These days, when you hear "face mask" it brings to mind a certain type of mask—one that rouses anxiety and surfaces pandemic-era stress. But there are the other types of face masks, of the skincare variety, that have quite the opposite effect. It’s the skin-soothing, calm-inducing sheet masks that work to firm fine lines, awaken skin, brighten complexion, and even cleanse acne-prone or oily complexions.
Sheet masks can do a variety of things, whether they target hydration or exfoliation, or provide some combination of these (and other) effects. They’re a terrific once-weekly (or 2x) addition to your regimen, almost like a targeted treatment for whichever goal you’ve got in mind. Think of them as mega moisturizers or pore cleansers — kind of like the topical masks you apply by hand (most of which are cleansing). These sheet masks typically use some kind of serum that settles into your skin over the duration of wear (typically 15-20 minutes), and that works correctively deep within the layers of the skin to generate results — some of them instant, some of them overnight, some of them part of a long-term skin-firming or -clearing strategy.
Individually you can find them for a few bucks, or in packs of 4-10, with prices ranging anywhere from $2-20 per mask (depending on the brand and the offering). Below are our most relied-upon picks, the best sheet masks for men, and for anyone, really.
We love many things about Jaxon Lane’s sheet masks (but the name "Bro Mask" not entirely…). First, its recipe is phenomenal, with moisture-absorbing hyaluronic acid, skin-brightening Vitamin C, nourishing Vitamin E, texture-smoothing niacinamide, as well as skin-firming peptides and hydrolyzed collagen. On top of that, these masks are separated into two pieces, so that guys with lots of facial hair don’t have to wear them all dangly over the face. You can use the bottom half, too, so don’t toss it. Just swipe it into your beard away (if you can reach the skin), or else target your neck, shoulders, hands, chin, jaw, ears, etc.
SK-II’s secret sauce is Pitera, which is a nutrient-dense ingredient derived from a fermentation process. It’s chock full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and natural acids, though SK-II is a bit mum on the exact formula, given that it’s practically liquid gold. That’s why these sheet masks are a few shelves higher than the rest, and why it’ll look like you paid for an expensive and instant-glow facial with each use.
Mediheal makes so many types of sheet masks, for a variety of uses, and this variety pack is a great way to try 6 of them at just $2 a pop. There’s one each for intense hydration, blemish control, lifting and firming, dryness relief, detox and brightening, and tightening. You can find your favorites and buy them in bulk, then deploy them as needed, when needed, without breaking the bank.
ZitSticka’s entire assortment is geared at keeping pores clear, whether with cystic-acne-busting spot treatments, SPF serums, or exfoliating sheet masks like these. The hero ingredient is salicylic acid, which seeps into your pores to dissolve dead skin cells and grime buildup, thus preventing breakouts. It also works in tandem with hyaluronic acid and allantoin to put your brightest, most hydrated, and very soothed face forward. (And it comes in two separate masks, for the bearded consumers amongst us.)
Instead of breaking the mask into two sheets for the bearded guys, Cardon took things a step further and made a mask specifically for those individuals — and even included a beard-treatment oil packet in the top half of each vessel. This way, your lower half gets the targeted nourishment (for skin and hair alike) that it demands, with key hydrating oils like argan and jojoba, while bamboo charcoal detoxifies and hydrates the non-hairy half of the face (with skin-smoothing niacinamide and soothing cactus extract).
Wolf Project’s moisturizing masks wow with a trifecta of key ingredients: complexion-smoothing niacinamide, pore-detoxing bamboo charcoal, and hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid. I like using them in the morning, on a day I have a big meeting, or the night before if I had a few too many drinks and anticipate a soggy reflection the next morning. My only strike against them would be that they’re a full-face sheet (like others on the list), so it’s hard to press into a bearded lower half. Still, that dangly lower half can be snipped away (up across the mouth line) and used as a wipe to hydrate other above-the-shoulder parts, like the neck and chin—and even the beard itself.