7 Skin-Soothing Drugstore Face Masks That Are Dermatologist Approved
Treat your complexion to these soothing skincare products found at most drugstores.
Sure, the best things in life may be free, but skincare costs a whole lot of money. Between $350 collagen-boosting eye creams, $265 cell-stimulating face creams, and $150 gold-infused face masks–you practically need a small loan just to purchase the skincare basics found in a high-end department store.
Fortunately, we’re in the golden age of drugstore skincare innovation. These days, your local CVS, Walgreens, or Target is stocked with curated beauty brands and products from all over the world (hello, Korean beauty!). That means that most nearby drugstores are now chock-full of effective and top-rated skincare products, particularly face masks.
If you’ve got a skincare woe, your neighborhood drugstore has got the answer. But don’t just take our word for it, we asked five of the best dermatologists in the biz which masks they always rely on. Here are seven dermatologist-approved face masks you'll swear by, too.
If acne tends to go hand-in-hand with your holiday merriment (thank you sweets, alcohol, and sub-par sleep), this two-in-one cleanser and mask just might be your cure-all. “The active ingredient in this is salicylic acid, which helps to clear pores, remove dead skin, and dry up active pimples,” says Morgan Rabach, MD, a board certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical. It can be used as a cleanser or left on as a mask for more potency.
To buy: $9; walgreens.com.
In the instance of flaky, dry skin, grab this overnight mask with avocado oil for a deeply moisturizing treatment. Simply apply a layer onto skin, let it absorb for 10 minutes, then massage in the remaining product before hitting the hay. The result is noticeably more hydrated skin the following morning, according to Patricia Wexler, MD, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist.
To buy: $15; target.com.
“Hyaluronic acid is like a sponge that binds 1000 times its weight in water,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board certified dermatologist in New York. That means this humble ingredient can do some serious work to relieve parched skin, making it particularly effective during harsh winter months. That’s precisely where this Neutrogena mask comes to save the day, drenching skin in super-hydrating hyaluronic acid. But beyond its moisturizing abilities, Dr. Zeichner also likes that the sheet mask comes in two pieces—a top and bottom—so it can fit well on almost any face.
To buy: $3; walgreens.com.
It's likely you haven't thought twice about Clean & Clear since middle school, but Dr. Zeichner is a fan of the brand’s Triple Clear Cleansing Clay Mask, especially for acne-prone skin. The powerhouse in this quick mask is salicylic acid, which works wonders on oil and acne. “It helps remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to keep pores clear,” he says.
To buy: $10; cvs.com.
While this cult-status cream is known for its super-rich, hydrating qualities, it works beautifully on both skin and lips. According to Shereene Idriss, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist with Union Square Dermatology in New York, the luxe cream is ideal for basting—a technique that calls for the application of a thick, opaque layer onto the lips for 10 minutes. “It will seep through the mucus membrane while you’re getting ready,” she says. “Once it turns translucent, you can wipe off.”
To buy: $19; target.com.
"Treat your skin with kindness via an intensely calming and soothing face mask," says Y. Claire Chang, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Union Square Dermatology in New York. Exfoliating face masks can be irritating if used too frequently, so when in doubt, use a gentle option, like this derm-approved mask from the famous French drugstore staple, La Roche-Posay. The Intense Hyaluronic Acid Mask utilizes fragmented hyaluronic acid and the brand’s beloved thermal spring water to deeply hydrate while soothing. For an additional boost of calm, put the mask in the fridge 30 minutes before application.
To buy: $20; amazon.com.
For those dealing with occasional acne breakouts, try a sulfur mask. “Topical sulfur can help reduce oil and acne-causing bacteria on the skin,” says Dr. Chang. In addition to 3.5 percent sulfur, this $8 option also contains Vitamin C, copper, and zinc to help clear away dead skin cells. It also has a satisfying tingle when applied and changes from a white opaque tint to blue as you massage it into skin.
To buy: $8; walgreens.com.