As temps cool, the air dries, the clocks turn back, and the heater gets kicked on for the first time in months, our visage can take a serious toll. The end result of this seasonal shift is a less-than-sparkling complexion, which can sap your summer glow and leave you looking more tired (on top of having dry, uncomfortable skin). Mitigate the discomfort and restore your radiance with a mask; there are a myriad of ingredients and formulations that can target all the possible causes of your autumnal dullness, so you can pick the perfect blend for your skin type.
Whether you need a chemical exfoliant or some nourishing hydration, we found top-rated, best-selling brightening masks you can use all season long.
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One of the most beloved masks of the moment (and pretty much of all time), Tatcha’s lavender-hued, antioxidant-rich cream-mask has given so many fans immediate results (and great selfies). AHAs from fruit help to gently slough off dead, dull cells, while the rich, densely nourishing combo of vitamin C and Japanese anti-aging superfoods provides a healthy glow.
Promising review: “This is the only mask that I have ever tried and seen immediate results. It does exactly what it says it will and increases radiance right away. It sold me on the whole Tatcha skin care line. I love pampering myself with their products before bed.”
If you want to wake up to brighter, more radiant skin, try this overnighter from Skin Regimen. While you’re getting your (literal) beauty sleep, this mask works overtime; it’ll eradicate buildup in the pores, rebalance the skin’s microbiome with gluconolactone and alpha-glucan yeast, and cool and soothe your face with a balm-like texture. You’ll wake up bright-eyed, bright-skinned, and bushy-tailed the next morning.
Promising review: “I love night masks. When putting this on you feel it on your skin which is not my [favorite] thing, but you do wake up with more even skin.”
If hyperpigmentation is keeping you from feeling confident and radiant, Kiehl’s has a solution: turmeric and cranberry. Best suited for normal-to-oily skin types, the antioxidant power of the root and berry ingredients help to promote a lovely, even complexion with cellular turnover and energizing, anti-redness effects.
Promising review: “This mask has become a staple in my skincare routine as it’s transformed my skin completely. I’ve noticed my acne scars starting to lighten and the texture of my skin become super smooth and soft. When I don’t use it I notice a change in my skin so I definitely make sure to use it 2-3 times a week.”
For brightening dull, dry, tired winter skin, this intensely moisturizing mask is the golden ticket. Thanks to a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, it absorbs quickly for an immediate brightening effect. The ingredients are naturally sourced, and the mask itself is formulated in Parma, Italy with sustainable practices, so it’s a win for your skin and a win for the environment.
Promising review: “I use this after exfoliating and it leaves me with the softest face I’ve ever had! Love it.”
Be forewarned, this is an intense mask—if you have sensitive skin, you will likely need to build up to its use (or steer clear… it can burn!). However, for those in need of a massive cell turnover and pore unclog, it’s virtually unparalleled. Not only does it help with overall complexion brightness, but it can help minimize find lines, as well.
Promising review: “It’s expensive but it takes such a small amount. My first bottle lasted 2.5 years. Just repurchased. Works so well on my combo skin and large pores. I’m 52 but often people think I’m mid-30s and this product is one of the reasons.”
Strong enough to give you solid chemical exfoliation, yet gentle enough to work for sensitive skin: Herbivore is a cult favorite for a reason! Their popular Blue Tansy Mask will reduce redness and inflammation, purge those dead cells to make room for fresh new ones, and unclog pores for that bright skin you’re chasing.
Promising review: “This mask is a game changer! I pull this out during the chaotic breakout times. When all of my usual prevention tactics fail and shark week denies me any form of happiness, this mask really comes in clutch. When the acne is flared up, I do this every other day until it’s been three applications and the breakouts are GONE. I also try to use it once, maybe twice a week when I’m feeling a bit more congested.”
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