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Charcoal acts like a magnet, attracting, binding, and drawing out impurities, dirt and oil, thus purifying, decongesting, and shrinking the appearance of pores. That makes it a great weapon against comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads). “Weekly charcoal facial masks for acne are helpful for adults with blemish-prone skin, as they are usually less harsh and drying than classic acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide,” explains Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Santa Monica. Try: boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment or Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask. And don’t miss these other drugstore acne treatments that really work, according to top dermatologists.
Do you have oily skin? Bentonite clay is your new BFF. When mixed with liquid, this ultra-absorbent clay opens up like a porous sponge, drawing out oil, excess sebum, and bacteria, leaving skin looking more matte. For this reason, bentonite-based face masks are great for use on oily skin types—they can also be concentrated on shiny areas, such as the T-zone, medial cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Try: SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask, or mix equal parts Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and raw apple cider vinegar. Love to do it yourself? Try these other home remedies for acne.
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Known for its pungent, almost rotten egg-like odor, sulfur is also a stellar spot treatment. When applied topically, sulfur causes the skin to shed more quickly, helping to unclog and open pores. It’s also bactericidal, meaning it kills acne-causing bacteria and has a drying effect. Using it in a facial mask helps shrink pimples and speeds up healing. Try: Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask or DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive 10% Sulfur Acne Mask & Emergency Spot Treatment. Get the scoop on all the amazing skincare benefits of sulfur.