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Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask

Bye, bye problem skin. This mask absorbs oil, uproots blackheads, and reduces irritation. Smooth, clear skin becomes you.
Item #: 275
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores
  • Combination, Oily Skin
  • Smooths rough, uneven skin
  • Shrinks enlarged pores, reveals younger looking skin

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Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask

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Customer Ratings:

88 out of 100
(Based on 43 Reviews)
Page of 2 Next »
  1. ROBIN H.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Immediate results
    • The previous oil-absorbing mask stung my skin, and I didn't realize there was a new one out until recently. This one is really wonderful on my combination skin. Whenever my skin looks oily, dehydrated or inflamed (or all the above), this mask never fails to make me feel pretty again. I don't understand it, but it's true.

  2. Bev S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Very Happy
    • I purchased this after reading notes from a radio blog that Brian and Nathan recommended this in conjunction with your BHA. I am very happy with this mask after the first use. It leaves my skin smoother, less red and shrinks the pores in my T-zone. Really helps diminish black heads and zits. In fact a co worker commented today that my skin looks smooth. I use it once to twice a week. I accidentally left it on for an hour while I was reading and suffered no ill consequences.

  3. Van D.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 17, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Pleasant to use
    • To be honest, this mask does not shrink my pores instantly as much as the Queens Helene Mint Julep mask, that's 1 star off. But I love that it is much gentler, can be used as often as I want, and the texture is not as hard as the mint julep mask. On top of that, it does not contain mint, to which my lips is seriously allergic to, and not something I'd like to use in long run. It is the only oil absorbing mask without leave your skin dry. And I like the way it looks mostly colorless when it's dry.

  4. RICHARD F.
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    REFINED MY PORES
    • Being from Philadelphia, I spent most of my summer youth at the jersey shore. so i have some freckles and uneven skin tone from the sun. I've been good in my adult years avoiding direct sun as much as possible. This mask helps to refine my pores, smooth my skin and makes my skin tone look so much better. I use this mask once a week for 10 minutes. some people have said it was too drying, but I leave it on for 10 minutes and it feels like it is drawing out the impurities. I love this mask.

  5. Chantal S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    not for me
    • i always hear that some products "purge" ur skin to reveal a more healthy, and clear complexion. and i know this mask has clearing and detoxing ingredients, but let me tell you that this just was not my case. it brought acne that the clear line had gotten rid of. it was so devastating to me to see the skin the clear line took away and for one product to bring it back. it did nothing for my blackheads which i hoped for or my pores. just broken me out. not for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    Thanks for your review! It seems you've had difficulties with many of our products, and perhaps Paula's Choice isn't the right line for you. That's why our team continued to review products from over 300 other brands, so our customers always have alternatives also worth buying. Please contact us for assistance with returning any of the items you've been displeased with.

    —Admin
  6. Barbara S.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best mask I've tried!
    • I've tried (and sadly returned) many skin products, including PC products, because they either irritated my skin or caused breakouts. This one, though, is a winner! I can tell it's strong and can feel it working, but it doesn't leave my skin dry or irritated. The day after I use it, my skin is softer than ever. I don't use it on my sensitive cheekbone areas - just my forehead, nose, and especially chin. Large tube, seems like it will last a long time. Dispensing hint: remove the flip-top cap.

  7. Christina C
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great clay mask
    • If youre looking for a good clay mask, search no more. This is a wonderful, basic, purifying mask. Along with the bha 2% liquid exfoliant, they have paired up to make my skin super radiant and reduced black beads and blemishes. It can be drying, so I only do it 1 or 2x a week and make sure to moisturize after.

  8. Kate
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 05, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Mild irritation
    • I use the entire Skin Balancing kit and it seems to be working well - the only one that causes mild irritation is this product. I get a slight burning sensation initially, but it goes away after a minute or so. I have only used the mask 3 times so maybe I just need to give it more time. My face doesn't look irritated after I remove the mask, so that's a good sign I hope!

  9. ConnieW
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 19, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good to absorb excess oil
    • I have very oily skin. I alternate using Retin-A and the 2% BHA liquid from Paula's Choice. However, sometimes I still get small blackheads. This mask helps get rid of them and also makes my pores appear smaller. If I use it two days in a row, my skin gets dry and flaky, so I limit it to a couple times a week. But I feel it's a nice addition to my skin care routine, as it helps to dissolve the oil that my normal routine misses.

