Finding the right face mask for oily skin can be a struggle. Still, face masks can help hydrate your skin, which in turn will help reduce oil and sebum production. Whether you're looking for a face mask to cleanse your pores, or you just want to treat yourself to an at-home facial, we recommend a mask that's formulated for your skin type.
Based on thorough research on the topic, we've selected the 10 best face masks for oily skin this year! Our favorite is Kiehl's Since 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask. This nutrient-packed, white clay mask is made using free-trade ingredients, and it's incredibly adept at evening out your skin. Read on for our other picks and for a buying guide at the end!
Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients. You can follow her on Instagram!
We picked our favorite face masks for oily skin after hours of research that's been backed up by a board-certified dermatologist! Here are the factors we kept in mind while selecting our list of the best face masks for oily skin:
You can read more about why these factors are important in our buying guide below. For now, here's our list of the best face masks for oily skin.
Kiehl's Since 1851
Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask
Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask
Water Sleeping Mask
Supermud Charcoal Instant Treament Mask
Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Pore Clearing Clay Mask
Detoxifying Charcoal Sheet Mask
Pore Detox Black Charcoal Clay Stick
Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution™
Blue Tansy BHA and Enzyme Pore Refining Mask
Healing Indian Clay
Best Ethically-Traded Clay Mask for Tightening Pores and Evening Skin Tone
Best Gel Mask for Dry-Oily Combination Skin Types
Best Sleeping Mask for Boosting Hydration and Skin Health With Natural Antioxidants
Best at Deeply Cleansing Oily Skin With Physical and Chemical Exfoliates
Best at Cleansing Oily Skin and Clearing Blackheads
Best For Physical Exfoliation and Pore-Reducing Properties
Best Charcoal Sheet Mask for Gentle Cleansing
Best For No-Mess Application of a Clay Mask
Best Sheet Mask for Reducing Oil and Treating Breakouts
Best Gel Mask for Those Who Want All-Natural, Vegan Skincare
Best Clay-Only Mask for Cleansing Your Pores
|Amount||5 oz.||4.1 oz.||2.3 oz.||1.2 oz.||2.5 oz.||3.38 oz.||1 mask per pack||1 stick||1 mask per pack||2 oz.||1 lb.|
|Type||Clay mask||Gel mask||Sleeping mask, gel mask||Clay and mud mask||Charcoal mask||Clay mask||Sheet mask||Clay and charcoal mask||Sheet mask||Gel mask||Clay mask|
|Main ingredients||Water, kaolin, bentonite, glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, and more||Glycerin, B vitamins, echinacea purpurea root extract, honey extract, and more||Water, butylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, apricot extract||Mandelic acid, carbon, eucalyptus leaf extract, tartaric acid, pyruvic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid,||Water, myrtle leaf water, kaolin, bentonite, charcoal powder, and more||Water, glycerin, volcanic ash, bentonite, kaolin, and more||Water, propanediol, willow bark extract||Water, propylene glycol, kaolin||Glycerin, niacinamide, glycereth-26, sodium hyaluronate, tea tree leaf oil||Aloe leaf juice, glycerin, papaya fruit extract, radish filtrate, willow bark extract||Natural calcium bentonite clay|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, aloe leaf juice||Glycerin, honey extract||Glycerin, beta glucan, evening primrose root extract||Aloe leaf juice, glycerin||Glycerin||Glycerin||Glycerin, honey extract||Glycerin||Glycerin||Aloe leaf extract, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, blue tansy oil||Not available|
|Exfoliators||Kaolin, bentonite||Honey extract||Not available||Kaolin clay, activated charcoal, 6 different acids||Charcoal, white clay, charcoal||Volcanic ash, lactic acid||Charcoal, honey extract, willow bark extract||Kaolin clay, charcoal||Not available||Willow bark extract, fruit enzymes||Bentonite|
We've done the research and picked our favorite face masks for oily skin. This list focuses on the ingredients within the mask, what these masks work best for, and what base is the mask made of.
