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These Mud Masks Make Short Work Of Acne Breakouts

As tough as it may be, we’ve come to terms with the fact that acne is a part of life that extends far past puberty. It doesn’t matter if your skin is oily, combination, or dry, acne doesn’t play favorites when it comes to random breakouts. But instead of prying and poking at our faces like we did back in middle school, now we know how to deal with them like the grown-ass adults we are. (Most of the time, at least.)

One of our top, tried-and-true saviors? A clarifying treatment mask. And among these, mud masks are regarded as some of the most effective on the market. According toDr. Giorgino D. Macalino, cosmetic chemist and secretary of the NYSCC (New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists), mud masks can be one of the most beneficial formulations, as they can clear skin, draw out excess oil, and exfoliate. How? Many are more than just mixtures of dirt and water packaged up in a pretty container — many feature added ingredients like charcoal, zinc, copper, and botanicals.

Lucky for you, mud masks are a staple for most skin-care brands, and there are plenty of options for any skin type and budget. Ahead, check out some of the newest launches that will tame your breakouts before the school dance Friday night.


This is the Mac Daddy of luxury mud masks. The new launch from Trésor Rare is exclusive to stores and will set you back a good chunk of your yearly income, but if you’re into luxury treatments, this is the way to go. (Hey, we did say every budget.)

Trésor Rare Intensive Recovery Japanese Binchotan Zumi Mask, $5,000, available exclusively in stores at Trésor Rare.


On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that provides a similar sensation for much less, Patchology’s mud sheet masks will do just that. At $30, it might look like a daunting price for a sheet mask, but you get four in a pack — so that’s less than $8 a pop.

Patchology SmartMud No Mess Mud Masque, $30, available at Nordstrom.


Estee Lauder’s luxury line brings all the bells and whistles, especially when it comes to the Diamond Revitalizing Mask Noir. With a mud-like consistency and a brush made specifically for the contours of your face, this mask will make even the smallest of bathrooms feel like fancy ass spas.

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Revitalizing Mask Noir, $340, available at Estee Lauder.


Yes To’s newest launch is a powder formula that can be mixed with any liquid — like yogurt, honey or green tea — to create a detoxifying mud-like substance that suits your skin’s needs. Talk about multitasking!

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal DIY Powder-To-Clay Mask, $3.29, available at Ulta Beauty.


At $65, this mask is a bit of an investment. Extend the life of the product by using it as a spot treatment for trouble acne: dab it on, let it dry for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Goldfaden MD Facial Detox Clarify + Clear Mask, $65, available at Space NK.


On the other hand, if you’re looking for a clarifying treatment you can slather all over your face with aplomb, this new launch from Sephora might be the best fit. “I break out easily, and I work at a restaurant making food so when I get home, my face feels greasy and my pores are clogged,” one reviewer wrote. “This helped calm down a couple of breakouts I had around my chin, and leaves my skin feeling clean.”

Sephora Collection Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying, $12, available at Sephora.

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