This Is the Best Face Mask We’ve Ever Tried

Get ready to say goodbye to both acne and dryness.

face mask review
Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

Call off the search because we've found it, everyone. This is not a drill. They said it couldn’t be done, but we did it. (Are we hyping this too much, or just enough?)

Yep: We found the most perfect face mask. It destroys bacteria and acne. It hydrates. It calms irritated skin. It emotionally supports you. (Well, maybe not that last one, but after making me acne-free, I feel pretty supported by it.)

Is the suspense killing you? Wonder no more. Allow us to introduce you to your new favorite obsession: Renée Rouleau Rapid Response Detox Masque ($60.50).

What to expect when using this mask:

Expect a major skin overhaul, especially for acne-prone, combination, or sensitive skin types. After continuous use, you can expect skin to be calmer, more even-toned, and clearer. What makes this mask extraordinarily special, though, is its ability to kill acne—thanks to tea tree leaf oil, which literally “eliminates” surface bacteria within five minutes of application—while still being perfectly gentle and hydrating (thanks, calming Chinese licorice and allantoin).

Before using this mask, I found that fighting acne, hydrating, and calming skin came only by using two or three separate products. Usually, products that work to kill acne tend to be overly drying, so to use a product in a cooling, gold, shimmery tone is really unique and refreshing.

What we thought while using this mask:

I was introduced to the Rapid Response Detox Mask last year, and have relied on it ever since. After months of bragging about its magical powers in the Domino office, I had two of our editors—each with a different skin type—give it a try, too.

“After a week of use, I can completely see a difference,” says Amanda Johnson, Domino’s Digital Content Strategy Manager. Johnson has been dealing with a surge of unusual breakouts for months on end, and after an intense elimination process, she’s beginning to see less breakouts and irritation. But acne still pops up, especially around her chin and mouth. She tried the Rapid Response Detox Mask out for a week, using it for 15 minutes each night.

“This is a gel mask, and when it's on, it doesn't dry too sticky or tight on your skin. And once you wash it off, your skin feels very clean. In the week since I've been using the mask, I can assume my breakouts have cooled down by at least 80 percent… and it also boosted my overall skin health.”

“I haven’t noticed any irritation or dryness, which is common for acne solution products,” says Lahaina Alcantara, Domino’s Digital Photo Editor, who describes her skin as oily and acne-prone. “I really liked the texture of the mask—since I’m used to a more clay based mask, it was nice to have a lighter gel texture! My skin felt super hydrated after.”

A few days into using the mask, she got a “pretty bad hormonal acne flare up. I went on using this every evening, but didn’t notice drastic improvement in my skin's condition. I would recommend it probably for people who get occasional breakouts, but it seems like someone with more intense or regular breakouts may need to add other elements into their regimen to get quicker results.”

I personally am prone to maybe one or two zits a week, mostly dietary or hormonal based. Every time a zit pops up (or is threatening to), I slather a light layer of this mask on for 15 minutes, and it’s reduced by about 75 to 80 percent by the morning. Two consecutive nights usually kills any little flare up I might have: It’s that magical. And there's no irritation or dryness whatsoever. I do like to pair it with an exfoliating mask beforehand once a week too, to assure the gel can really get in there and get to work.

How to use this mask:

Renee has quite a lot of diverse suggestions for use, but here are the ones we love below.

  1. To instantly calm the skin and clear away blemishes, apply a thin layer on clean skin once a week. Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse well, and follow with your favorite serum and moisturizer. (For an extra cooling and soothing effect, you can put the mask in the fridge for one hour prior to use.)
  2. To take this a step further, exfoliate your skin prior to using the mask to remove dead skin surface buildup. Try a chemical exfoliant like Angela Caglia’s Dream Exfoliant ($140) or Renee’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($86.50).
  3. This mask can also be used more frequently after cleansing in the evening, and left on for five minutes before you proceed with your regular nighttime routine. (It takes only five minutes for the anti-bacterial effect to work.)
  4. This is especially great for premenstrual acne, and can be used continuously for days before your monthly cycle to prevent those annoying monthly hormonal breakouts. (The reason you're breaking out before your period is because of the surge of progesterone in the skin causing water retention, which results in the skin appearing more puffy. When this occurs, it puts pressure on the pores and creates a narrower pore lining. Oil can get thicker because of the imbalance of hormones and the increase of testosterone, and when you have thicker oil trying to get through a narrower opening, it creates an environment of breakouts.)
  5. Try the mask on post-flight: It kills all nasty plane bacteria and gross recycled air, as well as reprograms the healthy balance of your skin.
Have you tried this mask, or another one that you really love? Tell us all about it in the comments! (No, really: We want to hear.) 

Read more skincare tips:
Read This Before You Hop on a Plane This Week
Apparently, We've All Been Popping Our Zits Wrong

Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Sensitive Skin

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Published on January 27, 2018 - 6:00am EST

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