- A collagen mask is a hydrolyzed collagen sheet, cream, or clay mask that hydrates and soothes the skin.
- It can also have other benefits based on the other ingredients used in the formula.
- Use your collagen face mask on a weekly basis to see better results.
When your skin is feeling stressed or dehydrated, a collagen mask will give your skin that perfect hit of fortifying moisture! Soothing, hydrating, and gentle, collagen is a fabulous skincare ingredient that’s especially nice in a rejuvenating face mask.
We’ve warmed up to this skin-identical ingredient that has been the victim of over-the-top marketing claims. It’s been placed on a pedestal by marketers claiming that it’s miraculously anti-aging or skin-firming, when, in reality, it’s just a great hydrating agent!
Today, we’re giving it credit where it’s due with the best collagen masks you can buy online! Then we’ll discuss collagen itself, and how well it works in face masks, and also give you a quick refresher on how to use a collagen face mask!
In this article:
- Our Picks of the Best Collagen Face Masks
- What Is a Collagen Mask and What Does It Do?
- Do Collagen Masks Really Work?
- Collagen Face Mask Benefits
- How to Use a Collagen Mask
Best Collagen Masks Overview
- Best Overall: Leaders Collagen Boosting Renewal Mask
- Best Luxury: Elemis ULTRA SMART Pro-Collagen Aqua Infusion Mask
- Best for Oily Skin: Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask
- Best Rubber Mask: Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber Mask with Firming Collagen
- Best Sheet Mask Set: Ebanel 10 Pack Collagen Face Mask
- Best for the Eyes: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask
- Best Natural Sheet Mask: Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask – Brightening
- Best Organic: The Organic Pharmacy Collagen Boost Mask
- Best Budget: TonyMoly Master Lab Collagen Sheet Mask
- Best Soothing: PMD Recovery Collagen Sheet Mask
- Best Instagramable: Elixir 24K Gold Korean Collagen Face Mask
- Best for Dry Skin: Lapcos Collagen Sheet Mask
- Best K-Beauty: Bix Beauty Skin Diary Weekly Mask Routine
Our Picks of the Best Collagen Face Masks
One of our favorite skin pick-me-ups is sheet masks, which are magically able to radically soothe and hydrate the skin in mere minutes. This mask is especially pleasant, with a skin-soothing and hydrating effect thanks to anti-inflammatory botanicals like chamomile, and loads of hydrating agents, including hydrolyzed marine collagen. Stick it in the fridge before you use it for a cooling effect. Pick it up at Ulta!
This mask doesn’t contain collagen – it’s just meant to give the skin a powerful boost. While many of the ingredients in it are slightly over-emphasized, we’re quite impressed with the formula. It’s a creamy, cooling mask, and a tiny amount goes a loooong way towards plumping up and softening the skin. It includes urea, one of our favorite skin-renewing ingredients, along with lots of humectants and botanicals. Get it at Nordstrom!
This collagen mask combines the nourishing power of collagen with a dose of deep-cleaning kaolin clay to give wonderful effects for those with oily skin. Kaolin helps to mattify the skin and pull impurities from the pores, leaving the skin glowing and clean, while collagen infuses the skin with hydration. There is also some oat flour in the mix, which helps soothe redness associated with acne or sensitivity. Buy it at Sephora!
The packaging might be a little creepy, but if you can get past that, this collagen mask is worth a try! It’s actually a 2-step treatment. The first step is to apply a nourishing, anti-aging gel to the skin that is made with hydrolyzed collagen, niacinamide, mango butter, and lots of other beneficial ingredients.
The second step is the algin mask that locks all of those gorgeous ingredients into the skin and adds another layer of hydration. It leaves the skin firm, plump, and nourished. It’s available at Sephora.
If you’d like to commit to a regular sheet masking routine, this set of 10 makes it easy! The formula is stunning, with natural ingredients like aloe vera taking front and center, boosted by anti-aging peptides and soothing extracts like edelweiss and chamomile. Hydrating comes from both collagen and hyaluronic acid, while vitamin C gives a brightening boost. It’s not fragranced, so it’s great even for sensitive skin. Find it on Amazon!
We’re going to say it here, folks: most collagen masks are absolutely safe for the eye area (with a few intense exceptions that include clay or acids and might be irritating). However, there is something extra luxurious about using a mask made specifically for the skin around the eyes. This mask from Elemis is light and gentle but super hydrating, and it’s loaded with skin-soothing and firming botanicals. It’s sold through Dermstore.
This sheet mask is lovely, especially for natural beauty lovers. It contains a ton of natural extracts that saturate the skin with antioxidant and soothing compounds, including coconut water, broccoli, echinacea, and cucumber.
The one odd thing about this collagen mask is that it’s supposedly made with plant-based collagen, but to our knowledge, that’s simply not possible. The ingredient simply lists ‘collagen.’ The mask itself is great, but a little confusing. Purchase it from Sephora!
This lovely mask is made with organic ingredients to give the skin a nourishing boost. It doesn’t contain collagen but instead is meant to boost it with the help of vitamin C. It also contains algin, an antioxidant alga that helps the skin retain moisture, and lots of gorgeous extracts that load the skin up with different vitamins and antioxidant compounds.
This lovely collagen sheet mask is affordable and effective! It’s extremely hydrating thanks to the intense blend of glycerin, collagen, and panthenol. It also contains a touch of anti-aging arginine and loads of protective antioxidant extracts. It also contains peppermint oil, which adds a cooling effect but might not work for extremely sensitive skin. Shop for it at Ulta!
This mask is made specifically to soothe the skin after an intense skin treatment like a peel or microdermabrasion, but the truth is that you can use it at any time. This blend is simple, with a focus on hydrating the skin with a lot of different humectants at different weights. The result is moisture on every level! One set includes 5 masks, but it’s still one of the more expensive options on our list. Grab it at Ulta!
This gold mask is a lot of fun, even if it’s over the top. We don’t think it’d make sense as a go-to mask, but once in a while it’s a nice treat that’s also super Instagramable. As far as effects go, it’s a hydrating and anti-aging choice with loads of humectants (including hydrolyzed collagen), as well as firming agents like arginine and adenosine. We’re not convinced that the gold layer has many benefits, but it doesn’t hurt. You can get it on Amazon.
This rich sheet mask is a little more emollient than others on this list, so it’s a fantastic choice for dry skin. Glycerin and hydrolyzed collagen both work to saturate the skin with water, while dimethicone and caprylic/capric triglyceride create a nourishing, moisture-binding layer. There are also soothing and anti-aging agents like adenosine, centella, and peony extract, but added fragrance means that it won’t work for everyone. Buy it through Amazon!
This set of 12 cellulose sheet masks gives you a skin-rejuvenating mask routine with a Korean face mask for every day of the week. These masks do not include collagen, but they are meant to help support its production. There is a peptide-based repairing mask that actually holds up to that claim, but the others are a little simpler with detoxifying and soothing ingredients. Each mask does also contain essential oils, so it’s not suitable for those sensitive to fragrances. Order the set online from Amazon!
What Is a Collagen Mask and What Does It Do?
Collagen is one of the most important proteins in the human body! In the skin, specifically, it exists mostly in the dermis, where it’s responsible for the skin’s firmness. The goal of a lot of cosmetics is to prevent collagen degradation and to boost its formation, although it’s a fight against time since as we age, our bodies produce less and less of it.
In skincare, however, topical collagen is a little different. It’s normally marketed as a miraculous skin-firming agent, but this is an instance where putting something on top of the skin isn’t going to replenish it within the skin. In reality, it’s more of a humectant, which is a type of ingredient that pulls moisture into the skin.
In a collagen mask, collagen adds a hydrating touch. It’s usually combined with other creamy or hydrating ingredients to make a powerful remedy for dryness or dehydration, but the truth is that it’s useful in any kind of formula. A clay mask with collagen, for instance, can become a really balanced way of deep-cleaning oily skin, while an overnight mask can substitute for your usual night cream.
Then there are the masks made without collagen, sometimes referred to as “pro-collagen” or “collagen-boosting” masks. Those are simply skin-rejuvenating masks made with ingredients that either help to protect the skin from external aggressors that cause collagen degradation (we call ‘em free radicals), or they might even contain ingredients that might improve collagen production in the skin, like vitamins C or A.
Do Collagen Masks Really Work?
The problem with collagen in skincare isn’t collagen itself – it’s the misleading marketing claims! Collagen is a fabulous protein, and in a mask, it helps to seriously hydrate the skin. The hydrating effects of collagen are well understood since it works much like any other amino acid to pull moisture into the skin.
Normally, the collagen molecule is too large to hydrate beyond the very surface of the skin, but most collagen masks rely on hydrolyzed collagen, which is when the large molecules get broken down into smaller sizes. As a result, the skin can absorb more of that protein and become hydrated and reinforced on a slightly lower level.
Collagen Face Mask Benefits
Thinking of getting a collagen mask? Here are its benefits at a glance.
- Like all amino acids, collage is deeply hydrating. It’s fantastic for pulling moisture into the skin and countering dehydration!
- Collagen masks almost always have soothing formulas that help to cool the skin and alleviate signs of irritation.
- Collagen masks often have a plumping effect, so they can help the skin look healthier and more youthful. This is a side-effect of their hydrating effects since when the skin is saturated with water, fine lines or sagginess are much less prominent.
- Finally, a collagen mask can have plenty of other benefits based on the other ingredients in the formula! If it contains skin-brightening agents, it can reduce hyperpigmentation, while if it contains antioxidants, it can have a stronger anti-aging effect!
How to Use a Collagen Mask?
Collagen masks are not too different from other skincare masks. In case you need a refresher, here’s our advice! Always start your masking session by cleansing your skin. If it’s the end of the day, a double cleanse is great to make sure all makeup and sunscreen are thoroughly removed.
- If you’ll be using a regular wash-off mask, apply it to the skin next. You can use a mask brush to ensure it coats your skin thoroughly, but your fingers will also work to apply it to the skin. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Finally, rinse the mask off, and finish your routine with toners, essences, serums and/or a moisturizer.
- If you’ll be using a leave-on collagen mask or a sheet mask, apply your other light skincare products first, including toners, essences, and serums. Finally, smooth the mask over your skin, and let it sit for the time recommended. Sheet masks can usually stay on for 30 minutes or so. Remove the sheet mask, and gently tap the rest of its essence into your face and neck. Finish off with a rich moisturizer.
- With leave-on collagen masks, you can just go to bed without removing them at all!
Photos via @k.els.e.y, Sephora, Nordstrom