How to Choose the Right Mask for Your Skin Type

Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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We’re walking you through exactly how to choose the right mask for your skin type so that you can enjoy the glory that is self-care through face masks, and let your skin reap the wonderful benefits that come along with them!

a smiling woman standing in front of a pink background with a gray face mask on

We LOVE face masks! Store-bought (like this one from Beautycounter and this one from Primally Pure) or homemade (like this antioxidant mask, this clarifying peel-off mask, and this soothing mask) – give us all of the masks! The only issue is that in order to see and feel the benefits of masking, you have to find the right mask for YOU, and that can be a little bit tricky if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. This guide will walk you through all things face masks, including how to find the perfect mask for your skin type…let’s dive in!

Why Face Masks Should be Part of Your Beauty Routine

If you’re using the right face mask for your skin type, face masks are an excellent addition to your beauty routine. Here’s why: face masks are a concentrated, targeted way to combat pesky skin issues. Applying a face mask to your skin is essentially lathering a concentrated amount of good-for-your-face ingredients on so that your face can soak them up throughout your masking experience. When you choose the right face mask for your skin, you are able to target your specific skin issues, addressing them in a more rapid manner than you can with other forms of skincare.

What to Look For in a Face Mask

If you’ve been following Fed + Fit for any amount of time, you know that we always choose safer skincare products over their conventional counterparts. Most of the masks (and other skincare products) that you’ll find at your local store are chock-full of less than ideal ingredients (some of which are actually pretty harmful).

When we choose safer skincare, we’re able to use our voices as consumers to fight the good fight of making these better-for-you beauty products accessible for all. Essentially, buying safer tells the industry that we WANT safer, prompting the skincare industry to supply that demand. 

Here are a few ingredients to avoid when it comes to face masks:

  • Phthalates – often listed as “fragrances,” and can be extremely harmful to the reproductive system.
  • Synthetic Fragrances – because synthetic fragrances are made up of TONS of not-listed ingredients, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re putting on (or in) your body when you’re dealing with these.
  • Parabens – parabens may cause hormone imbalances, and because they aren’t always clearly labeled, it’s important to be super vigilant about staying away from them. 
  • Siloxanes – these will show up as ingredients that end in “-siloxane” or “-methicone,” and are suspected endocrine disrupters.

How often should I use a face mask?

While face masks are a great addition to a skincare routine, you certainly don’t need to (and shouldn’t) mask every single day. Masking 1-2 times per week is a great number to strive for, but if you’d like to mask more than that, we’d recommend no more than 3 masks a week. 

bowls of face masks and brushes on a marble surface

Choosing a Face Mask for Oily Skin

You may have oily skin if…

  • Your skin is shiny and feels overly moist to the touch.
  • You have acne.
  • You have blackheads and/or large pores.

What type of face mask should you use for oily skin?

If you have oily skin, you may be wondering what type of mask can help to control the oil and remedy some of the pesky effects of it. Here’s what we recommend looking for:

  • A mask that can help cleanse pores and control oil without irritating or over-drying the skin.
  • Masks that contain ingredients like clay and charcoal – these ingredients can help to draw impurities and toxins from pores without drying the skin.
  • Products with beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid – these are oil-soluble acids that can help gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.

black tube with a gold cap containing beautycounter's charcoal face mask

The Best Face Mask for Oily Skin

  • Beautycounter Charcoal Mask – this activated charcoal mask is nutrient-rich, and does a wonderful job of absorbing excess oil (among many other things!). 
  • Primally Pure Clarifying Mask – the white willow bark powder + kaolin clay in this mask contribute to its ability to control and balance oil production.
  • Aztec Secret Healing Indian Clay Mask – clay helps to absorb oils, so it’s no secret that this clay-only mask is great for those looking to get their facial oil under control!

Choosing a Face Mask for Dry Skin

You may have dry skin if…

  • Your skin feels tight.
  • Your skin tends to display more fine lines than normal.
  • You have flaking around the nose and forehead areas.

What type of face mask should you use for dry skin?

If you can relate to any of the above indicators, you’re probably ready to pinpoint and eradicate the causes of your dry skin. Here’s what we recommend looking for:

  • Products that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to give your face an extra boost of concentrated, targeted hydration.

a black jar with a gold lid containing beautycounter cleansing balm

The Best Hydrating Face Mask for Dry Skin

  • Beautycounter Cleansing Balm – known as the do-it-all Beautycounter product, it’s no surprise that this cleansing balm does an incredible job of hydrating the skin. While it can be rubbed into your face and then wiped off as a cleanser, we recommend using it as an overnight mask by massaging a pea-sized amount into your face and leaving it on to work its magic overnight.
  • Beautycounter Supreme Cream – this cream is the definition of luscious and is also deeply hydrating. We like to apply a thick layer of this cream (don’t worry about rubbing it all in) just before bed and letting it soak in all night. 
  • Primally Pure Plumping Mask – the raw, local honey, hibiscus powder, and lactobacillus ferment all contribute to the hydrating powder of this safe, powerful mask!

Choosing a Face Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

You may have acne prone skin if…

  • You often notice pimples or acne on your face, neck, shoulders, or back.
  • You have oily skin. 
  • You have often occurring breakouts, or breakouts that just never seem to go away.

What type of face mask should you use for acne-prone skin?

