Best Face Masks For Acne Prone Skin – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

If you think face masks are just a luxury treat- think again.

With the right ingredients, a face mask can help get rid of your skin’s most stubborn impurities. It can eliminate excess oil and dirt and calm your skin’s angry and red spots.

The problem?

Finding the right face mask for your skin type requires a lot of work and risks. You have to really test out the products if you want to know which works and which don’t.

This means investing not just your hard-earned money but your precious time, too.

So, to save you from these inconveniences, we created this handy guide on choosing face masks. We spent 40 hours testing the products, analyzing reviews from actual customers and reviewing related published studies just to make sure we pick the right face mask with the right ingredients for your skin concern.


Key Features

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    Type: Rinse-off mask
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    Drying/ Waiting time: 10 to 15 minutes
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    Key ingredients: Activated charcoal, bentonite, camphor
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    Type: Rinse-off
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    Drying/ Waiting time: 15 to 20 minutes
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    Key ingredients: Mineral Dead Sea Mud
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    Type: Rinse-off
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    Drying/ Waiting time: Around 10 minutes
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    Key ingredients: Sulfur, eucalyptus oil and aloe
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    Type: Rinse-off
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    Drying/ Waiting time: 10 minutes
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    Key ingredients: Antiseptic bamboo and zinc oxide
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    Type: Rinse-off
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    Drying/ Waiting time: Minimum of 5 to 10 minutes
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    Key ingredients: 100% natural calcium bentonite clay

To help you choose, here’s a detailed review on the best face mask for acne-prone skin.

#1 Clarifying Mask by Exposed

 Exposed Skin Care

Containing 3% Sulfur, this clarifying mask from Exposed is a highly recommended product for us.

Well, actually, not just for us. In fact, about 98% of the people who used the product noticed their skin got clearer while 96% noticed an improved skin tone and appearance.

And they aren’t just numbers.

This clarifying mask contains unique ingredients your skin will surely look forward to.

Aside from Sulfur, you can also see active charcoal in this product. This ingredient helps absorb excess oil from the skin.

It also contains Bentonite which works like magnet in lifting impurities off of your skin. You see, excess oil, dirt and makeup residues are the most common causes of acne, especially when they clog your pores.

In addition to its ingredients, the mask is also multipurpose. You can use it as a regular mask two to three times a week to decrease the severity of your acne.

Or you can use it for spot treatment.

​This face mask is a part of the Exposed Ultimate Kit. You can use it on its own or you can get the whole kit and get clearer skin in just 30 days.

Hint: You’ll also save more if you do.

Take note that the product also comes with a money back guarantee- in case you’re not satisfied with the results. Though, we highly doubt you’ll feel that way.​

What We Like:

  • Can be used for spot treatment
  • Has clinical strength anti-acne ingredients
  • Good for blackheads

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit messy to apply

#2/ Aria Starr Beauty Dead Sea Mud Mask

Aria Starr Beauty

Aria Starr Beauty Dead Sea Mud Mask has a 100% mineral formulation to clear out your pores, detoxify and exfoliate your skin. The product comes in a big 8.8 ounce jar- which can last you quite a while.

People with acne prone skin can benefit from this mud mask since it can absorb excess oil and remove dead skin cells. These two are the most common culprits of skin breakouts- other than bacteria.

The mask contains natural sulphur, magnesium and calcium to get the job done.

Apart from detoxifying the skin, it also provides ample moisture so your skin won’t feel too dry once you take the product off. It does, however, comes with minor discomforts as it dries.

But, with application, you’ll find that the product is really easy to apply. You can do it using your fingers, although I suggest you use a brush.

What We Like:

  • Has 100% mineral ingredients
  • Contains a generous amount or product
  • Can reduce pore size
  • Easy to apply

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Scented
  • Not for sensitive skin

#3/ Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque

Peter Thomas Roth

The Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque Acne Treatment Masque is an oil-absorbing mask that cleanses pores with therapeutic ingredients.

It has sulfur, aloe, kaolin and clay to help clear skin and fight acne. It also has aloe to soothe irritation and redness.

Apart from helping you clear breakouts, you can also expect the product to keep your complexion bright and smooth.

A pleasant aroma is added to the mask which you may or may not find appealing. If you are into eucalyptus, its scent might be up your alley.

This is a medicated mask, which is great for people with difficult-to-treat acne, but may not be suitable for those with dry or sensitive skin.

What We Like:

  • Has 10% sulfur to help clear acne
  • Has aloe to soothe skin
  • Can dry out existing skin breakouts

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not be ideal for daily use
  • A bit strong for people with sensitive skin

#4 Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask

Juice Beauty

If it’s deep pore cleansing you’re after, Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Mask is a highly recommended product. It relies on natural antiseptic bamboo to help get rid of the acne-causing bacteria on your skin while soothing any inflammation.

It’s able to deeply cleanse your skin, which is a real help when it comes to clearing acne. You see, one of the most common reasons for skin breakouts is clogged pores.

When you have dirt, makeup residues and excess oil inside your pores, it triggers an inflammatory reaction and then acne happens.

Going back to the product, in addition to deep pore cleansing, the mask also tones the skin for an even fairer complexion.

As for application, it’s recommended to apply the product generously. I’d have to say that this one is thick in consistency and that can make dispensing a bit hard.

In certain occasions, I had to use both hands in squeezing the mask out. The mask has no funky smell and it doesn’t sting.

One applied, you need to wait around 10 minutes for it to complete dry. Taken note that this one isn’t a peel-off type- although it does look that way on the skin.

You need to rinse it off with water after.

What We Like:

  • Provides deep pore cleansing
  • Leaves skin glowing
  • Doesn’t sting

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Consistency makes application difficult
  • Not easy to remove

#5/ Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is a popular choice when it comes to clay masks for acne prone skin. For one, it provides deep pore cleansing which is really essential in preventing skin breakouts.

The product comes with 100% natural calcium bentonite clay. It’s free from fragrances and additives that can irritate your skin further.

To get the most out of the mask, it’s recommended that you follow its recommended preparation which is to mix it with vinegar. Take note that doing so will affect the smell of the mask.

If you wouldn’t mind smelling a bit like vinegar- try it out. If not, you can go with water, yogurt or honey (your pick).

When mixing, it’s best to avoid using any metal utensil. You can use a plastic spoon or spatula, instead.

What We Like:

  • Contains 100% natural calcium bentonite clay
  • Has no fragrance
  • Great in treating existing acne

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can be tricky to mix
  • Can leave skin red
  • Drying time will vary on how thick you apply the product

#6/ Era Organics Microdermabrasion Face Scrub & Facial Mask in One

Era Organics

Era Organics Microdermabrasion Face Scrub & Facial Mask in One can handle acne, acne scars and blemishes. It’s even good to use on dry skin and wrinkles.

The mask contains Manuka honey, which has antibacterial and healing properties. It also has the ability to boost your skin’s immunity while detoxifying it.

For problematic skin, especially those with several acne scars, this is exactly what you need.

You can add the product to your existing skincare routine two to three times a week for best results. However, since it can exfoliate the skin, make sure to test it out first.

Go with once a week application and if you see no harsh reactions, you can increase the number of times you use it per week.

After application, gently massage the product for a minute and wait for another 5 minutes or until it’s dry before rinsing.

Since it’s a two-in-one product, you won’t need to spend cash on another mask or exfoliating product.

What We Like:

  • Multi-purpose product
  • Has Manuka Honey
  • Clears pores well

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Scent can be an issue
  • Can dry the skin out

#7/ Boscia Luminizing Black Mask


If you’re hard-pressed to find a multitasking mask, this product is the one for you. It can’t only take care of your oily and acne prone skin, but it can also deeply cleanse your pores and help with skin aging.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask contains minerals that act like magnet to lift off impurities. The nice thing about this mask, apart from its benefits, is that it doesn’t contain parabens or even phthalates.

It’s also free from artificial colors and fragrances.

​One tip I have to share with you when it comes to this product is to apply it thickly on your face. Just don’t make it too thick that it won’t be able to dry properly.

​It’s also a good idea to avoid applying the clay near your hairline or it will rip your hair off. Trust me on this one.

​For the product to work its magic, it’s recommended that you leave it on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes. ​Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is a peel off mask.

