Clay masks are cornerstone products in the quest for flawless and hydrated skin. Clay masks are an organic and non-invasive way of drawing out dirt, oil, and impurities and have the added benefit of being nourishing and gentle on the skin.
Unlike many contemporary skin care products, clay is completely natural and detoxifies without the use of harsh chemicals or irritating additives. Nowadays there are clay masks for every flaw, blemish, and skin profile, and today, we will explore the benefits of clay masks and will offer tailored suggestions for your skin type.
If you are looking for the best clay masks for acne, dryness, or blackheads look no further – this article will give you insight into the best products on the market. We will also guide you through the process of narrowing down the most suitable clay mask for your needs, whether it be a dose of moisture or a more supple skin texture. We will round out our guide with some approachable and enjoyable do-it-yourself recipes!
Clay Masks Skin Care Guide: Contents
• Best Clay Masks for Dry & Mature Skin Types
• Best Clay Masks for Oily & Combination Skin Types
• Best Clay Masks for Normal Skin Types
• Best Clay Masks for Acne-Prone Skin
• Best Clay Masks for Blackheads
• How Do Clay Face Masks Work?
• Clay Mask Benefits
• Different Types of Clay for Skin Care
• How to Choose the Right Clay Mask for Your Skin Type
• What Are the Differences Between Clay and Mud Masks?
• How to Use a Clay Mask Right
• A Couple of DIY Homemade Clay Masks That Really Work
25 Best Clay Masks for Every Skin Issue
Clay is a holistic resource that taps into the nuances of the natural and mineral world to provide organic benefits for human skin. Though it may seem like an alchemist’s magical blend the real strength of clay is that its power is drawn from its earthbound detoxifying and purifying qualities.
In today’s world, we are exposed to an array of environmental toxins such as air-borne pollutants and irritants. Clay is the earth’s natural salve for these maladies. Clay is a naturally occurring compound rich in beautifying minerals like silica, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It can be sourced in soil, volcanic ash, and ancient sediment.
Clay masks improve skin tone because they rid the skin of environmental toxins and improve skin circulation and the production of collagen. Clay masks promote the removal of pore-clogging dirt and amp up the production of beautifying silica, which ultimately leads to glowing skin.
Below, you’ll find the best clay masks for your skin type and flaw that will guide to healthier, clearer skin!
1. Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask
This minimalist container belies a mask with potent healing abilities. Mario Badescu is a skin care giant and a legendary guru to the jet set. This purifying and pore-refining clay mask is gentle and supple for a soothing treatment.
This clay blend is formulated with minerals, botanical complexes, and collagen to fill in fine lines and create a poreless and flawless complexion. Revitalize your skin with its non-drying formula! Perfect for skin in need of a boost of hydration, this one is available at Nordstrom.
2. Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub
A charcoal mask and scrub? This must be the most harmonious combination we ever did see! Five minutes is all you need to see results from this fast-acting clay mask. Perfect for all skin types, this product is particularly effective for sensitive and mature skin.
Polish your skin with the gentle exfoliating action of the micro silica beads and witness how this formula effectively soothes with kaolin clay and bamboo charcoal to remove impurities and environmental irritants. This little dream is allergy-tested and fragrance-free for women who are extra sensitive. Pick it up from Ulta Beauty!
3. Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask with Rosemary & Honey
A garden-variety clay mask, this delicate and luscious product is set to be your healing go-to on rainy days. This black clay mask is rich and infused with lightly perfumed and soothing botanicals. Because of its light texture it imparts skin with hydration and moisture while powerfully removing impurities and toxins from the surface of the skin. This results in smaller pores and a glowing complexion.
Kaolin clay soaks oil, and honey leaves the skin smooth and baby soft. Rosemary aids the skin by reducing inflammation and cleanses the skin with its medicinal properties. It’s now available at Nordstrom.
