I’ve had a fascination with clay masks for most of my life. I remember experimenting with random products under my mom’s sink back in middle school. Who knows what was in those products! All I remember was the tight sensation of the clay, and feeling like it was fixing all my adolescent problems. That sensation alone could be what sparked my interest in making pottery, but that’s a psychoanalysis for another day. Long story short, I love clay and I want to talk about what it does, who it’s for, and which clay mask I’m obsessed with today.
Clay masks work to detoxify the skin, because they have a natural ability to tighten and pull. They extract impurities from both the surface, and just underneath the skin as they harden. These impurities include excess oils, dead skin cells, and all the grossness that clogs your pores. This is why clay masks give you that feeling of tightness. The natural properties of clay allow it to soak up the excess oils and dirt.
That sounds great, but doesn’t that dry out your skin? I’m glad you brought that up! People with dryer skin types should definitely avoid these masks. They will just dry out your skin even further. The only time it might be okay to use a clay mask, is on a pimple or breakout to suck them out. Now for my oilier and combo friends, clay masks are your saving grace. They are my go-to when my skin feels congested, I have healing blemishes, or I’ve had a lack-luster day. A clay mask is honestly like a hug for my face after a long day.
Just make sure you use these masks accordingly. Apply them onto clean, dry skin. Also, they are meant to be washed off once they start drying. I’m guilty of letting my masks dry all the way out, which is no bueno! This can cause too much dryness, even for oily people. I have definitely felt those effects, and it takes layers of moisture or really dense sleeping packs to get your skin back to normal. Please do as I say, and not as I do. I’d also recommend only using clay masks 1 to 3 times a week, depending on the type of mask and your skin condition. More drying masks should be used once a week, and masks that are gentler could be applied 2 to 3 times a week.
There are so many different types of clay that can be used on the skin. Some popular ones are bentonite, kaolin, French green, Australian pink, Rhassoul, fuller’s earth, and Canadian colloidal.
Bentonite clay is great for redness, healing breakouts, and it softens the skin. It can be a little too intense and drying so be mindful when using it. I’ve heard that some people ingest bentonite clay as well for health benefits, but I haven’t done enough research to recommend doing this.
Kaolin clay is gentler and provides great blood circulation, which can result in brightening.
French Green Clay
French green clay is one of my favorites because it absorbs oil, tightens pores, boost circulation, and exfoliates! It’s also known as sea clay.
Australian Pink Clay
Australian pink clay is a gorgeous color, and it’s effective at doing the clay thing. Most importantly, it calms redness, sunburn, dryness, and irritation. People with rosacea, breakouts, or sensitive skin would really benefit from this mask. I’ve yet to try a mask with this clay but I can’t wait!
Rhassoul, or Moroccan lava clay, is beneficial for your hair and skin. You can do a face mask and a hair mask at the same time! Similar to bentonite clay, it’s like a magnet when it comes to pulling out positively charged toxins. This mask is gentle in small doses.
Fuller’s Earth Clay
Fuller’s earth clay is powerful and similar to bentonite clay. It’s also used for many other purposes. You can find it in cat litter, it can spot dry oil stains, or it can be used to dry up oil spills, that’s how intense it is! I probably wouldn’t use a mask with this clay more than once a week.
Canadian Colloidal Glacial Clay
Canadian colloidal glacial clay is a favorite of mine! Not only does it even out the skin texture and shrink blemishes, it also does such a good job at removing built up dead skin cells. That scab you have from old acne? There’s no need to pick at it and cause more damage. Just lather on a mask with this clay, and it’ll slough right off.
Now that we understand all the different types of clay, let’s talk about products. Here are some clay masks that are a must:
I’m so excited that Soko Glam sent me this mask! I’ve wanted to try it for at least a year. This clay mask is meant to clear and soothe acne-prone skin. It contains Moroccan lava clay, kaolin clay, bentonite clay, and centella asiatica extract. You can use it as a spot treatment as well. After trying it just once, I’ve noticed a medicinal herbal smell; it’s quite unique. The mask applies very smoothly. The tube is a little smaller than I expected for $38, but a little goes a long way.
Again, I’ve only used it once but I am obsessed with it already! It left my skin very soft, clean feeling, and my skin was smooth and even textured the next day. My blemishes shrunk in size too. I could see using this twice a week. This mask is on the pricier end, but I highly recommend it! Check it out on Soko Glam’s website.
This clay mask by Neogen stole my heart. I’ve mentioned it time and time again for a reason. It’s perfect for pulling out blackheads and resurfacing the skin. This is one of those masks that works immediately. Key ingredients include Canadian colloidal clay, kaolin clay, and centella asiatica extract. The directions indicate to let this mask sit for 5 minutes. Then comes the fun part; the mask starts to bubble into a foam once you massage it in. This means it’s working! I’ve even noticed dead skin or healing acne scabs slough off afterwards.
