It's winter. This means my adult acne, which has never fully cleared, will be in full force thanks to the warm-then-freezing-cold change in temperatures we expose our skin to at this time of year.
For those also fighting the constant battle that is breakouts, sometimes your go-to product just doesn't cut it. A face mask with a degree of highly concentrated blemish-zapping ingredients is my only ticket to a clearer complexion, but the trick is to use the right one. Leaving a heavy mask layered on the skin has the potential to block pores so a specially-targeted mask is a must. You'll need one infused with potent ingredients like charcoal, clay, and sulfur as these treatments shrink and calm existing pimples while controlling excess oil and dirt to prevent future ones from forming.
Here's our pick of three highly effective masks that should help keep at least some of those spots at bay.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, €30
In terms of fighting those painful-under-the-skin spots, this is the best mask I've ever used. Its Bamboo Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out any pore-cloggers, white China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities leaving a fresh surface. This is a cult favourite in the US. For maximum effect use a hot cloth to open pores and apply the mask for 10 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
Effaclar Purifying Mask, €14.99
For those with pores the size of beach balls (me), the use of a weekly mask does wonders in terms of keeping impurities at bay. La Roche's new purifying sebo-controlling mask aids the unclogging of pores and reduces shine. The mask, formulated with gentle clays eliminates excess sebum and even invisible impurities (dust, pollution particles) mean this is gentle enough to use a few times a week. The main thing I liked after use was that it didn't overly dry the skin and my t-zone appeared shine-free the next day.
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, €66
This powerful mask works to lift impurities thanks to its clay and botanical extracts, and a hydroxy acid blend, that helps to gently exfoliate. It also contains Zinc oxide and chamomile work to soothe and reduce inflammation caused by acne. Especially good used once a week on stubborn breakouts.
Main photograph: UnSplash