4. Memebox I Dew Care Berry Bubble Clay Mask
This adorably girly container will be a delightful addition to your armoire collection. The delicious mixture of clay and blueberries imparts this mask with a tempting fragrance. The wash-off formula is lighter and less amenable to hardening, making it perfect for sensitive skin.
One of the best clay masks for dry skin, it has a non-greasy and light texture, which soaks luxuriously into the skin. The mask bubbles as you wash it off, creating a decadent foam consistency. This treat will turn facial cleansing into a pampering experience, and it’s available through Ulta Beauty.
5. L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask Clear & Comfort
This seaweed-infused clay mask is a luxe addition to your skin care routine. Because of its creamy, blendable, and non-drying texture, it is the perfect choice for skin that is prone to dryness. A gentle clay blend soothes the skin and delicately removes oils and impurities.
It subtly draws out irritants and it evens out skin tone and leaves you with a fresher and brighter complexion. The product was designed for frequent use, and effects can be felt in under ten minutes. This is the perfect choice for women who want a clay mask with both a supple texture and soothing properties. Pick it up from Ulta Beauty!
1. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
This wonder worker is ideal for oily and combination skin types and is specifically effective for minimizing pores and clearing blemishes. This powerful blend soaks up sebum, toxins, and dirt while restoring your skin’s healthy oil balance.
It is formulated without parabens and sulphates and leaves your skin with a highly polished and refined texture and appearance. A blend of six beautifying acids – including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and pyruvic acid – creates the appearance of silky smooth and blemish-free skin. Get your jar from Sephora!
2. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay
This punchy red tube contains a powerful blend of red clay, which promotes the removal of oils and dirt that clog pores. This clay mask is designed to wear for twenty minutes and dries harmoniously so you can remove it with a gentle peel-off motion.
It is powerful enough to soak up environmental toxins and impurities making it perfect for women with oily skin and blemishes. The mineral-rich red clay reduces unbalanced pigmentation and leads to a more polished and refined skin texture. Skin looks immediately refreshed and purified upon removal of the mask. This clay mask is also available at Sephora.
3. Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask
This luxurious clay mask will refine your skin and minimize your pores to a stunning effect! Create a dewy and vibrant complexion with this potent blend of collagen-rich clay. This mask is fast acting and improves skin elasticity, leading to a more youthful appearance.
Skin oil and impurities that sit on the surface of your complexion are drawn out, while DNA repair is sustained with a rich blend of antioxidants, almond oil, and rosehip oil. This luxe fragrant mask will leave your skin with a delightfully soothed and supple appearance. Get it from Nordstrom!
4. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask
For balanced, revitalized and glowing skin, look no further. Natural clays balance the oils of your skin to produce a regenerated complexion. We love this clay mask because it soaks up oils without drying out the skin, making it perfect for women prone to breakouts, blackheads, and a greasy T-zone.
Healing plant compounds leave skin feeling nourished and smooth. Upon patting your skin dry you will be welcomed with matte and plush skin. This magical clay mask is available at Dermstore.
5. Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque
A powerful antidote to oily skin, this thick and soothing clay mask prevents the formation of breakouts and redness. The mask contains salicylic acid to promote gentle exfoliation and the removal of dead skin cells.
Cooling plant extracts soothe the skin and decrease inflammation. The mask soaks up the dirt and oils that enlarge pores, and it leaves you with tender, clearer skin. The bonus? All of these benefits can be achieved in just ten minutes. You can find this clay mask online at Nordstrom.
1. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
Large pores begone with this robust clay mask formula. The dense clay mask helps slough away dry skin cells and excess surface oil, leaving skin looking baby-fresh. Mineral-rich ingredients provide skin with a high intensity cleanse.
White clay gently removes bacteria and toxins while clarifying the skin, and an infusion of aloe vera soothes the skin, minimizing redness and inflammation. This multitasking miracle worker is your best line of defense against dull and irritated skin. This clay mask is available at Nordstrom.
2. Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask
This powerhouse will become your new go-to. This clay mask purifies and cleanses the skin when applied generously as a weekly mask but can also be used as a gentle cleanser or as a spot treater. It is potent and dense enough that it can soak up oils and inflammatory bacteria when applied to breakouts or blackheads.
The formula will mattify and clarify your skin without leaving it dry and dehydrated. Astringent sandalwood oil clears the skin, while lavender and chamomile relax the skin and create a luxuriously soft complexion. One of the best clay masks for normal skin, this tube can be picked up from Sephora.
3. Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask
This particular clay mask provides a double dose of love with nourishing avocado oil and beautifying oatmeal. These natural miracle workers will produce a silky-soft and desirably luscious skin tone, and endow you with smaller pores to boot.
The dense clay formula soaks up oils and sucks up toxins from pores. Vitamin E adds an extra dose of moisture and leaves skin vibrantly clean and soft. Kaolin clay is perfect for all skin types and can be incorporated into your daily skin care routine. Find it at Ulta Beauty!
4. Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay
A fragrant and botanical infusion of rose is a delightful addition to this organic clay mask. Willowherb and Persian silk tree nourish the skin by refining pores and creating a sumptuous facial canvas. Embrace clarity with this pore-minimizing blend and look forward to softer, glowing skin. Formulated without parabens and irritants, this clay mask will leave you looking radiant and dynamic. You can get it from Sephora.
5. The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask
Seaweed complexes reduce inflammation and will thoroughly cleanse skin of impurities and irritants. Organic seaweed also balances the texture and complexion of the skin, visibly reducing pores and creating a vibrant natural glow.
Negatively charged clay ions soak up oils and dirt, leaving you with a tingly clean complexion. This clay mask moisturizes and hydrates your skin without imparting oil on the skin, making it ideal for combination skin profiles. Available at Ulta Beauty, the product is cruelty free and perfect for animal lovers!
1. Vivant Skin Care Sulfur Clay Mask
Beauty meets science in this hybrid blend of clay and 10% sulfur. We love this clay mask for the reduction of visible pores and the elimination of blackheads, acne and skin inflammation. This clay mask for acne leads to a vibrant and glowing complexion that will impart your look with a radiant kick.
Powerful sulfur soaks up dirt and sebum, producing a clarified complexion. The mask has the added benefit of detoxifying and improving skin texture, making it the perfect choice for women with acne, blackheads, and inflammation. This powerful clay mask for acne is available on Dermstore.
2. Freeman Feeling Beautiful 4-in-1 Apple Cider Vinegar Foaming Clay Mask
This soft and fragrant clay mask scrubs and cleanses while removing oil, making it an ideal mask for women who are prone to breakouts. The smooth and creamy texture is gentle on skin while improving skin texture.
Your pores will contract as the mask draws out oils and impurities and the tingling sensation feels noticeably effective against the skin’s surface upon application. This budget-friendly clay mask is perfect for women who want an affordable but effective introduction to the world of clay masks. It can be found at Ulta Beauty.
3. Murad Clarifying Mask
This luxe clay mask offers a full skin makeover with its powerful texture and natural clay base. Blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts have met their match. The result? Radiant and luminous skin, free of blemishes!
The high-voltage absorption properties will minimize pores and refine even the most inflamed skin. In addition to its skin-clearing properties, we love its simple packaging. It’s available on Dermstore.
4. Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Spot Treatment Mask
From Nordstrom, you get this special clay mask that strives to reduce existing blemishes, clarifying and detoxifying your skin completely. It’s ideal for all skin types suffering from acne. The Cambrain blue clay contained deeply penetrates into the skin, eliminating any dirt and acne without stripping your skin off moisture.
5. Michael Todd Beauty Kaolin Clay Detoxifying Facial Mask
Soothing kaolin clay detoxifies and absorbs oils and impurities, leaving skin free of blemishes. Nourishing minerals like willow bark, aloe vera, and witch hazel minimize pores and infuse the skin with hydrating complexes.
