Do Peel Off Face Masks Really Work For Blackheads?

There's always something new cropping up in the beauty world that promises to banish your blemishes, but unless you give each product a trial run, it's tricky to know which ones really do the job. You'll likely be wondering, do peel off face masks actually work for blackheads? Considering they're all the rage right now.

If you're someone that suffers with blackheads, you'll understand the struggle of trying to find a nifty product that claws the grime out of your pores. It just takes a quick, virtual trip over to YouTube to see that you're not alone and that tons of folks have been experimenting with different kinds of peel off face masks in an attempt to get clearer skin.

From charcoal face masks, to pore strips for your nose, there appears to be no end to the variations of peel off face masks. There was a trend for creating DIY face masks out of glue — heck, I even tried that one on for size myself!

With the seemingly ever-increasing amount of peel off face masks flourishing in popularity among beauty babes, plus the many video reviews of face masks online showing positive results, I thought it best to get an expert opinion on the matter. So I spoke with a bunch of skin care experts to find out if peel off face masks actually work for blackheads.

"I have yet to see actual evidence that peel off face masks work for blackheads," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky, in an email to Bustle.

"However," she continues, "they do give the illusion that they work. This is because a blackhead is much more than just the tiny black dot poking out of your pore. There is a buildup of oil, dead skin, and bacteria underneath that blackhead that you can’t see. When that mixture of oil, skin cells, and bacteria is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black. These face masks may pull off that oxidized layer without clearing out the root problem underneath it."


Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist at NYC's SKINNEY Medspa, explains over email, "Peel off masks can temporarily improve the appearance of blackheads by removing keratin plugs. The debris will reaccumulate so there is no long term benefit. They can also irritate the skin so be careful to follow the instructions and don't use them more than once per week."

"If you use these face masks too often," says Dr. Prystowsky, "you will get what dermatologists call the tape-stripping effect. Essentially, you will be continuously pulling off the top layer of your skin, as well as that oxidized mix of skin, oil, and bacteria. This can cause your skin to dry out quickly, and feel irritated over time."

But, peel off mask lovers, don't be disheartened, because there are some that have been proven to work on blackheads! Dr. Prystowsky says, "There are Biore nose strips that do work for blackheads. Studies have shown their effectiveness at clearing out full comedones." However she adds, "You can get the tape stripping effect with these strips as well."

If you fancy giving these a try, Eileen Bischoff, esthetician at Eve Salon, explains via email how to use peel off face masks. "For maximum results use hot steam or a hot towel for about 5-7 minutes prior to applying the mask, which will help open up the pores for better extraction."

You don't need to be totally put off by peel off face masks, just ensure you do your research to see which ones have been scientifically proven to remove blackheads. After all, most YouTubers aren't trained skin care experts and you can't trust everything you see online!

Image: Beautybyjosiek/YouTube