Masks can address a variety of skin concerns, from large pores to hydration to uneven skin tone. Below, we’ve put together a list of the best masks for combination skin.

Our Recommendations

1. Bentonite Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Bentonite Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Mask for Acne, Blackheads and Large Pores

Aztec Secret Bentonite Healing Clay

This natural clay mask uses calcium bentonite clay to help absorb excess oil and dissolve impurities in the skin for a clearer complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne, Blackheads and Large Pores
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After mixing with your liquid of choice, apply a thin layer of the mixture all over your clean, dry face (or just to affected areas). Leave it on for 5-15 minutes. Wash away with lukewarm water. This mask can be used 1-2 times per week.
See on Amazon

This simple mask contains 100% calcium bentonite clay, with no other added ingredients. It can help draw out impurities from the skin to refine the appearance of pores, minimize oiliness, and clear breakouts.

Pros

  • Natural
  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • May dry out the skin

This mask is free of fragrances, dyes, and other additives that may irritate the skin.

100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief Review"

    Accessed Sep. 2, 2021.

2. 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask

Drunk Elephant Mask for Smoothing Texture, Anti-Aging, and Evening Skin Tone

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask

This powerful mask contains a potent blend of AHAs and BHA to resurface, unclog pores, and reveal a smooth and even skin tone and texture.

Skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry and Combination
Best for: Smoothing Texture, Anti-Aging, and Evening Skin Tone
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, and leave on for up to 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Use no more than once weekly.
See on Amazon

This super powerful mask has a 25% concentration of an AHA blend (glycolic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, and citric acid), as well as a 2% concentration of BHA (salicylic acid). These chemical exfoliators fight signs of aging, smooth the skin, brighten, and unclog pores. It also contains chickpea flour, which brightens the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

Since this mask has such powerful active ingredients, it is best to avoid applying serums or treatments with other strong actives (like AHAs, BHAs, and retinol) after use.

Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Cicer Arietinum Seed Powder, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium PCA, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Dextrin, Polydextrose, Sorbitan Isostearate, Amylopectin, Niacinamide, Phytosphingosine, Lactic Acid, Propanediol, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Polysorbate 60, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "An antiaging skin care system containing alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins improves the biomechanical parameters of facial skin"

    Accessed Aug. 27, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Aug. 27, 2021.

3. Rice Overnight Spa Mask

COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

COSRX Mask for Extra Moisturization

COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

This leave-on mask is packed with rice extract and other nourishing ingredients that work to tone and soften the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Extra Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: At night, after cleansing and applying all other products in your routine, massage a pea-sized amount of the mask all over the skin. Leave on overnight.
See on Amazon

This lightweight overnight mask is a great choice for those with skin that needs an extra boost of moisture. The softening effect makes it an excellent choice for those with dry skin. That said, it can be used by all skin types (especially in the winter when skin tends to be drier).

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Gentle
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • May not be suitable for acne-prone skin

In addition to the rice extract, this mask is packed with hydrating ingredients, including glycerin and sunflower seed oil. It also contains niacinamide, which calms the skin and minimizes fine lines.

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Betaine, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Arginine, Carbomer, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.
  2. Dermatology Times. "The anti-aging effects of niacinamide"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

4. Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask

Paula's Choice Mask for Absorbing Excess Oil and Minimizing Pores

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask

This mask contains clays that absorb excess oil and minimize the appearance of pores for a smooth, shine-free complexion. It also contains soothing plant extracts to minimize drying and to keep the skin balanced.

Skin types: Oily and Combination
Best for: Absorbing Excess Oil and Minimizing Pores
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the mask all over the face. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
See on Amazon

A clay mask is a great product for people with oily skin to have on hand, because it will help keep oil in check by absorbing excess sebum. This mask contains natural kaolin clay and bentonite clay, which effectively reduces shine and minimizes the appearance of pores without irritating or drying the skin.

Pros

  • Oil-absorbing
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin

In addition to the clay, this mask contains plant extracts that calm and soothe the skin to minimize irritation, including oatmeal, sea whip, willow bark, and aloe.

Water (Aqua), Kaolin (clay absorbent), Bentonite (white clay/absorbent), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Salix Alba Extract (willow bark extract/skin-soothing), Stearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Steareth-2 (texture-enhancing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (hydration/skin-soothing), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Colloidal Oatmeal (skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (hydration/skin replenishing), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A/antioxidant), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Hexylene Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Pharmacological attribute of Aloe vera: Revalidation through experimental and clinical studies"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.

