The Best, Most Effective Face Masks As Recommended By Skin Experts

Designed by Serena Brown
When something is off with your skin, a good face mask can put you back on the right track in next to no time. The bigger headache comes with finding the best one for whatever it is that ails you — be it a stress breakout, redness around your nose, a constellation of whiteheads on your cheek, a flaky forehead or some combination thereof.
Walk into any beauty store and you'll spot everything from single-use sheet masks to jars filled with charcoal, which promises to "detox" pores; clay to "draw out impurities"; salicylic acid to mop up excess oil and prevent blackheads; and sulphur to prevent spot eruptions. But how do you know which masks are really worth your money?
To make life easier, we asked some of the best skin experts in the business to let us in on the face masks they recommend to their clients – and use themselves.
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Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, medical consultant and aesthetic medical doctor

Best for: Hydrating skin

"This is a mask I'll always use myself after treatment. I have oily skin but I tend to get really dry skin around my eyes, neck and at the side of my face. This feels like a drink of water for your skin, as it’s a hit of pure hyaluronic acid. I use this once a week in the evening."
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Best for: Brightening, minimising pigmentation and protecting against pollution

"This is a bit tingly but I like it because it’s an antioxidant, and living in the city means we’re being hit with pollution from all angles, including our computer screens. I’ll do this mask in the evening and follow it with the B5 Hydrating Serum, £58. Always follow antioxidants with hydration. You can do this in the morning, too, but you need to have 10 minutes to spare."
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Dr Jonquille Chantrey, cosmetic surgeon & international aesthetic surgeon at One Aesthetic Studio 

Best for: Treating breakouts

"When my skin has blemishes or is looking and feeling excessively oily, I turn to ZO Skin Health's Sulfur Masque. It reduces the sebum, calms redness and significantly improves breakouts."
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Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, medical & cosmetic doctor and founder of SKNDOCTOR

Best for: Moisturising dry skin

"At first, I thought this mask was just an Instagram hype but I was pleasantly surprised and really impressed. It’s a gentle hydrating mask which I use when my skin is dry and sensitive. It’s pregnancy safe, too."
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Emma Coleman, nurse and expert in nonsurgical facial rejuvenation

Best for: Unclogging pores and reducing shine in combination and oily skin

"Masking gives you a deeper cleanse and also helps all of your other skincare products work more efficiently. For my clients who have combination or oily skin, I recommend the Murad Pore Extractor Pomegranate Mask. This is because it is a deep cleansing treatment, ideal for skin prone to blackheads, enlarged pores and oily T-zones."
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Nurse Alice Jenkins, medical director at Harley Injectables

Best for: Minimising pores and mopping up oil

"The pore 'shrinking' prowess of this pink clay mask is one of my favourites. Originally only available in Australia, you can now stockpile it in the UK."
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Best for: Drawing out impurities

"This is refreshing, purifying and pleasantly skin-quenching. If you find some clay-based masks leave skin uncomfortably tight, this is the one for you."
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Chelsée Lewis, expert facialist

Best for: Oily skin and pores

"This purifies and clarifies congested skin with three kinds of clay: montmorillonite, bentonite and kaolin. I find that it brightens the skin and gives the illusion of tighter pores. I also really rate the Hydra 1 Masque. It's a gel-creme, which provides deep hydration."
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Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide To Great Skin

Best for: Unblocking pores and fading pigmentation

"AHAs and BHAs are both chemical exfoliators that can be extremely helpful for oily or blemish-prone skin if used on a regular basis. Common AHAs include glycolic and lactic acid. BHAs include salicylic acid. They both cause an accelerated chemical exfoliation of the skin by dissolving the upper layer of dead skin cells and therefore both help to remove red marks or pigmentation left behind by acne. Salicylic acid especially is an anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce pigmentation or redness left behind from acne."
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Best for: Unblocking pores and reducing marks

"Peels exfoliate and reduce the top layer of the skin, ensuring the skin is clean and fresh. Regular exfoliation (once weekly) for oily or acne-prone skin can be helpful for reducing red marks. But it is important not to over-exfoliate as dryness and irritation can occur."
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Dr Tatiana Lapa, medical director at Dr Tatiana Aesthetic Dermatology Clinic

Best for: Exfoliation and minimising skin staining left behind by spots

"This is a combination of four alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). It exfoliates dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover, making the skin more glossy, smooth and even in tone. It's a great treatment."
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Best for: Minimising pores, pigmentation and fine lines

"The most important ingredient in skin rejuvenation is retinol. Derived from vitamin A, it minimises fine lines, sun damage, pigmentation and pores. This mask has a good concentration of retinol, salicylic acid, antioxidants and skin hydrators, making it an excellent option to treat the signs of ageing."
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Tiina Meder, founder of Meder Beauty Science

Best for: Controlling excess oil and breakouts

"For skin that has a tendency to get a little shiny at times, I recommend this mask. It contains salicylic acid, which mattifies the skin; Brazilian blood orange extract, which brightens the skin; botanical enzymes, which keep the skin’s surface perfectly polished; and fatty acids, which provide moisture. This mask is the perfect skin pick-me-up when preparing for a big event."
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Best for: Moisturising dry skin

"This mask features palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 to stimulate both the collagen production and hyaluronic acid in the skin. Peptides also reduce inflammation, smooth lines and even out skin tone. It's super moisturising and ingredients like shea butter restore the lipids of the skin barrier if your skin is very dry."

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