From Clogged Pores to Dryness, These Peel-Off Masks Are Satisfyingly Effective

There is something entirely gross but also satisfyingly amazing about any kind of beauty product you can peel from your skin. (I'm not wrong, am I?) Although it's definitely not glamorous to talk about, there is something about seeing what was in or on your skin suddenly not in or on your skin that makes a product pretty dang enthralling. And peel-off masks have to be at the very top of said product list. 

Of course, peel-off masks also fall into that slippery-slope category of beauty products that some experts deem entirely ineffective (aka strategic marketing gimmicks) while others deem them entirely fine and potentially beneficial. What truly matters are the formula, ingredients, and aggressiveness of the mask. As celebrity facialist Renée Rouleau points out in this blog post, certain "viral" peel-off masks can be far too intense for the skin barrier and will likely do more harm than good. (Putting charcoal and glue on your face is never a good idea, folks!)

That said, the best, high-quality peel-off masks on the market these days are formulated to be gentle and safe, offer great ingredients with lots of different skin perks, and if nothing else, help exfoliate the skin during the peel-off step. Plus, they're just plain fun to use. 

Since there are quite a few popular peel-off masks vying for your dead skin cells and hard-earned cash right now, we've selected our top 10 picks based on our personal experience and testing and hours spent combing through ratings and reviews (so you don't have to). Ahead, the 10 best peel-off masks to address your different skin concerns. Keep scrolling! 

Best for dewy hydration:

Pumped with marine algae and hyaluronic acid (a major skin-plumping and hydration power-player), this is one of the best peel-off masks to help combat dehydration and dryness. (My fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs talks about it almost every day.)

As far as application, it's best to use this two-step once a week. You'll start by mixing the Hyaluronic Cushion Gel with the Activating Powder in a bowl before applying the formula in a generously thick layer (this is key!) over dry, clean skin. You'll let it set and work its magic for five to 15 minutes before peeling it off and wiping away any excess with a damp cloth. 

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To enhance your dewy-skin results, apply this serum directly to the face or mix it into your other favorite skincare or liquid makeup products for an extra bump of hydration.

Best for smoothing and soothing:

If you're always chasing baby-soft skin but want something soothing and replenishing as well, this iconic peel-off mask from Erno Laszlo will be one of your best bets. Its ingredient roster includes magnesium carbonate, which helps keep the skin's pH in check; allantoin, which curbs irritation; and panthenol (vitamin B5) to keep the skin surging with glow-enhancing moisture. It also triggers a lovely cooling effect, which feels especially amazing once summer temperates begin to climb. 

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Safe for daily use, this luxe face cream utilizes DNA- and antioxidant-rich raspberry stem cells to repair and re-nourish a compromised complexion. (It also reduces redness and leaves your skin impeccably smooth.)

Best score at the drugstore: 

Back before I was a beauty editor (but still a self-proclaimed beauty hoarder), Yes To was one of my favorite affordable beauty brands—a status it's managed to hold on to. I have a propensity for breakouts, and this detoxifying charcoal number is especially helpful. It delivers the most satisfying glow post-peel-off, and I always notice my skin is smoother, less inflamed, and slower to produce new bumps if I'm diligent about regular application. 

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Acne doesn't stand a chance against this no-nonsense mix of charcoal, sulfur, and witch hazel. 

Best for curing congestion and clogged pores:

This peel-off mask is great for all skin types and skin concerns but is especially adept at improving the texture of the complexion and vacuuming out debris-clogged pores. Clay-based, it's uniquely formulated with Super Volcanic Clusters from Jeju Island in South Korea to effortlessly banish excess oil and minimize the look of enlarged pores. 

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Since clay-based formulas can zap our necessary stores of hydration while also sucking up environmental debris, make sure you top off your skin after the fact with a lush, dew-enhancing mist and moisturizer. This brand-new spritzer is enriched with cherry blossoms, niacinamide, and betaine. 

Best for increasing circulation:

So this peel-off mask is really, really cool. (And I mean that literally.) Inspired by expensive cryotherapy treatments, it features circulation-boosting ingredients like menthol, hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, red algae, and the brand's signature Cryosea blend to help lift, tone, and enhance skin tightness. 

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Don't forget your eyes! Each of these vegan eye masks are infused with hyaluronic acid and 900 microcrystals to do some serious legwork against fine lines, wrinkles, puff, shadows, and parched skin. 

Best for toning and firming:

The skin goddesses at a GlamGlow have blessed us with some of the most effective and iconic face mask formulas over the years, and this anti-gravity firming solution is one of the best by far in the peel-off category. In a very aesthetically pleasing manner, it changes color from white to chrome as it works its lifting magic. After you lift it off your face, you'll notice a svelter, more contoured result. (I always feel like my cheekbones have been woken up from a long slumber when I use it.)

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For a boost of radiance, we're big fans of this superfood-powered illuminating moisturizer that utilizes pretty pearl particles for a skin-refining blur effect. 

Best for brightening:

Dr. Jart+'s collection of cheeky Shake & Shot masks are adorable and fun to administer, yes, but they're also wildly effective. (No gimmicks, here!) This one uses a strategic medley of vitamin C, sea buckthorn fruit extract, and other essential vitamins to help brighten pigmentation, shadows, and even out the overall skin tone.

As for application, you'll start by combining the Step 01 Super Booster and Step 02 Liquid Ampoule in the cup, close the lid, cover the hole with your finger, and shake the mixture until it's thoroughly blended. Then, you'll use the spatula to apply an even layer over your entire face before letting it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once your timer goes off, start from the edges, and gently beginning to peel off the mask. Remove any excess with a damp cloth and follow suit with the rest of your skincare routine.

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If you use this mask in the morning or daytime, it will be even more imperative to follow it up with sunblock. This new formula from Dr. Jart+ is waterproof, hypoallergenic, and a great option for sensitive skin types, especially. 

Best for oily skin:

This is another well-known peel-off mask that's considered a top contender in its category. It boasts multiple skin perks but is especially fantastic for curbing oil and sucking up excess grease and sebum. (Your pores will also look significantly smaller.) The magic lies in a skin-perfecting, acne-safe mix of red clay (which helps detoxify and absorb impurities), rosemary leaf oil (which tones while also cleaning out the pores), glycerin (which offers amazing moisturizing perks), and the brand's signature FAB Antioxidant Booster featuring free-radical fighting licorice root, feverfew, and white tea.

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These handy daily treatment pads are like an expensive facial bottled up in a tub. Laced with lemon peel, Indian gooseberry, and an exfoliating blend of glycolic and lactic acids, they leave skin bright, toned, and velvety-smooth. 

Best for anti-aging:

This best-of-the-best peel-off mask is well-equipped for every skin type and skin concern, but its potent blend of luxe, skin-renewing ingredients is especially helpful for anyone looking to slow the signs of premature aging. The MVP is glycolic acid, which boosts radiance and cell turnover, while aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, plus vitamins like A and C, come to bat to keep everything calm, plump, soft, and less prone to spots and unevenness. 

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Copper is one of those sneaky ingredients that might not be as famous as certain vitamins or acids but do some serious work against fine lines, wrinkles, and faltering elasticity levels. This ultra-rich cream is filled with advanced copper peptides and other effective active botanicals to perk up, firm, and rejuvenate the look of aging skin. 

Best for a total detox:

This caffeine-spiked peel-off mask really does it all. Ultra-refreshing, it boasts specific pore-refining and cell-lifting additions like the aforementioned caffeine (which is extracted directly from coffee beans) and Panax ginseng for a true spa-like masking experience. 

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This is one of my all-time favorite moisturizers. (Truly, I've used it since high school.) It's one of the only formulas I've found that not only keeps my skin acne-free but also serves up lots of moisture and natural-looking luminosity. (Aka, no one will know if the majority of your dinners right now involve leftover takeout and wine.) If you're extra oil- or acne-prone, I recommend this oil-free version. 

Up next, I Asked Hailey Bieber's Makeup Artist How to Enhance the Eyes (Because Masks)

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