With proper care, acne scars and dark pimple spots can be prevented and erased. We took it upon ourselves to do the hard work to determine the very best face mask for acne, dark spots, and blackheads.
There are plenty of these products, some of which are high-end and expensive, while others are of good quality yet can be bought from the drugstore for cheap. Scroll below to read our reviews and check out our full list.
When your skin pores become clogged with dirt, sweat, and excess oil, you are likely going to get acne and pimple breakouts. Sometimes, these are triggered by hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy and period in women.
Below, we have listed the best tried and tested anti-acne face masks (both commercial and homemade) that have been tried and tested for removing acne scars.
The big problem with pimples and acne zits is that they leave visible spots on your skin – something we all don’t like. The spots can turn red when fresh due to inflammation. They are sometimes black when the pimples finally die off.
You can count on masks to cleanse your pores and peel off the skin with blackheads and blemishes. The result is clear, radiant, and youthful skin.
The thing with the good products is that they are made with acne-fighting ingredients. While you can make them at home, the bottle ones are highly potent. You can jump to the best ingredients for clearing pimples here.
Commercial masks work faster compared to the homemade ones. While you don’t expect to get overnight results, you can easily lighten dark spots within a few weeks of application.
For acne scars to go away completely, you first of all need to replenish your pores and prevent any future breakouts that may increase the number of dark spots on your face.
Acne treatments in a bottle are just what you need, but the problem is that there are so many in the market. You can hardly figure out which one will work for you and which one will not.
Here are the top-rated products that will not only prevent but also fade away black spots from pimples and acne zits.
Anyone with acne-prone skin should have Aztec and bentonite clay products. These are usually very good at cleansing pores, opening them up, and, more importantly, lightening and clearing dark spots.
The clay absorbs dirt, toxins, and excess oils and will prove very good for people with oily skins. It provides deep cleansing benefits for your skin, therefore leaving you with fewer blemishes and breakouts each time you use it.
According to Acne.org, “When applied on the skin, it tightens up your skin, creating a pressuring feel on your skin, which results in the circulation of blood. Generally, this creates a very calming and good sensation.”
The name can be misleading, so just forget it first. It is not a skin-bleaching and whitening product. The ingredients in the mask are exactly what you need to clear and get rid of blemishes on your skin.
It contains licorice root and kojic acid. These two can be found in anti-acne spot soaps and even creams that are known to fade the scars in record time.
With all-natural bentonite clay ingredients, it is one of the best face masks for acne scars. As the label claims, it is the most powerful face mask.
However, we advise that you do a patch test fast before using it to prevent any possible irritation. If this is a problem, you can try out the mild Pure Body Naturals Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask Facial Treatment.
Murad’s mask is a highly rated product due to its effectiveness and results. Like the Indian clay one, it is made of natural muds and sulfur that help in treating acne and pimple breakouts.
This facial application works by drawing out dirt, excess oil, and other impurities to stop breakouts from forming.
Key ingredients: Salicylic acid and sulfur acne treatments; glycerin and allantoin for moisturizing your skin; kaolin clay for absorbing oil and buildup.
We noted that this clay feels smooth and makes the skin cool. You will notice a faint earthy smell when applying it on your face, but it is nothing overwhelming.
Although the price is a little higher than other drugstore anti-acne masks, it still works and delivers good results.
Like the other top-rated acne face masks above, Clinique’s product is clay-based. It helps heal blemishes that erupt due to acne and pimple breakouts.
What we like about this product is that for just about $25, you get a medicated formula that will not only unclog pores but also fade away black spots and remove black spots.
The good thing about this is that you do not need to use it overnight. Just applying the mask and leaving it on for 5 minutes only will give you great results – a clear, smoother skin.
We found it perfect for preventing further breakouts. If you have oily skin, it will also help prevent shine and unclog your pores. It is, therefore, a great product for getting rid of blackheads and preventing acne hyperpigmentation.
Although this is not a very popular blackhead removal product, it is touted as one of the best face masks for acne scars that are clinically tested and proven.
According to the manufacturer, “After just 1 week* of using this acne mask with Colloidal Sulfur, 88% of test subjects in a clinical study showed a reduced number of blackheads. *Results based on an independent Clinical Study”
Unlike Clinique’s formula, the foam acne treatment clears acne scars by exfoliating them, paving the way for new skin cells to grow and leave you with a clear complexion. The exfoliation also unclogs pores by removing dead skin cells, gunk, and oils, thus, preventing further breakouts.
