The 7 Best Peel-Off Masks
If you're a tactile product freak, the satisfaction of peeling off a perfect imprint of your face is unparalleled. But there's more to peel-off face masks than just being bizarrely satisfying. They're also less messy, since you don't have to wash them off. And while traditional peel-off masks have something of a bad rap, the best peel-off masks on this list are of a completely different ilk. You'll find no skin-drying, chemical-packed formulas here. Instead, these masks contain nourishing, good-for-skin ingredients that are proven to be effective.
Like with any type of skin care product, the key to masking smartly is to make sure you choose a face mask formulated for your specific skin type. Oily and/or acne-prone skin types, for example, are likely dealing with excess sebum and clogged pores, which is where peel-off clay masks come in. Clay masks help suck the dead skin and oil from pores that might be causing breakouts, while also soaking up shine and gently exfoliating in the process. Those with dry skin, on the other hand, should try a mask that contains ingredients like aloe or honey, which both have soothing and moisturizing properties. There are also peel-off formulas for brightening, clarifying, and pretty much everything else in between — and you'll find the best in each category, below.
Scroll on to discover seven of the best peel-off masks for every imaginable skin concern.
1. Best Peel-Off Mask: Purifying
This mask by First Aid Beauty is part of their "Skin Rescue" line, which is geared towards folks with common maladies like acne, oiliness, and blackheads, but it's really perfect for any and all skin types. While most clay-centric masks are wash-off, this purifying peel-off formula is interesting because, though one of its first ingredients is red clay, it still provides you all of the purifying benefits of illite (a clay mineral) in a far more fun way. This mask is also made with rosemary leaf oil, a natural toner and pore unclogger, and glycerin, a common humectant that works to preserve the skin's natural moisture barrier. For those with more sensitive complexions, you'll be happy to know that this mask is also formulated without sulfates, mineral oil, parabens, and artificial dyes and fragrances.
2. Best Peel-Off Mask: Detoxifying
Another great peel-off clay mask, Bliss's The Real Peel detox mask contains a unique blend of ingredients like asparagus stem extract, witch hazel, bentonite clay, and Moroccan lava clay. It simultaneously detoxifies, exfoliates, and moisturizes your skin, removing dead skin cells and excess oil that might be clogging your pores in the process. And though the mask itself is bright blue, which might seem gimmicky, it's actually made of quality stuff: the formula comprises mostly plant-based ingredients, and it's free of parabens, phthalates, SLS, and SLES, in addition to being PETA-certified cruelty-free.
3. Best Peel Off Mask: Clarifying
This clarifying and renewing mask by Freeman targets folks with normal to oily skin types who are looking for a fun, peel-off solution that clarifies and renews their skin. However, a quick glance at the ingredients shows soothing coconut and cucumber, which are both perfect for anyone with dry, chapped skin looking for some instant relief from winter winds or an eczema flare-up. The inclusion of glycerin provides a much-needed boost of moisture, while non-abrasive ingredients like lemon and tea leaf extract help purify and brighten skin without irritating it further. Reviewers with dry skin rave about this mask's hydrating properties and say a little goes a long way, meaning that though one tube lasts ages, the two included in this set (for $11 no less!) will ensure you don't need to buy a new mask for a long, long time. And why would you? Nearly 70 percent of reviewers gave this mask a five-star rating, so this may just be the first AND last peel-off your dry skin will ever need.
4. Best Peel-Off Mask: Decongesting
Clean & Clear recently rebranded and introduced their new C&C line, which is geared towards Millennials and Gen Z-ers who can't get enough of this iconic skin care brand. The 11-product line includes three masks, but this is the only peel-off (and also... it's PINK). Think the Boscia Luminizing Pink Mask for less than half the price, but with no compromise in efficacy. Just like its pricier prestige counterparts, this mask goes on thick, sticks to sebum, dirt, and clogged pores, and after it dries, basically vacuums the life out of your face. There's a reason rubberized peel off masks are so popular, and that's because they work. Even so, reviewers claim that this product is gentle enough not to pull out any eyebrow or baby hairs if you're a lil sloppy in your application, which can be a real problem for masks with similar formulations. Whether you're 12 or 20, if you have a need for a clearer skin solution that's budget-friendly, gentle-yet-effective, and just plain dang fun, this is the mask for you.
5. Best Peel-Off Mask: Soothing
This professional-grade mask is unique for a few reasons. First, you don't often find a soothing and moisturizing peel-off mask: usually, peel-offs are detoxifying. Second, unlike the rest of the masks on this list, you mix this one yourself: save it for at-home spa days when you have some extra time on your hands. But the formula itself is among the best in its category. Using a blend of allantoin, a skin-soothing ingredient; aloe, which also has soothing properties, in addition to being moisturizing; and sodium hyaluronate, aka hyaluronic acid, a heavy-duty hydrator, this rubbery mask works to moisturize skin and calm irritation once solidified. The formula, which reviewers say leaves skin oh-so-soft, is even safe for use on the most sensitive skin types.
6. Best Peel-Off Mask: Illuminating
First thing's first: this mask is gorgeous. If you're not a face mask fan, then you'll soon be, because this shimmery, iridescent, disco-ball goodness in a jar is an instant fan-favorite for any all maskers, amateur or expert. I Dew Care, an in-house brand by popular beauty site MEMEBOX, infused this face mask with pearl and diamond, so it goes on shiny and dries into a matte chrome that'll leave tired-looking skin feeling rejuvenated and fresh. It's also formulated with rice bran extract and oat, which adds vitamins and antioxidants to skin that boost overall texture and tone. This mask is gentle enough to be used twice a week, and while it may take a little longer than other peel offs to dry completely — 20 to 30 minutes, to be exact — the results are 100 percent worth it.
7. Best Peel-Off Mask: Brightening
This brightening peel-off mask from Formula 10.0.6 is not only great at sprucing up tired-looking skin, but its main touted ingredients — papaya and citrus — are expert at not only making skin glow, but also at limiting sebum over-production that contributes to skin's general oiliness and an abundance of blackheads. Papaya is rich in potassium, vitamins A and C, and BHA, making it perfect for toning skin, diminishing the appearance of dark spots, and cleaning out pores before acne has a chance to form. Citrus is also known to tighten pores, too, making them less likely to get clogged and decreasing overall grease levels by curbing oil production in the follicles on the face. This mask is perfect for folks plagued with sweat-induced acne in the summer months and need not only instant relief, but a solution that'll mattify, purify, and protect their skin year-round.
Also Great: These Masking Brushes For Mess-Free Application
Take the mess out of masking with these handy silicone brushes. Not only do they eliminate the need to dirty up your fingers, but they also ensure your mask goes on more evenly. You can also use them to apply other skin care products, like body lotions and face creams. Since they're made of silicone, they're super easy to clean. "Makes mixing & applying masks 100x easier," writes one reviewer, who also notes, "Remember, if you use bentonite clay, it can’t come in contact with metal, so the silicone is perfect for mixing it."
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This post was originally published on 8/11/2018. It was updated and republished on 6/17/2018. Additional reporting by Adeline Duff.