If you’re looking for a quick way to clear your skin of excess sebum, grime and blackheads, the best blackhead masks can make a big difference. Plus, these skincare products are much gentler on your skin that more extreme measures such as blackhead vacuums, comedone extractors and old-fashioned pimple-popping techniques.
But before we jump into the best blackhead masks, let’s set the record straight on what exactly we’re fighting here. In addition, you can check out our in-depth guide on How To Remove Blackheads for more skin-clearing tips.
What Are (and Aren’t) Blackheads?
“Blackheads are also known as ‘open comedones,’” says Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness (co-founder of anti-acne skincare brand Stryke Club). There are numerous types of comedones, but the two most common are whiteheads and blackheads, both of which are non-inflammatory types of acne. Whiteheads are “closed,” sealed off by a thin layer of skin, and they appear white at the surface and often seem “poppable.” Blackheads, on the other hand, have breached the skin’s surface and oxidation turns the comedone a dark color.
In both types of comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), oil, debris and dead skin cells can get trapped inside the pore around the hair follicle. Maguiness explains that the black appearance from oxidation is a result of the keratin in the follicle; that is what reacts with the oxygen in the air.
One last thing you might notice on your skin: sebaceous filaments. These may resemble blackheads and whiteheads but are neither. Instead of sebum and dead skin clogging the pores and follicles in some way, they get stuck around the follicle, appearing as small dark dots or tiny whitish hairs. But despite their blemish-like appearance, sebaceous filaments help control the flow of sebum in the pore and are healthy, normal and not to be messed with.
How We Chose the Best Face Mask for Blackheads
Find the best blackhead face masks, we spoke to experts such as Dr. Maguiness. In addition, the SPY grooming team has tested and reviewed dozens of popular blackhead face masks, and we have extensive experience testing the best skincare products for men. So when we say these are the best face masks for blackheads, you can trust us.
When it comes to blackhead removal, there are a lot of products out there that can help cleanse your sensitive skin. While many masks are designed for hydration, blackhead masks are meant to cleanse and purify. That means you want to look for purifying ingredients, such as clay, mud and activated charcoal, and exfoliating ingredients, such as salicylic acid or other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
All of these ingredients work to cleanse pores and break down all the stuff that’s clogging them in the first place. Many of these ingredients are well suited to those with oily, acne-prone skin, but some options can also work to promote a clear complexion in those with sensitive skin.
When rounding up the best face masks for blackheads, we primarily sought out spreadable clays, rather than sheet masks and peel-off masks. Peel-off masks can be rewarding in the short term but may be too aggressive in the long term. Spreadable masks, on the other hand, can be better for gentle exfoliation. Check out our picks for the best deep blackhead masks.
1. Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men
For blackheads and acne, the Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men won’t let you down. This clay mask relies on bentonite clay and charcoal to detoxify and purify your skin, absorb and minimize oil, grime and blackheads and prevent future breakouts. It’s one of SPY’s favorites for dealing with blackhead-prone skin and we’re confident it’ll help you too.
Who It’s Best For: Guys searching for a blackhead face mask that fights blackheads and cleans the skin at the same time.
Full Review: The Best Disco Skincare Products for 2022
2. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
This cleansing face mask is definitely a luxury skincare product, but it’s also one of the best Keihl’s products we’ve ever tested here at SPY. A great unisex product, it’s one of the best blackhead masks available in 2022. The texture of this clay mask is unlike any product we’ve ever tried, and Kiehl combines skin-nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera with Amazonian White Clay to strip away impurities and help fight stubborn blackheads.
Who It’s Best For: People who want the best blackhead masks no matter the cost. Anyone searching for a gentle clay face mask.
Full Review: Our Editors’ Favorite Splurge-Worthy Self-Care Products
3. Burt’s Bees Detoxifying Clay Face Mask
With their natural ingredients, economical price and wide availability, Burt’s Bees is one of the best values and worst-kept secrets when it comes to skincare. This mask utilizes charcoal and acai oil for a deep cleanse. The ingredients are 99% naturally derived.
Who It’s Best For: People who love Burt’s Bees natural beauty products and appreciate affordable skincare finds.
4. M. Skin Care Sensitive Clay Mask
FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
The M. Skin Care Sensitive Clay Mask may not cost as much as some of these other blackhead masks, but it’s plenty effective. Kaolin clay and glycolic acid exfoliate and deep-cleanse pores, leaving your skin smoother and clearer. At the same time, shea butter and algae extract keep your skin feeling healthy and supple.
