The right mask can help draw out pore-clogging debris to make large pores appear smaller. Here is our guide to the best masks for large pores.

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.
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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. Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask

La Roche-Posay Mask for Eliminating Shine

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask

This clay mask works to remove excess oil for a more matte complexion while also eliminating impurities from the skin.

Skin types: Oily
Best for: Eliminating Shine
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, apply a thin layer of the mask to the skin, and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse off, and then continue with any serums and a moisturizer. Use one to two times per week.
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This mask is excellent for oily skin, because it contains kaolin clay, which absorbs excess oil and prevents pores from clogging. This helps the skin look more matte, and refines the appearance of pores.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

In addition to the kaolin clay, this mask contains glycerin and panthenol, which both help soothe and moisturize the skin. This helps counteract some of the drying effects of the clay.

Aqua / Water, Kaolin, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Propanediol, Panthenol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Zea Mays Starch / Corn Starch, Cellulose, Ceteareth-20, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum / Fragrance

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents"

    Accessed Aug. 20, 2021.

3. 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.
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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.

4. 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.
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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.

5. 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.
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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

What is the best mask for large pores on the nose?

The nose is the most common spot where people deal with large pores. All of the masks on this list are excellent choices for unclogging debris from pores on the nose to make them appear smaller. If you only have large pores on your nose, you can focus on only applying your mask of choice to that area, rather than all over your face.

What is the best natural face mask for large pores?

If you’d prefer to use an all-natural mask to target your pores, the Aztec Secret Bentonite Healing Clay is an excellent choice. This clay mask contains one simple natural ingredient (calcium bentonite clay), which works to draw out impurities from the skin to make pores appear smaller.

How can I tighten my enlarged pores?

There is a common misconception that pores open and close, but they actually don’t expand or contract. That said, there are some things you can do to help unclog debris in the pores, which will make them appear smaller. In addition to regularly using a mask meant to treat large pores, add a chemical exfoliant to your skincare routine. Salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid) is the best ingredient for large pores, because it is oil-soluble and works deep in the pores, dissolving excess sebum and debris (which make the pores appear larger).

The Bottom Line

People wanting to minimize the appearance of large pores on their face can greatly benefit from using a targeted mask. For the best results, use your mask of choice on a consistent basis to continue to keep excess debris out of the pores.