5. Clear Purifying Clay Mask

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask

Paula's Choice Mask for Acne

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask

In this mask, the combination of clays, salicylic acid, and soothing ingredients work to absorb excess oil, minimize the appearance of pores, prevent future breakouts, and calm the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Acne
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing the skin, apply the mask all over the face. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.
See on Amazon

This mask is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne, because it refines pores and minimizes breakouts without irritating the skin. The addition of soothing ingredients also helps calm and hydrate the skin to diminish redness.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

The salicylic acid in this mask helps decongest pores to minimize breakouts, while the clays absorb excess oil and refine pores. This mask also contains chamomile, green tea, willowherb, and other soothing ingredients that calm and hydrate.

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 0.5% (anti-acne); Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Kaolin (absorbent), Bentonite (absorbent), Titanium Dioxide (texture enhancer/opacifier), Butylene Glycol (slip agent/hydration), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (solvent), Cetyl Esters (emollient), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (absorbent), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Illite (absorbent), Tapioca Starch (absorbent), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch (absorbent), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant/skin-soother), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Chrysanthellum Indicum (Golden Chamomile) Extract (skin-soothing), Hydrolyzed Rhodophycea (Red Algae) Extract (skin-soothing/hydration), Chlorella Vulgaris (Algae) Extract (skin-soothing/hydration), Epilobium Fleischeri (Willowherb) Extract (skin-soothing), Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil (non-fragrant plant oil/skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Zinc PCA (skin-softening), Copper PCA (skin-softening), Lauroyl Lysine (amino acid-derived hydration), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (cleansing agent/emulsifier), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster), Sodium Chloride (thickener), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative).

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.

6. Salicylic Acid Masque

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque

Paula's Choice Mask for Unclogging Pores and Exfoliating

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque

This mask combines salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator, with charcoal, clays, and squalane to absorb excess sebum, unclog pores, and minimize breakouts without irritating the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Oily and Combination
Best for: Unclogging Pores and Exfoliating
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the mask all over the face (or on your T-zone, which is generally the oiliest area of the face). Allow it to dry for 10 minutes, and then wash off with lukewarm water. Use one to two times a week.
See on Amazon

Salicylic acid is a great exfoliator for oily skin, because it is oil-soluble and gets deep into the pores to remove excess sebum and debris, leading to a smooth and clear complexion. The 2% concentration in this mask is effective, but gentle enough to minimize the risk of irritation.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

In addition to salicylic acid, this mask contains charcoal and clays, which deeply clean the skin, removing impurities that can clog pores. Squalane – a non-comedogenic hydrator – also helps soothe and moisturize the skin.

Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Squalane, Glycerin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Silica Cetyl Silylate, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Polyacrylate, Pentylene Glycol, Charcoal Powder, 4-t-Butylcyclohexanol, Sclerotium Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Phytic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

FAQs

Which clay mask is best for combination skin?

The Aztec Secret Bentonite Healing Clay and the Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask are both great clay masks for combination skin. The Paula’s Choice option is a particularly suitable choice for those looking for a clay mask that also contains soothing ingredients. For those with acne, the Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask and the The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque are both excellent options, as they contain clay, salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliant that unclogs pores), and other ingredients that help fight breakouts.

Which face mask is best for glowing skin?

The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask is an excellent option for those looking to brighten dull skin and improve their overall complexion. It blends different exfoliants that work together to even out skin tone, smooth texture, and unclog pores.

What should I apply after a face mask?

Once you’ve cleansed your skin, applied your face mask, and then rinsed it off (after leaving it on for the time indicated on the label), you can continue with your normal skincare routine. There are, however, some exceptions. Masks like the COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask should be applied at the end of your skincare routine and left on overnight. If you use a mask/peel that contains a high concentration of chemical exfoliants (like the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask), you should follow up with a moisturizer, as well as any soothing or hydrating gentle serums (if you’d like). You should not use serums or treatments with high concentrations of active ingredients that can irritate the skin (like retinol or chemical exfoliants) after using this type of mask, since your skin has already been exposed to strong active ingredients.

The Bottom Line

While masks aren’t an absolutely essential part of a skincare routine, they are helpful for addressing a variety of skincare concerns. If you’re interested in using a mask in your routine, consider one of the recommended combination skin-friendly products.