If you have acne-prone skin, chances are that you know it and are frantically looking for ways to remedy it. We recommend looking for these things with shopping for acne-fighting skincare products:

  • Look for masks that contain salicylic acid and other AHA/BHAs that can help unclog pores.
  • Products with ingredients like clay and charcoal – these powerful ingredients can help draw impurities and toxins from pores without drying the skin.
  • Products with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients like honey, turmeric, colloidal silver, and green tea, as these can help to get to the root of acne issues.

two brown tubs of primally pure clarifying mask on a grey surface

Best Face Masks for Acne-Prone Skin

  • Primally Pure Clarifying Mask – this mask features honey, turmeric powder, and colloidal silver (all of which are rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties), white willow bark powder (keeps pores clear of buildup), and white kaolin clay (rich in purifying properties), making it a top pick for acne-prone skin.
  • Beautycounter Charcoal Mask – the charcoal, salicylic acid, and lactic acid in this mask contribute to its clarifying, acne-fighting properties.

Best Face Mask for Sensitive Skin

You may have sensitive skin if…

  • You’re prone to facial redness.
  • You get rashes and small bumps on your face.
  • You often experience burning or stinging from new products.

What type of face mask should you use for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend steering clear of harsh ingredients and instead seeking out products that contain soothing, calming ingredients. Here’s what you should look for, what you should avoid, and how to best test a mask to see if it works for you:

  • Masks with soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, blue tansy oil, honey, and oatmeal.
  • Masks with minimal ingredients.
  • Steer clear of harsh ingredients like salicylic acid, parabens, phthalates, alcohol, sulfates, artificial fragrance, and anything that may dry skin.
  • Test first! Apply the mask to a small spot on your chin or neck and let it sit for about 20 minutes, then wash it off. If you don’t see a reaction by the next day, you are likely good to use the mask!

green sheet mask for face by 100 pure in a white package

Best Face Mask for Sensitive Skin

  • Primally Pure Soothing Mask – we love this mask for so many reasons! The honey, spirulina, chlorella, colloidal oatmeal, green clay, and white kaolin clay all help to soothe sensitive skin! If you want to go the extra mile in fighting redness and inflammation, we recommend this soothing CBD mask! 
  • Beautycounter Charcoal Mask – don’t count out purifying charcoal masks just because you have sensitive skin! This one delivers on exfoliation while still refining and calming irritated skin. 
  • Green Tea Sheet Mask – made from natural, plant-based ingredients, this sheet mask is ultra gentle and hydrating.

Best Anti-Aging Face Mask

What type of face mask is best for aging skin?

Aging is a part of life (and it’s a really beautiful thing!), but I think it’s safe to say that most of us want to hold on to our youthful skin for as long as possible. When it comes to fighting the signs of aging, be sure that you’re using products with ingredients that serve your skin type (oily, dry, acne-prone, sensitive, etc.). In addition to that, we recommend looking for these things in your anti-aging products:

  • Hyaluronic Acid – as skin ages, it produces less hyaluronic acid, leading to increased dryness and fine lines, so using products with hyaluronic acid is especially helpful when it comes to fighting the signs of aging. 
  • Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA/BHAs) – these gentle acids clear away dull surface cells and boost clarity without drying or irritating the skin.
  • Lipids – look for a mask that contains healing oils, as these can help replenish your skin’s lipid bilayer and help your skin hold onto hydration.
  • Vitamin C + Antioxidants – vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to anti-aging! Vitamin C fights free radicals, stimulates collagen production, moisturizes, evens skin tone, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

two brown jars of primally pure plumping mask on a grey surface

Best Anti-Aging Face Masks

  • Primally Pure Plumping Mask – the hibiscus powder (among several other ingredients) in this plumping mask is a natural source of AHAs and antioxidants, promoting youthful, rejuvenated skin. 
  • Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel – with a multi-acid complex, AHA/BHAs, glycolic, malic, and lactic acid, this peel is soothing, and leaves the skin looking younger, healthier, and more renewed. 
  • Beautycounter Cleansing Balm – the cleansing balm strikes again – it really is the best do-it-all product! This product is so incredibly hydrating, leaving your skin soothed and destressed!

pumpkin face mask in a glass jar with a wooden lid with plumping mask written on the jar in white letters in front of 3 other glass jars full of masks on a marble surface

Best DIY Face Mask

Buying safer face masks doesn’t always fit in the budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without! We’ve come up with 4 masks that you can make all on your own, using ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen already!

  • Homemade Plumping Mask – pumpkin is the shining star in this DIY face mask recipe! Pumpkin contains tons of natural fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which help to increase cell turnover and remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. 
  • Homemade Antioxidant Mask – with powerful ingredients like turmeric, yogurt, coffee, lemon juice, and honey, this mask is packed with antioxidants, acts as a natural exfoliant, and is sure to brighten, moisturize, and soothe the skin. 
  • Homemade Soothing Mask – if you have dry and/or inflamed skin, this homemade mask is for you! The combination of avocado, olive oil, oats, and CBD will moisturize and soothe even the most stressed-out of skin.
  • Homemade Clarifying Peel-Off Mask – made with soothing matcha, Aztec clay, and lemon juice, this peel-off mask is ideal for clearing toxins, cleansing pores, and firming skin. 

orgaid sheet masks in brown paper packaging

Best Safer Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are so fun, and these safer options are great additions to your skincare routine:

More Masks

  • Euphoria Face Mask – made of bamboo, aloe, chamomile, and antioxidants, this mask is nourishing, hydrating, and works wonders for dull, tired skin!
  • Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask – this mask was created to brighten, soften, and revitalize skin, and with powerful ingredients like rose-hip-seed granules, papaya enzymes, turmeric, aspen bark, and peppermint essential oils, it does just that.
  • Hydrating Floral Mask – this mask is really neat because it’s actually in a whipped gel-mousse form and is said to plump and transform your skin overnight!
  • Facial Detox – made to detoxify pores, this mask is perfect for blemish and acne-prone skin and can be used as a full mask or spot treatment.
  • Green Tea Purifying Clay Mask – targeted to clear dead skin and sebum, this affordable mask is made with green tea water, clay, and natural scrubs!
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