The honey extract in the product seems to give it a boost in lightening dark spots from acne. Though it is made by a celebrity skin-care expert, it does not really work that fast. We would recommend it if you want to prevent further breakouts and blackheads on your face.
Here are our reasons why it is the best face mask for acne scars with natural ingredients:
With all-natural ingredients, Burt’s Bees’ formulation is a dermatologist-tested noncomedogenic acne treatment that promises the best results in fighting acne scars and dark blackhead pores. It is the manufacturer’s best anti-acne facial scrub, according to their website.
This product contains willow bark extract that is known to have naturally occurring beta hydroxy acids (BHA). BHA is a common ingredient in facial masks and exfoliators. It unclogs blocked pores to prevent breakouts and acne scars.
Sometimes oily skins can be a challenge. If a product goes wrong, the most likely consequence is usually more breakouts. We liked Burt’s Bees natural acne solutions because of its natural ingredients and effective results. It is worth a try, especially since it is fairly cheap.
Pimples and blackheads erupt on the skin due to bacterial activity that irritates the pores.
Tea tree oil is often used as a potent ingredient in most acne scar treatments because it has antibacterial properties that help kill bacteria and prevent further bumps.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Mask is a clay-based product that works well to heal acne-prone skin. It helps soothe the irritation on the bumps for a fresh feeling. The clay helps to absorb excess oil, gunk, and dirt from the pores to prevent further breakouts.
The product is suitable for blemish-prone skin and blackheads. It works with consistent use. However, you should not leave it overnight, as tea tree oil can easily irritate your skin.
Though it is an oil, it purifies the skin and leaves you with a mattified appearance.
Since it is a good drugstore facemask for getting rid of acne scars, we think you should try it as its content is interesting.
Blackheads and dark spots give the skin blemishes. If you have them, this is one of the best face masks for blackhead removal and prevention.
According to the manufacturer, the cleanser is “formulated with Micro-Clear technology, a powerful technology, scientifically shown to boost delivery of maximum strength blackhead-fighting medicine to the source of breakouts.” [Neutrogena]
We liked this liquid because of its ability to eradicate blackheads without leaving the skin feeling dry with patches.
You can use it as a daily cleanser if you have acne-prone skin. However, if you are going to use it as a mask, limit your application to just two to three times a week. This will prevent any irritation and redness.
This is the second product from Neutrogena in our list. We found it to be one of the top-rated anti-acne face masks due to its strength in preventing or killing blackheads before they even start to form.
If you experience redness due to acne irritation, this mask will help you relieve that.
To get rid of pimples and remove blackheads, you apply the mask on your face and leave it on. There’s no rinsing required.
If you have many dark spots and pimple scars, this product will help you fade them away faster than most other products on the market.
The only problem you may encounter with it is a little irritation, so we do not recommend it for people with sensitive skin. We also noted that too much use could cause a little discomfort, so just use once or twice a week instead of applying it daily.
Rating: 4.6/5 (for getting rid of pimple scars and dark spots on the face and preventing further breakouts)
There is an increasing number of beauty products with charcoal as an ingredient. Why? Because charcoal is a magnet for toxins.
This Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask from Origins is one of those with excellent performance when it comes to clearing blackheads and opening up pores.
The active charcoal works as a deep cleansing and purifying mask that cleans the skin and removes excess oil from the skin.
According to the manufacturer, the technology used to make the product – Clear Improvement – helps to “flush out environmental toxins, dirt, and debris that can clog pores and cause the skin to look dull—leaving the complexion clarified, refreshed, and healthier-looking.
Bamboo charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, white China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities.”
Our review found the product to give a solution for clogged pores, oily skin, and uneven texture that usually follows recurrent acne breakouts.
Another charcoal and mud-based face mask for removing acne spots and scars. Formulated with 96% natural ingredients and without including parabens and silicones, it is suitable not only for acne-prone skin but all skin types.
It is made with salicylic acid, a blend of tomato, watermelon, chamomile extracts, aloe vera, and pumpkin. The result is a creamy face masking consistency that gives probably the best homemade spa-like experience.
The mask is comfortable on the skin. It is also very easy to apply and remove. It actually works with consistent use, and for the drugstore price it has (under $10), it should be one of your best detoxifying charcoal mud masks for removing acne scars and dark spots.
