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Adults tell kids and teens a lot of lies. Some end up being relatively harmless, like “Santa is real!”… only you find out in 4th grade from the class bully that Santa is not and has not ever been real, then you look like a dweeb (thanks, Marcus, you’re so cool).
But others are straight up lies that continue affecting you even into adulthood, like “your acne will go away when you’re an adult!” No, Mom/dermatologists/aestheticians, my acne has not “gone away” 15 years later and, according to the latest dermatologist, it might not ever! Arghh!!!!
So trust me when I say I have years of experience dealing with oily skin that loooooves to break out (usually at really bad times, like before an interview or holiday event where everyone will be taking pictures!) However, with so many masks out there, how do you know which ones are good? More importantly, which ones are worth it to spend money on?
The following is a list of masks I’ve used and continue to use, starting from the lowest priced starter mask and going up to slightly (but not very!) more expensive. Think of these as starter masks as you try out what works best for your skin – mine is combination that tends to be oily, but yours might be a little different. These masks are a good start – and let me know what you use in the comments!
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Best Mask for Light Oil Control
Like many of the recommendations on this list, this Mario Badescu Oily Skin mask is clay-based. Clay helps to dry the skin out, and this little pot does wonders! It is a little messy at first, but you shake it, apply a thin layer to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. That’s it!
I do always make sure to put on moisturizer after using the mask, since I usually do masks at night and then put on night-time face cream. This mask does a great job making my skin less oily, which helps keeps my acne in check! I used this mask when I was first trying out clay masks, since it seemed lighter than the other options. I’ve since graduated to more intense-looking masks 🙂
Best Long-Lasting Oil Reducing Mask
You’ve seen me talk about this mask before, but I love Origins Charcoal Mask! It’s been a staple of mine for a while, and a little goes a long way. Same as the Mario mask above, but you basically wash your face, apply a thin layer of this mask, go about your business for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
This face mask does have the tendency to “heat up” my face a little (I also have sensitive skin, yay) and my face is a little red after using it, but the redness goes away after about 5 minutes. It does an excellent job reducing shine and oil for at least a week!
I usually use this mask when I’ve been really oily or breaking out a lot, so it gets less use in the winter, since clay can dry you out. Winter dry air + dry skin doesn’t work, so during the winter this is a once a month mask, and in the summer it’s twice a month.
Best No-Rinse Oil Control Mask
I love sheet masks, but they are a huge pain in the butt to put on (at least for me!) No matter what, I always get product in my mouth somehow. However, these Dr. Jart masks are worth the trouble! Wash your face, then slap on one of these masks for about 10 minutes, then peel off the mask and rub the excess product on to your face.
Not even kidding, I was starting to break out, used one of these masks, and my breakouts were gone the next day! That doesn’t happen all the time, but in general, the salicylic acid in these masks (you get 5 per package) does a great job reducing oiliness and breakouts.
I use face masks like this the most often, almost every week, but only when I feel ambitious since they can be a pain to put on. I’ll use a mask like the Origins above when I’m feeling super lazy, since the Dr. Jart and Sephora masks I like require a tiny amount of skill to put on your face without ripping the mask or getting product in your eyes, hair, or mouth. The struggle is real.
Taking Care of Your Skin In Between Masks
I only use masks once a week, both because I don’t want to use them up too quickly and because I think my skin is fine with a once a week deep cleaning, moisturizing, whatever goal I have for it that week.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t take care of my skin the rest of the week! I try to wash with an overall calming cleanser, like Philosophy’s Purity cleanser, especially during the winter when my face is drier. In the summer, I’ll use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Face Wash when my skin is oiler and more prone to breakouts.
However, one thing I really swear by? The Clarisonic brush! I know, I know, when I first saw it, I was like, “yeah right, that’s just a brush… I’m pretty sure a good mask can open up my pores just fine!” Well, this brush is more than a mask tool – it’s an everyday tool that helps the rest of your facial products absorb better.
Since I do have sensitive skin, I was worried this brush would be too aggressive on my face. After all, I want to avoid micro-tears or any chance for my face to be open to the elements. I don’t need any more dirt in my pores, thank you! Luckily, this brush and the accompanying heads are soft – I haven’t had any issues with redness or irritation using this brush.
I bought my brush several years ago, and it’s still going strong. It’s an excellent investment and, while it might seem pricey for now, you’ll have it for a long time. I like the brush because I use it in the shower with my cleanser, then hop out and slather on my vitamin C serum, moisturizer, salicylic cream, or whatever I’m using at the moment to combat acne/dry skin/etc.
I use these brush head replacements, but I try to wait until the price drops either on Amazon or on Ulta 🙂
I’m always curious about what other people’s face routines are, so share in the comments! Do you use face masks and, if so, which ones do you recommend? Have you tried a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic? Let me know in the comments below!