|Main ingredients||Water, kaolin, bentonite, glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, and more|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, aloe leaf juice|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, B vitamins, echinacea purpurea root extract, honey extract, and more|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, honey extract|
|Type||Sleeping mask, gel mask|
|Main ingredients||Water, butylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, apricot extract|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, beta glucan, evening primrose root extract|
|Type||Clay and mud mask|
|Main ingredients||Mandelic acid, carbon, eucalyptus leaf extract, tartaric acid, pyruvic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid,|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Aloe leaf juice, glycerin|
|Exfoliators||Kaolin clay, activated charcoal, 6 different acids|
|Main ingredients||Water, myrtle leaf water, kaolin, bentonite, charcoal powder, and more|
|Exfoliators||Charcoal, white clay, charcoal|
|Main ingredients||Water, glycerin, volcanic ash, bentonite, kaolin, and more|
|Exfoliators||Volcanic ash, lactic acid|
|Amount||1 mask per pack|
|Main ingredients||Water, propanediol, willow bark extract|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, honey extract|
|Exfoliators||Charcoal, honey extract, willow bark extract|
|Type||Clay and charcoal mask|
|Main ingredients||Water, propylene glycol, kaolin|
|Exfoliators||Kaolin clay, charcoal|
|Amount||1 mask per pack|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, niacinamide, glycereth-26, sodium hyaluronate, tea tree leaf oil|
|Main ingredients||Aloe leaf juice, glycerin, papaya fruit extract, radish filtrate, willow bark extract|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Aloe leaf extract, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, blue tansy oil|
|Exfoliators||Willow bark extract, fruit enzymes|
|Main ingredients||Natural calcium bentonite clay|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Not available|
Now that you know the best products available to choose from, the next step is to learn how to choose the right face mask for you. These three factors below will help you make the right decision.
Face masks formulated for oily skin usually have some very specific ingredients and properties. We've put together a brief guide on what the best face mask ingredients to manage oily skin are, as well as what they do to help. Here are some names you should be on the lookout for when reading the label.
Clay masks are a popular choice for oily skin types due to their ability to draw out excess oil and reduce acne, but there are many types to choose from. If you aren't sure which type of clay is the right fit for your skin, it's safest to go with kaolin clay or bentonite clay.
Kaolin clay is a particularly light clay that's known for its gentle nature. This makes it a good choice for oily and sensitive skin types alike. Kaolin clay cleanses impurities and reduces excess oil. It can also be used as a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, so don't be afraid to use it on red or irritated skin.
Another effective clay option for oily skin types is bentonite clay. This volcanic clay has strong absorption properties and has been used to treat skin and digestive issues since ancient times. Bentonite clay is especially handy for those struggling with acne or breakouts, as it sucks up sebum and nourishes the skin with minerals like phosphorous and magnesium.
Kaolin clay masks are safe to use in pregnancy. They are a great treatment option for those with acne during pregnancy or breastfeeding. These clay masks are usually not as drying as other acne products even though they are effective in removing oil.
You can incorporate a clay mask into your skincare routine two to three times a week to help with excess oil production.
Face masks that contain acid exfoliators are a good choice for oily skin types who don't want to use physical exfoliants. Look for ingredients like lactic, salicylic, and glycolic acids. These acids each contain properties that help them penetrate more effectively into the skin and cleanse it of dirt and sebum.
These acids, also known as AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) effectively clean your pores and break down sebum as well as impurities. This will help you manage your oily skin more effectively. These acids can also be used to manage blackheads!
On top of controlling excess oil and sebum, acid exfoliators can even out and brighten your skin. Glycolic acid in particular has anti-aging and brightening properties. Just be sure to get a patch test if you have a history of sensitive skin, as acid exfoliators can be irritating. Still, these ingredients do gently blur fine lines and help brighten your skin.
Moisturizing might seem a daunting task for those with oily skin. However, every skin type needs to be moisturized, and the right moisturizer will actually improve your skin tone and fight off acne! In fact, oily or acne-prone skin that's too dry will over-produce oil and sebum to hydrate itself.
Still, if you have oily skin and want to pick a new moisturizer, you do need to be careful about the ingredients you're adding to this important step in your routine. Steer clear of moisturizers that contain heavy oils or rich butters, such as petroleum oil or coconut butter. These can be too rich for your skin and may create a greasy effect.
Instead, look for lightweight moisturizers such as tea tree oil, aloe vera, honey, and glycerin. Dimethicone is also a great choice for oily skin as it forms a layer on the top of the skin to prevent moisture loss. Overall, you should keep an eye out for moisturizers labeled as non-comedogenic, as they'll be guaranteed to moisturize your skin without clogging your pores.
Some common ingredients might worsen your oily skin condition. One example is alcohol, which strips your skin of water and might actually reduce its natural oils too much. Consequently, your skin might overcompensate and create even more oil! Alcohol shouldn't be confused with fatty alcohols, which can actually help moisturize and soothe your skin.
Heavy ingredients like petroleum and mineral oils are also problematic for oily skin types, as they may overwhelm and even suffocate your pores. This can lead to excess sebum production since your skin will want to protect itself somehow. These ingredients can be helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin, but oily skin types should be cautious about them.
Finally, it's important to be careful with potential irritants like fragrances if you have oily or sensitive skin. These have been proven to cause redness, breakouts, and allergic contact dermatitis.
Look for masks that are non-comedogenic since these won't clog the pores. You should also avoid masks with coconut oil as this ingredient can cause acne.
Maybe you don't have a lot of time to spare, or maybe you're looking for a spa experience. You're lucky in that masks for oily skin come in a variety of forms that can suit different purposes. Here are some suggestions.
As mentioned earlier in the article, clay, mud, and charcoal masks help absorb excess oil from the surface of your skin. They also draw out impurities from clogged pores to make your skin shine-free, but not dry or tight.
These masks are quite gentle on the skin as well and less likely to trigger allergic reactions. This makes them a great choice for people with acne-prone skin or those who are looking for a mask to reduce the appearance of their pores.
Keep in mind that charcoal and clay masks might strip your skin of moisture, so look for those with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera to prevent your skin from overdrying. You might want to follow up with a lightweight moisturizer after each application as well.
Clay, mud, and charcoal masks are great treatment options for those with acne and frequent breakouts. They should be used a few times a week and not nightly as they could be too drying.
These masks are also often preferred by those who like all-natural ingredients. I always recommend using a hydrating moisturizer, like one with hyaluronic acid, after a clay mask to give back some moisture to the skin.
Sleeping masks provide you with deep overnight care and are perfect for people that don't have time for lengthy face routines in the morning but still want to look their best. Sleep masks come in either a gel or a cream consistency and can absorb quickly into your skin.
Sleep masks are often nutrient-dense and contain a lot of active ingredients. They should only be used when your skin feels highly distressed and problematic. It's recommended that you use sleep masks once or twice per week only.
There are also cream and gel masks that you can use regularly. They aren't as potent as sleep masks but are still rich in nourishing ingredients to keep your skin feeling healthy.
The best reason to use an overnight sleep mask is to help with skin hydration. The long period of time the mask is on the skin allows for prolonged penetration to help with hydration.
On the other hand, reactions to these overnight masks can be severe since they are not washed off for several hours. I usually recommend leaving them on for a few hours while you are awake to see how your skin reacts before using them overnight. These should only be done two to three times a week. After using the mask, make sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
Cream masks may be applied after you've recently exfoliated your skin or when you just need a bit of extra hydration. They're incredibly effective at moisturizing your face due to their rich, creamy texture. Cream masks can be especially handy if you're fighting off the dehydrating effects of dry, wintry air.
Oily skin types should choose a cream mask carefully to avoid clogging their pores and creating breakouts or excess oil. Aim for a cream mask that's lighter in texture or has the trusty phrase "non-comedogenic" on its label. So long as you know your skin and can find a good cream mask for your skin type, you can enjoy the skin-plumping moisturization that this mask type offers.
Gel masks are much lighter in consistency than their cream-based cousins. This makes them a safer option for oily skin types, especially since most gel masks offer the same nourishing antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients that cream masks do.
Due to their cooling effect on the skin, gel masks can also be a great option for sensitive or dry skin types. Most gel masks are packed with natural antioxidant-rich ingredients like berries or honey, which can also help tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of your pores.
A sheet mask offers you a cost-effective option that's easy to apply and has similar results to the other mask types in this article. Sheet masks are face-shaped masks made of paper, cotton, or hydrogel and are saturated with nutrient-filled serums.
It's important to consider the environmental implications of the extra waste created by sheet masks. Companies are working on creating more eco-friendly sheet masks, but while scientists agree this is a good first step, biodegradable masks still have a long way to go.
While you may not want to use them as your go-to for facials, sheet masks are convenient due to the fact that they can be applied and removed with ease and that there's very little mess involved. This makes it ideal for minimalists on the run who want to work and have good skin at the same time.
Blackheads can be hard to treat at home without picking or scarring your face. The sheet masks that are designed to remove blackheads can be a very effective at-home treatment for removing blackheads. The blackheads may come back and the mask may need to be repeated a few times a week to clean out the pores.
Sometimes these sheet masks can be irritating, so using a moisturizer after is helpful. Just make sure you are using an oil-free moisturizer or one for acne-prone skin! After using a blackhead removing mask, an over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoid can be applied to further help with acne or blackhead control.
A face mask isn't all you need to combat your oily skin. If your face wash or moisturizer is drying up your skin or not getting rid of impurities a face mask can only do so much. These other skincare products might do the trick!
It's a good idea to moisturize after you've washed your mask off. If you're looking for a moisturizer that's lightweight enough for oily skin, beauty blogger and skincare enthusiast Sally has a great suggestion! Sally recommends Krave Beauty's Oat So Simple Water for its nourishing formula that moisturizes without clogging pores. Read on for more information below.
If you still haven't found the right mask for your needs, check out Amazon's Best Seller list for more ideas!
Updated by Erin Himeno on October 21, 2021.
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