Let us be clear: We definitely don't regret any of our holiday imbibing. Traveling, cheers-ing, eating cookies for breakfast—it's all part of the fun of the season. Alas, that festive behavior coupled with winter's inevitable inclement weather can leave our complexions feeling slightly more feeble than we'd like. Personally, I arrived back to L.A. after two weeks on holiday with random pimples in places I don't normally break out, dullness, dryness, and some uncharacteristic redness. (Not the end of the world, to be sure, but also not completely ideal.)
Of course, I know that getting back to my normal skincare routine and non-cookie breakfast will help my skin sort itself back out again, but certain strategic face masks can also wield some instantaneous magic if you'd rather your skin go back to its non-hungover state sooner rather than later. Below, we're counting down the 15 best face masks for redness and other seasonal skin issues like acne, sensitivity, and dryness that often come along for the ride. Buy and apply now, and thank us later for the calm, cool-as-a-cucumber results. Keep scrolling!
If You Have Redness and Dryness
Not only does this floral and botanical-rich face mask smell heavenly, it's also one of the most popular formulas to help cure dehydration, uneven skin tone, and persistent redness or irritation. Teeming with vitamins and minerals, a 13-flower blend to calm redness, and 1000 micro- and macromolecular sizes of hyaluronic acid, this gel-formula mask has everything a thirsty, post-holidays complexion craves.
We love a skincare product that can play double-duty, and this redness-relieving and ultra-moisturizing blend from luxe brand Chantecaille does just that. To use it as a face mask, apply a heaping helping twice a week or so after cleansing, let it marinate on your face for 10 to 20 minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm (not hot!) water. Or, use it as an intensive face cream and let it work its magic overnight while you log your beauty sleep for increased results and relief.
According to the brand, this mask was specially designed to protect from overexposure to the elements and to help heal jet-lagged or wind-chapped skin. Therefore, it's the perfect winter skin helper.
We've never met a skin savior from cult-loved French brand Caudalíe that we haven't liked, and this redness-reducing face mask is no exception. The brand's signature ingredient, Vinolevure, is what soothes that stubborn redness and inflammation, while other strategic additions like hyaluronic acid, grape seed oil, and olive squalane provide deep penetrating hydration that not only quenches dehydration but protects the skin barrier from future aggravation. Slather it all over your face and neck twice a week or so for the best results.
This soothing cucumber gel mask from Peter Thomas Roth is one of the most iconic formulas in the industry. It might be recognizable thanks to its bright green hue, but it's the gentle, lightweight, and ultra-calming blend of ingredients that keep it a favorite year after year. Cucumber, papaya, chamomile, pineapple, sugar maple, sugarcane, orange, lemon, bilberry, and aloe vera all work harmoniously to soothe redness from every kind of source—be it face-chapping winds, extraction-heavy facials, too long in the sun, waxing… You get the idea.
SkinCeuticals may be known and loved for its very covetable list of holy-grail serums (here's to you C E Ferulic, $166), but this game-changing mask yields impressive, dark-horse results for those seeking a quick drench of moisture and significantly lessened redness. You'll notice its trademark cooling sensation the second you apply, and the potent blend of active botanicals (think cucumber, thyme, and olive) plus calming dipeptides, and hydrating hyaluronic acid instantaneously curb redness, irritation, and parched skin texture.
If You Have Redness and Acne
Battling both redness and stubborn bumps and breakouts go hand in hand. That said, it's important to be mindful that you're not over-exfoliating or over-drying your skin. (It's counterintuitive, but even oil-prone and/or blemished skin needs high-quality moisture.) So Herbivore's fan-favorite Blue Tansy mask saves the day. Dreamy blue tansy oil, natural fruit enzymes, and white willow bark join forces to soothe way redness while eliminating pore-clogging oil and debris.
This is a truly nourishing concoction that red, acne-prone skin will crave. It's designed to soothe inflamed skin and clear breakouts with help from probiotic-rich and yogurt-derived lactic acid, tone-evening and healing shea butter and marigold, and pore-vacuuming clay. Then, to top it all off, white tea tree oil acts as a natural skin-loving antiseptic to eradicate acne-causing bacteria.
It may be smelly (thanks, blemish-banishing, sulfur!), but this highly rated face mask from Sunday Riley is one of the best for those with acne and redness. Highly detoxifying, the formula contains the aforementioned sulfur to deep-clean pores for bump- and buildup-prevention, while niacinamide and zinc PCA finish up the job by reducing the look of redness, boosting radiance, and absorbing excess oil sitting on top of your complexion.
Boscia's Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask ($34) might get all the attention, but this redness-reducing matcha number might just be the superior option if you're trying to curb both inflammation and persistent bumps. Not only does this face mask lessen breakouts, but it also minimizes the look of pores, heals damage from free radicals, and keeps skin hydrated, well-balanced, and void of excess grease.
So many celebrities (like January Jones) and makeup artist (like Pati Dubroff) are obsessed with this cult-loved mask from French brand Sisley-Paris. It's a dreamy solution no matter what kind of woes your skin is facing, but is especially brilliant if redness or acne is creeping up more than you'd like it to. The creamy consistency feels highly rejuvenating and in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, skin looks noticeably more even, more radiant, and dewier. Rose and magnolia oils work in tandem to calm redness and soothe irritation.
If You Have Redness and Sensitivity
Ren's Evercalm collection is a great option for those with sensitive skin, and this face mask is a game-changer for those with redness, itchiness, irritation, and inflammation. In fact, the unique formula actually contains white mushroom extract (which the brand cites as a natural painkiller) to stop any discomfort that can accompany a red and sensitive complexion.
Nothing feels more satisfying than waking up to a complexion that looks and feels healthier than it did when you went to bed. Which, is precisely the goal of this new hypo-allergenic face mask from Laneige. Just like the brand's cult-loved Lip Sleeping Masks, this formula is designed to be worn during those precious rejuvenating hours of shut-eye when your skin is deep in its natural cell renewal process. This inflammation-busting mask is deeply hydrating, while fermented forest yeast extract also calms redness and simultaneously strengthens the skin barrier.
Another new debut on the face mask circuit, this one from First Aid Beauty features arnica—an ingredient that's been applauded throughout history as one of the best natural antidotes to help accelerate skin's natural healing process. The consistency is creamy and luxurious, and it's the equivalent of a soothing, tall drink of water for dry or overly stressed skin.
Yes, this face mask is a serious investment, but considering its roster of amazing ingredients (and the almost immediate glow benefits they yield), we'd say it's worth the bite if your budget has the bandwidth. This calming face mask is designed for even the most sensitive of skin types with the brand boasting full-moisturization in 20 minutes flat. It's also brimming with all sorts of goodness like green algae, plankton, seaweed, cherry blossom extract, and turmeric. Plus, it has a cooling sensation your skin will appreciate all year round.
When it comes to addressing and healing redness, Avène's Antirougeurs line is the crème de la crème. Its specialized formulas are specifically created with a powerful combination of ingredients to visibly reduce the appearance of redness while also calming any associated redness. Strategically tinted green (which helps counteract redness), this mask keeps the skin barrier healthy and strong while a hydra-nourishing complex helps the skin retain moisture, plumpness, and velvety smooth softness.