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.
1. 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.
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.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- 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
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 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.
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.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- 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
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.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"Accessed Aug. 27, 2021.
3. 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.
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.
- Dermatologist tested
- 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
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 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.
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.
- 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).
National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Pharmacological attribute of Aloe vera: Revalidation through experimental and clinical studies"Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.
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 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.
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.
- 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).
National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"Accessed Aug. 6, 2021.
6. 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.
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.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- 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.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Over-the-counter Acne Treatments"Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.
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.