Top 10 Award-Winning Face Masks


My idea of a perfect evening?

My son is asleep, I’ve spent some quality time with the hubby, and now I’m in our deep soaking tub;  a bath bomb is fizzing in the water, a little bubbly is chilling in a glass, a new thriller is downloaded on my kindle, and a hydrating mask is soaking into my face.  


And while I may be an introverted homebody, I’m pretty sure some version of this is a lot of women’s idea of a great end to the day.

Some men, too, probably. 

I try to have this little ritual at least a few nights a week. Maybe not with the bubbly, but definitely with the tub, good book, and a great face mask.

I. Love. Face. Masks.

I love how they feel so indulgent while doing some really good things for my skin.

And there is a mask for every skin concern, every budget–store-bought or  super-easy DIY, if you’re inclined (and I definitely am).

I’m not alone.  More than 30% of women regularly use face masks, and face mask sales have increased nearly 40% in the last 2 years.

So, I thought I’d make up a short list of award-winning face masks from some of the latest beauty awards:

Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Awards, InStyle’s 2019 Best Beauty Buys Awards, Glamour Magazine’s Best Beauty Awards, and the current bestsellers (also award-winners) from Sephora.


The Face Masks List


I list the stated benefits of each mask, the ingredients that aren’t included–like phthalates, parabens, etc. if any–whether the product is cruelty-free, and where you can buy it and for how much.

The hazardous ingredient profile is for those of you (like me) who want to know about toxins in the face masks. I used the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep databaseI listed any ingredient in each mask that scores a 3 or higher in the database, along with a link to that ingredient’s page in Skin Deep. A score of 3 -6 is moderate risk, and anything above that is high risk. 

So, let’s get into the face masks!

Kypris Cerulean Soothing Hydrating Recovery Mask

Award: Glamour 2019 Best Natural Beauty Awards

Benefits: Contains algae and seaweed extracts, flower extracts, shea butter, turmeric and hyaluronic acid. 

What they say: “Like all Kypris products, this is a whole sensory experience….It’s one of the most hydrating masks I’ve ever used.  It’s definitely not cheap, but leave it on overnight, and you will wake up looking like a million bucks.” —Shamara Bondaroff, celebrity facialist. 

Hazardous ingredient profile: None. Formulated without phthalates, synthetic fragrance, parabens or silicones.

Cruelty-free? Yes

Price: $210 at Nordstrom

Sk-II Facial Treatment Mask

Bestseller at Sephora, winner of Harper’s Bazaar 2017 Beauty Awards, and InStyle’s 2017 Best Beauty Buys

Benefits: A Japanese hydrating sheet mask with a cult following. Contains Pitera, a mixture of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and organic acids. 

Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Methylparaben.

Cruelty-free? Yes

Price: $95 at Sephora 

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque

Award: Allure Magazine’s 2018 Best of Beauty Awards

Benefits: Contains skin-soothing aloe and calendula flower at the top or near the top of the ingredient list. Also contains castor oil and vitamin E.

Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Ppg-26-Buteth-26, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate.

Cruelty-free? No

Price: $45 at Sephora 

Dior Glow Better Fresh Jelly Mask

Award: Allure Magazine’s 2018 Best of Beauty Awards

Benefits: A micro-peel and scrub in one. The AHA’s in the botanical extracts–including sugar and lemon–provide some chemical exfoliation, while the fine apricot seed powder gives a gentle scrub. 

Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance,  and BHT.

Cruelty-free? No

Price: $69 at Dior

Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlow Peel Off

Award: InStyle 2019 Best Beauty Buys Awards

Benefits: An exfoliating mask that loosens dead skin cells with glycolic acid (an AHA), and then peels them away.  Contains kiwi water (listed 15th of 24 ingredients), aloe leaf water (listed 19th), Lycium barbarum fruit extract (a relative of the goji berry-listed 20th ingredient), and soy protein (listed 22nd of 24 ingredients).  Paraben-free, phthalate-free and non-comedogenic.

Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Polyvinyl Acetate, Fragrance,  and Phenoxyethanol.

Cruelty-free? No

Price: $9.97 at Walmart

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SK-II Overnight Miracle Mask

Award: Glamour 2019 Best Beauty Awards

Benefits: This is a 6-piece hydrating sleeping mask with 2 main moisturizing ingredients: Pitera (a proprietary organic ingredient that SK-II explains contains vitamins, amino acids, and minerals), and Sleeping Tree extract, listed as the 21st ingredient in a list of 24.

Dr. Macrene Alexiades, a dermatologist, tells Glamour, “I’ve considered the SK-II masks to be the gold standard of how masks should be done. This version isn’t a sheet mask, but a gel you apply overnight and wash off in the morning. It has the same key ingredient: a by-product of fermented sake, which has been proved to improve your skin’s texture and clarity.”

Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Cyclopentasiloxane, FragranceDimethiconeAminomethyl PropanolSodium BenzoatePhenoxyethanol, and Methylparaben.

Cruelty-free? Yes

Price: $103.75 at Amazon

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask

Bestseller at Sephora

Benefits: This is a very hydrating sheet mask with lots of moisturizers and nutrients: rice germ oil, hyaluronic acid, sweet marjoram oil, a special trio of fermented botanicals called Hadasei-3, squalene, royal jelly, Camellia seed oil, and more. Bonus: there is enough liquid in each package for 2-3 uses.

 Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Fragrance and Phenoxyethanol.

Cruelty-free? Yes

Price: $12 at Sephora

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer

Award: InStyle 2019 Best Beauty Buys Awards

Benefits: A multitasker, with pumpkin fruit enzymes and lactic acid to exfoliate, and aluminum oxide crystals to scrub. Moisturizes with hyaluronic acid, sunflower oil and glycerin. Smells like pumpkin pie-yum!  

 Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Retinyl PalmitateFragrance, Triethanolamine, Sodium lactate, BHTBenzoic acid, Sorbic acid, Sodium benzoate, Benzyl alcohol,  and Phenoxyethanol. Does not contain phthalates, parabens or sulfates.

Cruelty-free? No

Price: $58 at Sephora

GLAMGLOW SuperMud Clearing Treatment Masque

Award: Allure 2018 Best of Beauty Awards

Benefits: A clay acne treatment that uses charcoal, Kaolin clay and six alpha and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic, mandelic, lactic, glycolic, tartic and pyruvic) to clear acne, and reduce congestion and oiliness.  Also contains soothing aloe vera, comfrey leaf extract, licorice root, chamomile extract and cucumber extract. 

 Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains PEG-12 dimethicone, Sodium hydroxide,  Fragrance, Limonene, Benzyl benzoate, Linalool, Potassium sorbateTriethanolamine, Sodium lactate, BHTBenzoic acid, Sorbic acid, Sodium benzoate, and Phenoxyethanol. Does not contain phthalates, parabens or sulfates SLS or SLES, formaldehydes, triclosan or retinyl palmitate.

Cruelty-free? No

Price: $58 at Sephora; $25 travel size at GlamGlow

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask

Bestseller at Sephora, winner of Essence 2018 Best of Black Beauty Awards, Allure 2017 Best of Beauty Awards, Into The Gloss Top 25 Award winner, InStyle 2017 Best Beauty Buys winner, and Cosmopolitan 2018 Beauty Awards winner

Benefits: A chemical exfoliant mask containing a blend of 5 AHA’s and BHA’s for dull skin, fine lines, texture and acne. Includes soothing apple extract, milk thistle, matcha and aloe vera, as well as several other fruit, vegetable and herbal extracts . 

 Hazardous ingredient profile:  Contains Sodium hydroxide, Polysorbate 60, and Phenoxyethanol. Does not contain phthalates, parabens, essential oils, fragrance or silicones.

Cruelty-free? Yes

Price: $80 at Sephora

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