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We can speak for most men out there when we say that looking our best provides a major confidence boost. It’s the same feeling you get walking out of the barbershop with a killer haircut. Today, more men are practicing self-care and developing grooming routines that allow them to show up as their best selves. For some, that means abiding by a consistent skincare regimen. While building the perfect step-by-step routine can be a bit overwhelming, and while the grooming industry floods store shelves with new men’s skincare products, we believe in the benefits of face masks for men.
Skincare face masks for men can cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate and brighten your skin, and the very best face masks for men can do all of the above. Picking out the best face mask starts with determining your skin type. Then, you can worry about which complex ingredients to avoid and which nutrients you want your skin to absorb. If you’re like some of us on the SPY team and have sensitive skin that reacts easily to cold, sunlight and allergens, then finding a face mask with vegan properties is probably the way to go. Not to worry for those who have dry or oily skin, or perhaps even a combination, as there’s something that suits everyone’s individual needs.
Here at SPY, we test an array of grooming products so you, our readers, don’t have to spend money testing products through trial and error. We know better than anyone just how many grooming products you have to choose from, and how troublesome it is to search for the right one.
We’ve done the hard work for you, and we’ve tested the most popular options to bring you our guide to the best face masks for men. After testing 20+ face masks, we selected the 14 best options for all skin types. We also consulted one of our go-to experts, the New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.
Keep scrolling for a Q&A with Dr. Green on what ingredients to look for when picking out face masks, along with SPY’s picks for face masks men can depend on when their skin needs a refresh.
How To Use a Face Mask
The best face masks for men are easy to use, whether you’re dealing with a sheet mask or a spreadable mask. They all do the same thing: sit on your face for a while so pores can soak up rejuvenating ingredients. Follow the steps below and always read the product’s directions for the best results.
- For a spreadable face mask, scoop out enough mask, often no more than the size of a quarter, to evenly cover your face. For sheet masks, carefully extricate them from their pack and apply them to your face. Some sheet masks come in two parts, an upper face and a lower face (convenient for beardsmen). It’s OK if the pieces overlap a bit, just make sure you’re getting good coverage overall.
- Pop a squat and flip on a show while the mask dries and your skin absorbs the ingredients. 10 to 15 minutes is usually good, but some products need as few as five while others go as long as 20.
- After the time is up, remove the sheet mask if you used one. Thoroughly rinse with warm water and gently pat your face dry with a towel.
You’re finished! Do this one to three times a week for peak skin.
Now that we know a lot more about the best face masks for men, check out our picks above. Better skin awaits!
The Best Face Masks for Men at a Glance
1. Best Overall: Versed Find Clarity Charcoal Mask — $15.99 at Versed
2. SPY Award Winner: Disco Rejuvenating Clay Face Mask — $36.00 at Disco
3. Best Sheet Mask: Wolf Project Men’s Moisturizing Sheet Face Masks — $26.99 at Amazon
4. Contender: Crude Detox Purifying + Balancing Clay Mask — $20.00 at Verishop
5. Best Acne-Fighting: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Clay Face Mask — $40.00 at Sephora
6. Editor’s Pick: Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque — $49.75 at Amazon
7. Most Eco-Friendly: Caldera + Lab The Deep — $42.00 at Amazon
8. Most Hydrating: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sheet Mask — $3.99 at Neutrogena
9. Best Performing Mask: Baxter of California Clay Mask AHA — $25 at Amazon
10. Best 2-in-1: Cremo 2-in-1 Charcoal Face Mask Scrub — $6.62 at Amazon
11. Best Sheet Mask: The Creme Shop Lemon and Charcoal — $11.99 at Amazon
12. Best Pore Strip: Lumin Charcoal Pore Strip — $10 at Lumin Skin
13. Best Value: Aztec Secret: Indian Healing Clay — $14.95 at Amazon
14. Honorable Mention: Lumin Intensive Repair Face Masks — $10 at Lumin Skin
1. Versed Find Clarity Charcoal Mask
Best For: Guys with oily and sensitive skin.