While the above top 10 products can help you remove scars from pimples and zits, a natural routine of cleansing your face will help you get the best results. If your spots are too deep and stubborn, you could also try a good spot corrector cream to fade them away.
Other masks we thought are worth mentioning on our list are Blackhead and Acne Peel-off Mask and
Mario Badescu Whitening Mask. You can try them if you are looking for something that will work as an alternative to the ones above.
When it comes to a face product, there are so many things that you consider. Your skin type can easily determine what to buy and what not to try. Other than this important factor, here are the most effective ingredients known to get rid of acne and prevent scars and dark spots.
Honey is natural and has been used for centuries as a medicinal remedy. It is said to have many therapeutic benefits, even though there is little scientific research to support such benefits.
The reason for its application is that it works as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, the two common problems that occur with acne breakouts.
Most importantly, however, it has skin lightening capabilities, meaning that it can get rid of acne scars. Some people recommend that if you have deep scars and dark spots from pimples on your face, a mask with this ingredient will be ideal for you.
Kate Sommerville’s mask uses honey extract as one of its primary ingredients.
Charcoal based masks and face creams are some of the best when it comes to getting rid of blackheads and dark pores. The activated charcoal works like a magnet that attracts, binds, and draws out excess oil, dirt, and other impurities that cause breakouts.
If you have large pores that need shrinking, a good face mask with this ingredient will provide a good solution.
One of the best face masks for acne with charcoal and clays as the major ingredient is the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask. Using it weekly can really help improve the problem of acne-prone skin.
According to a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, the advantage of using charcoal masks is that they are less drying compared to other anti-acne ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide.
Best pick: BOSCIA Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment
To eliminate acne, most brands use ingredients that exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells and help unclog oil-blocked pores. Benzoyl peroxide (BP) is one such ingredient. The oxygen detoxifies pores and makes them release sebum buildup.
One of the major problems with benzoyl peroxide is that it can leave the skin feeling dry and blotchy. To remedy this problem, you should use plenty of moisturizers to keep your face hydrated and prevent further breakouts.
While BP is effective in shrinking acne spots, it can also be harsh to sensitive skin.
Even for the normal skin, you can feel a little uncomfortable if you leave the cleanser on your skin for long periods. It does, however, work in getting rid of pimples and acne bumps.
Best pick: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser
Do you have oily, acne-prone skin? A good product that is highly likely going to eliminate your excess sebum and breakout problem should be based on bentonite clay. A good number of the creams we have reviewed above are based on some kind of mud, most of them, bentonite clay.
The clay is ultra-absorbent and swells when mixed with a liquid to make a sponge. When used as a face mask, it draws out bacteria, excess oil, sebum, and dirt to leave your pores cleansed. It, therefore, provides a solution for blackheads and all kinds of breakouts on the skin.
Best pick: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
Other benefits of bentonite mud include the following:
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a good ingredient for people with sensitive skin. What makes it even better is its moisturizing and soothing effects. Why is it beneficial as an acne-fighting face mask?
Aloe contains hormones that are antibacterial called gibberellins and polysaccharides that are responsible for killing and even protecting the skin from inflammation and pimple-causing bacteria.
Other than that, it is rich in Vitamin E, a good ingredient that helps heal deep pitted acne scars.
The best way to use aloe vera extract for an acne problem is with other potent ingredients. Some face masks combine it with salicylic acid, clays, etc. to make the products more effective.
Best aloe acne face mask: Tosowoong Pure Aloe Mask Pack; Yes to Tomatoes Mud Mask.
According to the Wiley Online Library, topical use of salicylic acid produces mild to moderate activity to inflammatory lesions caused by acne vulgaris. It is an approved formula for treating acne in children.
The reason why it is used as a potent ingredient in top-rated anti-acne face masks is that it can break down the keratotic plugs (blackheads and dead skin cells that block pores), leaving the skin with open pores.
The anti-inflammatory capabilities also make it a good ingredient for people with inflamed acne bumps and zits.
Best salicylic acid face mask for acne: Indie Lee Clearing Mask; Murad Clarifying Mask
Sulfur is a common ingredient in over-the-counter treatment for acne as well as prescription medications. Topical application to mild pimples and acne breakouts makes them dry, shrink, and peel off.
