Face masks! Gosh, before 2020, I would have never had to differentiate. But I’m NOT talking about the fabric ones or the disposable ones. I’m talking about the SKINCARE ones! 😁 Face masks are arguably one of my personal favorite steps in a skincare routine. They make you feel sooooooo pampered and are the perfect way to have a little spa day at home. And there are numerous benefits. Plus, who doesn’t like to have goop all over their face?! Over the years, I have literally tried *dozens* of natural masks (including lots of DIY!), so today I cannot wait to share my faves and the best ones that you need to try ASAP!
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What this post covers:
- How often should I apply a mask?
- What type of face mask is best for my skin?
- The best organic face masks (Becca’s faves!)
- Luxurious masking accessories
- Reader favorite natural face masks
How Often Should I Apply a Mask?
Well…it depends! Some are gentle enough to use daily, and some should be used sparingly. In general, once a week is fine. Usually on a label, it will give a suggestion for how often the mask should be used. I also encourage you to pay attention to how your skin feels and what it needs, and then decide which type of mask is best suited for you. Some masks are healing and gentle, and some are more powerful and offer a deep exfoliation. Use your skintuition, my friends!
Either way, it’s always best to apply masks at night so that your skin can rest overnight. Also, some masks (especially ones that contain acids or enzymes that chemically exfoliate) can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage or cause temporary sensitivity. So you should definitely avoid applying masks in the morning if you plan on going outside for extended periods of time ☀️
What Kind of Face Mask is Best for My Skin Type?
Here are some general guidelines to follow when looking for a mask that’s best suited for your specific skin type:
Normal: Well aren’t you lucky! Your skin will likely tolerate any type of mask, including some of the more intense peels and exfoliators. Don’t go too crazy with masking, but you can have some fun with it!
Acne/Blemish-Prone/Oily/Combination: If you are prone to breakouts, have excess oil, or are trying to clear your acne, then focus on masks that are antibacterial, detoxing, clarifying, and healing. You’ll likely benefit from ingredients like honey, tea tree, and clay (especially kaolin or bentonite which draw out impurities and absorb oil). For exfoliation, opt for something with a chemical exfoliation which is much gentler on acne compared to mechanical exfoliation. Rough scrubbing can make acne worse!
Sensitive: Simplicity is key for sensitive skin! Watch out for essential oils, harsh acids, or chemical peels. It’s always a good idea to patch test a mask first before applying it to your entire face (you can put some behind your ear or on your wrist and see if you have a reaction). You might fare better with French green clay, compared to other clays, because it’s healing and anti-inflammatory.
Dry: Dry skin needs all the love it can get. Avoid masks that get dry or tight as you wear them, such as clays or powders. If you do use a powder, add a humectant to it (like honey or yogurt) which will allow you to wear the mask without it getting completely dry. You want to add moisture to skin, not strip it! If you do want to use a clay, rhassoul clay is one of the better options for dry skin since it swells when water is added and can help skin retain moisture.
Mature: Similar to dry skin, mature skin needs extra moisture since it’s naturally less elastic. Choose masks that are hydrating and brightening and again, if you are going to use something clay-based, add a humectant to it!
The Best Organic Face Masks (Becca’s Faves!)
Whether you prefer a mask that’s premade, a powder that requires mixing, DIY, something that takes less than five minutes, or a mask you can leave on for hours…I got something you’re looking for! These are my tried and true staples in my masking routine:
Skin Types: All especially acne-prone, scarred, and dry skin
Base: Raw honey
Exfoliation: Very mild chemical and mechanical exfoliation; contains small amounts of gluconic and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and has a slight grit
Wear Time: No limit (I recommend 45-60 mins), can be used daily
Main Properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, humectant, heals scarring and breakouts
As much as I love a mask with all the bells and whistles, I gotta say, manuka honey is my ride or die mask. If I could only use one mask for the rest of my life, this would be it! 🍯 And it’s literally only one ingredient. You can also use plain raw honey, but manuka contains up to 100x more methylglyoxal (MG, the antibacterial property) than regular honey. It’s the bee’s knees! Not all manuka is created equal and you can learn more about what properties to look for in this post:
Years ago when I was struggling with severe cystic and hormonal acne, manuka honey face masks were a *literal* godsend. I saw such a huge improvement with my skin and continue to use manuka as a face mask to this day (usually 2-3x a week at least). It’s best applied to slightly damp skin which makes it easier to spread around. You can also try honey tapping to remove buildup and excess gunk from your pores (more deets about tapping in my blog post linked above!). The best part: you can eat it for internal wellness benefits, too! One jar lasts forever and a little goes a long way 🐝
Want to learn more about chemical vs. mechanical exfoliation?