  10. silvia g.
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    EXCELLENT MASK
    • I use this mask every other day on my T zone to control the oil excess.. it is really good, leaves my skin soft and doesn't dry it either. Will continue use this product for years. Thank you!

  11. Monica O.
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 23, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Very drying for me
    • I used this once and didn't even leave for the full amount of time. I like the texture and it went on smoothly and the results seemed good. But, it made my skin very dry and itchy for several days. I was hoping using the mask would be a good addition to my current routine, but it just didn't work for me. I love all the other products, but this one doesn't work for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 24, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and we're sorry to learn the Skin Balancing Mask just didn't work for you. It's tricky to know what the cause may have been, but the good news is you can contact Customer Care at custserv@paulaschoice.com for assistance with a refund or exchange.

    —Admin
  12. a. a
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 26, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Holly Grail!!
    • Best clay mask I've come across! No nasties or no irritants. I use this twice a week and it has been doing wonders for my blackheads. It has been hard for me to find things that work for me because I have sensitive oily/combination acne-prone skin and mask are usually laden with fragrance, alcohol and irritants.

  13. Janet
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 23, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    didn't really believe in masks until THIS AMAZING PRODUCT!
    • Wow! This product is amazing. BHA products only help but so much with clogged pores but this takes it to a whole new level when used in conjunction. This mask is a must have for any one with oily skin that you have to blot all day long. I used this mask and canceled my appointment for a facial. Didn't need an extraction after this mask made my pores so clean and small. Thanks Paula! Please never stop making this!!!! Also thanks for making price affordable because I am a broke college student!

  14. Stephanie S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 23, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Just not for me
    • I loved the consistency of this mask & the texture while it was on my skin, but I was only able to apply it on two separate occasions. Each time it burned (I'm probably sensitive to an ingredient... possibly the willow extract?) & I applied for about 8 minutes each time. Though I have more combo skin & not super super oily, it was a bummer that there isn't another comparable mask option, but the CS team was awesome (thanks Isabelle!) with issuing a credit since I can't use it.

  15. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it!
    • I love this mask, I have combination skin or as I like to call the upside down T zone... I use it especially during times I feel like my breakouts aren't improving and this does the trick!!! Love It!

  16. Rachael M.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great Mask!!
    • Love this mask. It is great and really makes your skin clean, clear and feeling amazing! Just don't leave it on to long (got busy reading and an hour passed) as it will get really dry, crack and pull your skin painfully. Helps to balance and renew skin.

  17. Andrea M.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    One of the best masks..
    • I use it 2x a week on my forehead, nose and chin. On my chicks I apply the other mask to hydrate them.It works great for me. I get to moisturize my cheeks and clean my enlarged pores on the rest of my face. I can't say if my skin benefits from it alone (I use lots of PC products) but I use it anyways . I used to apply it on my neck too, but it made me broke out the first time I used it. I stopped using it on my neck and now I am fine.

  18. Ann H.
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 17, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE THIS!
    • I bought a sample of this mask because although my skin is oily it tends to be sensitive and masks tend to burn and irritate so I thought I would try this. Ooooooh I was sooo impressed. Not only did it feel good, but my skin looked AMAZING after using it. So...I shall be buying a big big bottle! Well, I WISH they made BIG BIG bottles but you know what I mean. :) Love it!

  19. MIA D.
    Reviewed on Monday, October 07, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Very Good Mask
    • I have not used a mask for the last few years since I read that masks are not really necessary, but decided to try this one since I enjoy PC products. I do like the texture and creaminess of the mask. It's very soothing to apply, isn't drying and rinses easy and cleanly. I don't know if there are actual benefits to my skin from its use, but I do feel pampered and my skin feels soft and clean afterwards. It is gentle enough for my sensitive skin, I have left it on for up to 20 minutes.

  20. Sara W.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 22, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great product....but
    • This is a wonderful product.....but the cap broke the first time I used it. Maybe a screw on cap would be better?