This effect gets rid of acne scars and blackheads. The antibacterial effect of sulfur helps prevent infected zits due to bacterial activity in the pores.
If you have a skin that reacts to Retin-A creams and products based on benzoyl peroxide, sulfur is one of the best alternatives for you.
Although some sulfur-based creams can smell awful, today’s beauty products have an improved smell, and some of the best face masks for acne and blackheads using this ingredient do not smell that bad.
Best sulfur mask for acne: Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask
It might not make sense adding oil to the list when the problem is caused by it, yes? Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient with powerful antibacterial effects. Acne is usually caused by bacterial activity. Applying a mask containing this ingredient will definitely kill the microbes and prevent breakouts and dark spots.
According to a study by the department of dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW titled “A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne” both tea tree oil and BP were found to be equally effective in healing acne.
However, there were fewer side effects when tea tree oil was used compared to BP.
Best tea tree oil mask for acne scars: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask
Note: Tea tree oil products may cause redness, burning, and stinging on sensitive skin.
Also known as Moroccan Tansy, this oil comes in a magnificent blue color with a sweet herby scent. But that is not all. It has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, making it a good ingredient in products for acne-prone skin.
Top-rated pick: Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
Most of the products here are affordable, but others are priced way higher than what you want to get from your local drugstore. Here’s a list of our top 5 drugstore masks if you don’t want to make one at home or even get a high-end product.
The only problem we have been encountering with most drugstore anti-acne products is the quantity. Some come in small tubes that you can only use a few times. Acne treatments need to be used for a while to get the best results. You may not see an improvement in the appearance of dark spots if you use a spot correcting mask only three times. We recommend you try to get products that come in packs of two, like the last one on the list above.
And when you do not want to try a drugstore or high-end acne scar removal wash, mask or cream, you can make one for yourself at home. Below are some of the best homemade face masks for acne treatment and fading away dark spots on the face.
Acne scars can be very stubborn and hard to remove. Some of them can last for years, even after the teenage years. This happens especially if you are always picking at the bumps when they are itchy. Since getting rid of pimple scars can take a long time, it requires patience and a lot of effort. You can persistently treat them with your own DIY face mask.
In that sense, here are our top 4 homemade face masks for acne scars and removing blackheads that lead to more pimple breakouts. Try these recipes.
Turmeric contains cumin, a compound that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin. It will prevent the excess production of melanin and help with the replacement of damaged skin cells with new ones for glowing skin. The antibacterial property also makes it effective in treating acne.
More importantly, turmeric powder can lighten dark spots that are left behind when an acne spot shrinks and dies. Here’s a recipe for making a turmeric face mask at home.
After this remedy, apply enough moisturizer on your face to keep it well hydrated.
Honey is often mixed with other home remedies to make a recipe that gets rid of dark spots and treat acne spots. For this particular face pack, we will use it with milk.
Why honey and honey? Milk has skin lightening properties and will help keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized. Honey, on the other hand, is good for its skin potency in treating acne and lightening dark spots.
Apply this homemade mask once every day to get quicker results.
Cinnamon is a good anti-inflammatory agent. If you are suffering from itchy acne bumps, it will soothe them out and stop the itching. It is also antibacterial and will kill any bacteria in your pores. Most importantly, this ingredient exfoliates the skin, thus helping open up clogged pores.
Procedure: Mix cinnamon and honey together to get a fine mixture. Do this by adding honey slowly to the cinnamon powder as you stir to get a consistent thickness. Apply it on your face covering all the black acne scars. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Use the recipe daily for the best results.
Egg white is one of the best anti-aging home remedies. If you are looking to tighten your skin and banish fine lines and wrinkles fast, it is a treatment you can try at home. Other than that, you can mix it with almond water to make a DIY face mask for getting rid of acne scars permanently.
What you need:
To clear dark spots and scars from acne, use this remedy twice a week until the stubborn marks are gone.
Note, for this recipe, ensure that you use organic apple cider vinegar. It is the one that contains alpha hydroxyl acids that have the most benefits for your skin. The compound helps in removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores that lead to acne spots and blackheads.
Apple cider vinegar and acne are also both skin lightening agents and will help bleach dark spots on your face.
Ingredients: Green tea, brown sugar, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
Steps to follow:
This homemade face mask for acne and blackheads can be used twice a week for the best long-lasting results.