overall.
Pop a squat and flip on a show while the mask dries and your skin absorbs the ingredients. Ten to 15 minutes is usually good, but some products need as few as five while others go as long as 20.
After time is up, remove the sheet mask if you used one. Thoroughly rinse with warm water and gently pat your face dry with a towel.
You’re finished! Do this one to three times a week for peak skin.
Now that we know a lot more about the best face masks for men, check out our picks above. Better skin awaits!
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