Who It’s Best For: Anyone struggling with both sensitive skin and blackheads.
5. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
It’s simple, it’s pure and it offers a great value, the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is a great way to test out blackhead masks and see how you feel about using one. You get is 1 pound of bentonite clay and that’s all you need to start exfoliating your face and body and clearing away breakouts.
Who It’s Best For: Men and women who are always looking for awesome new skincare products on TikTok. Anyone that appreciates a long-lasting skincare product.
Full Review: Does Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Live Up To the Hype?
6. Caldera + Lab The Deep Reviving Mask
For premium face skincare products, Caldera + Lab has got you covered. The Caldera + Lab The Deep Reviving Mask boasts a laundry list of cleansing and rejuvenating ingredients, including a combination of five different clays, to maximize the cleansing without sucking up all the good skin stuff. For deep exfoliating and pore cleansing to get rid of blackheads and prevent future ones, as well as much-needed hydration, this is one of the best blackhead masks.
Who It’s Best For: Guys that love plant-based cleansers with eco-friendly ingredients.
Full Review: Caldera + Lab The Deep Is My New Favorite Face Mask
7. Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser
BEST MULTIPURPOSE MASK
We love the Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser not just for its excellent cleansing but also because it makes for a great clay mask. Glycolic acid, volcanic ash and kaolin clay, when left to rest for five minutes, will do an even better job of cleansing clogged pores, buildup and excess skin oil.
Who It’s Best For: Guys that are willing to spend a little more on premium skincare products with natural ingredients. Guys who appreciate a good multi-purpose skincare tool.
8. Wolf Project Mud Mask Detox Face Mask Sheet
BEST SHEET MASK
The Wolf Project Mud Mask Detox Face Mask Sheet makes getting clearer skin easier than ever. All you have to do is unwrap and apply the mask, let the bentonite clay, bamboo charcoal powder and vitamins B3, C and E go to work for 15 minutes and voilà, you’ve got deeply cleansed and moisturized skin and can bid sayonara to current and future blackheads. Plus the sheet mask is biodegradable so you can rest easy knowing your skincare routine is contributing a bit less to the landfill.
Who It’s Best For: Guys that prefer an old-fashioned sheet mask. Simply throw on these masks to moisturize and cleanse your skin.
Full Review: Why We Love Wolf Project Mud Sheet Masks
9. Lumin Charcoal Cleansing Pore Strip
BEST NOSE STRIPS
Does it feel like the blackheads on your nose are always staring at you? Then you need a peel-off blackhead mask designed specifically for your schnozz. Lumin is one of our favorite men’s skincare brands, and they let us test their charcoal pore strips. Peeling off these charcoal blackhead masks at the end of the day is immensely satisfying, and it’s even better knowing that Lumin only uses natural, skin-nourishing ingredients like charcoal, tea tree oil and lemon extract. We named this one of the best skincare products of the year in 2020, and it’s still one of the best blackhead masks for your nose
Who It’s Best For: Men who prefer sheet masks and pore strips to clay masks and face washes.
Read More: SPY Picks the Best Men’s Products of 2020
10. Anthony Deep Pore Cleansing Clay
Anthony’s luxe skincare products are formulated around a skin quiz that allows you to customize a regimen. You can also pick and choose the products that you need, such as this deep pore cleansing clay, which uses kaolin and bentonite clays to absorb impurities and apricot kernel oil to soften skin.
Who It’s Best For: Men and women who appreciate luxe skincare products that deliver on their big promises.
Why Trust SPY When Buying Blackhead Masks?
SPY’s grooming writers and product reviewers have tested hundreds of skincare products in 2022, and we’re always searching for new grooming brands and skincare hacks to share with our readers. We know that skincare brands like to make big promises, so when we’re reviewing a skincare or grooming product, we’re always honest about the results. We also regularly consult with dermatologists and other experts to ensure we’re giving SPY readers the best possible advice for their skincare routine. Most importantly, we never recommend a product that we wouldn’t purchase ourselves.
In this review, we’ve shared our editors’ favorite blackhead face masks, but we’ve also tested and reviewed the Best Men’s Face Wash, the Best Under-Eye Creams, the Best Men’s Razors, and tons more products.
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