8 Face Masks You Should Always Have on Hand

You have your skincare routine down to a science: You would never dare to not wash your face before bed or skip a day of wearing sunscreen. But despite your best efforts, sometimes your skin has a mind of its own! You wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and find your skin is not looking its best. What’s a girl to do? Maybe you have an important meeting, a date, or heavily photographed event on the agenda. And your daily moisturizer or acne cream just isn’t going to cut it! Which is why you need to have your beauty toolbox stocked with face masks for every skincare need.

1. Irritated

Does your skin start to itch only minutes after using certain makeup or creams? Does it burn after only a few minutes in the sun? Do environmental changes leave you with tight, red, and uncomfortable skin? If these irritating situations sound all too familiar, you probably have sensitive skin. A face mask with soothing ingredients will not only make your skin feel better, but look better, too! Eliminate redness and blotchiness with soothing ingredients like oatmeal, honey, or lavender. Next time your skin becomes irritated, generously apply this Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask ($20).

2. Breakouts

Surprise breakouts are the worst! Your skin is looking good, you are feeling great, and then when you least expect it you start to feel a tiny bump forming. Act quickly! Start to shrink that sucker as fast as you can with a mask designed to dry up acne. You won’t be able to completely eliminate the blemish, but you will speed up the process. Give this Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque Acne Treatment Masque ($47) a try. The combination of sulfur and clay helps heal the acne as well as stop future acne in its tracks. The aloe helps calm your skin, which can be irritated by acne treatments.

3. Dry

Travel, blasting the heater, and weather can all take your perfectly moisturized skin and turn into a dry, peeling mess. Slather on a moisturizing mask before bed and let it sink in over the course of half an hour or so and don’t rinse off. Rub the residue into your skin before you sleep and wake up with soft, moisturized skin. Shea butter, sweet almond, and soybean oils combine to make this Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask ($20) a moisturizing powerhouse.

4. Congested

Congested skin occurs when skin cells and sebum build up and clog your pores. This is actually a simple skin woe to solve! Gently exfoliate to clear the built-up skin cells and sebum and then give your pores a deep clean with First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask With Red Clay ($30).

5. Oily

We all want our skin to have an effervescent glow, but not too much glow. When your skin starts to look shiny, use a clay mask to absorb oil. The effect will last a few days so repeat as needed! This Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin ($26) only takes ten minutes to use—easy to add to your beauty routine.

6. Hyperpigmentation

A pimple erupts, you conquer it, it heals, but your elation is short lived. Why? While the acne may be gone, it left behind some lovely dark spots. Then you are left to wait until the hyperpigmentation fades. For a cost-effective way to eliminate these spots, use a brightening mask like this Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask ($67) on needed areas only. Use the mask as soon as hyperpigmentation arrives to stop fading and before the spots get darker from sun damage.

7. Tired

Don’t leave your eyes out of the pampering! An all-nighter or even a late night watch of The Notebook can leave you with dark, puffy under-eyes. While the classic cold tea bag trick will do, under-eye patches coated in serum are like sheet masks for this area. Slap them on before work or a special event and let them do their magic! You will look like you slept a peaceful eight hours, no concealer required. These Earth Therapeutic Hydrogel Under-Eye Recovery Patches ($9) will help de-puff and brighten.

Everything else!

For an inexpensive and fun way to tackle every one of your skin care needs, try this Tony Moly I’m Real Mask Sheet Pack of 11 ($11). At only $1 a mask, you can stock up for every possible skin scenario. Sheet masks feel especially luxurious in the summer, so the next time the temperature rises, relax with a cooling sheet mask that will tackle your skin woes.

Which mask do you reach for in a beauty emergency?