The 5 Best Detox Masks

By Marissa DeSantis

Not only are face masks a relaxing treat (best enjoyed with an Old Hollywood movie and a glass of Prosecco, IMO), but they're also important when it comes to keeping your skin in check. You can find dozens of options tailored to an array of specific skin issues like acne, dryness, and dullness. But regardless of your skin type, everyone can benefit from a regular detoxifying mask to clear out environmental pollutants and bacteria that build up and get trapped in your pores. If you need help finding the best detox mask for your skin type, stay with me here.

People with oily skin tend to have more experience with detox masks since they're often marketed as ideal for removing excess oil and unclogging pores. The star ingredient (or ingredients) in these detox masks is almost always some kind of clay. Known for being natural detoxifiers that are also full of good-for-skin nutrients, clays like kaolin, bentonite, and montmorillonite draw out impurities in the skin while gently exfoliating. Activated charcoal is another oily skin favorite that similarly works like a magnet to lift away pore-clogging dirt and bacteria, as well as excess oil.

While clay and charcoal are gentle enough for normal or dry skin types when used just once a week, there are other detoxifying ingredients you can look for to keep skin soothed. Dead Sea mud is popular for drawing out impurities while leaving skin moisturized, or you can opt for a detoxifying mask that's formulated with additional smoothing and hydrating ingredients, like vitamin E and hyaluronic acid.

Ahead, you'll find five of the best detox masks for every skin type and budget.

1. The Overall Best Detox Mask

Not as big of a secret as its name suggests, the cult-favorite Aztec Secret clay mask has over 1,700 five-star reviews on Amazon. But be warned that this mask requires a little bit of effort on your part. Calcium bentonite clay is the only ingredient in the jar, and when you mix it with equal parts apple cider vinegar, it forms a thick paste (aka, your mask) that helps remove excess oil and kill acne-causing bacteria.

The brand recommends leaving the mask on for only five minutes if you have sensitive skin, and no longer than 20-minutes on any other skin type. Reviewers describe a "pulsating" sensation as the mask dries, and some warn that your face might look a little red right after you wash it off, but that it quickly fades and leaves skin "soft and clear."

2. Best Hydrating Detox Mask

This hypoallergenic and paraben-free mask uses Dead Sea mud to draw out environmental impurities without irritating the skin. The salt and magnesium that are found in Dead Sea mud are said to help improve skin functionality and elasticity. To double-up on skin-soothing benefits, Ahava's Purifying Mud Mask is even formulated with mineral spring water. It comes in two travel-friendly sizes, both of which are packaged in convenient squeeze-tube bottles.

3. Best Drugstore Detox Mask

For a drugstore take on the detox mask, this one from L’Oréal promises to recharge and brighten your skin for under $10. Three different clays (kaolin, montmorillonite, and Moroccan lava clay) are combined with charcoal to deep-clean pores of dirt, oil, and pollution and leave your complexion noticeably more radiant.

4. Best Peel-Off Detox Mask

This H2O+ detox mask is as fun to use as it is effective. The peel-off method is somehow more satisfying than a rinse-off mask (just be sure to layer it on thick enough to get a good peel going), and its bright green appearance is reminiscent of the neon-green slime found on a certain Nickelodeon game show (ah, the good old days). But it doesn't just look cool. Ingredients like matcha green tea extract help to draw out environmental pollutants that can cause everything from collagen depletion to dullness and even acne. This mask also includes rice bran extract, which contains vitamin E to keep skin moisturized, and marine exopolysaccharide to minimize the appearance of pores.

5. Best Quick-Fix Detox Mask

If you're not into the whole face mask and chill (or if you're traveling), this option is as quick and easy as they come. Each Bioré Self-Heating One Minute Mask box contains four individually-packaged masks that include charcoal and kaolin clay that are activated when applied to wet skin. As you massage the mask onto your face, it starts to heat up to open pores and draw out impurities that are washed away after just one minute. It's also ideal for anyone who hates the tight, cracking feeling synonymous with most clay detox masks, as this one never dries or hardens on the face. This set of masks also comes with the brand's popular charcoal pore strips as an added bonus.

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