  21. Evie Y.
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Cleans out pores and refines them
    • I have used dozens of masks over the years to clear out the junk inside my large pores but none has worked as well as Paula's Choice. I use it once a week and leave it on for about 15 minutes. After that I notice that my pores are cleaner and smaller. I have not had any adverse reactions to this product. All in all, I would buy it again.

  22. LEAH S.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 02, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great for combo skin
    • While it was on, this mask made my skin feel very tight. But after I rinsed if off my skin feels amazingly soft and is glowing! Highly recommend for getting that glowy look prior to a night out.

  23. Paula S
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 31, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    My face loved it BUT my neck didn't...
    • Tried a sample and my face felt and looked great afterwards. My neck broke out, though! I am thinking I need acne skin care routine for my neck and back, and leave my usual skin balancing/hydralight routine for my face alone. I am also not sure about the benefits of an occasional mask, but it can't hurt. I'd say buy a bunch of samples and try them once a week for a couple of months to see if you notice anything. I have a few more to try, but will stick to my face going forward...

  24. Nina
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 25, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Both Masks Give You Amazing Results
    • Not sure what Paula would say about this, but I use both masks once each week. I first cleanse my face & neck area, then use the mask for oily skin. I leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse off completely. Next, I use the one for dry skin in the same way. If it's evening, I leave on overnight. If day, I follow with Skin Recovery routine. This has been a weekly routine for several years. My dermatologist says my skin is amazing for 64. He says more like 44. Good enough for me. I love the feel!

  25. William
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 17, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Nice Product
    • I never tried the old formulation as I was scared off by the reviews of a few who said it burned and caused redness. I am happy to say that this formulation caused none of that for me. In fact, it is incredibly soothing and leaves my skin less red and more smooth than prior to using it. It has a very classic clay mask feel but the fragrance free formula and addition of soothing ingredients makes this very different from old school masks I tried years ago. Well done!

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What makes this product unique?
This mask's unique formula beautifully balances skin by absorbing excess oil without over-drying or making it feel tight. It also doesn't include irritating, skin-damaging ingredients such as menthol, peppermint, or alcohol. The clay’s drawing action helps dislodge blackheads and cellular debris, while the soothing blend of anti-inflammatory agents reduce redness and irritation. The product rinses away completely leaving skin remarkably soft, matte, and beautifully smooth.

This product is 100% fragrance-free.

Who is this product for?
Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask is recommended for those with normal to oily/combination skin. Excellent for breakout- and blackhead-prone skin, too.

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Balancing Mask

British Journal of Dermatology, August 2007, pages 295–300; Clinical Experiments in Dermatology, January 2007, pages 88-90; Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, February 2002, pages 840–845; Journal of Cosmetic Science, January-February 2002, pages 1–9; Journal of Natural Products, January 2001, pages 100–102; and Life Sciences, May 22, 1998, pages 401–407.

Key Ingredients: sea whip extract, phospholipid, ascorbyl palmitate, kaolin, Salix alba extract, bentonite, bisabolol, glycerin, colloidal oatmeal

Product Ingredients:

Water, Kaolin (clay/absorbent), Bentonite (white clay/absorbent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (anti-inflammatory), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (water-binding/soothing agent), Sea Whip Extract (anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent), Colloidal Oatmeal, Bisabolol (anti-irritants), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A/antioxidant), Stearic Acid, Steareth-2 (thickeners), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: Use on cleansed skin. Apply a thin layer all over the face and (if needed) neck and let dry for 10–15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with tepid to warm water. Follow with the appropriate Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting exfoliant, Clear Acne-Fighting Treatment, moisturizer, and/or specialty product. May be used as often as needed. Those with oily to very oily skin can use this mask several times per week, while those with normal to slightly oily skin can use it less frequently (once or twice per week, for example).

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

I thought Paula didn't like clay masks or, at best, finds them unnecessary skincare products. Did she change her mind?

Paula is not a big fan of most masks and she doesn't believe most facial masks are an essential step in a person's skincare routine. However, for women who want to incorporate them into their routines Paula developed masks that meet her standard of excellence. Many of our customers report excellent results form regular use of Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask.

Is Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask OK for those with rosacea and oily skin?

Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask should be effective and suitable for someone with rosacea. However, those with rosacea always need to be careful about any skincare product they use because even the gentlest formulas may cause a reaction. Paula's Choice products are guaranteed to be effective or we will refund your money.

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