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Masks for acne-prone skin: The best ingredients for fighting acne

29 Aug 2023
by Marta N.

One of the first phenomena that brought Korean skincare into the spotlight were sheet masks. Now, while K-Beauty has fully taken over the world, the face masks are still one of the best skincare solutions to tackle specific skin concerns, among which acne.

Incorporating face masks into the skincare routine can be beneficial for those with acne-prone skin. No matter whether you prefer sheet masks, wash off masks, sleeping masks or peel off masks, it’s just a matter of knowing what ingredients to look for to find products that will cater perfectly to your skin concerns.

Why are masks a good choice for acne-prone skin?

Masks work wonders to address acne-related concerns because of several reasons. No matter the type of mask you choose, they are usually formulated with higher percentages of powerful ingredients. This means that incorporating masks into the skincare routine will help to target and treat the cause of inflammation or acne more effectively because active ingredients are delivered actively and deeply into the skin. Masks catered to acne-prone skin can target excess oil production, bacterial growth, inflammation, and clogged pores.

You probably have seen loads of soothing ingredients in Korean skincare, from green tea to centella asiatica. Don’t be surprised when you find that most of your skincare will have at least one soothing ingredient in its formula. The same can be said for face masks for acne-prone skin, there’s a good reason why Korean skincare is such a great fan of calming skincare ingredients. Soothing ingredients help control inflammation, reduce redness, and soothe irritated skin as well as have a balancing effect on it. For those with acne-prone skin, these masks can be a life saver in preventing or calming down breakouts, especially when used regularly.

Read on to find out the best natural ingredients and the best masks for acne. Are large pores the bane of your existence? We have also dedicated a full blog to highlighting the best ingredients to tackle large pores and skin texture.

Avocado & Honey

While avocado is quick to be associated with nourishment and care for dry skin, it’s actually also an amazing ingredient for those suffering from acne. Avocado oil specifically has anti-inflammatory benefits, maintains hydration levels which help with the oil-water balance of your skin, and is an amazing antioxidant that helps protect your skin from pollutants. The Saem Natural Avocado Sheet Mask is infused with a high concentration of avocado extract and centella asiatica to balance the skin while having a soothing effect.

Honey is another multi-tasking wonder from nature. If you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory boost, look no further. Honey and propolis are ingredients that can work antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and have skin healing benefits (thank you to our little bee friends). Honey is a popular ingredient found in loads of Korean skincare, however incorporating it as a mask will boost the skin health while targeting acne effectively. Try the Some By Mi Propolis B5 Glow Barrier Calming Mask to treat acne, strengthen the skin barrier, and soothe your skin all in one. The magical formula of this mask mixes different types of honey with propolis and a truecica complex that will leave your skin glowing. Not a fan of wash-off masks? Then check out the Elizavecca Fruits Deep Power Ringer Mask Pack which has a unique mix of honey, BHA, charcoal and other blemish fighting ingredients to treat breakouts and brighten any dark spots left by acne.

Clay 

Clay masks are a great ingredient to purify the skin, draw out toxins and help soothe inflammation in stressed out skin. Anyone with mild to moderate acne can benefit from a clay mask in their routine. 

There are many different types of clay mask, and all have slightly different properties. Pink, kaolin, bentonite and black clay are usually the types you will find in your skincare products. However, they all have one thing in common - they’re rich in skin supporting minerals and are capable of drawing out skin impurities that are potential culprits of acne.

Clay masks are a good alternative to harsh products to keep the skin clear. They're suitable for different skin types, including sensitive, dry, oily or combination skin, those struggling with hormonal acne and anyone who needs to unclog congested skin. The Purito Bentolin Pore Clay Mask is an amazing choice for every skin type. It’s infused with 4 types of ingredients that work like a magnet to attract the dirt out of the pores. The go-to for active acne is the Aromatica Tea Tree Pore Purifying Clay Mask. It’s high in acne calming ingredients such as niacinamide, tea tree, and PHA to effectively soothe troubled skin.

Charcoal

Something that might come as a bit of a surprise is that charcoal actually doesn’t have proven benefits in fighting acne by itself, since no research has proven those effects yet. However, charcoal is still a non-irritating ingredient that has amazing absorption power. Meaning that it can be a great addition to potentially help soak up excess oils from overproductive sebum glands. 

Masks infused with charcoal usually have other acne fighting ingredients in their formulas as well, meaning that they can still be beneficial for fighting breakouts. Just like the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask which is infused with acne-fighting clay combined with activated charcoal. The Quret Hello :) Friends Charcoal Mask is also based off charcoal extracts to effectively bind to sebum, bacteria and any other acne-causing dirt. The mask is great for unclogging pores and purifying the skin. 


With so many different mask types it’s smart to focus on the ingredients to really tackle your skin concerns. While the difference between a sheet mask and a wash-off mask is quite straightforward, we still notice some questions about the difference between night creams and sleeping masks which is totally understandable! Read our
blog on the main differences between the two, so you can finally decide what your skin really needs.

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