What's the best face mask for acne, dry skin or fine lines?
They've become one of the most popular trends in recent years. Katie Wright asks pros to select top picks for all complexions
Looking back on beauty trends that have exploded in the last couple of years, face masks are certainly one of the biggest and our desire for at-home treatments shows no sign of slowing down.
Superdrug reports that sales of sheet masks have leapt by 11835% in the first half of 2018 compared to the second half of last year, and the #maskie (that's a mask selfie for the uninitiated) has become an Instagram favourite for celebrities and mere mortals alike.
It's thanks to the 'K beauty' trend that masks have gone viral (sheet masks are an important part of the Korean skincare routine), as consumers have come to realise the benefits of applying a weekly treatment.
But with so many different products now on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.
Sheet or mud? Foaming or rubber? To help find out the answers to these crucial questions, we asked the experts for their advice on picking a mask to suit your skin's needs. Here's what they had to say ...
If you want to: Moisturise dry skin
If you want to deeply cleanse your skin without drying it out, Elsie Rutterford, co-founder of BYBI Beauty, recommends mixing your own mask with honey.
"BYBI Detox Dust is a 100% natural, vegan-friendly blend of activated charcoal and kaolin clay that sucks out toxins and impurities," she says.
"We like to add a spoonful of runny honey to the powder. Honey is a natural humectant, so as well as working with the Detox Dust to draw out nasties, it will then help retain moisture leaving skin hydrated and glowing."
Try this: BYBI Beauty Detox Dust, £22, ASOS
If you want to: Brighten dull skin
"Dry masks deliver beauty from the inside out," says Nannette de Gaspe, who pioneered the dry sheet mask technology with her eponymous luxury brand and has now launched Miss de Gaspe, a more affordable range of masks.
Including the Brighten & Beam mask, which targets dull and lacklustre skin, the fabric sheets are infused with actives.
"Our ground-breaking biomimetic micro-vector technology delivers a high concentration of active ingredients (over 83%) to multiple layers of the epidermis, creating a reservoir of formulation under the skin and nourishing it upward and outward," adds Nannette.
Try this: Miss de Gaspe Brighten & Beam Brightening & Revitalizing Dry Mask, £30, Selfridges
If you want to: Treat acne
"Finding the right face mask can help kill blemishes deep under the skin's surface before they become a problem, and minimise the redness and size of existing spots," says Lisa de-la-Plain, co-founder and beauty therapist at Beauty Flash.
"Applying a thin layer of Dermalogica's Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask to a clean face, two to three times a week, will help combat breakouts. It's a unique mask that transforms into an active fizzing formula to clear pores and target blackheads.
"Your skin should feel tightened and toned after a single use, helping to remove excess oil, reduce the size of pores and remove impurities."
Try this: Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask, £19.50, BeautyFlash
If you want to: Mattify oily skin
"While putting clay or mud on your face may seem odd at first, face masks containing these miracle natural wonders will be deeply cleansing for oily or normal skin," de-la-Plain explains.
"Naturally cooling on the skin, both clay and mud help to repair sun damage, combat acne and remove impurities from your pores."
Try this: Starskin Silkmud Pink French Clay Purifying Liftaway Mud Face Sheet Mask, £8.50, FeelUnique
If you want to: Smoothe fine lines
"If fine lines and wrinkles are causing you worry, a smoothing and firming formula will do just the trick," de-la-Plain says.
"Decleor Prolagene Lift Lifting Flash Mask contains iris essential oil to help combat the effects of time while preserving the skin's integrity.
"Iris Pallida leaves have the unique ability to encourage a tighter, firmer, more youthful look. It also has a moisturising capability too, softening and plumping the skin."
Try this: Decleor Prolagene Lift Lifting Flash Mask, £50, BeautyFlash