10 Acne-Clearing Masks That Won't Destroy Your Skin In The Process

There's so much for to face masks these days than super-drying clays designed to strip your skin of every last drop of oil. The best face masks for acne won't leave your skin dry or flaky — and they might not even be clay at all. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with slathering on a detoxifying mud to control oil and and help get rid of blackheads, but there are so many more great formulas out there that might be a better fit for your unique skin type.

Acne-prone skin encompasses more than just one skin type, really. If you have oily skin that's prone to breakouts, a mask that's formulated with clay, salicylic acid, or enzymes that break down clogs might be just the thing for you. But if your skin is on the drier side, either naturally or from your acne treatments, drying out your skin further can lead to more breakouts. Those with dry or sensitive skin should opt for masks loaded with soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients that help calm breakouts without irritating the rest of your face.

If you're tired of using the same old drying clay mask every time you break out, try a medicated sheet mask that heals pimples and minimizes redness, a non-irritating mud that's been boosted with sulfur, or even a light therapy mask you can use at home. Finding the right face mask for your skin — not just for your acne — can help keep your face clearer in the long run.


An Innovative Light Therapy Mask That Kills Acne-Causing Bacteria

Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Treatment Mask, $30, Amazon

Light therapy has long been used by dermatologists to treat acne, but this unique light therapy mask allows you to do it yourself at home. It uses blue light to target and kill the bacteria responsible for acne and acne-related inflammation, and the masks are UV-free — so you don't have to worry about damaging rays.

The mask works with an activator, which is included, that's loaded with 30 treatment sessions. Once your 30 sessions are up, you'll just need to purchase a new activator. Neutrogena recommends using the mask for 10 minutes each day.


A Glycolic Acid Mask That Gently Exfoliates & Brightens Skin

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, $11, Amazon

This powerful exfoliating mask uses an impressive blend of glycolic acid, Vitamin C, aloe, and pumpkin to gently exfoliate, deep clean, brighten, and even out acne-prone skin. In addition, this fan favorite features Andalou Naturals signature fruit stem cells that work as a super antioxidant defense system to help protect the skin from environmental damage.


A Charcoal & Tomato-Based Mask That Clears Skin With Salicylic Acid

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, $11, Amazon

Perhaps you’ve heard of the DIY beauty remedy for acne that involves tomatoes — the natural acids in tomatoes are believed to help calm acne. Well, this ready-made version eliminates the mess of having to deal with seeds sliding off your face. Along with tomato, pumpkin, aloe, and watermelon extracts, this skin-clearing mask also contains acne-fighting salicylic acid and charcoal to draw out impurities and speed the healing process of surface breakouts.


A Sheet Mask That Helps Lighten Post-Acne Marks

Vita Lightbeam Essential Mask, $12 (10 Pack), Amazon

Even if you’ve treated a breakout, post-acne marks can linger on your skin for a long time. This vitamin C-infused sheet mask works to control the formation of melanin to fade dark spots and prevention new ones from forming.


A Powerful Acne-Fighting Mask Formulated With Sulfur & Vitamin C

Acnefree Therapeutic Sulfur Mask, $11, Amazon

Unlike other treatments that rely on salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to treat acne prone skin, this under-the-radar treatment mask utilizes 3.5 percent sulfur, copper, Vitamin C, zinc, and meadowsweet extract to calm and heal breakouts and minimize the appearance of pores. You’ll know it’s time to take it off when the mask turns a light blue hue — a signal that takes the guesswork out of using wash-off clay masks.


A Gentle Sheet Mask That Heals & Soothes With Tea Tree Oil

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask, $15 (10 Pieces), Amazon

The purifying tea tree oil in this popular sheet mask for acne continues to work to kill bacteria and heal pimples even after you remove it. Aloe, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid soothe and hydrate the skin while the tea tree oil gets to work, making this mask an all around skin care treatment that does more than just calm breakouts. Reviewers love how each sheet is beyond saturated in essence.


A Deep-Cleansing Duo That Helps Balance Skin & Reduce Blackheads

Caolion Premium Hot & Cool Pore Pack Duo, $27, Amazon

This dynamic duo mask set provides two different methods for treating acne prone skin. The hot Premium Blackhead Steam Pore Pack heats up on contact for a steaming effect that works to deep clean pores (thanks to charcoal powder) while exfoliating dead skin cells. And the cool Premium Pore Original Pack minimizes pores, hydrates, and calms inflammation with 100 percent Alaskan glacial water.


A Clarifying Mask Made With Active Dead Sea Minerals

Ahava Purifying Mud Mask, $20, Amazon

This clarifying clay mask is made with mineral-rich mud found only in the Dead Sea — an age-old beauty secret believed to keep skin clear. The fast-acting mask works in just two minutes to absorb excess oils that contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.


A pH-Balanced Sheet Mask That's Great For Treating Sensitive Skin

KLARIS Rich Soothing Mask, $16 (10 Pack), Amazon

When acne prone skin becomes inflamed, a sheet mask is a great choice if you want to avoid further irritation. This mask utilizes hyaluronic acid, rose extract, and aloe to gently hydrate and calm sensitized areas. The sensitive skin-friendly mask is also pH-balanced, and maintaining a healthy pH is absolutely essentially to fighting off acne-causing bacteria.


A 100 Percent Bentonite Clay Mask You Can Customize To Meet Your Skin's Needs

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $14, Amazon

This cult favorite clay mask pays homage to an ancient beauty secret practiced by Cleopatra — the use of purifying clay from the River Nile. This no-nonsense treatment only consists of 100 percent natural calcium bentonite clay that the brand touts as “the world’s most powerful facial.” Since it’s packaged dry, you can experiment with the liquid portion (think yogurt or apple cider vinegar instead of water) depending on the current needs of your skin.

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