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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. An effective way to tend to your pores is masking.
One of the most-praised self-care rituals, masking a few times a week is something we encourage. It gives your pores some much-needed TLC and a good deep clean. When it comes to the best masks for pores, they're not all created equal. Look for clay-based masks made with acids to make your pores feel brand-new. Afterward, your stressed-out skin will feel revitalized and super-smooth. Sometimes, these masks can feel a bit intense, but at least you know they're working.
Keep scrolling for the best face masks for pores when your skin needs a re-up.
Best Overall: GlamGlow Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask
This mud mask takes a no-bullshit approach when it comes to completely clearing congested skin to make way for a clearer, brighter complexion. Equipped with six acids, this powerful blend deep-cleans your pores and makes them look noticeably smaller.
Best Budget: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
The internet absolutely loves this best-selling clay mask on Amazon, 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. The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay zaps acne and blemishes in the most natural, effective way possible.
Best Splurge: Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix
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 senior editor, 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." It envelops your skin in hydration using emollients to retexturize the surface of your skin and minimize pores.
Best Vegan: Volition Beauty Detoxifying Silt Gelée Mask
The thing about pore-fighting masks is they can feel incredibly harsh and uncomfortable on the skin. With the mission of moisturizing and detoxifying the skin at the same time, this gel-based mask was dreamed up to rid the skin of buildup while adding ample hydration thanks to its mineral-rich black silt.
Best Clay: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask
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 control shine; along with aloe vera, known to soothe skin; and Amazonian white clay, which lifts dead skin cells and unclogs pores. Afterward, your skin will feel deeply cleansed and refreshed.
Best Facial: Olga Lorencin Deep Detox Facial in a Box
The name says it all: a deep detox facial in a box. Keep congestion and clogged pores from pollution at bay with this mask of active ingredients that will target oil imbalances while providing gentle exfoliation.
Best for Wrinkles: 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," will 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
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 medicine cabinet on the nights 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 makes your pores disappear with Mediterranean rose clay, Canadian willowherb, and exfoliating jojoba beads.