According to Reviews, These $25-and-Under Face Masks Might Rival a $200 Facial

April 24, 2020 at 05:00AM


Face masks are one of those pesky categories of skincare that practically beg us to pull out our credit cards and start swiping with zero abandon. Not only does packaging seem to get prettier and prettier (conveniently in tandem with our bank accounts getting tinier and tinier), but the benefits, technology, and overall allure of face masks are also increasing at a rapid rate. Ingredients are getting more exotic, and suddenly, the tempting nature of additions like crushed diamonds, 24-karat gold, exfoliating acids, superfoods—heck, even things like adaptogens and CBD—make forking over $50, $100, or even $200-plus seem like the norm. But of course, it doesn’t have to be.

Sure, there are plenty heart-stoppingly expensive face masks we love and salivate over, but the quality of drugstore beauty offerings has also reached a steep incline in the past few years. For $25 and under, you can still satisfy your craving for lust-worthy ingredients like volcanic crystals, lavender oils, and manuka honey but at a fraction of the cost.

We’re big fans of customizing your skincare routine so you’re getting the best, most bang-for-your-buck results regarding your skin concerns, and we’re here to tell you that there are some best-selling, high-quality drugstore formulas that we recommend (and use!) as beauty editors and that have the sky-scraping reviews to back them up. So if you’re looking to save some extra money this season, we recommend scrolling ahead to peruse 16 of the best drugstore face masks, sorted by skin concern and sealed with their impressive retail rating status.

I receive face masks for testing and review almost on a daily basis, but I still pick up this mask from the drugstore whenever my acne-prone skin flares up. I used this salicylic- and charcoal-infused formula before I was a beauty editor, and I plan on using it until the day Yes To stops making it, which I hope is never.  Rating on Ulta: 4.4 stars and 122 reviews

SheaMoisture sometimes flies under the radar, but the brand makes some of the friendliest formulas for our faces and bank accounts. This strategic blend utilizes African black soap and calming raw shea butter to simultaneously rebalance, detoxify, and soothe blemish-prone skin.  Rating on Walmart: 4.5 stars and 1993 reviews 

Spiked with skin-refining ingredients like strawberry and rosemary, this drugstore face mask from Formula 10.0.6 is designed to de-stress clogged pores so you reap an instantaneous and gratifying glow. Plus, it will set you back less than a daily coffee habit (at least by L.A. standards). Rating on Ulta: 4.2 stars and 774 reviews

This clarifying clay mask is one of those underground dark horses that pretty much every beauty editor and celebrity has hiding somewhere in their stash of skin-saving products. It’s one of those formulas you reach for when you simply need something that works—fast. It’s made from 100% natural bentonite clay and essentially slurps every last inch of crud from your pores. That said, it can be mildly irritating (again, this is the no-BS antidote!), so don’t leave it on longer than five to 10 minutes, and a bit of redness is to be expected.  Rating on Amazon: 4.4 stars and 16,236 reviews


Honey is known as one of Mother Nature’s skin-friendliest ingredients, especially for those seeking a hard hit of hydration. Paired with delicate lavender oil, reviewers say this drugstore face mask imparts skin-refreshing moisture while still being gentle. In other words, this is a great option if you’re on the more sensitive side of the skin spectrum! Rating on Ulta: 4.5 stars and 29 reviews

Pacifica has a wide offering of really nice skin-saving masks that honestly feel about 10 times more expensive than their actual price, but this formula, in particular, is one of its best sellers. Especially great for parched skin, it’s a creamy, overnight formula, which means you’ll wake up with a rejuvenated, ultra-dewy complexion thanks to a jam-packed roster of antioxidants, extracts, and essential lipids.  Rating on Ulta: 4.5 stars and 204 reviews

We’re big fans of multitasking facial products, and this mask-scrub hybrid satisfies the craving easily at just $9. It’s made with 99% naturally derived ingredients; it’s vegan and cruelty-free; and thanks to skin-improving ingredients like apricot seed, it leaves dull dehydrated skin with an immediately noticeable glow. Rating on Walgreens: 4.6 stars and 890 reviews 

