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Why single-use face masks are the future of skin care

Leah Prinzivalli writes about pop culture, beauty and health and has interviewed some of your favorite reality stars. She has been published in VICE, Reductress, The Toast, The Frisky, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat, l...

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why

It only took a few centuries for American beauty addicts to catch on to face masking.

Now that we're here, skin care brands are making up for lost time. 2015 was the year you posted a multi-masking selfie on Instagram. 2016 will be the year you can carry your favorite mask around in your purse — and through airport security. The single-use face mask is taking over, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

More: What exactly is happening under your skin when you pop a pimple

These one-and-done masking treatments, like sheet masks and mask pods, help treat your skin's up-to-the-moment issues. Cranked up heat in your office leaving your skin drier than usual? Want to look extra glowy for your date on Friday? According to Dr. Conny Wittke, founder and CEO at nügg, consumers are turning to face masks to spot-treat the issue of the week. Masks can be used “like juice cleanses, i.e., to provide skin with an intense boost over a short period of time,” she tells us.

As an added bonus, single-use masks are more hygienic than their jarred counterparts. (Pro tip: Always wash your hands or use a brush before applying a product from a reusable container!) According to Dr. Sejal Shah, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf Advisor, "Skin care products that are not in airtight containers can become contaminated with infectious microorganisms like bacteria, fungus and viruses, so using a single use product is always safer."

With more and more of us making masking part of our routine — at least twice weekly according to Dr. Wittke — a trip away from home isn’t going to interrupt our glow. We've gathered a mask to fit every skin care need below, and we guarantee these will fit in your suitcase: 

For dry winter skin

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: nügg

'Tis the season for dry, raw winter skin. nügg's RX 4-Day Intensive Treatment for Dry Skin combines two hydrating masks with exfoliation and much-needed soothing to get your skin thinking it's springtime in less than a workweek. (nügg, $13)

For morning-after skin

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Ulta

We all have mornings when we could use a little extra boost. Who better to get it from than LEADERS, the #1 sheet mask brand in the world? These little life savers are fortified with ginseng, camomile and artemisia to leave your skin feeling cool and refreshed even as you're reaching for the Gatorade. (Ulta, $4)

For a skin boost

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: RevelationsRX

Spoiler alert: No matter how old you are, it's not too soon to think about anti-aging. Plump fine lines with these hyaluronic acid and caffeine-infused sheets from RevelationsRX. (RevelationsRX, $16)

For a trendy glow

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Glow Recipe

For the latest in K-beauty treatments, try an at-home rubber mask to seal in nutrients (and add an extra layer of fun when you peel it off!). This vitamin C-rich version from Lindsay for Glow Recipe aids in skin brightening, especially if you're taking your retinoids. (Glow Recipe, $6)

For a luxe night in

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Dolce & Gabana

Treat yourself to Dolce & Gabbana's take on the sheet mask, the Aurealux Mask starring the proprietary Gold Flavo-Silk Tricomplex. The cottony fabric moisturizes with a blend of gold silk sericin, olive oil and vitamin B3 for moisture. (Dolce & Gabbana, $169 for six)

For double-duty

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Glossier

What about when you're broken out and you need hydration? Glossier turned its fan favorite Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Moisturizing Moon Mask into the adorable Mask Duo Set for when you're on the go. Follow them up one after another or treat your skin's need of the night. (Glossier, $38)

For your coffee break

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Patchology

Only have a moment to mask? Refresh in five minutes with Patchology Hydrate FlashMasque. Hyaluronic acid leaves skin plump and — bonus — there's no need to rinse, just pat serum in and head back to your desk. (Patchology, $30 for four sheets)

For a busy week

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: Glow Recipe

If you ever find yourself getting McDonald's at the airport, make sure your travel bag also includes Goodal Fun Fun Travel Kit. Choose from one of four masks to hydrate, deep clean, moisturize, brighten or plump fine lines, all made with natural ingredients. (Glow Recipe, $20)

For timeless skin

Get ready to throw out your face masks in 2016 — here's why
Image: SK-II

SK-II's Facial Treatment Mask is a cult favorite that's won every beauty award in magazine history. Celebs and makeup artists alike swear that 10 minutes in this Pitera-soaked sheet will leave you glowing like never before. (SK-II, $17)

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