This botanical blend calms the skin and ensures that your skin will be moisturized and vibrant. Free of parabens and synthetic fragrances, this clay mask is perfect for women who are prone to breakouts and inflammation. Find it online at Ulta Beauty!
1. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
We love this kitschy and decorative packaging almost as much as we adore the product itself! Deep cleansing bentonite clay absorbs oils to maximum effect while infusing the skin with healing nourishment.
Simply mix it with water or apple cider vinegar for intense cleansing action. Leave the clay mask on for twenty minutes to see perfectly minimized pores and glowing, baby-soft skin. Get your magic jar from Bonanza now!
2. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Clay Mask
An Allure Best of Beauty Award winner, this petite tube packs a colossal punch. This creamy formula gently exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells that lead to a dull complexion. The result is refreshed and glowing skin and visibly smaller pores.
Impurities and oils are also soaked up, leaving the skin angel soft and clarified. We recommend using this clay mask twice a week for sustainably healthy and youthful skin. Get it from Ulta Beauty!
3. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
Playful, tongue-in-cheek and effective? We’ll sign up for that! This exfoliating clay mask is a powerful blackhead crusher and the foamy bubble action leaves skin feeling nourished and healed. Spread onto dry skin and wait for bubbles to appear. Softly blend the clay in to wash away dirt and soak up oil. Rinse off for delightfully smooth and plush skin. Get your own jar from Red Dress Boutique!
4. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
A pore-clearing charcoal wonder, this clay mask boasts a healthy dose of organic ingredients. This powerful charcoal clay mask soaks up the sebum and oil that stand in the way of you and beautiful clear skin. China clay and lecithin compounds work with the clay to dissolve dirt and rid your pores of impurities. Apply once weekly for a more balanced and healthy skin texture and tone. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
5. Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask
This clay mask is an award-winning splurge that is well worth it. This dense mask is rich in calcium and magnesium and draws out impurities with its negatively charged compounds.
The inclusion of Hungarian mud softens and nourishes the skin and helps create a firmer and more radiant complexion. White clay is delicate enough for dry skin yet powerful enough to remove excess oils. Leave on for twenty minutes to experience the most beautifying results. Get this luxurious product from Nordstrom now!
Clay has been used throughout history for its soothing and polishing qualities and for the benefits that can be accrued from incorporating it into your skin care routine. Documents indicate that clay was used as a topical solution as far back as Ancient Rome.
Clay is comprised of the natural minerals and elements of the earth, making it an accessible and abundant resource, which can have undeniable healing effects on human skin. By the nature of their skin-clarifying constituents, clays are perfectly positioned to aid you in the journey toward clearer skin.
Clays naturally detoxify the skin by drawing out impurities and excess oils and dirt. Clays are rich in minerals and acids that impart your skin with a polished texture and consistency without the addition of harsh chemicals or stringent ingredients.
Clay effectively targets three of the most common skin concerns: inflammation, bacterial imbalance, and toxicity. Clay draws out toxins from the surface of the skin, as it effectively binds to metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can be found in trace quantities within the skin.
Environmental pollutants and dirt bind to clay, and their removal leads to more clarified and angelic skin. Clay is naturally negatively charged and when it interacts with positively charged heavy metals, it clings to them and allows you to wash them off in one soothing motion. The negative charge of clay means that it requires an oppositely charged ion to bind to, so clay seeks these free radicals out by the nature of its molecular build.
Bentonite clay, a variety of therapeutic topical clay, produces a negative electric charge when introduced to liquid. The ‘activated’ bentonite clay will bind to the toxins present in the liquid and will draw them out – this results in an antioxidant effect, which reduces inflammation and irritation.
In addition to its molecular structure, clay also contains a wealth of healing and nourishing minerals and elements, drawn directly from the earth. These skin-loving minerals include magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, copper, silica, potassium, and iron. These minerals boost the moisture profile of your skin and hydrate to create a softer and clearer texture.
