11 facial masks for acne according to dermatologists


Fighting off acne is a common occurrence, so it’s important to find the best products to prevent it.There are plenty of face masks out there that claim to treat acne, but dermatologists are the best people to trust for the right ones.These are the most recommended face masks that come in all different styles, including charcoal, honey, and aloe.

11 ways to get rid of Acne using Facial Mask

Charcoal Try: boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment or Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Maskboscia


Charcoal acts like a magnet, attracting, binding, and drawing out impurities, dirt and oil, thus purifying, decongesting, and shrinking the appearance of pores — making it great weapon against comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads). “Weekly charcoal facial masks for acne are helpful for adults with blemish-prone skin, as it’s usually less harsh and drying than classic acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide,” explains Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills.

Bentonite clay Try: SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask, or mix equal parts Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and raw apple cider vinegarSkinStore

Do you have oily skin? Bentonite clay is your new BFF. When mixed with liquid, this ultra-absorbent swelling clay opens up like a porous sponge, drawing out oil, excess sebum, and bacteria, leaving skin looking more matte. For this reason, bentonite-based face masks are great for use on oily skin types — they can also be concentrated on shiny areas, such as the T-zone, medial cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead.

Love to do it yourself? Try these home remedies for acne.

Sulfur Try: Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask or DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive 10% Sulfur Acne Mask & Emergency Spot TreatmentDermstore

Known for its pungent, almost rotten egg-like odor, this stinky keratolytic is also a stellar spot treatment. When applied topically, sulfur causes the skin to shed more quickly, helping to unclog and open pores. It’s also bactericidal, meaning it kills acne-causing bacteria and has a drying effect, so putting it in facial masks for acne helps shrink pimples — after bringing them to a head — and speeds up healing.

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Get the scoop on all the amazing skincare benefits of sulfur.

Salicyclic acid Try: Indie Lee Clearing Mask or Tata Harper Clarifying Mask, which contain willow bark extract, a natural botanical source of salicylic acidCult Beauty

Salicylic acid is the most common beta hydroxy acid (BHA) — not to mention a must for those with congested and oily complexions. This keratolytic and lipophilic dissolves the surface layer of the skin, penetrates deeply into sebaceous glands to remove excess oil, clear pores, and dry up more superficial acne lesions, like papules and pustules. And because salicylic acid encourages ongoing exfoliation, these facial masks for acne keep pores clear and prevent future breakouts.

Benzoyl peroxide Try: Neutrogena Clear Pore Facial Cleanser/MaskTarget

You’ve likely seen benzoyl peroxide listed among the ingredients in various breakout-busting formulas, but how much do you really know about it? “An oldy but a goody, benzoyl peroxide works to destroy P. acnes bacteria,” explains Deanne Robinson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut. While benzoyl peroxide is an extremely effective acne-fighter, it can be quite drying and may be too harsh for sensitive types. And Karyn Grossman, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles, warns that it can have a bleaching effect on clothes, towels, and sheets.

  • Tea tree oil

This natural ingredient has antibacterial properties that kill acne-causing bacteria. A comparative study of tea tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide found both ingredients to be equally effective, though tea tree caused fewer side effects (it also worked more slowly). That said, it can still cause redness and stinging in sensitive skin, so Dr. Shainhouse recommends using it as on-the-spot face masks for cysts, papules, and pustules.

Blue tansy oil Try: Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity MaskHerbivore

Blue tansy oil is rich in azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory—and the compound responsible for the oil’s brilliant blue hue—that reduces redness and soothes irritation associated with acne. According to Patricia Wexler, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, this is particularly useful for inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea.

Aloe vera Try: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator or Tosowoong Pure Aloe Mask PackPeter Thomas Roth

Aloe vera is one of the most versatile healing plants on the planet. Its anti-inflammatory abilities make it a dream for sensitive skin. It hydrates, reduces redness, and soothes inflammation — and cool aloe vera facial masks for acne can help “shrink” pimples.

