A woman wearing a clay mask

Face Scrubs vs Face Masks, Which One Is Better?

Facial care is a ritual, but with so many different products on the market it can be hard to know which ones do the best job. Let's dive in.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Face masks and face scrubs are some of the most popular skincare and cosmetics products on the market today. Both have been touted as essential staples within any skincare routine, and there are thousands of options to choose from. One of the most commonly asked questions by consumers is, which one is better? To find an answer, there are a few things we need to look into, as while both products are very similar they do have some important differences you may want to take notice of.

Face masks

Face masks can come in many forms. They can be from a cream, gel, or clay base, and you can also get specialist types such as exfoliating masks and warming masks. Once applied, masks will tighten and form an adhesive grip, which allows your skin to absorb all the goodness uninterrupted. After 10-15 minutes, you either wash it off gently or peel it off slowly (which is quite satisfying, let’s be honest). After that, your skin should be nourished and look as good as new.

Face scrubs

A face scrub is a more traditional type of face wash but with a key difference. Inside the texture are small stone-like granules that scrape off dead cells when you rub them into your skin. It’s a slightly rough yet effective way to remove troublesome dry skin and clean up dirty pores. They primarily act as a moisturizer but also contain healthy vitamins and nutrients that benefit your skin overall.

Here’s what face masks do

Face masks have an important role in skincare. Their job isn’t to just clean your face, it’s to infuse your skin with essential nutrients and other loving ingredients that will improve your skin health. They are well suited for spa treatments because of their lavish and some would say indulgent application, but the results speak for themselves. A good face mask session could help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, reduce redness and rashes, minimize excess oiliness and soothe the symptoms of acne. They have a long-lasting effect so you don’t need to use them every day, in fact, using face masks as little as 3 times a week can give you fantastic results.

Here’s what face scrubs do

Unlike face masks, face scrubs are a quick and simple way to wash and moisturize your skin on a daily basis. Their role is to exfoliate your skin so you can get rid of pesky dead skin cells, which otherwise could clog your pores and lead to uncomfortable breakouts. Added benefits of face scrubs include giving your skin a healthier and more youthful appearance, as well as ironing out rougher areas of your skin that are difficult to handle.

The drawbacks of face masks

The biggest negative aspect of face masks is simply the time it takes for them to be used. If you’re a busy person the last thing you probably want to do is take 20 minutes out of your day to indulge in a mini spa treatment. If you’re in the office you can’t just dash to the bathroom and quickly apply a face mask like you could a face scrub. These products are designed for people who have more time during the day. Besides that, face masks are excellent at delivering results.

The drawbacks of face scrubs

The rough particles in face scrubs can sometimes damage your skin by causing micro-scratches. These can be irritating and lead to redness or inflammation. People who already have sensitive skin may feel the effects of this the most, but anyone can be susceptible to it. But this only usually happens when face scrubs are used incorrectly or too frequently. Try not to rub too harshly or use a scrub more than once a day.

Which is better, face masks or face scrubs?

They’re different products for different needs. Face scrubs are intended to be used quickly to rejuvenate the face by shedding those annoying dead skin cells, whereas face masks are designed to be a relaxing spa-type treatment that nourishes your skin over a longer time frame. Whichever one you choose will likely depend on your lifestyle and what you need for your skin as an individual.


To wrap up, both face masks and face scrubs are excellent at what they do. They provide your skin with the moisturizing it needs and infuse healthy nutrients and ingredients into your face that will only make you look and feel better. They are stapled products for a reason and should be a cornerstone of everyone’s skincare routine.

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