A Peel-Off Mask For Every Skin Issue

Photo: Via Boscia.
For a long time, the word "peel" meant one of two things in the beauty world: a) You've spent too much time in the sun sans sunscreen and are now suffering from the not-so-cute consequences. b) You just got a chemical peel and are now patiently waiting for your brand-new skin to emerge (in the privacy of your bedroom).
Today, thanks to innovative skin-care technology, the word has gained a whole new meaning. Enter: peel-off masks, which come in a gel-like consistency and solidify after application. Not only are they fun to use, but they deliver incredibly satisfying results. And, whether you’re fighting off a batch of blemishes, suffering from stress-induced blotchiness, or simply want to tame your oily visage, there’s a version that will labor to improve the ailments of your epidermis.
Now, we bet you want to know which one will fix your skin woes. Don’t worry, we’re one step ahead of you. We tapped dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, and celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas for expert tips on choosing the perfect peel-off for your complexion. What are your thoughts on this new crop? Let us know in the comments.
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Photo: Via Boscia.
Redness, Inflammation
Got the blotchiness blues (or rather, reds)? Dr. Tanzi and Vargas recommend masks with soothing ingredients. “I like this mask because it contains aloe vera, which is an amazing basic ingredient for sensitive skin,” says Vargas. “It also contains sea whip, which really helps to disinflame the face.” Sea whip, a.k.a. Gorgonian extract, aids in calming stressed skin. Bonus: It goes on blue, which is fun.
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Photo: Via First Aid Beauty.
Clay-based masks are key for reducing oil and cleaning pores. “Red clay is great for oily skin because it will help to draw out impurities from the pores,” says Vargas. Also formulated with glycerin and rosemary-leaf oil, this 20-minute mask moisturizes and protects the skin. In short, don’t let the color scare you away: This is a game-changer — even for the most sensitive complexions.
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This mask has plenty of charcoal in it, which helps to alleviate oily skin and clogged pores.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, $34, available at Sephora.
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Skin feeling a little blah? This peel-off mask helps to hydrate and clear congestion in a quick 15 minutes. Sure, it gently exfoliates and leaves your skin soft to the touch, but the coolest part? It transforms into a peel-off consistency the moment water touches it — making the removal process downright fun.

Belief First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask, $34, available at Sephora.
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Tired, dull skin has nothing on this powerful formulation that removes all signs of dead skin and dirt.

Origins GinZing Peel-Off Mask To Refine & Refresh, $26, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via Neova.
Fine Lines, Large Pores
For anti-aging concerns, Dr. Tanzi recommends masks with glycolic and hyaluronic acids, which exfoliate and hydrate. But, make sure to patch-test before using a strong ingredient like glycolic acid. “Some people have very strong allergies to glycolics,” says Vargas. This peel-off also contains calming, soothing botanicals, as well as potent antioxidants and sodium hyaluronate to smooth and brighten.
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While this one is mud-based, it's also silver — and it leaves a metallic finish on the skin that's so shiny and futuristic, you'll have a hard time not staring at yourself for the 20 to 30 minutes it's on for.

After the time has passed, peel it off in sheets to reveal firmer, softer skin. It's gentle enough to use multiple times a week and with consistency, you'll begin to see a more even skin tone.

Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment, $69, available at Birchbox.
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Photo: Via Elizabeth Arden.
Clogged Pores
When treating congested skin, Dr. Tanzi suggests using glycolic- or sulfur-based masks to absorb grime from the pores. This mask contains both glycolic and salicylic acids, which exfoliate and re-texturize the visage. It also has cabernet grape-seed extract, an antioxidant that brightens and evens out your skin tone. See ya later, clogged pores.
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If black and white heads around your nose are your main issue, consider using a two-step pore patch like this one from Dr. Jart+. First, apply the dry mask to wet skin and wait for ten minutes as it dries. Then, carefully peel it off to remove all the gunk from your pores. Finally, place the wet patch over your nose. Once your done, rub in the witch hazel-, aloe vera-, and tea tree oil-rich formula into your skin.

Dr. Jart+ Pore Master Patch, $35, available at Sephora.
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A resounding yes to this detoxifying peel-off mask with natural ingredients (tomatoes, charcoal, watermelon, pumpkin) and a drugstore price tag.

Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask, $15.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Photo: Via Freeman.
Dryness, Irritation
Look for soothing, moisturizing ingredients, like cucumber and aloe vera. “I love cucumber as an ingredient because it works universally for all skin types,” says Vargas. “It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’s great for irritated skin.” Besides cucumber extract, this mask has aloe vera and vitamin A. The best part? It only takes five to 10 minutes. And, you can use it as often as you like: Throw it on during your morning shower to reveal smooth and hydrated skin.
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There's a reason our beauty features director is obsessed with this rubber mask from Dr. Dennis Gross. After mixing the gel and powder, you smooth it on your face and wait for it to set. In one swift motion, lift the dried mask off your face to reveal plumped and happy skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask, $46, available at Dr. Dennis Gross.
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Peel-off masks have one downside: It's hard to get every last morsel left on skin. Yes To created this genius tool that lets you scrape off any leftover charcoal, so you can focus your attention on the next steps of your skin-care routine.

Yes To Charcoal Peeling Mask, $15.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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