Of all the days of the calendar year, February 14th is the most guilty of drawing a line between the two types of people in this world: those who celebrate a Hallmark holiday with acts of romance, gift-giving, and scheduled sex, and those who treat it like just another day. The fact that it falls on a Sunday this year means that all the singles out there should really take this opportunity to relish in a day of rest and relaxation while everyone else is out concentrating all their efforts on keeping another separate human satisfied. Just the thought of it is exhausting.
Celebrate, blissfully alone, with self-care, which to us is synonymous with skin care. Pour yourself some orange juice and cheap prosecco, turn on the TV (speaking of orange juice, “American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson” is a must), and get a face mask going. More specifically, make that face mask a peel-off face mask, because the peel-off process in and of itself is far more satisfying than most interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships don’t let you check out all the dirt and debris that’s been hiding inside your pores.
Maybe this is the first step toward a whole new generation of peel-off masks, or maybe this one is just weird. The very, very clear, thin consistency feels like nothing on your face, but a splash of water after the recommended 10-15 minute dry time turns it into a gel that you then peel away. It leaves skin feeling soothed thanks to oat kernel extract, and looking undeniably clearer from the natural salicylic acids in willow bark. belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask, $34
Twenty bucks says your mom kept this one in her bathroom when you were a kid—it’s a classic. First of all, it’s cheap as hell and easy to find at almost any drugstore, and the cooling, tone-evening cucumber extract and aloe make it totally cool to use on virtually any skin type. Freeman Feeling Beautiful Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask, $4.29
Having oily, acne-prone skin is frustrating, so take out your anger in the least destructive way possible by aggressively peeling off this mattifying, breakout-reducing mask. Green tea is a particularly effective antioxidant ingredient for soothing inflammation and fighting off acne-causing bacteria, and combined with firming peptides, you’ll be covering all the bases. Boscia Green Tea Oil-Control Mask, $34
Another drugstore stalwart. Frequently overshadowed by the more popular Mint Julep Masque, the strong scent will make your eyes water, but the smoothing, softening effects of the antioxidant-rich grape seed extract are objectively worth it. Also, excellent for anyone who loves to examine all the gross dirt coming out of their pores! Queen Helene Antioxidant Grape Seed Extract Peel Off Masque, $4.36
The gel-cream texture of this mask feels fantastic going on—almost (but not quite) as good as the profound satisfaction of peeling it off. Vitamins C and E impart necessary antioxidants to instantly hydrate and brighten even the saddest, most half-asleep skin. Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Energizing Mask, $12.74
A major dose of moisture and a brightening, exfoliating treatment in one. Formulated without alcohol, this (admittedly pricy) version is safe for even the most sensitive skin, and it nixes dead, dulling surface cells like nothing else. Clé de Peau Beauté Translucency Mask, $124
These single-use masks, which have been around forever, are the definition of cheap and cheerful. For just under two dollars you get a packet with enough product for one application of a soothing peel-off treatment that uses tea tree, witch hazel, and willow herb to clean up impurities and keep skin acting cool. Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven Tea Tree Peel-Off, $1.99
If you’re in need of a major complexion overhaul—like, say, your skin is so dull it looks gray, or your uneven texture is peeking through even from under makeup—here’s your ticket to softer, clearer skin. It comes with a designated applicator, so that’s fun, and contains glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate gently. Very gently. Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Peel & Reveal Revitalizing Mask, $36
The high concentration of mineral-rich red clay gives this detoxifying mask serious pore-unclogging power. Plenty of products claim to make pores look smaller instantly, but this one actually follows through. Impressive! The clay also reduces pigmentation in areas where blemishes had previously existed, so your minor scarring is in for a treat. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask, $30
Using honey as a topical treatment is great for skin, but the actual sticky, drippy application and removal process is another story entirely. This exfoliating mask, on the other hand, contains pure honey extract, glycerin, and jojoba oil to get all the nourishing power of honey without the ridiculous mess. Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask, $32