A watched charcoal mask never dries: this is a proverb anyone who has ever slathered their face in gritty, grey clay knows all too well. And those overnight masks? They’re probably doing more to soften the fibers of your pillowcase than your face. But by the same token, masks that promise to make over your face and deliver it from inflammation, dullness, and dryness in less than 20 minutes are more often than not a layer of lies.
That’s why we’ve created a list of five masks that are for-real, not-messing-around, lifesavers when you find yourself in the throes of unexpected skin issues mere minutes before you need to head out the door to work, happy hour, an important interview, a Bumble date, your first election campaign meeting for city council, a road trip that will be over Instagrammed by all your friends, etc.
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True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask: If you think that natural skincare lines are nice in theory but not as effective as conventional brands, may we direct you to True Botanicals. While we’re super fans of other items in their line, this mask is borderline witchcraft in how quickly it illuminates and exfoliates. Packed with lactic acid, but softened with avocado butter as an emollient, it is indeed so potent that you can get by with just three minutes of quality time. It’s also the only face mask we would ever suggest dropping $90 for.
Mizon Enjoy Vital-Up Time Nourishing Sheet Mask: For those days your skin looks and feels about as comfortable as a cheap wool sweater, this mask will bring it back to microfleece softeness stat all for $3.50.
Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask: While this is still a traditional clay mask, albeit in a pretty shade of millennial pink, Origins has perfected their formula so it dries quickly and washes off painlessly revealing a drastic reduction in blackheads and roughness.
Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask: The instructions say 20 minutes, but there have been many times this hyper-moisturizing mask has saved face in 10 minutes or less. Just tissue off the excess and massage in the rest of the remaining product in as a base under makeup or for a bare-faced glow.
Caolion Blackhead Steam Pore Pack Premium: Once a cult Korean charcoal mask, you can now find Caolion at Target thanks to Peach and Lily. This is the equivalent of renting a Rug Doctor carpet steamer machine at the grocery store for your face.