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Honey Try: Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask or Guerlain Abeille Royale Repairing Honey Gel MaskFarmacy

Honey is a natural miracle worker — particularly when it comes to acne and rosacea-prone complexions. Beyond its moisturizing, soothing, and antiseptic abilities, “it reacts with secretions from the healing breakout to produce hydrogen peroxide, which improves the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or scarring,” explains Dr. Wexler.

Niacinamide Try: Bionova Acne + Acne Scar Treatment With UV Chromophores or Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Clearing SolutionDermstore

Whether caused by pimple picking, cystic acne, or other bad habits, acne scars are a pesky reminder skin problems of the past. Niacinamide, known as B3, does double — err triple duty, reducing pigmentation, fading acne scars, and preventing future breakouts.

Kourtney Kardashian Swears By This $5 Drugstore Face Mask to Dry Out Pimples

Kourtney Kardashian might be known for her all-natural beauty hacks, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t a fan of running to the drugstore to pick up a quick, affordable beauty treatment. The 38-year-old reality star recently revealed her favorite face masks in a post for her sister Khloé‘s website, and there’s an under-$10 one that’s catching our eye.

Though Kourtney’s face mask round-up included several high-end products (such as La Mer’s $45 Hydrating Facial Mask and Blue Lagoon’s $115 Algae Mask) she also included a $5 drugstore face mask that’s right in our price range.

To combat acne, Kourtney swears by Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque. The clay-like mask, which can be found at drugstores like Walgreens for a cool $4.99, contains tons of awesome natural ingredients, such as cocoa butter and pomegranate oil, to shrink pores and keep your skin clean and smooth. Kourtney uses the product to dry out nasty pimples and remove blackheads.

“Is acne your problem? This masque dries up pimples and blackheads,” she wrote.

Though the Kardashians are known for the luxe, high-end beauty closets, we’re always delighted to hear that they shop at drugstores too like us plebes. And at a $5 a face mask, Kourt’s recommendation is worth testing out.

This $5 Clay Mask Is Amazon’s No. 1 Bestselling Beauty Item — It’s a Miracle Worker For Acne

consider myself to be a skincare junkie. I’m always on the lookout for new products that will improve my complexion. That’s why I was totally shocked that I had never tested out this Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask ($5). It’s a tried-and-true formula that has worked for countless people with acne-prone skin. The mask is made with 100 percent natural calcium bentonite, which is a green clay that’s incredibly absorbent. More than 13,000 customers have reviewed the product and 71 percent of users give it five stars. That’s a pretty spectacular reputation.

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I tried the mask myself and was very pleased with the results. When you open the jar, you will find a powdered clay that you mix with equal parts apple cider vinegar or water — it’s up to you. Many customers claim that the vinegar will give you more effective results. You stir until you get a thick yet smooth paste that you can put on your face with your fingers or a brush. Allow the mask to dry. Here’s the important part: if you have sensitive skin, only leave it on for five minutes. Any longer and you may experience irritation. If you have normal skin, you can leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. As it dries, you will feel your skin tightening — that’s a good thing. Wash it off with warm water once you’re finished. You may look a little red after you take the mask off, but that should go away in 15 minutes or so.

I used the mask three times in one week, and I didn’t get a single zit. My skin felt baby soft, and it was the clearest it had been in months. Many fans of the product claim that it has been a miracle worker for their severe acne. You can see photo results from Amazon buyers who love the formula.

“I rarely leave reviews as I purchase a kit through Amazon,” one customer said. “I feel the need to take the time to review this product. My 15-year-old daughter has been seen by a dermatologist for three years now. She has acne that has only gotten progressively worse no matter what med changes were made . . . I purchased this product as a last effort as she was about to start Accutane . . . I cannot describe the improvement in her skin. All the antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide creams, etc. have not had near the effect of this very simple natural remedy. Just try it.”

With testimonials like that, it’s hard not to be convinced. Give this beloved mask a try for incredible results — take it from me, I’m utterly obsessed. Clear skin is just an “add to cart” button away.


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