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 the store 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 deeply penetrate pores and absorb dead skin and oil that lead to the waxy build-up that results in blackheads. But charcoal isn't the only hero ingredient in peel-off masks; ingredients like volcanic ash, mud, kaolin clay, and certain types of acids are all equally beneficial when it comes to ridding your skin of blackheads and clearing up your 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 seven of the best peel-off masks you can use to banish blackheads.
1 The Best Luxury Peel-Off Mask For Blackheads
AHAVA is know for using high-quality, skin-safe ingredients in their sophisticated formulas — and
this Dunaliella Algae peel-off mask is just another example of that. In addition to detoxifying charcoal powder, this formula contains the brand's signature Dead Sea water, as well as Dead Sea algae (Dunaliella Salina algae), which are rich in antioxidants and pro-vitamin A, to leave skin nourished and smooth. The bamboo charcoal helps clear out blackheads, while squalane and aloe leaf juice work to restore hydration, and niacinamide promotes a more even-looking complexion. In short, this mask basically does everything good for your skin — and it won't leave it feeling irritated or stripped. Rave review: “This Ahava mask has quickly and easily become part of my Sunday routine. I find it incredible. From applying the black gloop to my face, through to just relaxing whilst feeling it dry and firm (I tend to just leave it on for an hour, whilst I do my nails), through to the childish joy of peeling it off for the big reveal of super soft skin afterwards. This is possibly the best face mask I have ever used.” 2 The 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. Rave review: “I LOVED these! Best blackhead remover I've ever used. [...] I normally get 3 big blackheads out when i use other blackhead remover strips [...] so i figured this would do about the same . Holy crap. I was literally in shock when I pulled it off my nose. [...] less than 10$ for a pack of 5? Wow. Great product.” 3 The 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. Rave review: “I love the scent, and I double love how it pulls out even the most stubborn face junk. Small annoying hairs begone too! [...] I recommend. I have super sensitive skin and this didn't bother me a bit.” 4 The Best Peel-Off Face Mask Kit
order comes with everything you need for a successful peel-off masking session. In addition to the mask itself, there’s a washable silicone brush for mess-free, hygienic application; and a tea tree oil and chamomile face serum, which you can apply post-mask to further purify your pores and calm any redness. As far as the mask goes, activated bamboo charcoal is the main detoxifying agent, while glycerin and aloe hydrate without clogging up your pores. Finally, witch hazel tones and wicks away excess sebum, so you’ll be left with smooth, matte skin and the appearance of tighter pores. Rave review: “This mask really removes EVERYTHING. Don’t leave it for too long or it will become difficult to take off. I noticed a difference in the softness of my skin after I used it. My favorite thing about this product is the serum! It has helped my skin look a lot more even and it smells so niceee” 5 A Blackhead-Clearing Mask That Also Brightens Your Complexion
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. Rave review: “I love this! Totally worth the price. I kept mine on for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 20 bc I wanted to make sure it was all dry. It came off in one "sheet", i could see the nasty bits it got out of my pores, it doesnt smell weird, and my skin was so soft after. The thin parts that didnt come off easily wiped off with a wash cloth. I have sensitive skin and this did not irritate my skin or cause redness. I will buy this product over and over.” 6 Another K-Beauty Peel-Off Face Mask That’s Fun & Effective
K-beauty brand I DEW CARE is a favorite among the Instagram set and skin care aficionados alike, thanks to their cheeky packaging and seriously effective formulas. Case in point: This
Space Kitten peel-off mask. The jet black mask is infused with finely milled glitter pigments, meant to mimic the appearance of the star-studded night sky (and offer an irresistible selfie moment). But the blend of volcanic ash, charcoal powder, and sapphire powder all work together to exfoliate dead skin cells, absorb excess oil, and pull up blackheads, impurities, and even fine hairs when you peel it off. Other luxe ingredients, like diamond and pearl powder, polish your skin to its peak brightness. Rave review: “It suctioned onto my face better than pore strips ever have! And, tbh, I had a lot of fun slowly peeling it off section by section and snipping it apart with scissors to see what all it pulled out of my pores. I'm telling you, it was glorious. [The mask is] also rly shimmery and fun to kick back and relax in.” 7 The Best Sheet Masks For Blackheads
True, sheet masks aren’t peel-off masks
per se — but if you have sensitive or dry skin, these Charcoal Sheet Masks are a much better option, since they won’t tug at your skin when you peel them off (and you do technically peel them off!). Plus, the serum they’re soaked in contains soothing and hydrating ingredients, like chamomile, allantoin, and hyaluronic acid; and that juicy serum simply feels amazing on dry skin. That said, the serum contains plenty of the exfoliating ingredients you need to get rid of blackheads, and the excess sebum that causes them, including glycolic acid, tea tree oil, and the titular charcoal powder. Pop these in the fridge for an extra refreshing sensation, and run a jade roller or other face massager over it to really work that serum into your skin. Rave review: “This is an awesome mask. The packaging is great as when you open up the mask it actually unfolds easily. The facial cutouts are also a plus as they are normal and lets face it some are not so great. [...] I will continue to get these masks as they are great for your pores.” 8 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 combination of alpha-hydroxy acids 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. Though it's more of a peel than a peel-off mask, consistent use should help prevent blackheads from forming in the first place. Rave review: “Absolutely love this mask. It smells and feels luxurious. It's easy to apply, is practically invisible on the skin, and can be rinsed off after just five minutes. It has great ingredients and isn't harsh or drying at all. It definitely gives a great glow!”
Get Even More From Bustle — Sign Up For The Newsletter
From hair trends to relationship advice, our daily newsletter has everything you need to sound like a person who’s on TikTok, even if you aren’t.
Subscribe to our newsletter >
This article was originally published on
Feb. 8, 2018