Nope, that’s not a typo. This hydration-boosting sheet mask is actually $3. But wait: It gets better. The noncomedogenic formula (so yes, it plays well with blemish-prone skin, too!) features hyaluronic acid and improves the skin’s moisture levels thanks to the 100% hydrogel material, which holds the power of a bottle’s worth of serum per mask.  Rating on Walgreens: 4.2 stars and 186 reviews

For those suffering from dull and drab skin, this diamond-infused peel-off mask will be your vanity’s new MVP. Simply leave it on for 20 minutes, and let the epic combination of pearl powder (exfoliation!), diamond powder (radiance!), rice bran extract (vitamins!), and oat (antioxidants!) do its thing.  Rating on Ulta: 4.4 stars and 454 reviews

This drugstore face mask consistently gets some of the highest reviews and praise across all of our favorite retailers. It’s meant to detoxify and brighten, utilizing three different kinds of clay plus charcoal to purify skin to glowing perfection.  Rating on Walmart: 4.5 stars and 10,595 reviews

To get glowing skin fast, this best-of-the-best drugstore mask comes in clutch. It helps boost radiance in just five minutes and also helps ramp up exfoliation so your complexion will look and feel smoother and more even in the long run, too. Its hero ingredients include AHA acids from blueberry, sugar cane, maple sugar, orange, and lemon; and volcanic rocks and mineralizing thermal water help clear and rebalance pores with protection and moisture.  Rating on Amazon: 4.1 stars and 183 reviews

Exfoliation is the most important thing when it comes to transforming dull, glowless skin, and this drugstore-priced mask is a top seller at Ulta for that reason precisely. One part scrub, one part mask, it features activated charcoal to suck out excess oil and impurities (without removing essential hydration) while black sugar gently removes dead skin cells that hinder your chances for radiant skin.  Rating on Ulta: 4.4 stars and 1182 reviews

My mom—who’s 71—swears by No7’s variety of anti-aging serums and masks, and this sheet mask, in particular, gets a lot of love from satisfied reviewers. For an on-the-fly pick-me-up, this lifting and luminosity-enhancing sheet mask boasts seven days worth of age-defying serum ingredients, but you only have to keep it on your face for 20 minutes. It includes the brand’s most effective anti-wrinkle peptide technology—think Matrixyl 3000, hyaluronic acid, hibiscus, and vitamin C—for an affordable skin glow.  Rating on Walgreens: 4.5 stars and 145 reviews

While it might be on the spendier side for a drugstore face mask, this intense formula from L’OrĂ©al is well worth the extra investment. Luxurious and hydrating, it boasts a unique Elasti-flex texture, which virtually mimics the skin’s natural elasticity and is the first nighttime treatment to combine Pro-Xylane (a concentrated super ingredient) with botanical extract Centella asiatica. It helps to re-firm and tighten facial contours while also diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.  Rating on Walgreens: 4.3 stars and 3744 reviews

For those who don’t like sheet masks and don’t like the inevitable drippage and mess of creams and gels, this peel-off mask is a game changer. It does pretty much everything under the sun to give your complexion some TLC, including but not limited to flooding the skin with protective and preventative antioxidants, gentle exfoliation (thanks AHAs!), and reparative vitamin E. Rating on Ulta: 4.5 stars and 530 reviews

Ample hydration is essential if you’re looking to slow down the visible aging process and stave off fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, among other concerns. This overnight moisturizing pick from Burt’s Bees, however, can take care of that! It’s one of our forever-favorite drugstore beauty brands, and we love that this hearty mask is filled to the gills with skin-loving ingredients like avocado oil, prebiotics, and other superfruits rich in healthy fatty acids.  Rating on Amazon: 4.3 stars and 29 reviews. Next up: 17 Sneaky Things Facialists Say Secretly Sabotage Your Chance at Perfect Skin. This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Author Erin Jahns | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC