The 8 Best Face Masks for Making Skin Look Virtually Poreless

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Pores: can't live without them. We all have them, as they're part of our skin's natural makeup. Pores tend to have a negative connotation, but there isn't anything wrong with them. However, you have every right to want to minimize the look of enlarged or congested pores due to excess oil, dead skin cells, environmental stressors, dirt and debris buildup, and more. Clogged pores can lead to bacterial buildup and acne.

Masking, known as one of the most-praised self-care rituals, can be helpful when trying to tackle pores. It can give your pores some much-needed TLC and a good deep clean. When it comes to masks for pores, spoiler alert, they're not all created equal. Luckily, we're here to break down the best products to address all your pore concerns. Warning: always spot test before trying a new mask on your face. Your skin will thank you later!

Keep scrolling for the best face masks for pores when your skin needs a re-up.

Our Top Picks
Clear congested skin and leave behind a clearer, brighter complexion.
Zaps acne and blemishes in the most natural, effective way possible.
Emollients in this formula help to create baby skin after one use.
Get rid the skin of buildup and add hydration thanks to its mineral-rich black silt.
Aloe vera and clay work together to soothe skin and unclog pores.
This facial in a box targets oil imbalances and provides exfoliation.
Best for Wrinkles:
Elemis Face Mask at Dermstore
Using a combination of peptides and Nordic Peat, this mask makes for glowing skin.
A restorative mask that makes your pores and makeup disappear.

Best Overall: GlamGlow Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask

GlamGlow Supermud

This mud mask takes a no-holds-barred approach when it comes to clearing congested skin to make way for a brighter complexion. Equipped with six acids, this powerful blend deep-cleans your pores which helps make them look noticeably smaller. 

Best Budget: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay

The internet absolutely loves this best-selling clay mask, which consistently flies off the shelves. It's an intense one, that's for sure (speaking from experience here), but if you want your pores to feel brand-new, this is it.

Best Splurge: Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix

Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix

Key Ingredients

Emollients serve as softening and moisture-locking agents, like butters, oils, esters, lipids, and fatty acids. It can also be used to describe a category of products that contain these ingredients, like lotions, creams, and ointments.

Highly praised by Byrdie's associate editorial director, Hallie, who relies on this creamy mask to save her hungover skin, the brand created this to give you "baby skin" that provides a "second birth." With emollients in the formula, your skin will feel like it's enveloped in hydration after using this.

Best Vegan: Volition Beauty Detoxifying Silt Gelée Mask

Volition Detoxifying Silt Gelee

The thing about pore-fighting masks is they can feel incredibly harsh and uncomfortable on the skin. With the mission of moisturizing and purifying the skin at the same time, this gel-based mask promises to get rid of buildup while adding ample hydration thanks to its mineral-rich black silt.

Best Clay: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask

Key Ingredients

Aloe vera is a naturally derived ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. The aloe plant's inner gel mucilage (the part that's used in skincare products) is made up of 99.5% water.

You can find bentonite in this whipped clay formula, which may help control shine; along with aloe vera, known to soothe skin; and Amazonian white clay, used to absorb excess oil and remove impurities, according to the brand. Afterward, your skin will feel deeply cleansed and refreshed. 

Best Facial: Olga Lorencin Deep Detox Facial in a Box

Olga Lorencin Deep Detox Facial in a Box

The name says it all: a deeply purifying facial in a box. Keep congestion and clogged pores from pollution at bay with this mask of active ingredients that can help target oil imbalances while providing gentle exfoliation.

Best for Wrinkles: Elemis Peptide 4 Thousand Flower Face Mask

Elemis Peptide 4 Thousand Flower Face Mask

This comforting mask has a velvety texture that feels so good on the skin. Using a combination of peptides and Nordic Peat, which the brand describes as "organic matter from thousands of flowers rich in humic and fulvic acid," is meant to break up excess oil in your pores and bring on glowing, radiant skin.

Best for Removing Makeup: Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay

origins original skin retexturizing mask with rose clay

Key Ingredients

Jojoba oil is a natural oil produced from the seed of the chinensis plant, a drought-resistant shrub native to southern Arizona, California, and Mexico. It mimics natural sebum and conditions and seals moisture in the skin without clogging pores or exacerbating acne.

This rose clay mask stays front and center in my routine after nights when I've had way too much fun and forget to take my makeup off (not proud of this, but it's the truth). It's a restorative mask that features Mediterranean rose clay, Canadian willowherb, and exfoliating jojoba beads.

What to Look For

Clay

Typically, clay-based masks made with acids are recommended to take on clogged or enlarged pores. Clay help draw out impurities from the skin, with a goal of leaving it fresh, smooth, and clean. Note, when working with a clay mask such as Aztec Secret's Indian Healing Clay, do not leave on the skin for more than five to ten minutes depending on your skin's sensitivity level.

Acids

Acids help unclog and minimize the look of pores. Look for commonly used acids such as lactic acid and salicylic acid when scanning ingredient lists for purchase.

Emollients

Pore-cleansing products and masks can often be rough on the skin while going to work. Seeking masks with skin-soothing formulas to offset any wear and tear and help nourish the skin after your pores have been cleaned.

FAQ
  • What should you look for in products to avoid clogged pores?

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should look for at least one of the following terms on everything you apply to your face: "Non-comedogenic," "oil free," and (obviously) "won’t clog pores."

  • How often should you wash my face to avoid clogged pores?

    Cleansing twice daily can help unclog pores, prevent clogged pores, and reduce oiliness. Always be gentle when washing the face. Avoid using hot water, which can irritate the skin and actually lead to pores looking larger in size.

  • After masking what other steps can you take to avoid pores?

    On top of masking, there are more preventative options you can take in your skincare routine to combat large pores. The proper exfoliators, toners, cleansers, and hydrators can all contribute to helping minimize pores.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Acne: who gets and causes.

  2. Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML. Moisturizers: the slippery roadIndian J Dermatol. 2016;61(3):279-287. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.182427

  3. Guo X, Mei N. Aloe vera: A review of toxicity and adverse clinical effectsJ Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2016;34(2):77-96. doi:10.1080/10590501.2016.1166826

  4. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

  5. Williams LB, Haydel SE. Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents. Int Geol Rev. 2010;52(7/8):745-770.

  6. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/face/treat-large-pores

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