The combination of the naturally occurring minerals also works to balance the microbial environment of your skin, which reduces sensitivity and can work to combat breakouts and redness. Clay masks have astringent properties that are proven to minimize redness and blemishes.
There are so many benefits to clay masks, you are going to make them an integral part of your regular skin care routine. These are some of the reasons why you’ll fall in love with clay masks!
Clay Masks Are Perfect for All Skin Types
Clay masks have a wealth of benefits for all skin types, ranging from oily, dry to sensitive. Clay is also a wonderfully soothing option for aging skin, and can be used in the construction of a more youthful and supple skin appearance.
Clay masks are salient players in the fight against oils. One of their most touted benefits is the holistic way in which they soak up excess oil and grease. Clay masks are extremely beneficial for women with oily skin for this purpose.
Often we use harsh toners to soak up excess oil but this often has the unintended effect of drying out our skin and promoting the production of more oil to make up for the moisture that has been stripped. Clay is a gentler alternative that won’t aggressively dry out the skin’s surface.
Clay masks offer detoxifying and clarifying benefits for women with dry skin, as well. Clay mask products formulated with glycerin and sodium hyaluronate are particularly good choices for ensuring that your skin is left supple rather than rough after a treatment.
Ensure that you are following up your clay mask application with a heady dose of moisturizer to ensure that you lock in the beneficial qualities of the mask while maintaining a smooth and hydrated texture.
Silica the Savior!
Clay includes the nourishing ingredient silica. Silica promotes the growth of connective tissue and aids in the production of collagen, which keeps skin looking supple and youthful. The decrease of collagen over time is responsible for the development of wrinkles and deep lines, so silica is a key player in the maintenance of fresh-looking skin.
Silica is highly beneficial in staving away wrinkles for women with drier skin profiles. The silica in bentonite clay is specifically effective, as it promotes blood circulation by deeply oxygenating the skin. Increased circulation ensures that the creation of new skin cells will be more rapid and collagen binds will be formed more aggressively.
Clay Absorbs Impurities
Because clay attaches to toxins and bacteria, it cleanses the skin of potentially harmful elements and creates a brighter and fresher skin surface. Excess bacteria can seep into the skin and dull its consistency and tone. Clay will soak up the bacteria and oils that impede consistent skin quality.
Excess bacteria and pathogenic materials inflame the skin and are leading causes of acne and blackheads. Clay removes this buildup and in the process reduces facial impurities and skin infections like psoriasis and eczema.
Many women with sensitive skin types experience flare-ups and redness when exposed to environmental pollutants or airborne toxins, and clay is a soothing and gentle way of soaking up these irritants.
Clay masks also replenish and rejuvenate skin by sloughing away rough, dead skin cells. The result of clay’s absorption properties? Your skin will feel tighter, clarified, and rejuvenated.
Clay Oxygenates the Skin
Clay masks oxygenate the skin by absorbing hydrogen molecules from the cells of the skin. The removal of hydrogen leads to fresher and brighter skin by improving the circulation of the skin cells and amping up the removal of dead skin cells. This results in youthful and vibrant skin.
As clay masks soak up oil and oxygenate the skin, they also impart the skin with a cocktail of nutrients and minerals. Clay masks give as much as they take!
Clay Reduces Pores
Because clay is so effective at clinging onto oils and sebum, it has the desirable effect of reducing pores. Smaller pores create a clearer and more flawless skin canvas and are one of the hallmarks of stunning and healthy skin. Pores become enlarged with dirt, pollutants, and oils, and this leads to blackheads and breakouts.
As the clay mask absorbs these impurities, the pores on the surface of the skin contract. This is particularly effective for blackheads, one of the most visible signs of clogged pores. Frequent use of clay masks will lead to an organic reduction of pores in time.
The generous use of clay over time will result in a more exuberant-looking skin tone. Not only does clay work to remove sebum and oils, but also it can aid in reducing their production in the first place.
