The Ordinary's Newest Mask Is Here To Curb Your Breakouts

Whenever The Ordinary launches a new product, I know I'm going to be asked a hundred questions about it. Does it work? Is it suitable for my skin? How do I use it in my routine? Luckily, I've put all the important information in one place so we can reach the masses.

I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to this new product. It's the highly anticipated Salicylic Acid 2% Masque - a sister to The Ordinary's $9.30 Salicylic Acid 2% Solution which is hailed as a must-have for acne-prone skin. Unlike the solution, this masque is infused with charcoals and clays, as well as the hero ingredient which is obviously Salicylic Acid.

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What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) which is an oil-soluble ingredient, and the enemy of excess oil, congestion and breakouts. This ingredient dissolves oil, and can exfoliate the inner walls of the pores to clear the debris that can cause blackheads and whiteheads. It can also reduce the inflammation associated with pesky pimples.

But try not to get too carried away with this acid, because it can be drying. That's why I only use the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution as a spot treatment on blackheads or individual pimples. If you're using this ingredient, make sure you're pairing it with hydrating serum too, in the form of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, for example.

BHA's can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, so it's crucial that you use SPF daily and limit sun exposure if possible. My tip? Don't use Salicylic Acid while on a sunny European vacay.

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What You Need To Know About This Masque:

  • It targets the removal of dead skin cells & debris on oily and blemish-prone skin types

  • Consistent use may help to improve the frequency & severity of blackheads and whiteheads

  • It's formulated to also improve the appearance of dullness and textural irregularities

  • The formula features deep-cleansing, oil-absorbing ingredients like charcoal and kaolin clay

  • The mask also contains hydrating ingredients Squalane and Glycerin

  • It's a rinse-off formula and is best left on for 10 minutes before removing

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Our Verdict:

I've got normal-dry skin, and luckily no acne-related concerns, so I enlisted the help of guest writer, Christine, who gladly snatched the Salicylic Acid 2% Masque out of my hands and applied it at her desk. She's given us her verdict below.

"The formula is thicker than you'd expect, and dries relatively quickly so you gotta move fast. There is a slight but manageable prickly tingle that lasted while I had the masque on, and around 15 minutes after removing it. Removing the mask turns it into a really satisfying scrub for you to really get in there.

Make sure to keep the layer thin (more product doesn't make it work better) and use a cloth so that it's easier to wash off - I found myself in the office bathroom struggling to rinse with just water, so it's not exactly desk-friendly. I noticed an immediate reduction in my post-inflammatory pigmentation and active acne, and got compliments about how small my pores looked afterwards (humble brag)."