For those of us with blackheads (so ... pretty much everyone), it can be tricky to find an effective way to clean them out without stripping your skin of the good, natural stuff. That's where the best peel-off face masks for blackheads come in. While many pore-cleansing and blackhead-blasting strips that you find at your local drugstore can be really powerful, they can also be really irritating, especially when used too frequently. So when choosing a peel-off mask, it's important to read all of the ingredients, consider your skin type, and use them in moderation.
You've probably seen, and maybe tried, those charcoal peel-off masks that are all the rage these days. And for good reason — charcoal has properties that allow it to penetrate pores deeply in order to absorb the dead skin and oil that lead to the waxy build-up that results in blackheads. But charcoal isn't the only hero ingredient when it comes to peel-off masks; ingredients like volcanic ash, mud, and kaolin clay are all equally as beneficial when it comes to ridding your skin of pesky blackheads and clearing up your overall complexion.
Because traditional peel-off masks have a bit of a bad rap, know that all of the options on this list have all been vetted to ensure they're non-irritating and non-stripping. Many of these formulas even contain nourishing ingredients that leave your skin soft, or antioxidants that'll keep your skin protected and bright.
From Insta-worthy formulas to adorably-packaged Korean beauty finds, scroll on to discover five of the best peel-off masks you can use to banish blackheads.
1. The Overall Best Peel-Off Mask For Blackheads
This relatively new peel-off mask from Bliss was formulated specifically to unclog pores and clear up congested T-zones. Using a blend of charcoal powder, volcanic ash, and kaolin clay, the formula purifies pores, soaks up oil, and smooths skin, leaving your face looking clear and shine-free. It can also be used a spot treatment on whiteheads, while the cranberry extract in the formula helps tighten skin and eliminate any residual impurities.
What's more, the bright blue, glitter-infused mask is free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, in addition to being PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free. So even though it might look gimmicky, you can be assured knowing this mask only contains clean, effective, and non-irritating ingredients.
2. Best Peel-Off Nose Strips
For a more traditional peel-off mask, these multi-step nose strips are among the most effective blackhead-clearing masks on the market. Each "pack" contains three steps: the first patch disperses a heated serum into your pores, which loosens them and brings them to the surface; the second patch uses charcoal and lava clay to suck the gunk out of your pores; and the third patch has a cooling effect that tightens and soothes pores, so they look smaller and even clearer.
"If you follow the directions properly then these REALLY work," one reviewer writes. "[The second strip] was covered with blackheads that protruded from the strip like stubby little hairs. I've been waiting years to find a product like this." Another fan says, "you see all of your whiteheads and blackheads get out!" noting that "the last step is like a recovery process."
3. Cutest Peel-Off Mask
You might initially be drawn to this mask because of its adorable packaging, but beyond that, it packs a surprisingly powerful punch. TONYMOLY's Tako Pore Black Peel Off Pack combines a blend of detoxifying ingredients like Dead Sea salt, charcoal, and mud, which work together to suck out all the dead skin and oil that are causing blackheads (or whiteheads) in the first place.
One reviewer raves, "I have never had a pore peel off mask work as well as this one does! Absolutely amazing!" Another fan says, "This mask did help with my blackheads and pores," though she does note that "it takes a few times for there to be a huge difference."
4. Best Brightening Peel-Off Mask
To clear out your blackheads and brighten your skin at the same time, this peel-off mask from Formula 10.0.6 is a great choice. Thanks to the brightening properties of citrus and the skin-resurfacing properties of papaya, the formula works hard to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oil from deep within pores while giving your skin a revitalizing boost that will make it glow. Not only will your skin look clearer and more even, but it will feel softer and smoother, too.
5. A Blackhead-Clearing Mask Amazon Reviewers Swear By
One of the most popular peel-off masks on Amazon, the No B.S. Charcoal Peel Off Mask promises to do much more than just clear up blackheads and unclog pores. It also claims to help brighten your overall complexion by fading hyperpigmentation and evening out skin tone. Plus, since the formula contains squalane, a powerful hydrating ingredient, this mask leaves skin moisturized and soft (instead of dry and tight, like so many peel-off masks tend to do). What's more, the peel-off formula is cruelty-free and doesn't contain any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or synthetic fragrance.
One reviewer calls this mask, which boasts an average 4.3-star Amazon rating, a "pain free blackhead treatment," while another fan raves, "If you're looking for your face to feel fresher, cleaner, firmer, and softer than it has in a long time, give this mask a try. It's so refreshing and it seemed like my pores disappeared."
Also Great: This AHA Peel That Exfoliates Skin & Unclogs Pores In Five Minutes
From one of France's leading skin care brands, this fast-acting peel (it works magic in five minutes!) utilizes a unique combination of alpha-hydroxy acids, which are composed of plant extracts, and volcanic rock to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores. Vichy's signature thermal water provides mineral-rich moisture to the skin's protective barrier, resulting in luminous, glowing skin that feels supple and soft.
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This post was originally published on 2/8/2018. It was updated and republished on 6/18/2019. Additional reporting by Adeline Duff.