People with oily skin can greatly benefit from adding a mask to their skincare routine. Here are our recommendations for the best masks for oily 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.
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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. 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.
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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. 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.

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.
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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.

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.
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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.

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.
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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

Do face masks help with oily skin?

Yes, face masks can be great for people with oily skin. Masks containing ingredients like clays, charcoal, and salicylic acid work to absorb excess sebum to help keep the pores clear and shine in check.

What is the best face mask for oily and acne-prone skin?

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, all of the masks on this list are suitable for you, as they all contain ingredients that help draw impurities out of pores. Two particularly great options are The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque and the Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask, as they combine clays with salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that unclogs pores. If you’re looking for something with more exfoliating power, try the  Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask, which also contains salicylic acid (along with alpha hydroxy acids).

What clay mask is best for oily skin?

The Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask, and the Aztec Secret Bentonite Healing Clay are all excellent clay masks for oily skin. If you also deal with breakouts, the Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask and the The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque are also effective clay masks, because they contain salicylic acid.

The Bottom Line

If you have oily skin, the right face mask can help you absorb excess oil to minimize shine, and also address other skin concerns you may have. Consider adding one of our recommended masks for oily skin to your skincare routine.