not a professional. just crazy.

These Masks (Which Work Out to 80 Cents a Pop) Make My Skin Look Clear and Supple

Photo-Illustration: retailer

With all this extra time on my hands, I’ve found myself reaching for face masks more frequently than ever. Sure, it’s a nice, easy way to unwind after a long day of Zoom calls, but to be honest, I also mask often during nine-to-five work hours — purifying my pores as I answer emails or work on edits. I’ve found the ability to do this nothing short of thrilling. I am, to be perfectly honest, wearing one as I write this article.

The problem is, a lot of the masks I own either come in sheet form (which means they’re single use and I run through them quickly) or are incredibly expensive (my Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant is $71 — I can’t be using it whenever I feel like it). So during quarantine, I’ve been on the lookout for affordable, effective wash-off masks that I can use as often as I feel like.

I love all the products I own from Versed — a cruelty-free, clean beauty brand with potent formulas, under-$20 price tags, and admittedly adorable packaging. And I’m not alone — the brand is beloved by celebrities and beauty gurus alike (both Lizzo and Into the Gloss editor Ashley Weatherford). So when I saw that they were selling $10 masks that purportedly would last 12-plus applications, I was excited. There were three versions for sale: a turmeric-based brightening mask, an aloe- and vitamin E–rich hydrating mask, and a purifying clay mask. I bought all three.

These masks have become my go-tos for tackling basically every skin issue I’m currently facing. Since I own all three, I’ll apply them at the same time on different areas of my face, altering the placement depending on that particular day’s skin problems. If my cheeks are feeling dry and irritated but my forehead is oily and congested, for instance, I’ll apply some of the Find Clarity Purifying Mask and some of the Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask. Or if I notice my under-eyes are dry and the rest of my skin is riddled with dark marks from an old breakout, I’ll use the Hydrating Plumping Mask and the Photos Please Brightening Mask.

Which is not to say these masks can’t stand on their own. They really, really can. I recently reached for the Versed clay mask over my once-beloved Biossance Tea Tree mask — I’ve found that it does a better job at drawing out oil from breakouts and shrinking my zits. The hydrating mask, meanwhile, has officially replaced my Summer Friday’s Jet Lag mask — it does an unparalleled job moisturizing any dry or flakey patches I’ve developed from working next to my heater all day. There’s a reason the masks are as good as they are affordable: All of Versed masks are formulated with calming, nourishing, and non-stripping ingredients (kaolin in the purifying mask, witch hazel in the brightening mask, and rose hip in the hydrating mask), and are free of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, silicones, formaldehyde, petroleum, and mineral oil.

I use these masks up to four times a week, for about 15 minutes at a time, after cleansing and exfoliating the skin (applying an exfoliator, like Neogen’s Peel Pads, before masking allows for whatever comes next to sink deeper into the pores). When I wash the masks off with lukewarm water, my skin always looks like a more refined version of itself — brighter, clearer, and suppler. Whether you’re suffering from breakouts, dehydration, dullness, or irritation, one of these three masks will help you tackle the issue. And if you, like me, are suffering from all three, putting all of them on your face at once, like a gloopy face puzzle, will do wonders.

This charcoal and clay packed mask is what I reach for to purify and detox my skin when I’m dealing with breakouts or congestion.

This one is packed with turmeric and red kaolin clay to exfoliate, purify, and brighten dark spots or dull skin.

And this one is for dealing with dehydrated skin. It’s cooling, moisturizing gel-based formula incorporates rosehip seed oil and aloe leaf juice to hydrate, plump, and smooth dry skin.

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These Zit-Busting Masks Work Out to 80 Cents a Pop