So much goop. So little time.
That’s how it seems these days, as the beauty mask trend shows no signs of waning, and consumers are inundated with more mask choices than ever — clay, sheet, jelly, bubble, even magnetic.
But do they work?
Many ingredients found in masks, like green tea, are good for skin, notes Laurie J. Levine, a board-certified dermatologist based in Mineola. But whether such things can get into skin to provide benefits “depends on the molecule size, skin type and other factors,” she says.
Same goes for types of delivery. Bubble masks, for instance, are based on the fact that pure, concentrated oxygen can increase circulation and repair skin. But whether a bubble mask’s foam action churns up enough oxygen to do any good — or just feel, well, fizzy — is unclear.
“There are a lot of claims made, but few rigorous, case-controlled studies,” says Levine.
That said, masks can provide temporary benefits, from hydration for those with dry skin to oil-absorption for acne-prone complexions. And sheet masks — currently all the rage — provide a useful barrier to lock in moisture.
As with anything, Levine adds, be cautious, testing new products on a small area of skin before slathering it over your face. And those with severe acne or conditions, like rosacea, should check with a doctor or aesthetician before diving into the mud.
Here are eight new masks to try.
Lush FOMO Face Mask
A home facial mask can bring the refreshing, hydrating benefits of a spa treatment. Here, from Lush, the FOMO Jelly Face Mask with carrageenan, calamine and kaolin and scented with rose and neroli. At lushusa.com.
Lush Jelly Face Masks
Seaweed gives these five jellies a "squidgy texture," Lush says. Inspired by women in the company, each offers specific benefits. The 1000 Millihelens boasts anti-inflammatory green tea. FOMO has soothing calamine. Just to Clarify offers an exfoliating orange and papaya. $13.95 at Lush shops at Roosevelt Field, Walt Whitman Shops and Smith Haven Mall and lushusa.com.
Kiehl's Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask
Kiehls Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask -- new since March -- is a velvety formula that absorbs quickly (for goop-free pillows), moisturizes and is sustainably sourced by female farmers in Vietnam. Even better, the pleasant herbal scent lets you rest easy. $54 at Kiehls (including Roosevelt Field) and kiehls.com.
e.l.f. Beauty Shield Magnetic Mask
After applying the mask (infused with iron powder), you use a tiny magnet to pull it off in one plasticky sheet. Can the magnets boost circulation, as some claim? The jurys still out. Suck pores clean? Sure. Blow your mind? Definitely! $24 at e.l.f. shops and elfcosmetics.com.
Every Man Jack Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
Every Man Jack Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask helps combat oily skin with an absorbent charcoal ingredient. All masks are unisex, but sometimes manly packaging and a more masculine scent make all the difference. New on the market in February. $4 each at Target and everymanjack.com.
3-in-1 Detox Mud Mask
Honest Beauty's 3-in-1 Detox Mud Mask scores a triple play with volcanic ash to deep-clean, charcoal to absorb bacteria, and bentonite clay to soak up excess oil. The Honest beauty line is owned by actress Jessica Alba. $22 at Target and honestbeauty.com.
Dear by Renée Pomegranate Hydrating Mask
The Dear by Renée Pomegranate Hydrating Mask has an ultracomfy gel formulation that is infused with vitamin E and pomegranate seed oil to brighten and boost skin tone. New on the market in January. $49.95 at dearbyrenee.com.
Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Eye Mask
Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Eye Mask is a cooling, cream-gel hydrator that refreshes tired eyes and diminishes dark circles, thanks to Irish moss and quinoa. $38 at Clarins counters and clarinsusa.com.