Finding the best budget face mask can do wonders for your skin, but when it comes to all the different formulas, some go the extra mile (and some don’t). So how do you know when you’re getting a good ‘un? Well, the first clue is on the back of the bottle/jar/tube – the ingredients list. I know what you’re thinking, ‘you have to be a cosmetic scientist to decode those bottles’. Well, that’s just not true, there are a few tricks you can use to help you navigate the aisles of Boots. Firstly, as a general rule, it’s best to avoid added fragrances (often listed as ‘parfum’ on the ingredients label) as many can be irritating on certain skin types, and even if it doesn’t cause your complexion to flare up, perfume has no skincare benefits, so what’s the point in it?
Secondly, the ingredients list runs in order of the quantity in the product’s formula. For example, if aloe vera (often listed as ‘aloe barbadensis leaf juice’) is the first ingredient listed on the label of your soothing face mask, you know it has a very high quantity in the mask’s formula. If it’s the last ingredient on the list, you know it contains a low quantity of aloe vera. So keep an eye out for the key ingredients and whereabouts they sit on your face mask’s label.
Top 10 Best Budget Face Mask in UK for 2021
If you’re in the market for the best budget face mask, we’ve rounded up the internet’s faves here:
1. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask Mini
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Sleeping Pack works through the night to clear dirt, oil and dead skin cells from deep within the layers of the skin. The jelly-like consistency feels cooling and hydrating without being greasy, and has a delicious candy-sweet watermelon scent.
Use it on its own or alongside a clay or sheet mask as part of your weekly skincare routine. Prices for this product vary online, so you may want to compare listings to find a bargain if it’s a little expensive for you.
2. Bioderma SENSIBIO MASK
We’ll admit that French drugstores are chicer than ours stateside, and this is one of their bestsellers. If you’ve gone overboard on exfoliating or just feel a little dry, let this soothing formula calm your complexion.
It’s easy enough to apply, kinda like a cream version of a sheet mask. Immediately after removing the mask, the skin does feel hydrated and much softer and smoother. However, I find that there’s no significant improvement / difference in the skin after an hour or so – you know how after a facial or even a facial scrub you’ll notice a difference in the skin’s texture/radiance/condition for at least a day or so? Unfortunately, there’s none of that here – I’m not sure if it’s because this is for sensitive skin, and hence so mild that its effects aren’t that obvious… Anyhoos, I did try this out several times, and each time, I didn’t feel much in terms of effects – even during the application itself, I didn’t feel any sensorial benefits (i.e. no cooling sensation, no aromatherapy etc).
3. Yes To Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Mud Mask
If dullness and hyper-pigmentation have you down, reach for a mask with vitamin C, an antioxidant that naturally brightens the skin. We like this grapefruit mud mask, which is perfect for using at home or when traveling (since it’s single-use). Vitamin C, grapefruit, and pink kaolin clay work together to brighten, exfoliate, and illuminate. “It helped control my shine and did brighten up my skin. I also noticed that it minimized my pores and evened out my skin. A plus is that it left my skin soft even the day after I used it,” wrote one reviewer.
4. SkinCeuticals Phytol Corrective Masque
This rich mask is an excellent option for people with rosacea or sensitive skin. Plus, it has anti-aging benefits, says dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell. “For dry, irritated skin, the hyaluronic acid helps to restore the skin’s moisture, and the peptides help to stimulate collagen,” she explained. Campbell recommends applying it overnight to reap the benefits of the mask.
“If you ever accidentally got a sunburn, windburn or irritated skin, this would be the go-to mask,” she added. “This mask is unique in that clinical trials have shown it lowers the skin’s temperature by an average of 5% after use.”
5. Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask
If you’re willing to splurge, this is an awesome brightening mask, this sheet mask helps hydrate, brighten and illuminate the skin with a mixture of Korean herbs, licorice root extract and green tea.
One Sephora reviewer raved about the results. “Every time I remove this mask I am always amazed by now plump and glowy my skin looks. My skin feels hydrated, and it doesn’t irritate my skin,” they wrote.
6. Burt’s Bees Detoxifying Charcoal Sheet Mask
Get the gunk out with this cleansing mask. The activated charcoal draws dirt and oil out of the pores leaving your skin feeling clean without being stripped. The mask also contains honey, a natural antimicrobial that fights off acne causing bacteria and seals in moisture.
The fastest mask on the list, you only need to leave this on for 2 minutes to feel the effects. With no fragrance, phthalates, parabens, or petroleum, it’s a natural choice that works well for sensitive skin.
7. The ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
If you find yourself battling stubborn or painful pimples, masking can be a great option for not only soothing inflamed skin, but also distracting yourself from picking at any whiteheads or scabs. While searching for the perfect acne alleviating mask, it’s a good idea to search for products with star ingredients either salicylic acid and sulfur, as the experts suggest. “The 2% salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, is excellent for exfoliating and treating acne,” Dr. Hussain says. “Charcoal and clays are ingredients renowned for their deep cleansing abilities; they aid the removal of facial impurities that would otherwise remain on the skin’s surface and clog pores.”
8. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
This mask is for those who want to add a little fun to their beauty regimen. The product comes in a cute tub packaging. When you put it on, the mask will start to bubble on the skin while working its magic. This bubbly mask is made of clay and carbonated water. Based on these components alone, you know that it’ll work in detoxifying your pores.
Aside from clay and carbonated water, however, this product contains a bunch of other essential components. Ingredients like Aloe Vera, charcoal powder, and green tea extracts further nourish the skin.
It effectively cleans your pores, but it does so in an interesting manner. After about 5 minutes of tingly foaming, you’d have to massage the mask all over your face to melt off dirt and sebum. This may be fun for some, but others are not open to the feeling. The mask could also trigger adverse reactions for sensitive skin types. It’s best to try it out first before committing to the full jar.
9. LA ROCHE-POSAY Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Mask
Treat your skin with kindness via an intensely calming and soothing face mask,” says Y. Claire Chang, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Union Square Dermatology in New York. Exfoliating face masks can be irritating if used too frequently, so when in doubt, use a gentle option, like this derm-approved mask from the famous French drugstore staple, La Roche-Posay. The Intense Hyaluronic Acid Mask utilizes fragmented hyaluronic acid and the brand’s beloved thermal spring water to deeply hydrate while soothing. For an additional boost of calm, put the mask in the fridge 30 minutes before application.
10. Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask
If acne tends to go hand-in-hand with your holiday merriment (thank you sweets, alcohol, and sub-par sleep), this two-in-one cleanser and mask just might be your cure-all. “The active ingredient in this is salicylic acid, which helps to clear pores, remove dead skin, and dry up active pimples,” says Morgan Rabach, MD, a board certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical. It can be used as a cleanser or left on as a mask for more potency.
How to choose a suitable face mask
- Ingredients. With all skin care, you want it to do something. So, we chose masks with dermatologist approved, effective ingredients.
- Lack of ingredients. These masks don’t have parabens, mineral oils, and ingredients that might irritate the skin.
- Customer Reviews. Each mask has many (usually hundreds or thousands) of glowing real customer reviews.
Because so many different brands make them now, they also come in a dizzying variety of pricesThese are our favorite picks for every budget. Go ahead and slap one on, relax for a few minutes, and, of course, snap a selfie.