Out of all the different types of acne, blackheads are one of the milder forms. And while "lucky" hardly seems like the right word to describe anyone who notices those tiny, dark dark bumps on their skin, there is some comfort in knowing that blackheads don't cause pain or swelling like inflammatory types of acne do. Plus, they can almost always be treated at home with proper care and the help of the best masks for blackheads.
There are a few routes you can take when choosing an at-home mask for eliminating blackheads, from T-zone-targeted pore strips and sheet masks to traditional clay and charcoal masks. Both have the same end goal of drawing out the oil and dead skin clogging your pores that create those pesky blackheads.
Pore strips have been a longtime staple because of their mess-free application and grossly satisfying end result of seeing all that gunk once you pull them off. Clay and charcoal masks might involve a bit more effort — and a possible dirty sink — but they also offer all-over detoxification that leaves your entire face clear, bright, and clean.
In addition to adding a purifying mask into your weekly skin-care routine, there are other simple steps you can take at home to help eliminate blackheads. It may seem fairly obvious, but you should start by making sure you thoroughly remove your makeup before going to bed. When you're washing off your makeup, choose a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil without drying out your skin (which can make oiliness worse).
You can also work an exfoliator into your routine, steering clear of harsh physical scrubs in favor of chemical exfoliants like the BHA salicylic acid. This BHA ingredient is able to cut through oil to normalize the lining of the pores without causing micro tears like a physical exfoliator can (think walnut scrubs). And circling back to makeup, look for products that are oil-free and noncomedogenic to avoid clogging up your pores.
To help banish blackheads and for pores that are clearer and less noticeable, here are six of best face masks for blackheads you'll want to try out.
1. The Best Nose Strips For Blackheads
The nose tends to be the most popular place for blackheads to pop up, which is why the targeted approach of a pore strip is so appealing. But finding the best option can be tricky since you want something that's gentle but still gets the job done. These Holika Holika pore strips contain a three-step kit to ensure impurities are thoroughly removed without any irritation. The first strip prepares your pores for extraction by softening them over the course of 15 to 20 minutes. Then, the second strip works in 10 to 15 minutes to remove the blackheads with ingredients like kaolin clay. Finally, the third strip contains a moisturizing serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf juice, and grape fruit extract to counteract any irritation from the strips.
2. The Best Creamy Clay Mask For Blackheads
Volcanic ash is the star ingredient behind this Innisfree blackhead removing mask, and it's as cool as it sounds. Developed by pulverizing volcanic clusters that were formed after volcanic eruptions on the South Korean island of Jeju, these tiny particles are rich in minerals that are able to draw out oil and impurities trapped in your pores. Innisfree also included kaolin and bentonite clays in the formula, as well as AHAs, like lactic acid and glycolic acid, to help gently slough off pore-clogging dead skin and excess oil.
3. The Best Peel-Off Mask For Blackheads
If the cute packaging of this TonyMoly Tako Pore Black Peel-Off Pack doesn't have you sold, its blackhead-busting abilities certainly will. The opaque mask applies like a traditional face mask in that you can apply it to specific areas that need help, but after waiting 15 to 20 minutes, it peels off (with blackheads in tow) just like a pore strip. To nourish skin while working to unclog pores, TonyMoly combined marine plant extracts in the formula; then, as ingredients like taurine and Dead Sea salt hydrate and soothe skin, charcoal powder and mineral-rich Rotorua mud remove impurities and absorb excess oil.
4. The Best Wash-Off Charcoal Mask For Blackheads
For a charcoal option that passes the sensitive skin test, Vichy's Clarifying Charcoal Mask is a great option. As its name suggests, the gentle mask uses natural origin charcoal to unclog pores, removing everything from dirt and oil to toxins and pollution. But Vichy takes things a step further with kaolin clay and the brand's own thermal water, which contains 15 minerals that help soothe, hydrate, and strengthen your skin. Plus, it works in just five minutes.
5. The Best Sheet Mask For Blackheads
If you love the convenience of a sheet mask, the Leaders Daily Wonders Detox & Chill Mask will be your weekly go-to. Combining purifying ingredients with moisturizers, Leaders works on oily and combination skin types to remove blackheads without drying out your skin. In 15 to 20 minutes, the sheet mask's main ingredients, activated charcoal and volcanic ash, work to draw gunk from your pores. Meanwhile, chlorella (a type of algae) and green tea extract help hydrate your skin, leaving it silky smooth instead of feeling tight and stripped.
6. The Best Face Mask For Blackheads & Everything Else
If you've never tried it, the wildly popular Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay might not sound like much with its sole ingredient of 100 percent natural calcium bentonite clay. But when combined with equal parts apple cider vinegar (or water, if your skin is sensitive), this cult-favorite mask works like magic, offering serious detoxification in as little as 15 minutes. Not entirely convinced? The mask currently has more than 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon raving about its skin-clearing abilities. And they aren't all focused on blackheads — though it'll definitely help with that, too. Reviewers credit the bentonite clay mix with improving even the most stubborn forms of breakouts including cystic acne. Plus, it makes your skin visibly smoother and clearer in the process. Even better, since a little clay goes a long way, one tub will last you years.
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