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17 Best Blackhead Masks for Clogged Pores in 2022

blackhead masks

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Before we get into all the best blackhead masks (plus a lil PSA on why those very aggro pore strips and blackhead removal tools are not your answer), here’s a quick breakdown of what a blackhead actually is: “A blackhead is a waxy plug made of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria that gets lodged into your pore and blocks it,” dermatologist Zoe Draelos, MD, has told Cosmopolitan. As the wax plug gets pushed towards the surface of the skin, she explains, the air oxidizes it and turns it black. Fun, right?

And while blackheads can be annoying, they’re are also completely normal and found on every single human’s skin. But if you want to introduce a new step into your skincare routine to help reduce the appearance of pores and blackheads, you can try experimenting with a gentle blackhead mask, which can help exfoliate your pores and absorb excess oils. Keep scrolling for the full breakdown of the masks, or pause here for a few of our top picks.

1

Best Blackhead Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask
paulaschoice.com

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2

Best Peel-Off Mask

Shills Charcoal Black Peel Off Mask
amazon.com

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3

Best Blackhead Mask with Exfoliating Acids

Ren Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
sephora.com

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4

Best Blackhead Mask on Amazon

Sunatoria Blackhead Remover Mask
amazon.com

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5

Best Hydrating Blackhead Mask

Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask
sephora.com

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Now for the very important PSA: Please stop trying to “rip” out your blackheads with peel-off masks. Not only are these strips and masks just way too harsh for your skin, but they can actually cause your pores to enlarge over time—thus creating even worse blackheads—by damaging your skin’s collagen. And even though they give you some instant satisfaction, you should know that your pores will just fill right back up again—usually within a day or two.

Instead, opt for a gentler, non-peel mask spiked with salicylic acid and clay to help dissolve and absorb the oil and makeup in your pores without damaging your skin. To help you transition away from peel-off masks and towards the actually helpful ones, I found 17 really good blackhead masks for you to try ASAP—just keep scrolling.

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1

Best Blackhead Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask

  • Salicylic acid exfoliates pores
  • Can be irritating for sensitive skin

The MVP of this blackhead mask is salicylic acid. “Because salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory ingredient, it also decreases the redness and irritation that comes with tender pimples,” Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York has told Cosmo. She explains that it gently exfoliates, which helps prevent blackheads and acne too.

2

Best Peel-Off Mask

Shills Charcoal Black Peel Off Mask

  • Made with soothing ingredients
  • Peel-off masks can be too harsh on skin

I said it 10 seconds ago and I’ll say it again: Peel-off masks are too harsh for your skin. But if you simply cannot live without physically seeing the build-up from your pores on the back of a black mask, opt for this one which is spiked with oat extract to soothe your skin and help prevent irritation.

3

Best Blackhead Mask with Exfoliating Acids

Ren Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Thanks to a combo of lactic and glycolic acids, dead skin cells and oil build-up in your pores will be gently dissolved away with each use. Smooth it over your skin and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing off and following up with your regular skincare routine.

4

Best Blackhead Mask on Amazon

Sunatoria Blackhead Remover Mask

  • Peel-off masks can be irritating

The worst part about masks is the inevitable and inescapable mess that comes with applying and removing them. Luckily, this mask comes with its own applicator so you can easily spread it on your face without getting it caked under your fingernails.

5

Best Hydrating Blackhead Mask

Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask

  • Made with hyaluronic acid

PSA: If your mask leaves you with tight-feeling skin, it’s too drying. Enter this exfoliating mask, which not only will help dissolve build-up and prevent blackheads, but it will also keep your face hydrated and plump thanks to hyaluronic acid.

6

Best Blackhead Mask for Oily Skin

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

The kaolin clay and charcoal powder will work together to absorb the excess sebum hiding in your pores, reducing their appearance and helping to prevent blackheads. Trust me, if you have oily skin, this one will be your best friend.

7

Best Versatile Blackhead Mask

Clinque Blackhead Solutions Cleanse & Scrub

  • Can be used daily or weekly

Welcome to the most versatile blackhead mask, which can be used as a daily cleanser or as an occasional mask as needed. If your blackheads are in need of some urgent TLC, start by cleansing morning and night so the kaolin clay can get to work to exfoliate the excess sebum and oils clogging your pores, or slather it on your face weekly for a boost of exfoliation.

8

Best Peel-Off Mask on Ulta

Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask

  • Temporarily unclogs pores

I like this mask for two main reasons: (1) Unlike a nose strip, there’s no aggressive ripping involved, and (2), it’s made with soothing witch hazel to help prevent redness or irritation (although if you have sensitive skin, def just skip the peel-offs altogether). Smooth a thick layer of the mask over your face (or just the area you want to target), let it sit for 20 minutes, then gently and slowly lift the edge of the mask and peel it off.

