I'm a beauty writer and these are the best 5-minute face masks for busy mums - use these next time you get a moment to yourself

These are the best five-minute face masks for busy mums, and they're suitable for every skin type and concern

an image of a woman using 5-minute face masks
(Image credit: Future)

The best five-minute face masks will rescue dehydrated, tired, congested and unbalanced complexions without taking up a chunk of your time - they're the perfect self-care treat for busy mums.  

The parents in the room will know that there's rarely enough time in the day for self-care. And when the kids need feeding, dressing and ferrying about, taking half an hour out of the day to focus on your skincare is not going to be a priority. But that's where five-minute face masks come in. Managing to work faster and more effectively than your best night cream or even the best moisturisers for skin, five-minute face masks are the ideal solution for busy mums and those short on time. 

No matter your skin issue or type, these beauty heroes promise to restore, revitalize and rebalance your complexion in as little as a couple of minutes. They also have amazing self care and mental health benefits too, as aesthetician, skincare expert and ex-doctor Dr Sarah Jenkins explains: “Psychologically, making time for yourself, even just five minutes to relax and do self-care, is a good habit to get into.” With this in mind, here’s our round-up of the best five-minute face masks for every skin type, concern, budget and time frame. 

9 best 5-minute face masks 

How we tested the 5-minute face masks

an image fo some of the 5-minute face masks we tried

(Image credit: Future)

Some of these five-minute face masks were already regular favourites in my beauty regime, while others were ones that I had heard great things about or wanted to try because they promised specific skincare benefits.

I personally tried all of the masks in this roundup, and have only included those I found to be worth recommending. I wanted to make sure I had product options for a variety of skincare concerns and skin types, in addition to a range of budgets. 

How to know what type of 5-minute face masks to use

Figuring out which face mask to use can feel overwhelming, as there are so many options available. Board-certified consultant dermatologist, Dr. Alexis Granite explains that "it depends on your skin concerns and goals." She recommends these ingredients for your skin's needs:

  • Charcoal and clay masks are good for blemish and sebum production, as well as pore minimising.
  • Exfoliating masks often include a variety of acids, such as beta and alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Brightening masks may incorporate ingredients like vitamin C, licorice extract, kojic acid and alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Hydrating masks contain humectants or occlusives to lock in moisture including ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and natural butters and botanical oils.

How often should you use 5-minute face masks?

Dr Jenkins recommends, "2-3 times per week in conjunction with your regular skincare routine. We all have busy lives, so taking even five minutes once a week is good enough if that’s all you can manage."

How do 5-minute face masks compare to serums?

Lots of masks will contain similar ingredients to serums, just like your best Vitamin C serum. But they do have some differences and should both be used in a beauty routine. 

Dr Sommerlad, Consultant Dermatologist explains. "Face masks tend to provide an immediately visible, temporary improvement to the skin concern, while serums are designed to be used consistently for a longer-term improvement in the appearance of concerns. Face masks and serums complement each other as well as an effective skincare routine." 

Should 5-minute face masks be expensive?

With so many options available, you might be wondering how much money should be spent on face masks... 

"Expense does not necessarily equate with effectiveness. Brands such as Garnier consistently demonstrate effectiveness at an affordable price point," explains Dr Sommerlad. 

Dr Jenkins suggests a DIY alternative if you fancy saving some money. "You can make your own at home using cheap oats or rice, a friend of mine introduced me to making my own scrub/mask with used coffee grounds from my coffee machine and oils. So, I do have a coffee and peppermint mask I use once a week which invigorates, exfoliates and hydrates." 

Looking for more beauty advice? Our beauty team have tested the best facial oils and rounded up the best hand creams for dry hands to survive cold months. We also reveal everything from how to look less tired to how to get rid of frizzy hair. Take a look! 

an image of dr alexis granite
Dr Alexis Granite

With over 14 years of clinical experience in both the United States and the United Kingdom, Dr. Alexis is a leading expert in dermatology and aesthetics. Dr. Alexis is a consultant on the Specialist Registrar in Dermatology in the United Kingdom and is board certified in dermatology in the United States. She is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group (BCDG) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

an image of dr sarah jenkins
Dr Sarah Jenkins

Dr Sarah Jenkins is a Cardiff University Medical School alumni, a prestigious UK Russel Group University, equivalent to the American Ivy League. She graduated with an MBBCh having been trained extensively in anatomy and physiology over 6 years, including cadaver dissection, learning anatomical and surgical techniques from day 1 of medical training. 

an image of dr mary sommerlad
Dr Mary Sommerlad

Dr Mary Sommerlad is a UK-trained, Consultant Dermatologist based in London. She sees children and adults in her substantive NHS post. She is passionate about Dermatology and in particular empowering people to have the best skin they can by offering an inclusive patient patient-centred, holistic approach to skin care and skin health.

Annie Milroy
Beauty Writer

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for Woman & Home and other publications.

She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth before starting her career in magazines in 2017.

After 5 years working as a Fashion & Beauty Writer, she refined her career and is now working at Future as a Beauty Writer.