On days you're lacking in the glow department, a face mask is your no-frills solution for getting your skin back in shape. So whether you're rushing out the door or staying in for a pampering session, here are the ones you can count on for regaining that much-needed radiance.
To give your skin a luminous boost, go for sheet masks with ingredients like niacinamide or arbutin for brightening, hyaluronic acid for hydration, ceramides for skin barrier repair, or alpha-hydroxy acids for gentle exfoliation. Try to use them as often as twice to thrice a week to see a difference.
One of our favorites drugstore finds is Pure Beauty's White & Bright Facial Mask, a brightening and alcohol-free sheet mask with arbutin and niacinamide. It leaves the skin visibly brighter and more refreshed without drying it out. Meanwhile, a more potent pick is that of Murad's Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel, a two-step product that exfoliates with AHAs then hydrates to give the skin a plumper appearance.
IMAGE Watsons, Rustans
PURE BEAUTY White & Bright Facial Mask, P999/5 sheets, SM Beauty; MURAD Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel, P2750/4 treatments, Rustan's
Unlike regular face scrubs, exfoliating masks need to be left on the skin for a few minutes to activate the acids they contain. You may feel a slight tingling sensation, but don't panic—that just means it's working!
For example, leaving the Pixi Peel and Polish on for three to five minutes lets its lactic and glycolic acids work their glow-inducing magic. It has gentle scrubbing particles, as well, that you can work over any rough spots to smooth them out. But if you only need your AHA fix or have sensitive skin, Doll Face's Reveal works exactly like the Peel and Polish minus the scrubbing!
IMAGE Glamourbox, Beauty Bar
If you have 10 minutes to bring your skin back to life, use a wash-off mask with potent ingredients before applying makeup in the day or before your nighttime skincare routine.
Peter Thomas Roth's Pumpkin Enzyme Mask contains powerful chemical (AHA) and enzymatic (pumpkin enzyme) exfoliants that polish the skin to make it appear more luminous and youthful. On the other hand, Fresh's Vitamin Nectar mask uses the Vitamin C from crushed citrus fruits to achieve double-exfoliation with AHAs and a gentle scrub.
IMAGE Peter Thomas Roth, Sephora
PETER THOMAS ROTH Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, P2995, SM Megamall; FRESH Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, P4045, Sephora.ph
Looking lit from within isn't possible with clogged pores, so when your skin is feeling plugged and under the weather, treat it to some quality detoxing. Clay or mud masks will do this job for you by pulling impurities out of your pores for that refreshing and clarifying effect.
For congested skin, try Glamglow's Flashmud. This white mask has a kaolin clay base for purifying and white birch leaf with natural brightening acids for a more even-toned complexion. For acne-prone skin, The Body Shop's Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask improves the appearance of pores and breakouts using bamboo charcoal, green tea, and organic tea tree oil. (Ed's note: When you buy a tub, the brand will donate to the Red Panda Network of Nepal to helping feed Red Pandas in the Himayalas and regenerate their forest habitat.)
IMAGE Glamglow, The Body Shop
GLAMGLOW Flashmud Brightening Treatment, P3300, Zalora; THE BODY SHOP Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, P1195, Shangri-la Plaza
Sleeping masks are a godsend on days when you can't be bothered to rise from bed and rinse off a mask. You can leave them on like a really nourishing moisturizer, and you'll wake up with infinitely more hydrated skin.
Ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid help keep parched skin moisturized all night, and both just happened to be in Mediheal's travel-friendly N.M.F Midnight Moisturizing Capping Pack. After doing your skincare, lock everything in with this product and simply wash it off with water when you wake up in the morning.
For a similar nourishing effect and natural breakout protection, Cosrx's Ultimate Honey Overnight Mask plumps dry patches and prevents breakout with propolis extract, an antibacterial ingrediente derived from bees.
IMAGE Watsons, Wishtrend
MEDIHEAL N.M.F Midnight Moisturizing Capping Pack, P149, Watsons; COSRX Honey Overnight Mask, P880, Beautymnl