- Face masks for dry skin replenish moisture, help encourage healing and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Cream, gel and sheet masks are generally the best types of masks for a person with dry skin.
- Face masks containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and essential oils may help protect the skin’s natural barrier and add moisture.
- In addition to scientifically-proven moisturizing ingredients, natural ingredients like avocado, oatmeal and honey may be effective against dry skin.
Face masks for dry skin deliver a potent, focused and much-needed dose of moisturizing, replenishing ingredients to the skin. Deep-penetrating, hydrating masks address dry skin with an uneven or rough texture that flakes, cracks and peels. Additionally, they help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Best Face Masks for Dry Skin
Cream masks, gel masks and sheet masks are the best face masks for dry skin. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to find a mask formulation that hydrates and, in some cases, exfoliates dead skin cells.
Dry or dehydrated skin can lead to sensitivity and inflammation; if not addressed, skin concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, redness and uneven skin tone could become worse and more noticeable.
Cream masks replenish moisture and natural oils in dry, parched or chapped skin. If your skin is dry, that means it’s lacking in natural oils.
Your cream mask should contain non-comedogenic oils that are as close as possible to your skin’s natural sebum, like carrot seed oil or rosehips. These ingredients not only mimic your skin’s natural oils without clogging pores; they also add nutrients and antioxidants while working to replenish water in your skin.
It’s also important to look for cream mask ingredients that gently moisturize and attract water to your skin, like ceramides (lipids) or humectants such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These deep-penetrating ingredients keep working to lock in moisture even after you’ve removed your cream mask.
Gel masks rehydrate and soothe skin that is dry and irritated due to dehydration. You’re likely to find ingredients like aloe vera, cucumber, humectants and other calming ingredients in gel masks. If your skin is both sensitive and dry, gel masks are your best bet.
Sheet masks are made with fabric or paper which is saturated with active ingredients. These masks are formulated for a one-time use and can be applied to your face and left while your skin soaks in the beneficial ingredients. They act as a seal while they work.
Best Face Masks for Dry Skin with Specific Skin Conditions
Some face masks for dry skin are better for specific conditions than others are. One person’s dry skin mask of choice might actually irritate someone whose skin is both dry and sensitive, for example. Knowing what ingredients to avoid will make all the difference when you choose the best mask for your skin.
- Sensitive, dry skin: Gel or cream masks may be the best choice for people with sensitive, dry skin. Look for an oil-free mask formulation (or a mask with non-comedogenic oils) that contains calming ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.
- Acne-prone dry skin: If you have both acne and dry skin, you’ll want to steer clear of sheet masks. Sheet masks are highly comedogenic, and can make acne worse because they form a seal over your blemishes. Instead, try cream or gel masks. If you have dry skin, you might want to avoid using a mask that contains drying medications that target acne. Instead, try using a spot treatment.
Ingredients to look for
There are a number of ingredients that can replenish the skin’s moisture, including non-comedogenic oils, essential oils, ceramides, emollients and humectants.
- Oils that mimic natural sebum
- Fatty acids
- Jojoba oil
- Squalene (from plants)
- Essential oils
- Carrot seed oil
- German chamomile
- Ceramides, anti-aging lipid compounds that help protect the skin’s natural barrier and can be plant-derived or synthetic
- Ceramide A
- Ceramide EOP
- Ceramide NG
- Ceramide NP
- Ceramide NS
- Natural humectants, which are deep-penetrating, similar to natural sweat and attract water from the air, binding it to the skin’s surface
- Aloe vera
- Hyaluronic acid
- Natural ingredients
Ingredients to avoid
If you have dry skin, it’s important to avoid ingredients that might irritate it or dry it out more. There are multiple ingredients that irritate many skin types; others are particularly hard on dry skin.
- Acne-fighting agents
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Cosmetic products
- Hot water
- Synthetic ingredients
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Synthetic fragrances
- Topical medications
Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a moisture-replenishing humectant commonly used in commercially-available and DIY face masks. It’s generally safe for use on all skin types, and allergic reactions to HA are not common.
HA helps to rehydrate the skin by attracting water to the skin’s surface, then binding the water molecules with the tissue. When included in a face mask formulation, HA can deeply penetrate your skin–so it can keep working long after you’ve rinsed off your mask.
Nano-hyaluronic acid (in multiple forms like lotions, creams and serums) has been proven to hydrate skin significantly. An HA face mask would serve to drive the active ingredient more deeply into the skin and topical products because masks are formulated to deliver targeted, deep-penetrating doses of their active ingredients into the skin.
HA reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and revitalizes the dermis, leaving it looking radiant, soft and smooth.
Collagen Face Mask
Collagen face masks’ purpose is to replenish the collagen supply below the skin’s surface. Collagen helps protect the skin and prevent dryness. In addition to being a sought-after skin care product, it’s also a widely used dietary supplement; in fact, consuming collagen has been shown to improve skin hydration.
While collagen masks are a popular skin care go-to, though, dermatologists and aestheticians disagree on their efficacy.
Many people use collagen masks with the intent of boosting the collagen in their skin. Some mask formulations tone and tighten the skin temporarily–however, the presence of collagen in the masks may or may not affect the tightening properties.
Some dermatologists argue that topical collagen isn’t an effective skin treatment. While it’s possible that expensive transdermal applications may work, in general, collagen molecules don’t penetrate the skin when applied topically.
While it probably won’t hurt to apply collagen in a face mask, there’s no evidence it actually works to boost collagen production in your skin.
Essential Oils Face Mask
While some essential oils may irritate your dry skin, others could help replenish moisture and fight dryness. Essential oils may be included in a DIY mask for dry skin, or they may be included in commercially-purchased formulations.
Essential oils are a popular natural ingredient in many personal care products, including skin care products. The following essential oils are purported to add moisture to the skin and repair damage to the skin’s surface:
- Carrot seed oil is antioxidant-rich and known for regenerating new skin cells and repairing cracked, chapped or dry skin.
- Geranium helps to fight inflammation and boost circulation.
- German chamomile to moisturize, calm, and soothe the skin.
- Lavender to repair damaged skin, reduce flakiness, and calm symptoms of irritation.
Compounds contained in essential such as rosmarinic, linalool, citronellol, limonene, eugenol and caffeic acid–can be irritating to the skin. Some people are allergic to essential oils; if you intend to use essential oils in a face mask for dry skin, be sure to patch-test a small area of skin first.
Natural Ingredients for Dry Skin Face Masks
In addition to a wide range of non-comedogenic and essential oils, there are many natural ingredients that replenish the skin’s moisture and protect its barrier.
- Avocado encourages collagen production and contains omega fatty acids that moisturize the skin
- Banana contains antioxidant-rich phenols and high levels of Vitamin A and cleanse the skin from debris
- Cucumber is made mostly of water and can help add much-needed moisture to dehydrated skin
- Honey is a natural exfoliator with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Oatmeal contains beta-glucan and starch, which help draw water to your skin
- Seaweed is an antioxidant-rich, natural emollient
Making a simple, DIY face mask with the above ingredients–alone or in combination with other natural ingredients–is an easy, inexpensive way to nourish and moisturize your dry skin at home.
Treating Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, it’s vital to add moisturizing, revitalizing products to your skin care routine. While a mask can be a great way to douse your skin in many beneficial, moisturizing ingredients all at once, you can’t rely on a mask alone to take care of your skin’s need for moisture.
Adding a moisturizer and a mild exfoliant to your routine could help you treat your dry, flaky skin daily to promote healthier skin and a youthful glow. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or above) could also help protect your skin’s natural barrier from the elements.
Whether you purchase a face mask for dry skin or make your own at home, a mask is only part of your overall skin care routine. In order to appropriately address dry skin, using products that replenish moisture is key throughout your daily regimen.
If you’re unsure of whether a specific mask will work for your particular skin condition, talk to your dermatologist. They will be able to help you choose the best products and ingredients for your skin.
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