Best face masks for men 2021: from peels to sheet masks and clay to gels

We've reviewed the best face masks for men with dry or oily (or both) skin

Best face masks for men

We now live in a world where we have a plethora of face masks to choose from, promising a multitude of solutions for all skin concerns. It’s a booming market with no sign of it slowing as men and women indulge in a little down time and TLC. 

The signs of a hectic and tiring lifestyle are often visible in your face, so a few minutes spent giving your skin a little extra attention can help banish the signs of your burning the candle at both ends! 

Looking for the kind of face mask that's made of fabric? Head to our guide to where to buy face masks

We asked Dr Daron Seukeran, Group Medical Director for sk:n what to be cautious of when using a mask.

“If it contains any irritant substance, such as glycolic acid, this can lead to irritant dermatitis. The substance might not irritate in the short duration, but if left on the skin too long it can cause redness, itching and dryness.

"It’s always recommended to use a moisturiser after a face mask, and make sure you stay within the guideline timings of the product to avoid any issues!”

How to shop for the right face mask 

Before you begin to self diagnose your skin problems (should you have any) you need to identify your skin type. 

  • Dry - when your skin saps all the moisture and fun out of everything. Expect flaky ness, fine lines and a slightly rough texture. 
  • Oily - when your sebaceous glands are the gift that keeps on giving. 
  • Combination - when your skin doesn’t want to be tied to one type. Oily in some patches (usually the central T zone), dry in others. You have your work cut out for you but there’s always multi-masking! Sensitive - when your skin is easily offended by a multitude of ingredients; you need to tread carefully.

Once you’ve got that sussed, you can understand how to manage it best. We’re spoilt for choice with mask types from peels to sheet masks, clay masks to gels. 

If you’ve not got many concerns, then a good hydrating mask or exfoliating mask is always a safe bet for healthy skin. 

That in mind, clay masks work best for managing oily skin and masks enriched with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) are best for dry, dehydrated skin.

The best for dry skin 

1. Tom Ford For Men Purifying Mud Mask

Reasons to buy
+Smells great+Non-drying
Reasons to avoid
-A bit messy 

It’s what we think Louis Litt’s mudding is like in bottle form. Indulgent, relaxing and just ‘good, clean,mud’. It’s gentle and non-drying so skin feels refreshed and hydrated, you’ll notice a change in colour as it works to draw out impurities, but the results are spot on. 

2. Givenchy hydra sparkling

Reasons to buy
+Only takes five minutes+Noticeably improves skin’s appearance and texture

You expect the ultimate in luxury from this household name and it doesn’t fail to deliver. It’s like liquid satin to touch - incredibly soft and indulgent. The texture is like a fine, dense foam with a subtle scent. It feels cooling on application and leaves skin feeling plump and quenched after one use. 

3. Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque

Reasons to buy
+Skin feels smoother and cleaner 
Reasons to avoid
-If left on too long, it can be drying and hard to remove-It is quite messy to use 

Turmeric seems to be the buzzword on the health scene these day and whilst this mask is a shock to the eyes, the vibrant turmeric and cranberry seed concoction will buff away lacklustre skin to reveal a brighter and more refined complexion. The cranberry seeds exfoliate your skin to give you a smoother, more refined texture banishing the dullness of dry skin. 

4. Patchology hydrate flashmasque

Reasons to buy
+Takes only five minutes+Four in a pack+Good for sensitive skin
Reasons to avoid
-We can’t fault it! 

Because sometimes, when your skin is parched, all you need is to soak it in a drenched sheet mask packed with HA and Vitamin E. Thankfully with this Patchology sheet mask, you only need five minutes for it to work its magic and you’ll notice skin is plumper, softer and brighter. Five minutes and thirsty skin is a thing of the past. After removing it, gently massage the residue into your skin and reap the rewards. 

5. Gazelli White Oil Saviour Mask

Reasons to buy
+Very subtle fragrance+Noticeably improves skin’s texture
Reasons to avoid
-Takes up to 15 minutes 

With a rich, smooth texture, this Gazelli face mask is an all-round winner for dry skin. The luxurious texture seeps into skin over 15 minutes, nourishing it with an injection of HA and antioxidants (including Fig extract and Rosehip Oil). It will put a spring back in your skin and inject life back into a once-dull complexion. Be sure to work it into your face and neck.

The best for problem skin

1. Bulldog oil control face mask

Reasons to buy
+Helps manage oil production+Takes only five minutes
Reasons to avoid
-Left on too long can be overly drying

We love that this product is so impactful, with one use noticeably managing oily skin thanks to the addition of Kaolin. It smells fresh and clean and after just five minutes you’ll have a shine-free face, though, depending on just how much oil you’re harvesting on your face may require you to use it more frequently than once a week. 

2. nügg Charcoal & Vitamin C Peel Off Mask

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Takes 15-20 minutes to set 

There’s something ultimately satisfying about a peel off mask, and thankfully this one is mostly pain-free! Tackling congestion, it purges pores of grime and impurities, as it peels away with ease for a clearer complexion. We love how it targets excess oil without sapping all the moisture from your skin. A good one for oily and combination skin! 

3. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Reasons to buy
+Great for tackling blackheads 
Reasons to avoid
-Slight tingling sensation

We are big fans of Murad here at T3 and this 10 minute peel is enriched with AHAs (glycolic) to give a gentle chemical exfoliation, which encourages cell turnover and natural exfoliation, revealing a healthier, more even complexion. Be wary not to leave it on for longer than the recommended 10 minutes.

4. eCooking Peeling Mask

Reasons to buy
+All natural ingredients+Effectively exfoliates
Reasons to avoid
-Overpowering smell -Short term redness 

A fun, peeling mask which delivers in a number of ways: exfoliating, refining and replenishing. It’s formulated with all-natural ingredients, including AHA (Glycolic) and BHA (Salicylic) as well as Vitamin E to fight free radicals. Be warned: we’d advise you use this product before bed and not leave on too long as it does cause redness on some (which does calm  down) and the smell is a bit overpowering.

5. Palmers enzyme mask

Reasons to buy
+Good for sensitive skin+Leaves skin tangibly smoother and softer

What’s not to like about smothering your face in a smooth cocoa butter face mask! It smells great, feels great and delivers excellent results. The Kaolin clay draws out impurities and helps balance oil levels, whilst the vitamin E battles free radicals.