These Face Masks for Acne Just About Guarantee a Clear Complexion
To say acne can ruin your day, week, or even your month is an understatement when you feel like you're fighting (and losing) an uphill battle with those pesky blemishes. But that's where some of the best face masks for acne come in—and you can even pick up some at your local drugstore. "Many women with acne struggle with picking and the vicious cycle it creates," says Elyse Shelger RN, director of medical operations at Skin Laundry. "Soothing and healing masks can help calm redness and irritation."
And the usage of face masks is nothing new—thousands of years ago, clays, muds, and herbs were used to create natural, healing, rejuvenating masks, according to Jamé Heskett, MD, author of The Well Path and founder of The Well Path Clinic in New York City). Now, Heskett says we have science to back up the usage of some of these ancient practices and topicals to heal problem skin. And the best way to apply them? "Your skin is an organ—it is all connected—so if you have blemishes, it's best to treat the whole face." Below, find the best face masks for acne recommended by top dermatologists, aestheticians, and skin experts.
Skin Laundry Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask ($18)
"Place this sheet mask in the fridge before using. The cold temperature will further stimulate the blood circulation in your face, improving the overall absorption of nutrients that come from ingredients like meadowfoam seed oil and lentil seed extract. Scoop out any remaining product from the package and apply to arms, elbows, and any other dry spots—don't let any go to waste!" — Elyse Shelger, RN, director of medical operations at Skin Laundry
Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask ($29)
"An at-home face mask specifically for acne can dry out existing acne, tighten pores, and minimise oil production. This version from Mario Badescu reduces redness, takes away inflammation, and calms the skin overall." — Parvaneh Rafaeloff, MD, Le Jolie Medi Spa in Los Angeles
Elizabeth Arden Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocellulose Mask (set of 4) ($85)
"This mask contains probiotics that not only trigger an improvement in the appearance of the skin but optimise skin's microflora and its natural defense. I use it during bath time as the warm water can help circulation." — Dendy Engelman, MD, Manhattan-based dermatological surgeon
Proactiv Skin Purifying Mask ($20)
"This Proactiv mask contains sulfur, which kills surface bacteria that may cause acne. It works to break down keratin to clean pores and is anti-inflammatory and calming to skin. Use it once a week in conjunction with Proactiv Detox Hydrogel (out later this month), which is made with bamboo charcoal and Lava clay to clean acne-prone skin." — Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York
HydroPeptide Miracle Mask ($53)
"What I like is that this mask with Bentonite clay is that it's powerful but gentle. It allows the body to naturally control oil and restore pH balance and bacterial flora so that the skin can reset and break the cycle of acne production. Apply a thin layer to clean skin (it may tingle!) and rinse after 10 minutes. — Jamé Heskett, MD, author of The Well Path and founder of The Well Path Clinic in New York City
Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask ($61)
"Sulfur is the active ingredient in this mask. Yes, it has a reputation for giving rotten eggs their odor (products have been formulated to smell fine, thankfully!), but it is anti-bacterial, drying, and helps lift off dead skin cells gently." — Jennifer Herrmann, MD, board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills