Acne is one of the most common skin problems that both men and women face.
While a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper hygiene habits go a long way towards preventing the skin condition, sometimes extra help is needed – and that additional support is a face mask specifically designed to fight acne.
The best face masks for acne combat the skin condition with a multi-pronged attack. Not only do they draw out dirt, sebum, and other irritating particles, but they also shrink open pores and reduce inflammation as well.
Not all acne face masks are created equally. Some perform much better than others. There are also those suited to even more specific skin conditions, like face masks designed for oily skin or sensitive skin.
Our best face masks for acne buyer’s guide below is designed to help you find the absolute best skin care products for your acne condition.
When it comes to buying face masks for acne, the process is a little bit different than buying other types of skin care products.
Among the most important factors to keep in mind are the size of the product and the main ingredients it uses. Some acne face masks are made from dozens of parts while others only utilize one or two elements total.
Another factor to think about is additional uses. Many of the best face masks for acne accomplish other skin care goals as well. These include reducing irritation, detoxifying the skin, regulation oil secretion, and much more.
Our comparison table provides a look at the differences between acne face masks. Our buyer’s guide below offers, even more, information about their differences.
Best Face Masks for Acne
Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque
Best for Absorbing Excess Oil
Though the face mask contains a variety of ingredients, the most important is sulfur. It contains 10% sulfur to exfoliate dead skin, clean the skin’s surface, and light blemishes now and long into the future.
Other chief ingredients include kaolin A and eucalyptus oil. Kaolin A is a particular type of clay that fights acne by absorbing excess fat from your skin. Eucalyptus oil, on the other hand, actually hydrates and revivifies your skin to prevent pimples and blackheads in the future.
All that’s fine and well – but what sets Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque apart from the competition is its skin cleansing benefits. In addition to preventing acne breakouts, the product hydrates the skin to give it a bright, natural glow.
You’re directed to use this Therapeutic Sulfur Masque as just one part of a multi-step process for the best results.
Peter Thomas Roth recommends first cleansing and exfoliating the skin. They then direct you to massage a generous amount of the product onto both your face and neck. Let the face mask dry for no longer than 10 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
This face mask for acne is recommended for use once a week as a whole face and neck treatment. You can also use it as a spot treatment on a daily basis.
The only downside to the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque is its potential to dry out the skin. If you struggle with dry skin, leave the face mask on for only 5 minutes at first to test your skin’s reaction to it.
Pros and Cons
- Respected brand
- 10% sulfur
- Also, contains kaolin A and eucalyptus oil
- Clears blemishes and unclogs pores
- Large amount (5 ounces)
- Potential to dry out skin
- Stings eyes (avoid contact)
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
Best Overall for Acne Prone Skin
Of course, the prime function of this face mask is to prevent pimples, blackheads, and other acne outbreaks, but it also provides numerous additional therapeutic benefits.
Our favorite of these is how fresh it leaves you feeling. Not only does your complexion look healthier, but you think more robust as well.
The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay contains utilizes 100% pure bentonite clay. Since it only contains this single ingredient, you can rest assured that the product is organic, vegan, and fragrance-free.
Pure bentonite clay also has a stellar reputation for acne relief. Apply it to your face, and it will clean your pores while shrinking them in the process. The product also removes excess oil from your skin.
Because of its 100% pure bentonite clay composition, the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is one of the best face masks for acne for those with sensitive skin. It more than likely won’t irritate those with sensitive skin.
The downside to this face mask is that it requires preparation before use. You must mix it with raw apple cider vinegar or water before application.
Still, if you don’t mind the few minutes of preparation that this takes, it’s hard to find a face mask that beats this one from Aztec Secret.
Pros and Cons
- Made in the USA
- Organic, vegan, all-natural
- 100% pure bentonite clay
- Fragrance free
- Leaves skin fresh and clear
- Requires preparation before use
- Messy to apply
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
Best for Soft Skin
The peel-off effect not only feels great, but it’s also what accounts for the clean, healthy, brand new feeling the face mask leaves you with. It’s also to thank for this product’s acne-fighting benefits.
The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask uses premier-quality clay to cleanse and revitalize your skin deeply. It draws out dirt and other toxins while also removing excess oil. The natural antioxidants contained in the claw shrink your pores and firm your skin in the process.
The only real downside to this skin care product is how messy it is. Compared to other face masks for acne, this one takes the cake regarding the mess left behind.
However, if you can deal with the mess, the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is a face mask that treats acne and leaves your skin feeling as fresh and healthy as can be.
Era Organics Revive Microdermabrasion Face Scrub and Facial Mask
Best for Acne Scars
The top-notch face mask is suited for anyone struggling with acne but is best for those with severe acne as well as acne scars.
Not only does the product treat current acne problems, but it also works to prevent future outbreaks. Better yet, it cleanses, soothes, and unclogs acne scars for a brighter complexion.
The Microdermabrasion Face Scrub and Facial Mask also exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation prepares the skin for the acne fighting ingredients.
These ingredients include Manuka honey, a compound with long noted healing and antiseptic benefits. In addition to reducing current acne, Manuka honey creates a resistance to bacteria to limit pimples and blackheads for good.
Even though this product from Era Organics is designed to be as gentle as possible (it’s vegan, paraben-free, and alcohol-free), it’s still not the best choice for those with sensitive skin.
Pros and Cons
- Antiseptic properties
- Cleanses and detoxifies
- Treats current acne and prevents future breakouts
- 100% natural, vegan, fragrance-free
- Great for acne scars
- Not best for sensitive skin
- Harsh if used incorrectly
Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask
Best for Skin Detoxification
Unlike other acne face masks that also provide detoxification, this face mask from Yes to Tomatoes works.
The mask is made mostly from natural mud to not only clear up acne problems but also detoxify the skin in the process. Use this cover, and it will leave your skin feeling like new afterward.
The natural mud that’s in the face mask is complimented with salicylic acid, charcoal, and other natural ingredients. Though this product isn’t 100% natural, it’s made of 96% natural ingredients.
Another highlight of this detoxifying charcoal mud mask is how good it feels. Apply the cover, and your face is bathed in rich, creamy mud. A blend of tomato, aloe, watermelon, and pumpkin extracts are used to give the face mask a scent that will remind you of a trip to the spa.
Note that the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask isn’t the best choice for those with dry skin. It’s liable to dry it out even more. It’s best suited for those with oily skin that requires ample detoxification.
Pros and Cons
- 96% natural ingredients
- Vegan, cruelty-free
- Rich, creamy, and feels great
- Detoxifies skin
- Reduces excess oil secretion
- Not best for dry skin
- Smells artificial.
Acne Clarifying Charcoal Mask Treatment by Exposed Skin Care
Best for Reducing Redness and Irritation
Specially designed for the treatment of acne, the face mask not only efficiently removes dirt, sebum, and toxins from the skin, but it also absorbs excess oil and helps prevent the production of excess fat in the future.
The Exposed Clarifying Mask accomplishes it’s intended goal with a combination of active ingredients, notably sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and micronized benzoyl peroxide.
These powerful ingredients work together to clean and purify the skin to reduce current outbreaks out acne as well as provide long-term care to limit the development of future pimples and blackheads.
Exposed Skin Care also adds a proprietary herbal blend into their face mask for acne to calm and soothe the skin. Your face will feel like new when you finish the treatment.
You’re recommended to use the face mask treatment between one and two times a week for the best results. Once the product has started to work, you can reduce the frequency of use to once a week or even once every other week.
Note that this Exposed Skin Care face mask isn’t the best option for those with sensitive skin. It contains a few ingredients that are known to be harsh on sensitive skin.
If you’re looking for a face mask for acne that contains clinical strength ingredients and also reduces redness and irritation, the Exposed Clarifying Mask is excellent.
Pros and Cons
- Respected brand
- Clinical strength ingredients
- Herbal blend to soothe and calm skin
- Reduces redness and irritation
- Fragrance free
- Not best for sensitive skin
- Dries skin out if used too often
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask
Best for Cleansing Pores
The deep pore cleansing face mask is created not only to clear up acne but also to provide a brighter, brighter complexion overall.
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask accomplishes its stated purpose with a combination of ingredients. Most important among these is bamboo. The naturally antiseptic bamboo cleans pores and detoxifies the skin.
Other chief ingredients include zinc oxide, vitamin B5, and vitamin E. The zinc oxide’s role is to reduce inflammation while the two vitamins improve the look and feel of your skin (notably your skin elasticity) by providing ample hydration.
The result of using the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask as directed on the packaging is a much brighter complexion in the vast majority of cases.
These directions state that you should first cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Once this is done, apply a generous layer of the clearing mask to your face and neck. Leave the product on for around 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Repeat once a week.
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask works best for a healthy or oily skin. However, it tends to dry your skin out too much for those that already struggle with dry skin.
We love the fact that this face mask for acne is fragrance-free, so it usually doesn’t irritate those with sensitive skin.
Pros and Cons
- Natural ingredients
- Detoxifies and exfoliates skin
- Hydrates while reducing excess oil
- Only needs to be used once a week
- Fragrance free
- Dries out dry skin
- Requires multiple uses for results
Mistine Egg White Whitening Poreless & Anti-Blackhead Peel Off Facial Mask
Best for Brightening Skin
This Egg White Peel Off Mask is designed to fight acne while also whitening and brightening the skin in the process.
A combination of albumen, hydrolyzed elastin, and collagen allow the mask to accomplish its stated goals. These ingredients work together to clean your skin, limit breakouts, and tighten the skin in your face.
Another highlight of this Egg White mask is that it reduces acne scars. Those that have struggled with acne in the past are often left with scarring – this face mask fights this for you.
It’s recommended that you use this face mask between one and three times a week for the best results. Each use consists of leaving the cover on for around 20 minutes before peeling it off.
While the face mask does leave the skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth, it does leave a sort of residue behind. Your skin might not feel so clean right after using this mask, but rinsing it helps immediately.
Pros and Cons
- Reduce acne scars
- Clinical-strength ingredients
- Whitens and brightens the skin
- Leaves skin feeling soft
- Healthier feeling skin
- Leaves residue after peeling
- Might hurt to remove
A.F.Y. AIVOYE Deep Cleansing Black Face Mask
Best for Oily Skin
By regulating oil secretion and removing excess oil from the skin, this face mask reduces the likelihood of acne outbreaks now and into the future.
The ingredients used to accomplish this task include deionized water, glycerin, and propylene glycol. These clinical-strength ingredients have been proven to regulate oil secretion.
Other benefits of the AIVOYE Deep Cleansing Black Face Mask include cleansing the skin and shrinking the pores. These also lead to a much lower risk of blackheads and pimples.
All that it takes to use this acne face mask for dry skin successfully is applying to the surface for 10 to 15 minutes once a week.
The downside? The product is hard to remove. It doesn’t peel off like the Boscia black mask reviewed above. Instead, it must be scrubbed off by hand, but it doesn’t scrub off very quickly.
Still, though, the struggle to remove the face mask is well worth the effort for those with oily skin that haven’t had acne relief success with other skin care products.
Pros and Cons
- Regulates oil secretion
- Provides short-term and long-term acne relief
- Cleanse Pores
- Leaves face very softly
- Removes a lot of dirt
- Difficult to remove
- Painful to remove
Face Masks for Acne Buyer’s Guide
An acne face mask, as the name implies, is a product that’s specifically designed to help treat acne.
Despite that categorization, these face masks come in a wide range of types, broken down primarily by the kind of ingredients and specific uses.
However, there are other factors to keep in mind when buying face masks for acne. Chief among these is your skin type. You must find a face mask that works safely and efficiently with your skin type for the best results.
Still, other considerations to keep in mind are the size of the product as well as the frequency and duration at which it’s supposed to be used.
Understanding each of these different factors will significantly aid you in finding the best acne face masks for you.
The most important thing to understand when buying a face mask for acne is that everyone’s skin is unique.
That’s right – your skin is like no one else’s skin in the world. That’s why it’s just so important to know your skin type so you can buy a face mask best suited for it.
Though skin type can be broken down into dozens of different categories, we can break it down into five main types for our purposes today.
These five skin types include:
Regular – Healthy appearance with few blemishes and small pores.
Sensitive – Sensitive to irritation and redness, breaks out often.
Dry – Dry skin with small pores that is prone to flakiness and wrinkling.
Oily – Greasy, plump skin with large pores, most likely to develop blemishes.
Combination – Usually a mix of dry and oily skin in different parts of the face.
People with every one of these skin types – including normal – are prone to develop acne. Face masks are available that are specifically designed for each of them.
The ingredients used in your face mask for acne not only dictate its effectiveness but also how well it works for each skin type.
