Skin care is a serious business. As someone who has struggled with acne for many years, it’s taken me a while to figure out my skin, what works, what doesn’t, and how environmental factors affect my skin. One item that has been a huge help in my skincare routine are clay masks. Clay masks are powerful skin care tools but need to be used properly or they can have negative and drying effects on your skin. Clay masks work to absorb oils and draw out toxin inside your skin and pores. They are beneficial to all skin types but you need to know what type to buy as it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of deal. Clay masks also work to return nutrients to your skin helping boost elasticity and remove dead skin cells. Sounds great huh?! But which one do you try? Where do you start? What do you need to know?
Clay Mask Tips
-Only wear the clay mask for 10-15 minutes unless otherwise directed by a dermatologist. Keeping a clay mask on your skin for a long time doesn’t result in clearer skin and can, in fact, dehydrate it. You should only use a clay mask 1-2 times a week at most.
-If the mask is too thick or dry to easily spread over the skin, mix it with a little bit of toner or witch hazel to create a smooth paste. You shouldn’t be pulling or stretching the skin to apply your products.
-Certain clays react with metals, so if you require mixing them with other ingredients, don’t use metal. Certain clay’s and minerals react with metals and can burn the skin or just not work to their full potential. Invest in a small ceramic bowl and spoon to mix your clays; I use a small Japanese rice bowl I bought for $2.
-Always do a patch test; because of the strength of some clay masks, your skin may be too delicate or sensitive. Do a patch test on your neck or hands to see if you have a negative reaction before using a clay mask you aren’t familiar with.
-Don’t wash your clay masks down the sink! Although most masks will call themselves washable, depending on the type of clay they use, by washing the product down the sink you can end up clogging your drains. As most clays naturally come from the ground, if you wash your face over a bucket, you can use the water in your garden and your plants will be very happy.
-Treat your skin after your mask. Don’t just wash off the mask and call it a day. If the mask has opened your pores, apply a pore tightening serum or something soothing and moisturizing. Avoid direct sunlight after a strong mask so you don’t hurt your skin.
My Favourite Clay Masks
Indian Healing Clay: Branded as the “worlds most powerful facial”, this clay, when mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and witch Hazel is so strong you can feel your face pulsing and tightening. This cult beauty mask is really popular and the benefits from it are amazing. I used to use this 2 times a week and once my skin cleared up, I was down to once every two weeks. This is a mask you definitely don’t want to mix using metal and you do not want to wash it down the sink. It can be bought on Amazon or eBay for pretty cheap.
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Clay Mask: As mentioned in a previous blog, this is a foaming clay mask that once applied, carbonates on the skin and gets into all your pores. This mask is a lot of fun and great for a pamper night with friends. One of my tips for getting the most out of this mask; once the mask has puffed up fully, pat it down flat over your skin and let it grow again. It won’t grow as much but you’ll get a deeper clean. Whilst washing it off with water, it turns into a great lather so gently massage it into your skin and use it as a wash. Available here.
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: As mentioned in a previous blog, I absolutely love this clay mask and often use it as part of my weekly pamper routine. Featuring volcanic clay from Jeju Island, this mask is really dense, strong and works wonders. I do sometimes find that it dries out, so by mixing a little toner with it, it thins out to a smooth paste and makes it easy to apply. This is also a relatively easy mask to wash off as it thins out quickly once water is applied. Available here.
There are heaps of clay masks out on the market with new ones always coming out, I am hoping to try and test out some of the pink clay masks that are becoming popular so I’ll definitely post about my thoughts once I try it out. Always remember that what works for some, may not work for you. Some companies are also creating multiple coloured masks for different skin types; you can use specific masks on targeted areas to get the best results. I recommend trying the Innisfree coloured masks and skin mapping your skin.
I recommend going on a site like yesstyle.com and browsing their clay mask options. You can alter search results on your skin type preferences and also narrow your results down to ‘cruelty-free’ and brands. Some clay masks come in pots which are a one time use; they are great if you want to see if a mask works for you before you commit to a larger product.
Look after your self and your skin!
Let me know if there is a product you want me to test out or if I missed your favorite clay mask.