Tested on animals:No
InstaMatte Oil Control Mask is designed as an oil-absorbing mask for breakout-prone skin. It’s also designed to work fast; the instruction say to rinse after just three minutes. Rinsing even sooner than that would be wise, because this mask presents more problems than solutions for oily, congested skin!
The first problem is the formula’s lack of oil-absorbing ingredients. Replacing those are a rather drying detergent cleansing agents and other cleansing agents typically used to formulate classic bar soap. In high concentrations, all of these have a tendency to be drying when left on skin, even for a few minutes.
Problem two is the active ingredient, salicylic acid. While salicylic acid is ordinarily a very helpful ingredient to fight breakouts and clogged pores, here it’s amount (0.5%) is borderline low—but the bigger concern is that this mask’s pH of 6.1 is far above the ideal range of pH 3-4 salicylic acid needs to be effective.
Problem three (as in three strikes, you’re out!) is that this mask is highly fragrant, and the scent lingers on skin long after you rinse it off. Speaking of rinsing, InstaMatte Oil Control Mask rinses perfectly, and it does leave skin feeling smooth, refreshed, and looking matte.
The positives mentioned above are helpful for oily skin, but not enough to overcome this mask’s weaknesses, none of which will do oily, breakout-prone skin any favors. In fact, routine exposure to drying, sensitizing ingredients can make oily skin worse, as we explain in the More Info section. See our list of Best Face Masks for oil-absorbing options that help improve oily, congested skin the right way—gently!
Leaves skin feeling smooth, matte, and refreshed.
Lacks ingredients to control oil beyond standard cleansing agents that just remove surface oil.
Contains somewhat drying cleansing and foaming agents.
Fragrant formula poses a risk of sensitizing skin especially because the scent lingers.
The pH of 6.1 keeps the active ingredient from exfoliating skin.
Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Whether you can see it on the surface of skin or not, using harsh, skin-aggravating ingredients or cleansing brushes with stiff bristles, is a problem for all skin types but uniquely so for those with oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is aggravated the oil gland makes more oil to send to skin’s surface, creating a perfect environment for blemishes to occur.
Using any product that’s gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin.
It’s also vitally important to use appropriate products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin and blemishes. The two gold standard ingredients are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, issue 5, pages 433-438
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, issue 10, pages 821-832
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422-427
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, issue 6, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, issue 1, pages 17-23