These Masks Will Cure Every Skin-Care Woe

We’re no strangers to masking trends. From sheet masks to bubble masks to magnetic masks, we’ve tried — and love — them all. But there's one formulation that's been around for some time now and hasn't gotten the hype we think it deserves: the powder mask. Sure, it's not as Instagram-worthy or as easy to slap on as the sheet, but at the end of the day, it's about making your skin look its best — and powder delivers results.

We asked Erica Parker, celebrity esthetician and educational director of Michael Todd Beauty, and dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, for some pro knowledge on why these chalky mixes are worth making a mess for. Here's what we learned.

Basically, when you reach for a liquid facial product, the ingredients inside are already activated. (That's why many only last six months to a year and do better in cool, dry, dark environments.) But the ingredients in a powder formula get activated when we choose to activate them — by turning on the faucet and adding water into the mix.

Control is the major appeal here, because if you're crafty, customization becomes an option with a powder. "Someone with oily or acne-prone skin has the option to take that clay and mix it with another base, like raw apple cider vinegar, instead of water," says Parker. But there is one downside, and that's the messiness factor. This isn't your in-and-out, pre-workday mask — but it is perfect for a weekend DIY day.

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If you're a loose tea fanatic, you'll lose it over this antioxidant-rich powder mask. It smells exactly like Matcha and, when activated with water, develops into a soft, whipped treatment that calms stressed skin. Smooth it on and let it dry for 10 minutes.

Origins RitualTea Matcha Madness, $36, available at Origins.
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While powder masks don't benefit one skin type over another by default, Dr. Zeichner says that if you have oily skin and are in the market for a fix in the form of a mask, powders may be your best option. This clay-based one balances your skin's oil production without drying it out — it's perfect for use as a spot treatment, too.

Fig + Yarrow Clay Mask Red, $18, available at Fig + Yarrow.
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If your T-Zone looks shiny, pull this baby out. The easiest way to use it is to dip a dampened cotton ball or pad into the jar and then dab the powder on the blemish. Let the treatment sit for 15 minutes; then, wipe off with a toner.

Mario Badescu Silver Powder, $12, available at Nordstrom.
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"Generally, powders stay stable longer than liquid emulsions, so less preservative is needed,” says Parker. Less preservatives equals longer shelf life. Save money with this double-duty mask — it soothes and exfoliates with good-for-you botanical ingredients.

Captain Blankenship Petal Gentle Flower Face Mask, $30, available at Captain Blankenship.
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Want baby-soft skin and ingredients that won't cause a flare-up? This blue powder uses indigo to soothe inflammation and ever-so-gently exfoliate to reveal a brighter tone.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Rice Powder, $65, available at Nordstrom.
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Parker says that if you're not a big fan of masking, but love gritty scrubs, exfoliating powders are effective in their own right: "Powder exfoliators can also have physical exfoliation benefits. When the user is massaging the product into the skin, the actual granules slough off dead skin cells as they dissolve into a liquid without scraping or irritating the skin."

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling One-Minute Glow Powder, $41, available at Sephora.
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Looking to rejuvenate dull skin and firm up your face? Powders are gentle, but potent, especially when it comes to targeting mature skin.
This one is packed with herbs, flowers, and vitamins to prevent further signs of aging while infusing your skin with a healthy glow.

Root Science Reborn Facial Mask, $60, available at Root Science.
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Dr. Zeichner says that exfoliating ingredients can be more effective and work faster when they're in powder formulas, so if you have hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, or dark spots, a brightening powder is a good place to start. Dr. Zeichner adds that it's the granular consistency that makes them so helpful in skin repair.

Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Brightening Cleansing Powder, $45, available at Sephora.
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