Why We Chose It: Versed has every step of a skincare regimen to shop from under $22.
- 1.5 oz
- Climate Neutral Certified
- Pregnancy-safe (she’s gonna steal it)
Versed ensures high performance with products that work on behalf of our skin, body, and planet. After several uses, SPY’s Reviews Editor swears that this is in fact the very best face mask for men (and women). The Versed Find Clarity Charcoal Mask comes in a handy pouch and is formulated with two types of clay and two types of charcoal. Designed to detoxify, this purifying mask has a gentle formula and thick consistency that spreads almost like a puree — leaving your skin feeling soft and balanced. A small amount of this, about the size of a nickel, goes a very long way, so you won’t need much to cover your face. Not only did this mask score the highest in our testing, but it earned bonus points for super clean ingredients and being pregnancy-safe.
- Free from parabens, silicones, sulfates, and 1,350+ ingredients that have questionable data
- Thick AF
- Pouch easily puncturable
2. Disco Rejuvenating Clay Face Mask
SPY Award Winner
Best For: Anti-aging and acne skin.
Why We Chose It: This product has won SPY awards in the past and is truly one of the best face masks for men we’ve ever tested.
- 1.76 oz
- Non-toxic fragrance
- Subscribe & save option
Not only does this rejuvenating clay mask from Disco get a gold-star rating from us, but it also previously won an award in The 2021 Man, our end-of-year product awards. The brand’s signature eucalyptus fragrance works really well with charcoal, so it’s refreshing without having an overbearing scent.
In our testing, we found the bentonite clay and charcoal incredibly effective. They’re potent in cleansing and exfoliating (don’t leave the mask on longer than directed or it can cause some minor skin irritation) as well as drawing out grime and impurities to the surface. Enriched with willow bark extract, the mask minimizes inflammation and puffiness, preventing breakouts and blemishes from happening. In the end, your skin will be left looking fine and refreshed. Even though it’s a little on the pricey side, it lasts a long, long time.
- Natural Ingredients
- Ivy-League Dermatologist Formulated
3. Wolf Project Men’s Moisturizing Face Mask Sheets
Best Sheet Mask for Men
Best For: All skin types; guys who prefer sheet face masks.
Why We Chose It: This is one of the few skincare sheet masks designed for men’s skin, and it’s proven effective at both moisturizing and cleansing in our testing.
- 5 sheet masks
- Uses bamboo charcoal
- Vegan and cruelty-free
Our top picks for the best face masks for men are spreadable masks, typically clay-based products designed to cleanse and exfoliate. For guys that prefer sheet face masks, Wolf Project is one of the few brand’s that makes a sheet face mask for men’s skin. We’ve reviewed (and loved) these moisturizing sheet masks in the past, and they’re a great option for men with dry skin types. Even if you have normal or oily skin types, these sheet masks can be great in the winter to refresh dried out skin.
Why are these the best sheet face masks for men? Thanks to two powerful ingredients (which also happen to be two of our favorite skincare ingredients), hyaluronic acid and charcoal. The hyaluronic instantly moisturizes your skin while the charcoal draws out impurities. In addition, these masks contain Vitamin B3 and tea leaf extracts, taking inspiration from popular Korean skincare products.
4. Crude Detox Purifying + Balancing Clay Mask
Best For: Men looking to achieve soft, gentle skin.
Why We Chose It: We stan step-by-step products that are easy to use and omit ingredients that aggravate our face with irritation.
- 1.0 oz
- Subscribe & save available
We found that some of the best face masks for men are those that cause you to tingle ever so slightly. Another SPY editor swears by the Detox Purifying + Balancing Clay Mask from Crude. It combines two powerhouse ingredients: French Green Clay and Matcha Green Tea Powder. And while you have to mix this powder-like substance with water to form the mask, you don’t have to worry about that burning sensation after you rinse. Instead, your skin feels cleansed and revitalized. If you encounter frequent blemishes, this is your remedy.
