A stroll down any cosmetics aisle will show that facial masks for treating acne have moved from the luxury spas into the home. And why not?
After all, nothing says “pampered” like a soothing face mask. Turn on some relaxing music, light some candles, apply a mask, and you’ve got yourself a luxurious spa situation, right in the comfort of your own home.
But with so many acne face masks filling the shelves, how do you know which one will work on your skin?
Unfortunately, the simple answer is: you don’t.
Navigating the Sea of OTC Face Masks
We took a look at popular over-the-counter (OTC) masks claiming to help with acne and found products with a wide variety of ingredients including activated charcoal, fruit enzymes and Asian volcanic ash.
We also found a futuristic-looking electronic device that provides a mask of blue light energy that claims to kill p. acnes bacteria on and below the skin’s surface.
There is reason to believe that any of these products might help relieve some of the problems associated with acne. But it is difficult to say what will work for you since they are not the subjects of scientific study using a broad cross-section of people with acne-prone skin.
The Creative World of Homemade Acne Face Masks
When it comes to do-it-yourself, homemade acne face masks, you’ll find dozens of recipes that use common kitchen ingredients like honey, apple cider vinegar, sugar and green tea.
Of course, there are also recipes with not-so-common ingredients including some substances you probably never thought about putting on your face.
For example, to treat acne scars, you could try whipping up a bowl of egg whites (no yolk!). Or you can try another popular do-it-yourself acne face mask ingredient: garlic. Even if it clears your skin, there could be some unpleasant side effects. On the positive side, you will be less likely to be approached by werewolves and vampires!
Medicated Acne Face Masks — The Best of Both Worlds
There are also face masks with proven acne-fighting ingredients like sulfur, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Typically, these powerful anti-acne agents are added to earthen clays and other natural ingredients to give users the best of both worlds.
One such mask, the Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask, contains 6% sulfur, an ingredient known by dermatologists to deep-clean pores and prevent new breakouts. Also included in the Proactiv+ formula are kaolin clay, Vitamin E, tea tree oil, geranium and lemongrass.
Because they combine naturally derived ingredients with others that have been shown to help clear skin and prevent future breakouts, products like the Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask may be the best choice for you.
Summary: There are many over-the-counter and do-it-yourself face masks that claim to clear your skin using a wide variety of ingredients. But it’s impossible to know which one, if any, will work for you.
To increase the odds of success, one option is to choose a medicated mask like the Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask that combines quality ingredients with medicines proven over time to work on pimples and blackheads.