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The 10 Best Face Masks for Acne-Prone Skin

For fast-acting, acne-banishing results.

foaming face wash
Jonathan KnowlesGetty Images

Raise your hand if your skin has been acting up recently. (Reader, my two hands are reaching for the sky right now.) Maybe it's the weather changing, maybe it's double cloth masking, maybe it's both. Or maybe it's just stress! Who knows. But for whatever reason, myself and everyone around me has blemishes and breakouts to spare. 'Tis the season for our complexions going off the rails, apparently. Even if you've invested in an everyday acne-fighting skincare routine, sometimes you need something extra to kick cystic flare-ups and random pimples to the curb. Acne masks, assemble.

Can face masks actually help acne?

Yes. Of all the face masks in existence—and there are limitless options these days—the ones that fight acne can show results the fastest. If your T-zone is constantly slick and messing with your foundation game, a few dabs of a clay formula can nix extra oil instantly. And of you wake up with some random red bumps on your cheeks, a calming formula can quell inflammation and take down that rosiness fast. Even better, new ingredients are being discovered and tested every day to defeat the blemishes that threaten to appear at any moment.

So, to streamline your shopping, we've rounded up the absolute best masks for every skin type and kind of acne. (Hot tip: grab a few different options if you can and multi-mask for a more bespoke treatment.) From soothing gel formulas for reactive, sensitive skin to muddy clay that's served best slathered on oily complexions, there's something for everyone.

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For A Quick Glow
Super Volcanic Clusters Pore Clearing Clay Mousse Mask
Innisfree sephora.com
$21.00

Why yes, hardened lava IS the secret for clear skin, we're glad you asked. The volcanic material, which is harvested in South Korea, helps absorb excess sebum while acne-fighting salicylic acid minimizes pores and exfoliates dead skin cells. The mousse-y formula is fun to apply, too. 

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For Oily Skin
Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Facial and Body Mask
Aztec Secret amazon.com
$14.95

This Amazon darling has a boatload of positive reviews and a cult following. If your T-zone looks like a Slip-N-Slide by the end of the day, this clay mask will help control oil production and unclog any congestion that can collect near your nose, cheeks, and forehead. 

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For Your T-Zone
Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Origins amazon.com
$19.99
$16.91 (15% off)

A classic! Charcoal is a champ when it comes to sucking up excess oil, and this formula will help keep your nose and cheeks calm and clear. 

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For Blackheads
Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Mask With Bentonite Clay
Cetaphil amazon.com
$10.98

Editors often reach for Cetaphil products when their skin is having a bit of a meltdown, and we're adding this mask to our arsenal. If you've got major congestion but want to keep the area calm, dap this gentle yet effective mud formula to your nose and rinse for a clearer complexion. 

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Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face Mask
Fresh sephora.com
$25.00

The clay in this luxe formula is harvested from Umbria, Italy where the land is rich with nutrients. If clay masks dry you out, this one makes the case for trying them again: chamomile flower and lavender water help soothe while the clay treats skin.

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For Redness
Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask
Laneige sephora.com
$34.00

If you're experiencing a flare-up and you're looking rosier than usual, apply a generous later of this soothing formula at night and wake up with significantly calmer skin.

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For Sensitive Skin
Rapid Response Detox Masque
Renée Rouleau reneerouleau.com
$65.50

Consider this the first line of defense for ruddy, angry breakouts. The second you see blemishes start to rise, apply a layer of this gel-like mask to quell redness and inflammation.  

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For Congested Skin
Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
Peter Thomas Roth amazon.com
$52.00

Sulfer is a potent purifying, and this mask blends it with two types of clay to treat bad breakouts. Hot tip: add some to your shoulders  if you suffer from back-ne. 

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For Acne Scars
Gold Profection22 Mask
Ambari Beauty https://www.neimanmarcus.com
$92.00

Dark spots and scarring are often leftovers from breakouts, especially as we age, and this AHA blend improves skin texture for an instant glow. But don't worry about overdoing it: anti-inflammatory CBD and reishi calm skin as the mask does its thing. 

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For Dry Skin
Purifying Mask
Caudalie nordstrom.com
$39.00

Yes, acne and dry skin can go hand in hand. If you want to absorb extra oil and unclog those pores without looking flaky, this purifying mask hydrates while it works.

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