The mask comes with a plastic lid inside which keeps it moist, and stops oxygen from getting in. Once the air hits the mask, it becomes activated so you wanna seal that baby shut tight when you’re done using it. This product is so worth the price for how effective it is, not to mention it lasts for months because a little goes a long way. I use this mask twice a week. If you are struggling with blackheads or any type of acne and scabbing, definitely check this out on Soko Glam.
This mask is very consistent at tightening pores. Some key ingredients are bentonite, kaolin, and charcoal powder. The charcoal gives it that extra oomf to draw out impurities. The mask does tingle a little bit because of the charcoal, but that should subside as it dries.
Just apply to dry skin after your double cleanse. Some whiteheads may even melt away when you rinse this mask off! You’ll see radiant skin the next morning. I use this product twice a week. After trying many different masks, I think the price is fair for the amount you receive. I always get great results so I’d say it’s worth it. This mask can be purchased from Sephora.
I tried this mask a few months ago and it was very enjoyable! It benefited my skin and it was gorgeous. This product is formulated with bentonite clay, kaolin clay, centella asiatica extract, pearl extract, algae extract, green tea seed oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, squalane, and so much more. Klavuu is know for including nourishing pearl extract in all their products. That’s why this mask gives off that beautiful holographic sheen.
This product smells like a mild floral perfume, in a very natural way. Once you apply it to your skin you’ll feel very relaxed. I really liked this mask because it wasn’t drying at all. The shea butter and jojoba oil provide a lot of hydration so your skin is getting the best of both worlds. I was always left with bright, calm, hydrated skin afterwards. It did a great job at improving any blemishes as well. This mask can be used 2 to 3 times a week. The price is on point for the quality and the amount of product in the jar. Check it out on Soko Glam.
This mask makes me feel like the earthy, crunchy spirit I truly am. The ingredients are French green clay, matcha, tea tree oil, and lemongrass oil. I love everything in here for the antibacterial properties. As this mask dries on your face, you can see the separation of hardened clay. That’s where the oils are being absorbed. This clay mask comes in powder form, which I love. It’s always fun getting to mix things together like a scientist. Using products like this also means that your mask will be fresh every time you apply.
Once you’ve added equal parts powder and water, you should have a nice paste that’s liquid enough to apply, but not too runny. This mask has a very earthy smell to it. I love earthy scents, but some may not be too fond of it. I feel that the effects are worth enduring the smell if you don’t like it. This mask gives you that satisfying, tight clay feeling. Just be sure to wash it off before it’s too dry! It gets very tight. Whether it’s blemishes that disappeared or ones that have been brought to the surface for extraction, I notice results the next day with this mask. It will last a long time too since you should only be using it 2 to 3 times a week. You can find this product on Nature Skincare Goddess’s website. Highly recommend!
I haven’t used this mask in a couple years, but I still swear by it. It really helped me out when I was dealing with severe hormonal acne.
Side note: My skin was purging because I was on the wrong type of birth control pill. When I decided to get off the pill and start tracking my fertility cycle instead, the greatest gift to women, the deep nodules and cysts got worse before the got better.
The famous Aztec Healing Clay comes in powder form. It’s made of 100% bentonite clay. All you have to do is mix equal parts powder and apple cider vinegar with “The Mother.” Who’s mother? I still don’t know her, but she is fierce. You can mix it with water as well, but I find the ACV to be more effective. I used to make batches of this at a time, but it will be most effective if it’s made fresh every time you do it.
There was a period where I was using this mask everyday, then every other day. While it really helped bring down my painful acne at a quick rate, I do NOT recommend doing this. Like I said, do as I say, not as I do. I go through these things so you don’t have to! Because this mask is 100% bentonite clay, it can really dry out your skin. I absolutely was getting drying effects, but it was so good for clearing my acne. My skin survived, but I would never do that again. I’d say this mask should be used once or twice a week.
Again, don’t let a mask like this dry out all the way. Once it starts drying, wash that stuff off. Its work is done, trust me. The results of this mask appear in the morning with bright, soft, clearer skin. You can also use a tiny bit as a spot treatment if you have a pimple or two. This product is so affordable and the giant tub of powder lasts forever. I highly recommend trying this out, especially if you’re desperate and on a budget. Find this mask on Amazon.
I also have to shout out some amazing Lush masks like Brazened Honey, BB Seaweed, Cup O’ Coffee, Mask of Magnaminty, and Don’t Look At Me. I could go on about clay and clay masks for much longer, but I’ll spare you if you made it this far. Now what do I want you to takeaway from all this? Clay masks can be your friends! The clays I mentioned are natural and beneficial for many different skin concerns. All you have to do is find out which kind is right for you. What’s your favorite clay mask?