9

Best Blackhead Mask for Versatile Coverage

My Clarins Clear-Out Blackhead Expert Stick + Mask

  • Not much product in the stick applicator

Salicylic acid doesn’t just exfoliate the surface of the skin like other acids—it gets into the pores, which is what makes it so freaking great for blackheads. And it’s a major ingredient in this blackhead mask stick, which is basically the most mess-free mask you’ll ever encounter. Just roll it over your face for light coverage, leave on for ten minutes and then rinse, or unscrew the main cap and squeeze a generous amount over your face for a more in-depth treatment.

10

Best Soothing Blackhead Mask

Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask

  • Made with soothing allantoin
  • Not good for sensitive skin

The blackheads on my nose don’t stand a chance against the team of kaolin, salicylic acid, malic acid, and soothing allantoin and aloe. Basically, it’s prepared to demolish all your blackheads while soothing any inflamed skin in the process.

11

Best Physically Exfoliating Blackhead Mask

Mara Volcanic Sea Clay Detox Masque

Volcanic ash (yes, actual ash from volcanoes) helps exfoliate your skin gently in this clay mask. Smooth it over your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes, up to twice a week, and watch your blackheads slowly fade away.

12

Best Natural Blackhead Face Mask

Tata Harper Purifying Pore & Blackhead Detox Mask

This blackhead face mask is loved for its 100 percent natural formula and super pretty packaging. Smooth a thick layer on clean skin, leave it on for 20 minutes, and let the combination of oil-absorbing white clay and pore-minimizing papaya enzymes get to ~werk~.

13

Best Blackhead Face Mask and Cleanser

Neutrogena Clear Pore Facial Cleanser/Mask

  • Multitasks as cleanser and mask

I’m a sucker for hybrid formulas—like, why buy two products when you can get one that does it all, you know? This weekly face mask—which is spiked with benzoyl peroxide to treat zits and blackheads simultaneously—moonlights as an acne cleanser that’s gentle enough to use daily.

14

Best Fizzing Blackhead Face Mask

Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask

  • Too harsh for sensitive skin

Don’t worry: Just ’cause you can’t use a peel-off face mask, doesn’t mean your alternative has to be boring-AF. This blackhead face mask from Dermalogica fizzes up in three to five minutes, and its sulfur-and-clay formula works to unclog pores, absorb excess oil, and hydrate your skin.

15

Best Drugstore Blackhead Face Mask

Burts Bees Detoxifying Clay Mask

If the fact that this blackhead face mask is less than $20 doesn’t immediately sell you, its crazy-effective formula certainly will. A combination of blackhead-clearing charcoal and antioxidant-rich acai oil will leave your skin smooth and hydrated every time.

16

Best Blackhead Face Mask for Dry Skin

Volition Beauty Detoxifying Silt Gelee Mask

  • Made with moisturizing ingredients

If blackhead face masks tend to leave your typically dry skin even dryer, you’ll love this super-hydrating pick from Volition. Alongside blackhead-fighting ingredients like black slit, it’s loaded with hydrators like jojoba oil and squalane to keep your moisture barrier in check.

17

Best Face Mask for Blackheads and Oil

Skinfood Egg White Perfect Pore Cleansing Foam

  • Not ideal for dry skin types

The hero ingredient in this blackhead face mask? Egg whites, which are loaded with vitamins, calcium, potassium, and amino acids (translation: they taste good in your omelette and do wonders for your skin). And thanks to egg whites’ anti-inflammatory and oil-regulating abilities, they’re super effective at cleaning out your pores and minimizing your blackheads, too.

18

What to look for in a blackhead mask

Check the ingredients

Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and kaolin clay are three common ingredients in these blackhead masks that will slowly dissolve the ~stuff~ in your pores with each use. After exfoliation, you want to make sure the mask won’t strip away your skin’s moisture—so look for oils (like jojoba oil) and butters (hi, shea butter) that indicate this mask will leave you feeling smooth and soft, not dry and tight.

Consider your skin type

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably no stranger to parsing ingredients and worrying that something will irritate you. Steer clear of masks with essential oils or physical exfoliators (like shells or beads), and opt for formulas with soothing ingredients (like aloe and allantoin). Working with dry skin? Opt for blackhead masks packed with hydrators like jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid that won’t strip your moisture. And for oily skin types: Look for charcoal masks that will help absorb excess sebum and oil as well as exfoliate your pores.

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