10 Dermatologist-Approved Beauty Face Masks to Prep Skin for Fall

Follow our dermatologist's tips for finding a beauty face mask to address all your skin care concerns for the fall.

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Does a beauty face mask really help your skin?

The transition from summer to fall not only means a change in clothes, but also a change in your skin care. Your skin is sensitive to weather changes as it goes from hot and humid to cold and dry—especially as you spend more time indoors. To keep your skin looking healthy and fresh, a beauty face mask is often recommended by dermatologists, like Marisa Garshick, MD, at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City.

A beauty face mask acts to deliver a high concentration of skin care ingredients, like antioxidants, that work by penetrating the skin, depending on its purpose, such as a face mask for acne.

To find the best face mask for your skin care needs this fall, Dr. Garshick offers her tips on what to look for in a beauty face mask.

tula exfoliating face mask
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Face mask that fights acne and blemishes


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Probiotics are great for your gut and your skin from the inside out, but what about when applied topically? “Acne can in part be caused by certain bacteria and inflammation,” explains Dr. Garshick, who’s also an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell-New York Presbyterian Medical Center.

“Probiotics may be good for acne as they can provide an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect, and may even soothe or calm the skin, says Dr. Garshick. “Treat acne with Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask, powered by probiotic technology. You can also tackle acne with zinc oxide, a soothing, pore-purifying mineral complex, sulphur, which dissolves cellular buildup and helps degrease skin, and witch hazel, which helps tighten pores.

You can find that trio in Christine Chin Pore Purifying Masque, a celebrity favorite made for acne-prone, blemished and oily complexions.

boscia charcoal face mask
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Face mask that banishes blackheads


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Check the label for charcoal, a powerful pore decongestant. “Charcoal helps get rid of blackheads by actually grabbing hold of oil, dirt, and toxins and lifting them out of the pores,” Dr. Garshick says. Banish blackheads with Boscia Charcoal Pore-Minimizing Hydrogel Mask.

volition detoxifying face mask
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Face mask that purifies pores


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Sure, you’re familiar with charcoal, mud, and clay. But what about silt? Its unique composition draws out toxins and impurities, while simultaneously adding nourishing minerals. Volition Detoxifying Silt Gelee Mask is formulated with Nordic black silt, harvested from the Finnish lakes.

Instead of applying with your fingers, which can carry bacteria, opt for a silicone facial brush.

mario badescu special face mask for oily skin
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Face mask that mattifies oil and shine


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Kaolin, a natural white mineral also known as china clay, and bentonite are super absorbent. “They naturally do a great job binding the sebum, or oils in our skin,” Dr. Garshick says. Sop up excess oil and tone down T-zone shine with Mario Badescu Special Mask for Oily Skin. (Also follow these oily skin tips.)

clarins face mask
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Face mask that smooths fine lines and wrinkles


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The near-magical ingredient you’re looking for here is retinol. “Vitamin A, also known as retinol and retinoic acid, is a key player in anti-aging products and has decades of scientific evidence to support its role, even at the molecular level,” Dr. Garshick says. Step up your anti-aging game with Clarins Extra-Firming Mask. (Here are dermatologist tips to get rid of wrinkles.)

eminence bamboo age corrective face mask
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Face mask that firms and boosts elasticity


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You can’t talk about anti-aging skin care without talking about antioxidants. Antioxidants have myriad beauty benefits, including protecting skin from free radical damage, whether it’s through UV rays, air pollution, or the blue light from electronic devices. “As we age, we lose collagen,” Dr. Garshick explains. “Antioxidants work to slow down the aging process by both stimulating production of new collagen and prevent the breakdown of existing collagen.” Eminence Bamboo Age Corrective Masque is infused with vitamin A and green apple stem cells to boost collagen levels.

karuna brightening face mask
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Face mask that treats hyperpigmentation and dark spots

$28, four count

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The most important thing to do for dark spots and hyperpigmentation is to wear a daily sunscreen, which helps prevent spots from getting darker and future discoloration from forming, according to Dr. Garshick. When it comes to masks and topical treatments, she recommends looking for retinoids, kojic acid, azelaic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Karuna Brightening Face Mask is infused with antioxidant-rich grapefruit seed extract and Chinese licorice to help reduce the appearance of discoloration. Keep in mind that this is a mask, not a miracle. To treat stubborn age spots and hyperpigmentation, you’ll likely need prescription topical treatments, chemical peels, or laser treatments.

herbivore brighten instant glow face mask
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Face mask that boosts radiance and evens tone


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If your skin is looking dull, the problem may be a buildup of dry, dead skin cells. Which is why the right mask will have some effective exfoliating ingredients. “Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) slough off dead or damaged cells—the top layer of the skin—to reveal smoother, more even tone,” Dr. Garshick says. Give skin that enviable glow with Herbivore Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask, formulated with pineapple and papaya enzymes, micronized Brazilian white tourmaline, and rice powder.

dr. jart vitalhydra solution face mask
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Face mask that hydrates dry skin


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Dreaming of dewy skin? Hyaluronic acid is the key to maintain your skin hydrated. This moisturizing molecule, found in healthy skin, can attract and hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. “Unfortunately our natural hyaluronic acid levels decline with age, which can lead to dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles,” explains Dr. Garshick. Give skin mega moisture with Dr. Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution. (Try these at-home remedies to banish dry skin.)

peter thomas roth cucumber gel face mask
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Face mask that soothes redness and irritation


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If your skin is sensitive and prone to redness and irritation, you’ll want to look for anti-inflammatory ingredients. Aloe vera, cucumber, and chamomile are great for soothing irritation and rebalancing sensitive stressed skin. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask is great for after sun exposure, peels, waxing, and extractions. You can even throw it in the fridge for an ultra-cool skin treat.

  • Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell - New York Presbyterian Medical Center
Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD, on November 04, 2020

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay Cohn has a B.A. in Creative Writing & Communications from the University of Miami. Her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Brides, Fodor's, Travel + Leisure, PureWow, USA Today, and more.