According to Everyday Health, a few of the best ingredients for acne relief include:
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids – AHAs include glycolic and lactic acid and slough off dead skin to clear your pores.
Benzoyl Peroxide – Not only does this remove dead skin, but it also removes excess oil and kills bacteria in the process.
Clay – A face mask made out of earth soothes the skin, reducing inflammation as well as oil production.
Salicylic Acid – A beta-hydroxy acid, salicylic acid exfoliates the skin to unclog pores, especially by peeling the interior of hair follicles.
Sulfur – This ingredient reduces inflammation, exfoliates dead skin, and even limits excessive oil production.
Of course, these five ingredients are only the tip of the iceberg as far as ingredients used in acne face masks go.
There are dozens of others used either as primary ingredients or secondary ingredients that have been proven effective.
However, if you’re looking to buy your first face mask for acne prone skin, we recommend selecting a product that prominently features one of the above ingredients.
If you’re looking for a face mask for acne, then the primary use is apparent: to reduce acne and prevent future breakouts.
Many acne face masks have additional benefits as well. Since you’re already investing in such a product, there’s no reason not to kill two birds with one stone.
Some of the additional uses of sure face masks include regulate oil secretion, detoxify skin, brighten skin, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, prevent inflammation, and clean pores.
Every type of face mask for acne works slightly differently, both in how often you use them and how long they need to be left on your skin.
For example, some products need to stay on your skin for 5 minutes or less before you need to rinse them off while others must remain on your surface for 20 minutes or longer. Some face masks are even best when worn overnight!
Besides, some face masks need to be applied once a week while others are best if they’re used multiple times per week.
Face masks come in packaging that ranges anywhere from 1 ounce to more than 5 ounces.
Take note of the recommended frequency/duration of use when comparing the sizes of various products. For example, a product might be small, but you might get just as much use out of it as a more significant product because it needs to be used less frequently.
Other Things You Should Look for When Buying Face Masks for Acne
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in a face mask for acne prone skin, it’s time to consider several other factors.
Main Types of Face Masks
The vast majority of face masks for acne can be divided down into five main types. These are anti-aging, exfoliating, hydrating, purifying, and soothing.
Each type of face mask attacks acne differently. Each model is better for a different kind of skin and acne outbreak.
Remember that often more than one type of face mask is combined with a single kind of face mask.
Anti-Aging – Best for those with older skin, these products reduce acne while also minimizing fine lines and wrinkles by first exfoliating and then cleaning the surface.
Exfoliating – Removes dead skin and other toxins to leave behind a cleaner, healthier complexion with a lower risk of developing acne.
Hydrating – A prime option for those with dry skin, this type of face mask replenishes much-needed moisture to reduce the risk of acne without drying out the skin.
Purifying – Removes dirt from the skin, cleanse the pores, and absorbs excess oil to help combat acne. Often contains clay or sulfur.
Soothing – Best for those with sensitive skin, these gentle face masks often contain natural ingredients to scrub the skin without irritating it or triggering a reaction.
A lot of people have specific lifestyles that dictate they use a particular type of products on their skin.
For face masks for acne, these include vegan, organic, and hypoallergenic options. These natural face masks for acne accomplish the same goals with more natural ingredients.
Vegan – Those that lead a vegan lifestyle can now find face masks for acne that don’t include animal products and haven’t been tested on animals.
Organic – Manufacturers now offer acne face masks that specifically contain only natural ingredients for those that prefer to stay away from elements that aren’t.
Hypoallergenic – Those with sensitive skin should look at hypoallergenic face masks. These only contain ingredients that are the least likely to cause an allergic reaction. Most don’t provide any fragrances or perfumes.
The face mask for sensitive acne prone skin that stood out most to us was the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.
Thanks to its all-natural composition of 100% pure bentonite clay, powerful cleansing and detoxifying benefits, and long-term acne relief, Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay was a natural choice as our favorite face mask for acne.
It firmly beat out Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask, our second favorite choice for a face mask for acne. Though we liked the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay better overall, the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask is still an excellent choice for those with oily skin or sensitive skin.
Remember that the best acne face mask for us isn’t necessarily the best for you. That’s why, as outlined in our buyer’s guide, it’s so important to understand your skin type to find the best face mask for your specific acne condition.
And please don’t hesitate to let us know if we left off another acne face mask that you feel does the job just as well if not better than the nine face masks we reviewed above.