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The best face masks to instantly transform skin

The beauty world is a little obsessed with face masks, but which formulas are really going to nourish your skin? The NET-A-PORTER beauty team reveals the best to banish dry spells and add a healthy glow


Top dermatologists and aestheticians all agree that everyone – regardless of sex, age and even skin type – has, to some degree, dehydrated skin. Not to be confused with dry skin, which is down to a lack of oil, dehydrated skin is caused by a lack of water in the skin and affects every skin type (even oily). Low levels of moisture can give you a dull complexion, increase fine lines and wrinkles, make your skin feel tight, and even cause sensitivity and irritation. So, how can you restore your skin to a plump and bouncy state? These super-luxe hydrating face masks are a good place to start…

THE CALMING MASK Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask

Sensitive skin can become easily irritated, but the soothing purslane, aloe vera and vitamin E in this cooling mask actually help take the heat out. Smooth on a generous layer over cleansed skin whenever it’s feeling tight and uncomfortable or becomes red. The silky gel-like texture is a cooling tonic, and even irregular usage can help irritated complexions to look and feel calmer.

THE DE-PUFFING MASK Sisley Eye Contour Mask

Late nights, stress, dehydration and a poor diet can make undereyes appear dark and drawn, while making skin look puffy and bloated. This refreshing gel mask feels luxurious and instantly calming, and contains vitamin B5 to strengthen the skin, plus arnica to reduce darkness and puffiness. Apply a thick layer around the eye area, over crow’s feet and between your brows, and leave for 10 minutes before removing with tissue. Keep it in the refrigerator for an extra-cooling effect.

THE RESTORATIVE MASK Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

When your skin appears dull, dehydrated and feels easily irritated, treat it with this revitalizing mask. Comprising niacinamide, vitamin C and exfoliating chestnut extract, it helps to boost cell turnover and reveal newer, brighter, dewier skin. As the name implies, it’s an excellent product to apply after a long-haul flight or even mid-air, but it’s also perfect for breathing life into tired skin, even if you’re not traveling further than the kitchen table.

THE ANTI-AGING MASK Epara Intense Hydrating Mask

As skin ages, it naturally becomes drier. Epara’s excellent mask restores moisture while also targeting a host of other skin concerns. It manages sebum-production levels, keeping shine at bay, while evening out skin tone, softening fine lines and reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. Apply a thick layer to your skin – right down to your chest, where signs of aging can also appear – and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing off thoroughly.

THE FIRMING MASK Royal Fern Phytoactive Hydra-Firm Intense Mask

If your dry skin is accompanied by a lack of firmness, then Royal Fern’s mask should be on your weekly to-do list. With plumping hyaluronic acid and collagen-stimulating chlorophyll, it smooths skin and – with consistent use – helps everything to appear more lifted. Smooth a generous layer over your face and neck, relax for 10 minutes, then massage in what’s left.

THE EYE MASK 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask x 8

These sleek and cooling patches are the eye-treatment equivalent to the cult 111Skin bio-cellulose sheet masks worn by almost every A-list celebrity. They contain niacinamide, which helps to brighten dark undereye discoloration. We love to wear them while doing our eye makeup – they conveniently catch eyeshadow fallout – and then whip them off before applying foundation.

THE MOISTURIZING MASK La Mer The Hydrating Facial x 6

This is a cult product with good reason. La Mer’s sheet masks are a savior for dull complexions, fusing the brand’s famous signature Miracle Broth (with sea kelp to help skin retain moisture) with nourishing avocado oil to noticeably plump and brighten the skin after 10 minutes. If your skin is particularly arid, layer a hyaluronic acid serum underneath for an extra boost of hydration.

THE BOOSTER MASK Nurse Jamie Face Wrap

Transform any moisturizer or serum into a sheet mask with this clever product from skin expert Jamie Sherrill. When applied after your usual serum or cream, this medical-grade silicone sheet clings to the contours of your face and has an occlusive effect that locks in moisture and pushes anything applied underneath deeper into the skin, where it’s needed most. Use it over a generous layer of plumping hyaluronic acid, or try it with a rich moisturizer.

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown