The 6 best face masks for dry skin will hydrate and plump up your parched, tired skin this winter
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When your dry skin feels extremely parched, it’s officially time to incorporate skincare products more intensively moisturizing than face creams: face masks for dry skin. They promise to surge your dull, tired complexion with some much-needed hydration using popular and well-researched skincare ingredients.
And don’t just take our word for it — experts love them too. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anar Mikailov, M.D., FAAD, founder of Skintensive and KP Away, says, “People with dry skin can benefit from using a hydrating face mask designed to draw in moisture, soothe the skin, and trap the moisture in the skin. As winter is around the corner, there’s less humidity in the air, and more people will experience dry skin.”
What to Consider
Another expert we spoke to, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, M.D., suggests opting for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic face masks for dry skin whenever possible because they’re safe for sensitive skin types.
All three of our medical experts agree that the ingredients are by far the most important factor to consider when shopping for a face mask for dry skin. Beyond surging your dry skin with some much-needed moisture, certain face mask ingredients help target other skin concerns, including creating a healthy skin barrier and soothing rosacea.
Hyaluronic acid, the hero ingredient of PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Skin Care Face Mask, is an excellent ingredient for dry and sensitive skin types. “It helps to retain moisture and aids the skin to hold on to water molecules, resulting in plump skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry, M.D., founder of Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan.
Rich Moisturizers and Skin Barrier Protectors
Shea butter, found in First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask, is rich in fatty acids and vitamins to soften dry skin. Shea butter also has an anti-inflammatory effect, and it’s equally great for softening rough patches on your face and body, and it can even be applied to dry hair.
Ceramides are fantastic because they are fatty acids naturally found in high quantities in our skin. Mikailov says ceramides act as glue between skin cells and create a barrier in the skin, which is especially important for dry skin.
Calms Irritation, Inflammation, and Redness
Aloe vera is commonly found in sunburn treatments, so it’s not 100% surprising it is also heavily featured in face masks, for dry skin, such as Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré and Yon-Ka Hydra No. 1 Masque.
Colloidal oatmeal is an incredibly gentle ingredient that softens and soothes itching and helps seal in moisture. The popular skincare element is also in First Aid Beauty’s previously mentioned face mask.
Henry says there aren’t many published clinical trials on all the different formulations of face masks but that face masks for dry skin are certainly energizing additions to everyday skincare routines.
Our experts say sheet masks, such as Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Mask, are incredible for providing extra hydration and typically work within 15 minutes. However, Mikailov advises removing them before the mask dries out and slathering on a rich face moisturizer, such as Skintensive Daily Moisturizer, on top to seal in the hydrating actives. Otherwise, they can dry the skin more if left on too long after the mask dries.
Mikailov says there are two types of cream-based masks you can shop for:
Short-term masks that you gently remove using a soft tissue after 15 minutes, or apply a thin layer to leave on overnight. Both types of cream-based face masks for dry skin have more occlusives that focus on moisture retention compared to sheet masks.
Overnight Masks penetrate the deeper layers of the skin for longer amounts of time. According to Murphy-Rose, the effect of most hydrating ingredients can be stronger the longer it is in contact with your skin. She says, “Overnight masks stay on the skin longer than a shorter-use mask, so the overnight mask may have enhanced effects comparatively.”
Ready to give your dry skin the deep hydration it needs? Check out our top face masks for dry skin below!
Best Face Masks for Dry Skin
PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Skin Care Face Mask
- Intensely hydrates
- Skin will look smooth, soft, and glowing
- Can be worn overnight
- Minimizes redness and promotes a more even skin tone
- Some reviewers don’t like the light and clean smell
PCA Skin has a glowing reputation among skin experts, like dermatologists, aestheticians, and our very own beauty editor. Given its impressive, derm-approved ingredient list, coupled with high praise from Saunders, we knew this highly rated face mask for dry skin was our best overall pick.
“This face mask for dry skin is my favorite part of my weekly beauty routine, and it deserves a place in your medicine cabinet. After using a creamy cleanser and face toner, I slather on this face mask for dry skin to replenish moisture after using a clay mask or whenever my face feels tight and dehydrated,” says Saunders.
She adds, “With just one use, my dry complexion feels noticeably soft and clean. You only need a small amount of product, which soaks up relatively quickly and doesn’t leave behind a weird white film or feel sticky.”
As its name implies, hyaluronic acid is the hero ingredient, but there’s also niacinamide to help skin retain water, brighten a dull complexion, and calm redness and skin yellowing. There’s also panthenol to boost moisture and ensure your dry skin is finally rebalanced.
Most Gentle Formula
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask
- Non-irritating formula
- Can be applied as a 10-minute mask or used overnight
- Made with clean ingredients
- Some reviewers think it’s a relatively small tube
Mikailov and Blair Murphy-Rose both consider this an excellent face mask because it’s made with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and arena sativa oat bran. They appreciate all three ingredients because they’re fantastic for keeping dry and sensitive skin very hydrated.
