Yes, You Can Find A Perfect Face Mask at the Drugstore

You'll want to buy these in bulk.

A collage of the best drugstore face masks.
(Image credit: Future)

A good face mask can treat your skin like its never been treated before, delivering potent ingredients to boost hydration, detox your pores, or soothe irritation. Masks come in various formulations, from clay masks (Kourtney Kardashian swears by Aztec Secret—and we do too) and sheet masks to pricey LED light therapy masks. And if you want to reap the benefits of face masks while staying on a budget? Head to the drugstore skincare section, where you can find an option for every concern at a price that doesn't blow you away.

"It is possible to get quality skincare at an affordable price—you just need to know what you are addressing in your skin and the ingredients you will need to get results," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Purvisha J. Patel, M.D. "Drugstore face masks are generally more affordable compared to high-end options. Set a budget that you're comfortable with and look for masks within that price range."

Since there are so many drugstore face masks on the market, we asked board-certified dermatologists to share their favorites—and the benefits they boast. We also threw in a couple of beauty editors' tried-and-true selections. Screenshot this list before your next drugstore run and let the at-home spa nights begin.

What to Look For in a Drugstore Face Mask

  • Skin Type

The first factor to consider when shopping for a drugstore face mask is your skin type. Having oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin impacts what kind of formula you should be looking for to maximize results and minimize potential side effects. (For example, if you have sensitive skin and you use a mask meant for oil control, you may experience skin dehydration and flaking.)

"Every face mask is not universal for all skin types, so be careful when choosing," says aesthetician Erica Marie Gatt. If you need help deciding, the best person to ask is a professional, who will "provide you with a clear understanding of what would work for your skin and what could potentially cause redness, inflammation or breakouts." And always, always patch test.

  • Ingredients

"When choosing a face mask for skin health, it’s important to be wary of potential allergens and irritants in the ingredients," notes Dr. Azza Halim, M.D. who specializes in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine. "Look out for harsh chemicals, fragrances, and preservatives that could cause irritation or allergic reactions."

As for ingredients you actually want? Gatt was kind enough to give us a cheat sheet. For dry skin, she recommends a mask with hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C is for an uneven skin tone, charcoal for congestion, peptides, to plump, and retinol if you're going for a youthful appearance.

  • Texture

Dr. Patel also advises you to "consider the texture and application process of the face mask." Some come in sheet form while others are creamy or gel-like—and there's nothing worse than thinking you're getting a sheet and realizing you have to apply the goop manually.

"Choose a texture that you find comfortable and easy to apply. Additionally, consider the time required for the mask to work its magic," she says. "Some masks can be left on for a few minutes, while others may need to be left on overnight."

The Best Drugstore Face Masks

Other Drugstore Face Masks We Recommend

Why Choose a Drugstore Face Mask?

There are good reason why the drugstore face mask aisle continues to grow.

"Drugstore face masks became popular quickly due to their accessibility, affordability, and convenience," shares Dr. Halim. "Additionally, drugstore face masks are usually more affordable compared to high-end options, allowing people to experiment with different products without breaking the bank. Their convenience, often packaged in single-use sachets or tubes, makes them appealing for those seeking quick and easy skincare solutions."

A woman wearing a sheet mask with cucumber slices over her eyes.

This could so, so easily be you.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can a Drugstore Face Mask Really Help My Skin?

While a one-time use face mask probably won't fix all of your skin woes, it can certainly help. "Face masks are a great option for a boost of hydration and de-puffing before a big event, but as for long-term benefits you will want to stick with your daily skincare routine to see the best results," says Gatt. "Think of face masks as an occasional treat for your skin to help give it that little boost and pampering."

Drugstore Face-Mask Aftercare

When your face-mask timer is up, Gatt says you should continue your regular skincare routine: "After use, you can apply your skincare products and even apply makeup, but skip the makeup if you can to give you skin the ultimate pampering."

Meet the Experts

Dr. Purvisha J. Patel, M.D. headshot
Dr. Purvisha J. Patel, M.D.

Born in London, raised in Wales and medicine trained in the States, Purvisha Patel quickly found her passion for skin and the treatment of skin cancers. While running a busy dermatology practice, Mohs surgery center and Medi Spa, it became clear that skincare regimens were too complicated, labor intensive and expensive for her patients. Working with a team of chemists she was able to formulate, test and approve Visha Skincare products, and now bring them to market.

Dr. Azza Halim
Dr. Azza Halim, M.D.

Dr. Azza Halim is a leading, board-certified anesthesiologist and physician with a focus in aesthetic medicine, anti-aging treatments and regenerative medicine. Dr. Halim has a diverse background in medicine and wears many hats, making her a foremost source on a variety of topics within the wellness and beauty space. She is a national medical director for hospital, surgical and aesthetic practice startups, runs her own medical

consulting company and is a national educator and KOL for various companies, having spoken at conferences such as A4M, Boston BioLife, and Empire Medical Training and Kimera Labs. Her revolutionary, trademarked procedures for cellulite have been presented at the Aesthetics Everything, the Global Aesthetics Conference and the Global Virtual Aesthetics Summit.

Dr. Adarsh Mudgil
Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in dermatopathology and cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology. He is currently based in New York, where he has his own practice.

Erica Marie Gatt
Erica Marie Gatt

Skin health guru Erica Marie Gatt's decades worth of experience working as an aesthetician and makeup artist has shaped her foolproof, fuss-free beauty philosophy. She believes that curating thoughtful, streamlined skincare regimens for her clients is key to achieving effortless natural beauty and an overarching sense of empowerment, confidence and well-being. As someone who loves the outdoors and being active, Erica recognizes the link between health, wellness and beauty and embraces a holistic approach that puts equal emphasis on both an inner and outer glow. Erica honed her talent and channeled her passion under the tutelage of celebrated Los Angeles esthetician Gina Mari after having spent years as a makeup artist.

Dr. Rachel Nazarian
Dr. Rachel Nazarian

Dr. Rachel Nazarian joins Schweiger Dermatology after years of practicing various aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic treatments, skin cancer, general dermatology and dermatologic surgery. Dr. Nazarian has written many published articles in medical journals as well as widely respected dermatology textbooks, such as Treatment of Skin Disease. Dr. Nazarian serves as a faculty member at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, where she completed her dermatology residency. While completing her medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Nazarian was awarded a grant from the Women’s Dermatology Society. Dr. Nazarian is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at

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