- 100% certified organic ingredients
- Kind of messy
5. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Clay Face Mask
Best For: This is the best face mask for men looking to clear up acne.
Why We Chose It: We know we can always trust Kiehl’s to make a great product, this one included.
- 5.0 oz
- Aloe Barbadensis
- Amazonian White Clay
“Smooth as butter” may be the best way to describe Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Clay Face Mask. And even that expression won’t do it justice. Literally, it’s the softest, most luxurious face mask we’ve ever used. The ingredients are premium, and it does a damn fine job of both cleansing and diminishing impurities of the skin. If you wish to see results, give it a few weeks. By then, we had experienced cleaner, tighter pores, less skin oil, and a lot less acne. The main downside of the product is you’re going to spend more than you may like, but you get a solid bang for your buck.
- Premium ingredients
- Without parabens/phthalates
- Bulky (but there’s a travel size)
6. Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque
Best For: Men looking for products with organic plant-based materials and scientifically inspired ingredients.
Why We Chose It: Aesop has an unwavering commitment to having little impact on the environment, with sustainability at the forefront of all their products.
- 2.47 oz
- Rose scented
- Botanical Ingredients
This editor’s skincare routine starts and ends with Aesop — here’s why. For starters, the Australian luxury label is a trustable source for everything from skin and hair care products to soaps and fragrances. All of their products are vegan and cruelty-free, which makes Aesop’s Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque even more of a win.
I love that this mask cleanses the skin of residual impurities, decongests, refreshes, and delivers replenishing vegetable oils. Once it’s rinsed, my face feels rich and wonderfully refreshed thanks to ingredients like rose geranium, primrose seed, and sage leaf. I stand by this as one of the best face masks for men as well as Aesop’s cleanser, toner, and serum, which I use daily.
- Sustainability focus
- Lasting impact
- Higher price point
7. Caldera + Lab The Deep
Best For: Anyone with dry skin, looking for an overall brighter complexion and exfoliation.
Why We Chose It: We believe this will become a staple for many dudes out there.
- 2.25 fl oz
- Beyond organic
Caldera + Lab is a fairly new grooming company and has become one of our favorite skincare brands. First and foremost, their products contain natural, skin-nourishing ingredients that are ethically sourced. The company only incorporates sustainable ingredients and their packaging, though we didn’t rank for this, is very cool. The Deep is 100% vegan and free of phthalates and parabens. We’ve found it to be an effective clay mask that cleansed and fortified our skin. As for flaws, it’s a bit runny. And as far as scent is concerned, it didn’t really rock us, but that might make this the best face mask for men who prefer unscented products.
You can also check out our full review of The Deep.
- Green production facility
- Sustainable packaging
- Low viscosity
- Faintly scented
8. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sheet Mask
BEST HYDRATING MASK
Best For: Guys with dry skin.
Why We Chose It: It’s super inexpensive but effective in performance. It’s also surprisingly beard-friendly.
- 1.0 oz
One of the most notable aspects of Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Sheet Mask is the supercharged hyaluronic acid, making this the best face mask for men who need rapid hydration. Although it’s a pretty standard sheet face mask, it does a great job of moisturizing your skin immediately thanks to hyaluronic acid, one of the most potent moisturizers in the skincare world. Afterward, you feel completely balanced and free from dry skin.
You’ll find this sheet mask in the women’s aisle at most major drug stores, but don’t let that fact put you off. This is also a great product for men, and because it comes in two separate pieces, one for the top and one for the bottom of your face, it’s actually great for guys with beards, too.
- Very inexpensive
- Super Hydration
- Great sheet mask for bearded men
- Unclear if vegan or cruelty-free
9. Baxter of California Clay Mask AHA
Best Performing Mask
Best For: All skin types, but does wonders for dry.
Why We Chose It: For over 50 years, Baxter of California has been producing luxe hair and skincare products for men.
- 3.4 oz
- Avocado + Aloe Vera scent
In 2020, SPY’s grooming editors named Baxter’s Clay Mask AHA the ‘Best Clay Mask” in The 2020 Man, our end-of-year product awards. Two years later, we can vouch and say this is still one of our favorites. It’s been around forever and was one of the first clay masks for men to hit the market.
Thanks to Alpha Hydroxy Acid, or AHA, this deep-cleansing mask exfoliates the surface layer of the skin while improving signs of aging, dry skin, and evening skin tone. It has an earthy fragrance and a smooth, satisfying feeling after use. You’ll only need to apply a small amount to get the job done — it spreads like butter.
- Premium ingredients
- Witch hazel
10. Cremo 2-in-1 Charcoal Face Mask Scrub
Best For: A combination of all skin types.
Why We Chose It: The duality of the product, as it also serves as a face scrub.
Cremo has tapped into just about every product type there is in the grooming space. Their 2-in-1 Charcoal Face Mask Scrub has an added exfoliant if you’d like to use this as a face wash, but it’s sparse. We used the brand’s recommendation of applying this liberally and we did confirm that more was needed to coat a face. While the mask proved to remove excess oils, there was that post-rinse dryness that sometimes comes with charcoal products. We recommend this for guys with oily skin because we felt it would best serve that skin type. Do note that there was a very pungent scent to this product but it did work.
- 2-in-1 feature
- Above TSA travel limit
- Odorous scent
11. The Creme Shop Lemon and Charcoal
Best For: Skin that experiences rapid climate change.
Why We Chose It: You get two face masks in one and it’s inexpensive.
- Antibacterial and antifungal
- Can be used as a moisturizer
- South Korean-founded
As a result of the distinctive weather in Korea, where the humidity is intermittent and varies with each season, The Creme Shop, a Korean brand, created this standard sheet mask with a mixture of moisturizing and cleansing properties. It comes packed with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and nutrient-rich lemon.
Although we found other sheet masks we liked better, Amazon users have given it a near-perfect 4.7-star rating. We weren’t quite that impressed, but it’s a solid Korean skincare face mask.
- Packed with Vitamin C
- Two face masks in one
- Hyaluronic acid
- Mild results
12. Lumin Charcoal Pore Strip
Best Pore Strip
Best For: For normal and oily skin.
Why We Chose It: It puts up a hard fight against our skin’s worst enemies: blackheads.
- Tea Tree and Lemon Extracts
- Targets oily nose
- Bi-weekly use
Aside from the best face mask for men, we wanted to introduce you to the best nose mask for men — The Lumin Charcoal Cleansing Pore Strip. Use this tool to reduce the appearance of pesky blackheads, though, keep in mind, those deep ones require a little more intensive care. But in the fight against breakouts, this pore strip works to rid all of the impurities and dirt that seep down into your pores. The product is vegan and contains charcoal for its ability to combat toxins, tea tree extract for its anti-inflammatory and acne-fighting powers, and lemon extract to brighten and deliver a dose of antioxidants. If you’re lucky, you might find a few of these in the desk of a SPY editor.
- Purifies oil-clogged pores
- Not cruelty-free
13. Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay
Best for: This is the best face mask for combination skin types or guys who like to do nightly or weekly face masks.
Why We Chose It: The 1-pound jar will give you a year’s supply of clay face masks, an unbeatable value.
- Influencer (and SPY) approved
- 1 pound
- Calcium bentonite clay
This popular unisex face mask has gone viral many times over on platforms like Instagram and TikTok thanks to its popularity among skincare influencers and celebrities. Of course, we had to try it for ourselves, and in our full Aztec Secret review, we said that this deep pore cleansing face mask “lives up to the hype.”
Using calcium bentonite clay harvested from Death Valley, California, this is a DIY face mask that needs to be mixed with water or apple cider vinegar. Because of this, it’s also the longest lasting face mask product we’ve ever tried. A single $15 tub should last you for a year, making this a great option for people with combination skin who like to perform nightly or weekly face masks.