The mask is a great option for those with a lot of skin impurities. It can help decrease the size of the pores as well as boost skin clarity.

In fact, you can expect to get a glowing complexion after using the product.

What We Like:

  • Leaves skin illuminated
  • Great at drawing out skin impurities
  • Free from parabens and artificial colors
  • Fragrance-free

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Can pull out facial hairs

#8/ AFY Suction Black Mask Deep Cleansing Face Mask


AFY Suction Black Mask Deep Cleansing Face Mask main purpose is to regulate oil secretion which is a common concern among people with acne prone skin. Apart from that, the product is also great in removing whiteheads and other signs of clogged pores.

To get the most out of the product, you have to apply it evenly on your skin. It’s a peel off mask, so make sure you don’t apply it too thickly.

The product is liquid in texture which can be a nuisance when it comes to application and dispensing. It also tends to stick at the top part of the tube which makes it not only mess, but unhygienic, too.

When applying, make sure to avoid the areas near your hairline as well as your eyebrows. It can effectively pull out hair so be really careful.

As for effects, the product can actually live up to its claims. It can pull out whiteheads effectively, as long as you apply it correctly.

It can also make your skin look more glowing after. Plus, it’s really affordable.

What We Like:

  • Cheap
  • Can pull out whiteheads well
  • Can also tighten pores

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Texture can be an issue
  • A bit messy to dispense
  • Expect minor discomforts when peeling off

#9/ Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask contains 0.5 salicylic acid and natural charcoal to purge out impurities from your pores and treat your acne. It contains 96% natural ingredients and is also cruelty-free so you won’t have to worry about its safety.

Apart from those two ingredients, you can also find watermelon, pumpkin and chamomile extracts in its list of ingredients. Sounds tempting, right?

Well, the product doesn’t only possess great ingredients. It can actually perform well, too.

This product is a rinse off mask. You are supposed to apply it generously on your face and wait for it to dry for around 10 minutes.

It’s a little bit thick but it isn’t that difficult to apply. After use, you’ll notice your skin getting softer and feeling clearer.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Contains 96% natural ingredients
  • Cruelty-free product
  • Helps minimize pores

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Scent can be an issue

#10/ Shills Purifying Black Peel-off Mask


Containing activated charcoal, Shills Purifying Black Peel-off Mask can help eliminate your blackheads as well as control your skin’s excess oil production. It also contains calendula which can help you achieve a more glowing skin.

Not only that. The mask is also infused with grapefruit to bring back your skin’s naturally plump complexion.

Being a peel-off mask, you need to be extra careful in using this one. You are supposed to apply it in a thick layer- making sure you avoid the area around your brows, hairline, lip area and eyes.

Or else, it will rip your little hair off. Yikes!

Once it has completely dried, which should take about 20 minutes, you can start peeling it off gently. One tip is to start peeling from the bottom.

It might hurt but it’s not extremely bad. Well, that will still depend on your pain tolerance.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Can eliminate blackheads
  • Works great in controlling excess oil
  • Can leave skin glowing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Peeling is extremely painful for some

Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Face Masks for Acne Prone Skin


Best Face Mask for Acne Prone Skin

Best Mud Mask For Acne

Best Sulfur Mask for Acne

Best Deep Pore Cleansing Face Mask for Acne 

Best Clay Mask For Acne

Top-Rated Face Masks for Acne Prone Skin 2017

Exposed Skin Care
Aria Starr Beauty
Peter Thomas Roth
Juice Beauty
Aztec Secret


Exposed Skin Care

Aria Starr Beauty

Peter Thomas Roth

Juice Beauty

Aztec Secret


Rinse off mask

Rinse off mask

Rinse off mask

Rinse off mask

Rinse off mask

Drying/ Waiting time

10 to 15 minutes

15 to 20 minutes

Around 10 minutes

10 minutes

Minimum of 5 to 10 minutes

Key ingredients

Activated charcoal, bentonite, camphor

Mineral Dead Sea Mud

Sulfur, eucalyptus oil and aloe

Antiseptic bamboo and zinc oxide

100% natural calcium bentonite clay


1.7 fl. oz

3.4 fluid ounce

2. Fl. oz

85 grams

2 ounce







Get Started

What Does A Face Mask Do?

