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10 Budget Face Masks That’ll Actually Improve Your Skin

A woman wears a clay mask, another woman wears under eye patches, and a third woman applies a blue mask to her cheeks.
COSRX/Patchology/Dear, Klairs

As much as some of us might want to cruise the aisles of Sephora and grab whatever we want, not all of our wallets will allow it. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality skin care, though. In fact, if face masks are your weekend jam, there are tons of affordable (and effective) options out there.

Whether you use face masks regularly or are looking to incorporate them into your routine, it’s easy to do so on a budget. From options that work their magic while you sleep to quick and easy hydration, there’s a mask out there for everyone that won’t break the bank.

Best Drugstore Option: Neutrogena Hydrogel Mask

A sheet mask sits next to a moisturizer, and a woman applies a sheet mask.

Want an easily accessible, quality mask option? Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is available widely at most drugstores, and even some grocery stores.

This affordable mask is designed to impart maximum hydration and is infused with a hyaluronic acid serum, which is a humectant that helps hydrate skin and attract more moisture to it.

Perhaps the most interesting part about this mask, though, is its construction. It’s made of a hydrogel material that holds 50% more serum than your average cotton or paper sheet mask. Thanks to its jelly-like texture, it also easily conforms to your face and stays there, while you let your skin soak in all of that awesome hydrating serum.

Best Drugstore Option

Best Overnight Option: Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask

A tube of mask sits on a circular background, and several tubes are set up together.

Let this mask do all the hard work as you head off to dreamland. Pacifica’s Wake Up Beautiful is designed to restore irritated, dry skin while you sleep. You don’t even have to worry about staining your pillow because the formula isn’t greasy or sticky.

Just apply the mask as the last step of your nighttime skin care routine, and it’ll go to work. Lipids help repair the moisture barrier and nourish skin, while antioxidants battle the inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to premature aging.

Best Overnight Option

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask

It's like a facial while you sleep.

Best for Acne: COSRX Pink Poreless Clarifying Charcoal Mask

A woman wears a clay mask and a clay mask is inside a tub.

A charcoal mask is a great choice for those with acne-prone skin, and this option from COSRX is particularly useful. Plus, it changes from pink to gray as you wear it!

This mask features pink calamine capsules that help soothe the irritation caused by any acne breakouts or post-blemish inflammation. This same ingredient also helps control oil production.

Meanwhile, the charcoal steadily works to deep clean and purify your pores and clear out any gunk or dirt, which also makes them appear smaller. Salicylic acid also assists with unclogging pores and fighting active breakouts.

Best for Acne

COSRX Pink Pore Clarifying Charcoal Mask

Soothes irritation, balances oil production, and unclogs pores.

Best for Brightening: Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Face Mask

A dollop of mask is on a surface, and a tub of mask.

Whether it’s the hyperpigmentation caused by acne or dark spots from sun damage, if you’re looking for a mask that’ll brighten your complexion, Bliss’ Mighty Marshmallow is it.

The texture alone is reason enough to buy this mask. The whipped, cushion-like formula is so comfortable and feels ultra-hydrating thanks to the inclusion of marshmallow root extract. As the latter hydrates, vitamin C helps prevent any damage from free radicals and brightens your skin for a glowing complexion.

Citrus, eucalyptus, and pine oils help tone your skin and add an extra boost of nourishment. Of course, if you’re skin is sensitive to essential oils, you’ll want to skip this one.

Best for Brightening

Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Face Mask

It's like wearing a cloud on your face.

Best for Under-Eye: Patchology Serve Chilled Rosé Eye Gels

A woman wears eye gel patches while eating a strawberry, and eye gels are placed on a table filled with pink glasses and strawberries.

Don’t forget about that under-eye area! Many standard masks aren’t designed to be used there. You can, however, use patches, like these from Patchology, while the rest of your face gets a different treatment.

They utilize hyaluronic acid to provide a boost of hydration to make fine lines appear plumper over time. Reservatrol and strawberry extract work together to diminish the appearance of dark circles. You can also pop these in the fridge first for a cool blast to help alleviate puffiness.

Best for Under-Eye

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dear, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream

A tub of moisturizer sits on a counter, and a woman applies a blue cream to her face.
Dear, Klairs

Sensitive skin can be difficult to treat, and that’s why we’re taking a different approach with this mask category. Dear, Klairs’ Midnight Blue Calming Cream is technically a treatment, but we’re including it for overnight use.

This spot cream treatment can help soothe and nourish particularly inflamed spots, like breakouts or sunburned areas. However, it’s gentle enough to be used all over your face. Try it as the last step in your nighttime skin care routine (you’ll want to use a moisturizer first for hydration).

The cream includes guaiazulene, a plant-based ingredient derived from chamomile, that helps soothe skin. Meanwhile, Centella Asiatica will help to heal and regenerate your skin, and even target potential scarring.

Best for Sensitive Skin

Dear, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream

Soothes irritated skin overnight.

Best for Oily Skin: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

A person mixes a clay mask.
Aztec Secret

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask. You mix this one up yourself, so it takes a bit of work, but it’ll be totally worth it.

The powder is made from bentonite clay, which helps draw impurities out of the skin and control oil production. Because it’s a powder and comes in a sizable portion, it can also be used on the body or crafted into a hair mask to deal with oily scalp.

Best for Oily Skin

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Control oil anywhere with this multi-use mask.

Best Set: I Dew Care Let’s Get Sheet Faced Pack

A woman holds sheet masks up to her facee, and a person fans out sheet masks.

If you want to experiment with different masks on a budget, the I DEW CARE mask pack is the perfect solution.

Each set features a whopping 14 masks for a full two weeks’ worth of skin care. There are several different packs you can choose from, as well, depending on the areas or issues you want to target. You can focus on brightening, hydrating, calming, firming, and more.

If variety is what you’re looking for, this set is for you.

Best Set

Best Exfoliating: Skin Food Black Sugar Mask

A tub of mask sits among brown sugar cubes.
Skin Food

Looking for a mask that’ll smooth your skin without stripping the moisture? Meet Skin Food’s Black Sugar Mask. As stated in the name, this mask uses tiny granules of sugar to exfoliate and slough off dead skin cells, leaving behind a smoother surface.

While some exfoliating masks might leave your skin feeling dry, the glycerin, macadamia seed oil, and shea butter in this product will help nourish your complexion.

Best Exfoliating

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask

Get baby-smooth skin in just 15 minutes.

Best Hydrating: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask

A woman applies a face mask, and a face mask container sits among cotton pads.
First Aid Beauty

Turns out, oatmeal is the secret to hydrated skin—according to First Aid Beauty, that is. The brand is known for its use of colloidal oatmeal to soothe and hydrate skin, and for good reason. However, there are studies that support this.

This mask also contains antioxidants to protect and replenish your skin, along with shea butter which provides vitamins and essential fatty acids. If you just need a quick boost of quality hydration, this mask is for you.

Best Hydrating

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask

Soothes and hydrates in just 10 minutes.

While we all enjoy splurging on beauty products from time to time, our pocketbooks aren’t always up to the task. If you’re tightening your spending, but still need quality skin care, one (or a few) of these face masks is sure to suit your needs and your budget.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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