- Bulk face mask powder
- Natural bentonite clay
- Effective pore cleanser
- Not everyone will enjoy the DIY aspect
- Lacks botanical ingredients
14. Lumin Intensive Repair Face Masks
Best For: Rejuvenating tired skin, all types of skin.
Why We Chose It: It’s one of the only sheet masks made with men in mind, and we found it to be an effective moisturizing sheet mask for men.
- Developed in South Korea
- 0.9 oz
- Ginger Extract
In our testing of the Lumin Intensive Reconditioning Face Mask, we found it to be moderately effective. It’s best for colder weather when your skin is feeling dry and tired. What we did appreciate is the portability of these sheet masks for, say, holiday travel. Airplanes in general tend to dry out skin in general, so this would be the best face mask for men who spend time in colder climates over the holidays as a little pick-me-up.
- Helps with sun damage
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Not vegan, but transparent about it
How We Reviewed The Best Skincare Face Masks for Men
Here at SPY, we take our testing seriously. To find the best face mask for men, we tested dozens of skincare face masks over a period of weeks. For our top product selections, we used these products over several months to assess how they affected our skin long-term. When testing and comparing skincare face masks, we assigned each product a number score based on the factors below. We then weighted and averaged these scores to rank our top choices. In the end, we were left with 13 men’s face masks.
- Exfoliation: Does it also exfoliate? While you want your face to be left feeling revitalized, it’s great to have that extra element to help remove dead skin and oil clogging up your pores.
- Ingredients: More specifically, what’s NOT in the ingredients? We scored higher for formulas that were free of cruelty-free, vegan and omit all those nasty toxins.
- Animal Testing: We’re not cool with animal testing. While more brands are hopping on that train, we significantly weigh scoring on this factor.
- Application: How much is actually needed to coat a face? The best face masks for men only required a little to go a long way.
- Dryness: Was there an uncomfortable dry sensation afterward?
- Other: We considered whether or not a mask was packable in a bag for air travel and whether or not the scent was pleasant.
What Ingredients To Look For in the Best Face Masks for Men
When picking the best skincare face masks for men, it’s all about the ingredients. That’s true whether you’re shopping for sheet masks, clay face masks or anti-aging products. According to Dr. Green, the best ingredients are moisturizing and naturally strengthen the delicate skin on your face.
Hyaluronic acid: “Hyaluronic acid … is one of the most natural ways to boost skin hydration in all skin types.” Green told SPY. It also helps to gently soften and hydrate skin without clogging pores, which will fight signs of aging, minimize breakouts and repair dry skin, she said. “Additionally, hyaluronic acid has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin against free radicals and other environmental pollutants. Using products that contain Hyaluronic acid can help skin look plumper, smoother, and more radiant.”
Clay & Charcoal: Charcoal is extremely effective in drawing out impurities from the skin, and it’s one of our favorite skincare ingredients to look for in cleansing products. In addition, clay (such as kaolin or bentonite clay) soothes skin while drawing out impurities and cleansing the skin, and it has the added benefit of feeling really great on your skin.
Glycerin: “Glycerin is a safe, effective and lightweight ingredient for hydration that works with any skin type,” Green said. “As a humectant, Glycerin draws water to the top layer of your skin from deeper layers of skin and the air. Glycerin also promotes retention of moisture, reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier and keeping it healthy and hydrated.”
Aloe vera: “Aloe vera … absorbs easily and is especially effective for treating sensitive skin. [It’s] anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants in addition to Vitamins A and C,” Green said. “The healing properties of aloe vera are of great benefit to dry and dehydrated skin and a powerful tool for sealing in moisture.”
Glycolic acid: Found in many of the best face masks for men, glycolic acid, alongside salicylic acid, can help break down unsightly skin, discoloration and blemishes. Green told SPY. “Glycolic acid is a gentle chemical exfoliant that replenishes skin by removing dull top layers and promoting the production of collagen and elastin. This ingredient is beneficial not only for rehydrating dry skin but also for treating and preventing signs of aging.”
Colloidal oatmeal: Oats and oatmeal have long been known to soothe skin (remember chickenpox?), and they’re useful in face masks too. “Colloidal oatmeal-infused [masks are] great for dry skin sufferers,” Green said. “Oats have been known to calm the skin inflammation of the skin as well as stimulate the production of collagen. The oats bind to the skin creating a shield against irritation while locking in natural moisture from your skin.”
Ceramides: Ceramides are a regularly featured ingredient of rejuvenating skin products. “Whether you experience seasonal dry skin or suffer from dryness year-round, ceramide products help replenish skin,” Green said. “Using products that are enriched with ceramides will help restore your skin’s hydration and lock in moisture in even the most extreme temperatures. This helps your skin maintain that hydration long-term, resulting in healthy, hydrated skin.”
Vitamin E: “Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant which when added to skincare products protects the skin from oxidative stress,” Green explained. “Vitamin E also has restorative properties and is able to repair the skin at its cellular level, accelerating the production of collagen and elastin. It can reduce skin inflammation and redness. In addition, vitamin E is known for its ability to improve skin texture and protect the skin against environmental stressors.”
Q&A with Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green about the Best Face Masks for Men
Green: [Face] masks are formulated with powerful ingredients that penetrate the deeper layers of skin cells to enhance the overall appearance of the skin … Using a face mask once or twice weekly can offer skin clearing and hydration among other benefits. The main effect on skin is hydration.
Green: Depending on your skin type, it would make a difference what ingredients you should use. Masks should be used two to three times weekly and should not be used with products that can be irritating such as retinols, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide … Look for a face mask that will address your concerns and be suitable for your skin type. If you are concerned with anti-aging, acne, enlarged pores, dull, dehydrated skin, look for a face mask with ingredients that will be beneficial to your skin concerns.
Green: You can still use a face mask, however, the mask should contain ingredients that will hydrate the skin and not exacerbate your skin condition.
Green: Depending on your skin type, it would make a difference what ingredients you should use. Masks should be used two to three times weekly and should not be used with products that can be irritating such as retinols, glycolic or benzol peroxide.
Green: Clay masks are great for acne-prone oily skin as the clay draws out the impurities from deep in the pores. It will speed up the process of healing active breakouts, [but] don’t expect your pimple to be magically gone or the size of your pores to be non-existent.
Green: With the rise of Asian skincare, sheet masks [which are common in Korean skincare] have received a lot of hype, so it’s important to be realistic about what they can and cannot do. I would always recommend using a sheet mask at night in order for your skin to absorb excess product. The main function of sheet masks, similar to cream masks, is to hydrate and calm the skin.
Why Trust SPY When Buying Face Masks?
Sourcing effective grooming products is what our team does best. We scour the internet and brick-and-mortar shops weekly searching for the best brands to see if reviews and word-of-mouth hold firm. And if that isn’t enough, our SPY skincare gurus tested, reviewed, and wrote this. And we don’t play games when it comes to treating our skin. We’ve used poor-performing products, so rounding out the best face mask for men was easy.
In addition to face masks, SPY has reviewed much more of the men’s grooming space. Recently, we’ve reviewed the best skincare brands, best beard wash, and even the best lip balms, you know, for those cheese-grater lips you get in the winter. If you’re interested, you can read more about How We Test Products at SPY.
About the Author
SPY E-Commerce Editor, Joseph Cheatham, hails from South Jersey with some roots in West Palm Beach, Florida. A guy who has an affinity for all things fragranced and fashion-related, Joseph enjoys helping others show up as their best selves. Aside from the best face masks for men, Joseph has written about Brad Pitt’s men’s grooming brand, Le Domaine, what men should don during yoga and even shared how his candle brand came to fruition, developed during the pandemic.