If you haven’t tried a face mask yet- you are missing a lot.

Face masks can be one of the best things you can do to address your specific skin concerns. For acne prone skin, they can help you get rid of your impurities which can eventually prevent skin breakouts.

They can draw out dirt, makeup residues and oil that your cleansers and exfoliators can’t. They take the cleansing process to a whole new level.

Sounds promising? Well, not only that.

The right face mask can also hydrate your skin. They can stimulate blood circulation and the resulting expansion of your blood vessels can improve your skin’s overall tone and complexion.

They help regulate the skin’s oil production, too by improving the conditions of your pores. For acne prone skin, one of your worst enemies are clogged pores.

Apart from the skin benefits they offer, masks can also serve as a great way to destress. There are masks that are infused with aromatic essential oils that can stimulate both your skin and senses.

Just add in a relaxing ambiance, with candles and a warm bath and you’re good to go.

But, here’s the catch.

Face masks differ not only in their ingredients, but types as well. They also differ in modes of application.

So, before you head out to buy your first face mask, read this:

Clay masks, for example, are best used to draw oil and dirt from your skin. Most of the time, clay masks contain kaolin or bentonite.

These ingredients are proven beneficial to acne prone skin, not only because they help with excess oil, but because they have antibacterial properties, too.​

Cream masks and gel masks, on the other hand, are best used for hydrating the skin. They are also great in giving back your skin its natural glow, after enduring stress.

Setting masks are those masks that harden after leaving them on the skin for a few minutes. Once they’ve set, you have to slowly pull them off or rinse them.

They can be a bit tricky to use, especially if you are not used to them yet. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy setting masks for the refreshing and cooling effects they have.

How To Establish A Face Mask Routine​

As with any skin care routine, the first thing you have to do is to cleanse your face. This will help remove any dirt, oil and makeup residues on the surface.

We have a list of the best cleansers for your skin type you might want to check out here.​

To ensure better absorption, you can also consider exfoliating prior to applying your face masks. You can use a gentle face scrub or a wash cloth.

This is optional but you can apply a small amount of eye cream around your eye areas, too. This is to prevent them from dehydrating.

Once you’ve prepped your face, take out your mask and apply it gently on your skin. You’re not supposed to rub the mask hard on your skin.

Instead, here’s how to apply a face mask:

Ideally, you need to apply it like you’re applying frosting to a cake. You can use your fingers or a brush.

Avoid the delicate areas of your face, like your eyes, nostrils and eyebrows, but be sure to include your neck. You wouldn’t want to have young-looking skin on your face and have an aging neck (yikes!)

After application, wait for the mask to dry, which is generally around 15 to 30 minutes. You can use this time to read a book, watch a movie or surf the net.

Be conscious about the time you leave the mask on your face. Sheet masks, for example, shouldn’t be left too long on the skin- otherwise they will start to draw out moisture and dehydrate the skin.

Brands are generally specific about waiting time so make sure you read product labels prior to application.

Remove your mask as instructed. If it’s a peel off mask, start with the corners: your forehead, cheeks and chin.

For masks that need to be rinsed, use ample amount of water to get everything removed. As I said, you don’t need to be too hard with your skin.

You can use a washcloth if removing becomes difficult.

If you are wondering as to when to use face masks, I’d say it depends on what your skin needs.

If it’s for exfoliation and detoxification, you can apply your face mask twice a week. For hydrating face masks, using them every other day or three times a week would be ideal.


Masks are a definite game changer when it comes to getting healthier and more beautiful skin. However, for those with problematic skin, choosing and using a face mask requires a lot of consideration.

To save you time and money from having to try products after products, we have compiled this list of the best face masks for acne-prone skin. They are set to upgrade your beauty routine so you can get your most beautiful and healthiest skin yet.

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Hannah Do

Hannah is the founder of ThankYourSkin. Having personally battled acne during her younger years, she aspires to provide an invaluable guide to anyone suffering from it.


  1. You should check out Pevonia’s Purifying Skin mask. Glycolic, salicylic,sulfur, chamomile, aloe, and panthenol, make this my go to mask for acne management in my business.I am always confident that my clients will be happy with the clarifying results.

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