Skin Types: All except very dry skin; ideal for congested or acne-prone skin
Base: Clay powder (rhassoul, kaolin, and French pink)
Exfoliation: Yes, chemical exfoliation with papaya and pineapple enzymes
Wear Time: 5-10 minutes (longer if you add honey), once a week
Main Properties: Rich in antioxidants, brightens, decongests, vegan
This is a powder that you can mix with water, toner, hydrosol, honey, yogurt, or whatever the heck you desire. Warning: it will make you look like an oompa loompa while you wear it 🟠 But it’s really great. My friend Nadia, basically a skincare guru, makes these by hand in small batches with pure organic ingredients. The smell is intoxicating; it has papaya, pineapple, hibiscus, mango, sweet orange, and ylang ylang.
I prefer to mix this with manuka and a toner and leave it on for about 20 minutes. It dries a little bit, but not completely, when I add honey. Plus it has aloe so it still feels soothing and hydrating! The fruit enzymes in it help gently dissolve dead skin and increase cell turnover, and ingredients like rosehip naturally contain brightening Vitamin C. My face always feels smooth, decongested, and looks vibrant after masking with this! You can use the coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount.
Skin Types: All except extremely sensitive (try patch testing first); ideal for congested, oily, and acne-prone skin
Base: Aloe leaf juice
Exfoliation: Yes, chemical exfoliation with AHAs/BHAs from fruit extracts and white willow bark
Wear Time: 3 minutes, can be used 1-2x per week
Main Properties: Clarifies, unclogs pores, decongests, vegan, essential oil free, clay free
I’ve tried numerous flash masks but this one is pretty unique! Just LOOK at this color. It’s naturally purple from eggplant, red seaweed, and ivy gourd 🍆 and has an exotic fruit smell. It’s a thin, viscous gel that’s packed with fruit enzymes, white willow bark, turmeric, aloe, and other skin-loving extracts. The aloe actually makes it feel soothing and cool to the touch. You just apply it to dry skin, leave it on for a couple of minutes, then rinse away. I don’t personally experience any tingling or irritation with this, but gentle tingling is normal because of the acids exfoliating and resurfacing your skin.
It can also be used as a spot treatment for blemishes (the white willow bark contains natural salicylic acid). The formula is made to exfoliate, brighten, decongest, and tone skin. It leaves my skin feeling baby soft and smooth each time I use it; I’m always so in awe that a gel mask without a physical “scrub” feeling can be so effective for sloughing away excess skin! Earth Harbor is extremely conscious of the sustainable supply chain and uses fair trade, organic, and non-GMO ingredients. So much to love! You can use coupon code BECCA10 for a discount at EarthHero.
Skin Types: All except extremely sensitive (try patch testing first); ideal for congested, acne-prone, and dull skin
Base: Kaolin clay and raw honey
Exfoliation: Yes, chemical exfoliation from pomegranate enzymes
Wear Time: 15 minutes, once a week
Main Properties: Antibacterial, lifts impurities, softens, hydrates, heals
Although this uses kaolin clay as the primary ingredient, it’s actually a pearly, silky texture! And it uses raw honey which definitely helps balance out the clay. You apply it to slightly damp skin and it doesn’t get tight or dry at all (there is a light stickiness). Truly so special! If you like the highly coveted May Lindstrom Honey Mud Mask, but not the price tag, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one because it’s a more affordable dupe.
It has pomegranate enzymes which act as a chemical exfoliant to digest dead skin cells gently. And you get all of the amazing skincare benefits from the raw honey, plus the clay helps lift impurities from pores. Not only does it look pearly, but it literally has pearl extract in it, which contains dozens of amino acids and minerals to strengthen and brighten skin. This mask is a nice pick-me-up for when my face feels congested and looks dull. And the smell, ooooo, it’s a lovely blend of ylang-ylang, lavender, honey, fruits, and floral! If you’re really sensitive to strong smells, this might be too much for you.
Skin Types: All especially acne-prone and dry skin
Base: Raw honey and apple pectin
Exfoliation: Mild chemical and mechanical exfoliation; contains small amounts of gluconic and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and has a slight grit
Wear Time: 20 minutes, can be used daily but I recommend once a week
Main Properties: Antibacterial, hydrates, soothing, anti-inflammatory, plumps, firms, clay free
Are you sensing a theme here? 🍯 What can I say, I’m a sucker for honey masks! This mask is something else, let me tell you. The texture is basically like putting jelly on your face! I even detect really tiny chunks in the mask which are helpful for a little scrub action. But it feels and smells so darn good; it has raw honey, apple pectin, juniper berry, frankincense, dandelion, and aloe. The team at Good Medicine are masters of formulation and they always have such beautiful blends and scent profiles.
Aside from the amazing honey benefits for your skin, the mask is also helpful for calming and purifying. I feel like this leaves my face feeling clarified, toned, and supple. If you want a mask that will help with breakouts and redness, yet can’t handle something too harsh, this would be perfect.
Skin Types: All especially rough, dull, or acne-prone skin
Base: Raw honey
Exfoliation: Yes, mechanical exfoliation from finely ground walnut shells and chemical exfoliation from honey and fruit enzymes
Wear Time: 40-60 minutes, 1-2x per week
Main Properties: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, regenerates, softens, promotes healthy skin function and collagen production, clay free
Okay, last honey-based option, I promise! 🙈 This mask is a MUST TRY in my opinion, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The ingredients are pure and organic and you get TWO types of exfoliation. So I usually apply this to damp skin, let it sit for about an hour, and then slowly massage it around as it’s rinsing off. It’s a thick, brown paste and smells earthy with a hint of sweetness.
It’s quite gritty from the walnut shells, but it also has papaya and herbal enzymes which break down dead skin cells. If you have really sensitive skin or conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or active acne, then you can just use the mask without scrubbing so you don’t further irritate your skin. Let the potent acids do the work! 💪 I always grab this mask when my skin looks blah and lackluster because it’s noticeably glowy and fresh afterward. Do not overlook this one!
Skin Types: All especially mature skin
Base: Water and algae extract
Wear Time: 20 minutes, once a week, can also be used as an overnight mask
Main Properties: Promotes graceful aging, firms, brightens, vegan, clay free
Osea has a couple of face masks, but the White Algae Mask is my top pick! Yep, I did say algae. It applies as a lightweight cream and you leave it on for about 20 minutes then rinse off. But you can also apply it at nighttime as a moisturizer and leave it on overnight for an extended treatment. It does get drier after you apply it, but never tight or stiff.
Related post: “8 Reasons to Love OSEA Skincare: My Top Picks!”
This formula is made for age-defying, brightening, plumping, and toning the skin. My face definitely feels soft, hydrated, bright, and firm after using this mask. It contains white marine algae (rich in calcium), white tea, resveratrol (helps maintain collagen fibers and protects skin from cell damage), and hyaluronic acid. So if you’re trying to reduce dark spots or just want to be proactive about keeping skin youthful, then this one’s for you! It doesn’t offer much exfoliation, but you can always mix in some of Osea’s Vitamin C Probiotic Face Polish on top of the mask for a scrubbing effect. I also like their Black Algae Flash Mask for enzymatic exfoliation and the Red Algae Mask for decongesting and calming breakouts.
Skin Types: All except for sensitive skin; ideal for acne-prone and hyperpigmented skin
Base: French green clay powder
Exfoliation: Yes, chemical exfoliation with AHAs from pineapple extract
Wear Time: 5 minutes (longer if you add honey), once a week
Main Properties: Fades scarring and spots, brightens, smoothes, clarifies, vegan
A bunch of my readers enjoy this one too! I always feel like I’m doing a science experiment when I use this 🤓 It’s a powder that becomes foamy when activated with water! I usually use a toner and some manuka honey with this one. It’s the most beautiful vibrant jungle green color thanks to spirulina. It does feel tingly when you apply it because of the powerful Vitamin C and fruit acids going to work – but it never irritates my skin!
There’s SO much goodness in this mask. It has brightening Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid to help fade dark spots and provide antioxidant protection, pineapple extract to slough off dead cells, French green clay to soak up excess oils, spirulina which has endless benefits (packed with vitamin, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and fatty acids), and activated charcoal to rid skin of impurities and detox. I mean, are you sold yet or what?! My skin always looks 10x better after using this, and my makeup goes on like BUTTER because of the exfoliation. Seriously, if you’re looking for a quick but effective boost, get this mask ASAP! You can use coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your first order.
Skin Types: All especially sensitive or hyperpigmented skin
Base: Cocoa powder
Exfoliation: Yes, chemical exfoliation with AHAs from roselle hibiscus
Wear Time: 12 minutes (longer if you add honey), 1-2x per week
Main Properties: Brightens, evens skin tone, anti-inflammatory, vegan, essential oil free
Oh heck yes, this one is basically BROWNIE BATTER for your face 🍫 Don’t let the brown color fool you. It’s a powder and I usually mix it with manuka honey, toner, or kefir/yogurt. I dare you not to lick it! The smell is delicious, too. It does get dry as you wear it, so I especially recommend using it with honey or yogurt if you have dry skin.
The ingredients are super intentional, yet impressive! It has raw volcanic Balinese cacao to fight the effects of free radicals and is loaded with antioxidants, roselle hibiscus to melt away dead skin cells, Balinese arabica coffee for a caffeinated boost to lighten dark spots and depuff, Javanese turmeric which calms breakouts and inflammation, guarana fruit which is naturally rich in Vitamin C, and organic adaptogenic mushrooms. This one is really great if you’re struggling with breakouts, scars, or have skin that usually reacts to other masks! You can use coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your first order.
Luxurious Masking Accessories
Don’t forget those accessories! You can totally be minimal and just use a small dish, mixing bowl, little spoon, or your hands to apply a mask. But, I truly think that using dedicated accessories adds a special touch to the whole experience! 🧖♀️
Earth Harbor Mer Bleue Masking Dish: This precious little handmade, hand-glazed ceramic dish is the perfect size for mixing up powdered masks. You can use coupon code BECCA10 for a discount.
Dual-Ended Mask Spoon: I searched high and low for one of these! It’s silicone and has a spatula on one end (ideal for mixing and applying) and bristles on the other end (ideal for gentle exfoliation). It doesn’t trap bacteria since it’s silicone, unlike regular brushes.
Organic Cotton Spa Headband: These are guaranteed to make you look EXTRA cute while masking! Oh, and keep your hair clean so you can be as messy as you want with your mask application.
Reader Favorite Natural Face Masks
I polled my Instagram fam and asked what their favorite face masks were. Here are some of the most popular answers (there were a lot that I already have listed above, too!):
- Beautycounter Charcoal Facial Mask: To be honest, I don’t totally love this one as much as my readers do; it’s water-based and makes my skin feel kind of itchy. Plus it contains phenoxyethanol which is an ingredient I typically try to avoid. But it’s a popular one!
- Cocokind Chlorophyll Mask: I haven’t tried this one myself but it seems cool and budget-friendly. It’s a powder!
- Leahlani Mermaid Mask: This one is honey-based. It smells like fruity candy and contains superfoods like spirulina and chlorella. It’s really thick but emulsifies with a couple of drops of water. Dreamy!
- Maya Chia Refresh Mint Resurfacing Moisture Mask: This mask is quite fantastic as well! It’s the most beautiful bright blue color and is incredibly refreshing. It’s a minty gel treatment that dissolves away dead skin cells with four types of acids.
- Orgaid Organic Sheets Masks: These are made in the USA with awesome ingredients and biodegradable fabric. They have a bunch of options (I like the Greek Yogurt Nourishing mask). Sheet masks are also travel-friendly! You can use coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount at The Choosy Chick.
Now that you are a complete masking PRO, I’d love to hear in the comments what your favorite masks are or if you are going to try anything new! Or you can share any of your go-to DIY recipes as well. Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions 💚