Murphy-Rose says, “It’s a rich and calming cream that can be applied as a 10-minute mask or used overnight for enhanced effect against dry skin.”
We love that it’s free of drying ingredients, such as alcohol, artificial fragrances, parabens, petrolatum, and phthalates. It also helps calm redness and can be used up to three times weekly for the best and most hydrating results.
Amazon reviewers also agree with both dermatologists that Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask is a top-tier face mask for dry skin. This face mask is so safe and gentle that one reviewer with eczema says it completely revitalizes their very skin. “It doesn’t have much of a smell (which is great, no added fragrance!), and it truly makes my super dry skin super soft,” says their Amazon review.
French Girl Secret
Embryolisse Lait – Crème Concentré
- Instant hydrating results
- Doubles as an overnight cream mask
- Reviewers love the medium-thick consistency that spreads like a dream
- Skip if you don’t like the smell of lilac
This multipurpose powerhouse is one of the most beloved French girl beauty secrets, and it earned snaps from Murphy-Rose. She’s a big fan of the sensitive skin version, which contains intensely moisturizing shea butter, beeswax, soy proteins, and aloe vera. She also loves that it’s a rich, hypoallergenic moisturizer that doubles as an overnight cream mask.
Lait-Crème has been a best seller for the brand since 1950, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does this product work as a face mask for dry skin and moisturizer, but it can also be used as a makeup primer and remover. You can even slather this unique lotion onto your body after shaving to keep dryness at the bar. Plus, the non-comedogenic formula is safe for acne-prone skin, so you don’t have to worry about pesky breakouts rearing their ugly head.
And although it’s not a refillable beauty product, the tube and packaging are made from easily recyclable materials, which is a decent starting point for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Selfie – Worthy
Avène Antirougeurs CALM Soothing Repair Mask
- Neutralizes redness
- Won’t clog pores
- Some reviewers say they need to use a thick layer for optimal results
It’s a challenge to find skincare products that simultaneously hydrate your skin, while also neutralizing redness. Enter, this green-tinted face mask for dry skin that’s more seafoam green than Princess Fiona from Shreck.
The soft green hue and soothing ingredients, such as dextran sulfate and TRP-regulin, help calm redness and irritation. You’ll be tempted to snap a few selfies or film a fun TikTok while the award-winning face mask for dry skin calms your complexion.
“This mask is very rich and has a lot of anti-redness and calming properties to it,” says Mikailov. Notably, it contains pongomia oil to rebalance your skin’s microbiome and hesperidin methyl chalcone, to soothe redness and swelling. There’s also Avène’s signature thermal spring water, which helps soften and calm your skin.
Not only does this face mask for dry skin prevent water loss, but it’ll leave your skin supple and soothed. Need further proof?
Well, one Amazon reviewer says it cleared up their rosacea when their prescription-grade product couldn’t help alleviate redness. To quote their 5-star review, “My rosacea is just about gone now, and will probably keep using it to maintain my skin clarity, especially on my nose!”
Soothes All Skin Types
Yon-Ka Hydra No. 1 Masque
- Lightweight feel, but doesn’t skimp on hydration
- Smells like rose, jasmine, and shui essential oils
- Second most expensive face mask for dry skin
Murphy-Rose is also a fan of this face mask for dry skin because of its impressive ingredient list. She loves that this antioxidant-rich hydrating face mask contains 88% natural ingredients, including redness-calming aloe vera and vitamins A, C, and E for extra hydration and a brightening effect.
This is also the only face mask for dry skin on our list that you don’t have to rinse off. Yon-Ka suggests applying the gel-cream onto your face and letting it sit for up to 60 minutes then blotting away excess product with a tissue. In the AM you can cleanse and follow up with your usual skincare products, like a face toner, serum, dark circle eye cream, day cream, and sunscreen.
Amazon reviewers add it lives up to its promise of deep hydration and even improves their skin’s elasticity. “Loyal to the brand, addicted to the results. Best hydrating treatment and the scent is fresh. I love how it glides on my face,” says one 5-star review.
The Ultimate Splurge
Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Mask
- Cools and soothes irritated skin
- Helps your skin soak up other ingredients easily
- Only includes six sheet masks
Rounding out our list is Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Mask, a favorite of Murphy-Rose. “The post-procedure mask for cooling, soothing, and moisturizing compromised skin. It has a luxurious, refreshing spa-like feel,” she says.
We’re previously named this one of the best sheet masks in the game because celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab considers it a top-tier product, undoubtedly worth the higher price tag. They’re made with just two simple ingredients: water and biocellulose fibers, which together cool and soothe irritated skin.