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Woman looking in bathroom mirror and putting on beauty face mask
Stocksy
Stocksy

Magical Face Masks You Can Buy At A Drugstore

Transform your skin without draining your wallet.

Face masks, the remarkably hideous gunky products that we slap on our faces in an effort to give ourselves a Costco-size transformation in 15 minutes or less, have become TikTok’s golden goose.

Made from simple ingredients like salicylic acid, vitamin E and often vitamin C, these have been around since the 19th century (originally deemed a “toilet mask”). But those days of mixing bananas, honey and sometimes beer into a bowl, slapping it onto your face and critically analyzing the magical results are long gone. Handmade masks have been traded in for $275 tubs  of lifting and firming sorcery and $445 glass bottles of revitalizing caviar creme gelée. Take heart, there’s still help for us mortals.

We spoke with dermatologists who reassured us that revolutionary face masks can still be found at a nearby pharmacy. And so, like the pennywise yet skin-care-loving creatures we most definitely are, we tried them. And gosh darn it if we don’t look younger, beautiful, wrinkle-free and revitalized. 

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hydrogel Mask

This gel mask restores hydration to the skin and promotes moisture retention, says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist. “It provides the ultimate in hydration, leaving skin feeling supple and soft,” she says. The mask is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. As an added bonus, it’s 100 percent hydrogel material, eliminating the fuss associated with peeling your face mask off a sheet of paper (or is that just us?). $3

Best for: dry, sensitive and normal skin 

Cetaphil Pro Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Mask

You’ve probably had Cetaphil recommended to you by every single dermatologist when you’ve asked for an inexpensive cleansing option. So, it’s probably no surprise that their face mask is also a winner. The bentonite and lanolin clay helps to gently exfoliate skin and clear out any sebum, dead skin cells and debris that may clog your pores — without drying out your skin, Green says. The mask is effective for cleansing out the pores and still gentle enough for sensitive skin. “The mask is formulated with apple extract to provide a nourishing effect, leaving skin feeling supple and ultra-clean,” she says. $11

Best for: oily skin

No. 7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Boost Sheet Mask

It’s formulated with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to deliver softer, smoother skin and a more even and youthful overall complexion. Vitamin C is a powerhouse of a skin-care ingredient, helping to combat the effects of harmful free radicals from the environment and boosting the amount of collagen production in the skin, Green says. Vitamin C not only helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, but also can soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Combining this ingredient with hyaluronic acid, which helps to promote moisture retention in the skin and strengthens the skin’s natural protective barrier, makes for a face mask that is a total overachiever. $6

Best for: improving overall tone and texture

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask

Charcoal draws out impurities, and this mask is known to detoxify and brighten, using three types of clay plus charcoal to purify skin to glowing perfection, says Alexis Parcells, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Sunnie Wrinkle Reducing Studio. $10

Best for: acne-prone skin

Ebanel Hyaluronic Collagen Sheet Mask

This natural sheet mask helps to boost skin cell turnover and regeneration, Parcells says. It’s made from plant-derived stem cell extracts, hyaluronic acid and peptides, plus vitamins C and E, aloe vera, tomato, edelweiss and purslane extract. “It’s known to moisturize and hydrate your skin, leaving it softer, smoother and healthier,” she says. “This beauty face mask helps reduce redness and blemishes, treats acne and inflammation, and soothes your skin.” $12 for 10-pack

 Best for: improving fine lines and aging

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