If you have acne prone skin, you already know how crucial it is to choose cleansers and moisturizers that don't contain pore-clogging ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum. But, if you've been neglecting masks, pull up a chair and let's dive right into the best Korean face masks for acne.
Masking is a major part of the Korean beauty way of treating acne. Remember when Korean sheet masks shot onto the beauty scene years ago and were so easy to use, mess free, and affordable that they continue to be a major trend today? Or all of those Korean bubble masks that fizz up on your skin like a crazy science experiment and leave you looking more radiant?
There's a solid reason why we keep turning to Korean beauty to address our skincare needs — most products are designed specifically for our individual skin conditions and, in most cases, if a mask claims it's going to help treat acne —it's going to help treat acne.
These 11 top-rated Korean masks for acne contain ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and niacinamide that help heal acne, prevent new breakouts, and strengthen your skin's barrier to protect it. And they wouldn't be Korean masks if they weren't just plain fun and pleasurable to use.
1. A Tea Tree Sheet Mask That Rids Skin Of Excess Sebum
Natural tea tree oil is a superstar when it comes to soaking up excess sebum that blocks pores and creates blackheads, whiteheads, and zits). This paper sheet mask clarifies, tightens, and even hydrates skin with ingredients like tea tree oil, licorice root extract, vitamin E, and collagen. It works in as little as 15 minutes, making it a great option for busy mornings. And you can’t beat the price: you’ll get 24 masks in total and each mask works out to cost less than a $1.
2. A Sheet Mask That Lightens Acne Scars & Clears Up Pimples With Salicylic Acid
Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Mask Sheet, $16 (Pack of 5), Amazon
It may look like a prop pulled straight out of a horror film, but the Dr. Jart microfiber sheet mask contains antioxidants like Glutathione to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of red, irritated skin, salicylic acid to heal pimples and whiteheads, and tea tree oil to control oil production. After cleaning skin, apply this mask for 10-20 minutes and then remove it and let the remaining serum absorb into your skin. Reviewers say this clears up their acne and even lightens hyper-pigmentation that results from acne scars.
3. A Steamy Spa-Like Treatment For Clogged Pores
Credit naturally sparkling water, charcoal powder, and mineral enriched volcanic ash as the powerful secret ingredients in this blackhead steam pore pack, which does an incredible job of cleaning pores of makeup, excess sebum, and other impurities that clog them and cause pimples. Apply this mask to your T-zone or all over your face, enjoy the "warm steam-like feeling" on your skin, and wash it off after 15 minutes. Reviewers say this helps make pores less noticeable and makes skin feel "silky smooth."
4. A Green Tea Sheet Mask That Calms Irritated Skin
Each one of these green tea face masks contains an entire bottle of essence, designed to provide the most soothing, calming, and hydrating treatment for irritated, sensitive, and overly dry skin. Tosowoong thoughtfully combined six natural ingredients that are known for repairing and restoring your skin’s radiance: along with green tea you’ll find equally soothing aloe, blueberry, snail extract, deep sea water, and propolis. After your mask treatment and before you apply moisturizer to your face, be sure to give your skin a few minutes to soak up all of that serum goodness.
5. 2-For-1 Overnight Masks That Heal Breakouts With Propolis Extract & Moisturize Skin
Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Honey and Rice Overnight Mask, $28 (2 Masks), Amazon
Banishing pimples and healing acne is usually a two-step process — you have to soak up sebum, but give back in the form of hydration to prevent additional breakouts. This double overnight mask system has you covered. The overnight honey mask, which is literally applied at night and washed off in the morning, contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient called propolis extract that clears out congested pores and heals irritated acne-prone skin. Once you get your acne under control, the second overnight rice mask replenishes lost moisture and makes your skin radiant and smooth.
6. A Strawberry And Sugar Exfoliating Wash-Off Mask That's Gentle Enough For Sensitive, Acne Prone Skin
This black sugar and strawberry wash-off mask is a made from ingredients that look and smell good enough to eat. Vitamin C-rich strawberry reduces excess sebum, while black sugar (which contains minerals like calcium, niacin, and phosphorus) is a natural, non-abrasive exfoliant. Your skin will be smooth and free of dead skin cells, but also nourished thanks to omega-3, omega-6, and other fatty acids found in strawberry seed oil.
Reviewers with acne and sensitive skin say this mask doesn't irritate — but you may want to start off slowly and use it once a week until your skin becomes accustomed to it.
7. A Vitamin C-Rich Mask That Fades Acne Scars That's A Favorite In Korea
If you have acne, you may also have acne scars — and there are few better ways to help lighten and fade those dark spots than with Vita Lightbeam Essential Mask, which is chockfull of lightening ingredients like Vitamin C and other acids. Apply this mask after cleansing and toning, leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes, and them remove and let the serum fully absorb into your skin. Reviewers say this mask actually lightens scars over time and makes skin glow.
8. A Face Mask With Snail Mucin That Can Get Rid Of Acne & Acne Scars
The fervor over snail excretion in skin care isn’t fading anytime soon — and this is especially good news if you have acne prone or excessively dry skin. This intensely hydrating snail mucin mask improves skin texture in as little as one application and can even repair troublesome dry patches that no moisturizer seems to be able to heal. But its effect on acne — and even acne scars — is particularly impressive. One reviewer says she has a lot fewer pimples overall after incorporating this mask into her weekly routine, and that it even faded years worth of acne scars.
9. A 5-In-1 Mask For Oily Skin With Volcanic Ash
Volcanic ash is the killer secret ingredient in this volcanic pore clay mask, which is especially formulated for oily skin and provides the following benefits: it deep cleanses, makes pores appear smaller, removes excess sebum, exfoliates dead skin cells, and enhances skin tone for a more even complexion. Allow this thick mask to dry on your face for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Reviewers say they can actually see a visible reduction in blackheads after just one use.
10. A Vitamin-Rich Hydrogel Mask That Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells With Diamonds And Pearls
Technically, this hydrogel face mask is good for all skin types, but here's why it's especially great for oily, acne prone skin: it exfoliates with diamond and pearl powders to get rid of dead skin cells and then nourishes your skin with vitamins and plant goodies like aloe vera, green tea, sea kelp, and rose. It's easy to forget that acne prone skin doesn't just need exfoliation and healing — it needs TLC to moisturize and protect skin without drowning it in unnecessary oils that clog pores.
11. A Snail Mucin Mask You Wear While You Sleep
Wake up to clearer skin when you apply this snail sleeping mask before bed and give it time to deliver the clarifying and hydrating properties of snail mucin extract. Reviewers with oily skin say they sometimes use this in place of a moisturizer and that it's gentle and doesn't cause pimples. Others say their skin feels and appears smooth in the morning and that their pores even look smaller.
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