Face masks somewhat rule the roost of my skincare collection, and when it comes to treating myself to a new addition to my skincare stash, a new mask is usually top of the list. As the kind of person who is usually doing a million things at once and always on the lookout for a speedy cure to my skincare ailments, there's something about a fast and efficient leave-on treatment which really appeals to me. It goes without saying that I've learnt to tailor the products I use [and especially the masks] to whichever skincare concern I am currently battling. Whilst many concerns [and indeed many products] cross over, I thought I'd start off a face mask showcase on TGG with the big guns, the blemish busters.

BATTLING BIG ONE-OFF BLEMISHES : AĒSOP Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque*

The mother of all Aēsop face masks, this one ups the game of the much-adored Parsley Seed Masque, taking the word 'concentrate' to a whole new level. It's serious stuff for sure, and not a mask I would recommend reaching for on a daily basis as it can be quite drying if used in succession. When it comes to tackling a certain brand of blemish however, this is exactly what's needed; expect to say farewell to those supersize, painful to touch, pulsing, angry spots which both look and feel like a UFO took up residence on your forehead. TMI? We've all been there. This clay-based formula absorbs excess oils, and contains ingredients such as evening primrose, rosemary, sage, and witch hazel - natural antiseptics which help to speedily reduce and prevent future breakouts. I often use it as an overnight spot-on treatment for particularly nasty blemishes as it's guaranteed to have blitzed them by morning.


With first sniff, the heady aroma of vanilla, honey, and citrus establishes this mask firmly within the category of 'calming'. As a non-clay-based cleansing mask it presents a gentle and hydrating alternative to most blemish busters; leaving skin feeling clean but also super moisturised. Ideal for when your complexion is sporting both breakouts and dry skin, this is one of my favourite masks to reach for in the winter months. Whilst it's no hardcore breakout weapon, it is perfect for use on sensitive and easily-aggravated skin types, and I often pair it with the another mask for a double-whammy approach.


If you suffer from really angry, sore, rash-like breakouts then this is the mask for you. A recent bout of hormonal acne had me desperately layering on mask after mask, but this was the only one to perform when it came to calming down the painful blemishes plaguing my cheeks and jaw. It's a thick clay-based formula with a high count of glycolic acid [ideal for fading scars/marks] and a blend of camphor, almonds, and honey which calms, decongests, and deeply cleanses the skin - and means that despite being clay-based it isn't drying. Immediately after use you'll notice any redness has faded and blemishes are visibly depleted in size. The name is so well-deserved, my complexion somehow looks much more healthy, alive, and radiant after a session. If I could only use one mask for the rest of my life, it would be this one.

FADING SCARRING/MARKS : RADICAL Instant Revitalising Mask*

I've found that this plus the above makes for an absolute dream team when it comes to battling the aftermath of breakouts - the red marks and scars which linger annoyingly for months. As an active mask, it's quite different to anything else I've used; applying as a silky gel which, upon contact with the skin becomes a weightless mousse, then after a few moments dissolves with a sensation best described as 'like popping candy'. Essentially the mask aims to revitalise the complexion and increase hydration, but does so by regenerating cells and increasing oxygen distribution to the skin. This in turn helps to reduce pigmentation and gently exfoliates the top layers of skin - thus fading the appearance of pigmentation and marks.


A very near dupe for the Eve Lom mask above, albeit minus the wow-factor. It's a great mask, and helps to deeply cleanse blemish-prone skin, calm breakouts and mattify an oily complexion; but it doesn't have quite the same prowess in terms of its speed and potency. If you're after a game-changer pick up the Eve Lom, but as a budget option with an impressive ingredients list [AHAs, BHAs, Zinc, Kaolin, and thermal spring water] this is one of the best options you'll find in Boots.

Which masks do you reach for when breakouts occur?


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