For all the little gems that come with winter — like the joy of wearing a cozy, oversized sweater while drinking spiked cider — there's also the arrival of cracked, irritated, and flaky skin. As any derm will tell you, it's important to switch up your skin-care routine as the weather turns cold and dry, giving your skin some TLC by adding hydrating serums and creamy moisturizers into your routine.
Sometimes, though, we don't have the cash flow to shell out big bucks for pricy serums, or the time to add another step to our already-lengthy morning or night routine. Luckily, there are treatment face masks, a quick fix for troubled skin; you don't have to use them every day and they don't have to come with deep breath hesitation before you add-to-cart.
Ahead, eight of our beauty editors share their favorite bargain face masks that reduce redness, calm irritation, and give skin a quick refresh when the holiday stress sets in... because it probably already has.
"Whenever a colony of spots pop up overnight,
this light mask
is always my go-to. I focus first on the inflammation rather than the texture. This red and blue light therapy mask zaps the acne-causing bacteria while simultaneously reducing redness. After a quick 10-minute session, my skin is less irritated and on the road to recovery." — Sam Sasso, Beauty Editorial Assistant
Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Treatment Face Mask,
"When my skin gets reactive and needs to be babied with something ultra-gentle, I apply a thick layer of this hydrating mask rich in coconut and avocado oils for 20 minutes and rinse it off to soft, calm skin." —Alix Tunell, Senior Beauty Editor
Yes To Coconut
Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask,
"My teenage years consisted of playing The Sims every day after school, plastering my bedroom walls with B2K posters, and kicking my acne's ass with this mask. I felt so sophisticated slathering the green, tingly concoction over my bursting bumps that always ended up shrinking after a few days. And even though the packaging is all grown up now, the mask still zaps my zits as potently as it did in the early 2000s." — Khalea Underwood, Beauty Writer
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque,
"This is one of the first face masks I ever bought, partially because it was the only one I could afford. Nonetheless, the cheap price in no way determined the super-high quality. Who doesn't need at least one charcoal mask in their life? (I actually still keep this one at my parents' house, so I can bring it with me when I visit my hometown friends.)" — Sasso
Freeman Charcoal & Sugar Facial Polishing Mask,
"Admittedly, I'm usually a snob about face masks, but I actually stole this grapefruit sheet mask from my teenage sister's bathroom last time I was home and was pleasantly surprised with the results. It was a bit tingly on application, but I felt like the vitamin C and antioxidants were really working to cleanse and clean my skin. Once I removed the citrus-scented paper sheet after ten minutes, I pressed the remaining serum into my skin before I layered on my nightly moisturizer, which I feel like penetrated into my skin better after using the mask. So, surprising myself, I recommend this five-mask packet when you're looking for a quick and dirty skin refresh that you can get at Walmart." — Megan Decker, Beauty Production Assistant
Yes To Grapefruit Pore Perfection Paper Mask,
"When my skin is feeling particularly oily or congested, I always reach for clay masks like this one. It's a nice, no-frills formula that draws out oil and feels soothing and cooling on my skin." — Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer
Botanics Shine Away Iconic Clay Mask - Willowbark - 3.5oz,
"I can admit to being a little harsh with my skin, especially whenever I feel a breakout coming along. In full-on panic mode, my first instinct is to reach for extra-strength cleansers and treatments — both of which can cause irritation. To reverse any damage, I always make sure to keep a tube of St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal Face Scrub and Mask stashed and ready for use. Its unique blend of oatmeal is super-hydrating, despite the natural exfoliants, and helps soothe the skin in a matter of minutes. " — Brianna Arps, Production Assistant
St. Ives Gentle Smoothing Face Scrub and Mask Oatmeal 6,
"Here's what usually goes down when I do a mask: I put it on, I turn on an episode of
The Crown, one episode turns into 3, and 2 1/2 hours later, my mask is painfully plastered to my face. As any beauty editor knows, letting your clay mask fully dry out actually ends up doing more harm than good. And that's why I like this one. It doesn't go crusty after 20 minutes, and it sucks out all the gunk without taking all the good skin oils away with it. " —Cat Quinn, Beauty Director
L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask, Clear & Comfort,
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