Excess oil production can be owed to both external irritants and the immune response to stress, infections, and bacteria. Frequent use of clay masks removes oils and irritants that would otherwise seep into the skin and wreak havoc on your immune system. When paired with a healthy diet, clay can work to reduce the incidences of skin breakouts over time.
There are three families of popular clay mask products: green, red, and white clay.
• Green clay contains the highest mineral content and it is a potent method of absorbing oil and sebum buildup.
• Red clay is of a kaolin variety and contains a higher quantity of silicate. Red clay is rich in iron oxides, which rejuvenate the skin and dissolve dead skin cells.
• White clay is less absorbent than the former two making it an ideal option for women with sensitive skin.
Bentonite clay has the most significant absorption properties and is the best choice for purifying the skin of all impurities and oil buildups. It has a wealth of minerals like silica and magnesium and has a soothing, alkalizing effect on the skin. This makes bentonite clay a sturdy choice for healing inflamed skin and clarifying oilier skin profiles.
Mixing bentonite clay with one part of water expands the molecules and makes it more porous and capable of soaking up even the most stubborn of toxins and bacteria. Additionally, bentonite clay can prevent bacterial infections and rev up blood circulation.
The only disclaimer we would make is to avoid using bentonite if you have highly sensitive skin, as it can be more aggressive.
Fuller’s Earth Clay
Fuller’s earth clay is an alternative to bentonite clay with highly potent oil-absorption properties. Because it has subtle bleaching abilities, it can be an effective natural remedy for hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Fuller’s earth clay is effective for spot treatment and to controlling breakouts – because it can be more absorptive than other clay types we recommend its use for women with oily skin that is prone to breakouts.
If you have normal or combination skin, you can use a sparse amount on a weekly basis to control imperfections and control inflammation. It is extremely detoxifying and a perfect choice for women who are exposed to environmental irritants (like those found in any urban setting).
French Green Clay
French green clay is a hyper-soaker of oil and sebum. It creates a tingling, pore-tightening sensation, which is perfect for women who want proof that their clay mask is really working. This sensation can be owed to the circulation boosting qualities of the mask.
Because it is so intensive in its absorption abilities, it draws blood to the surface of the skin, which leads to a more radiant and refreshed complexion. It is comprised of iron oxide and plant matter, which lend it its green color. Green clay is most appropriate for women with oily and normal skin profiles.
Moroccan Red Clay
Moroccan red clay is sourced from the Atlas Mountains and like all red clays has heady absorption qualities. It is a perfect choice for acne-prone skin and is especially effective at cleansing the pores of blackhead-causing sebum buildup.
We recommend this clay for women with oily and acne-prone skin. It is gentle enough for frequent use and can be used by women with dry skin on a weekly basis to keep pores refreshed and luminous.
Rhassoul clay is a mineral-laden clay that attracts oils and toxins due to its biological profile, which is highly negatively charged, alkaline, and packed with potassium and magnesium. Many of the toxins and bacteria found on the skin are positively charged, and rhassoul clay has a magnetic attraction to these impurities, using the magic of magnetism to suck them up.
It improves the texture of your skin by infusing it with moisture and hydration while soaking away toxins. Rhassoul clay is a perfect alternative to bentonite clay for women with drier and more sensitive skin types.
Rhassoul clay is particularly effective at gently cleansing pores of the kinds of materials that create blackheads. Rhassoul clay boosts elasticity and improves skin texture, making it a suitable everyday product for women with dry skin. It is also our top choice for women with mature skin, as it firms and hydrates deep beyond the skin surface.
Kaolin clay is the gentlest type of clay, making it the most appropriate choice for women with sensitive skin. While it is not as detoxifying or exfoliating as its more powerful cousins, it is a gentle introduction to clay masks.
There are a few variants of kaolin clay including white, yellow, pink, and red. White kaolin clay is sourced from the soil in warm climates, making it a nutrient dense choice. The darker the clay, the more potent its absorption properties!
Red and yellow kaolin clay masks boost circulation and lightly exfoliate for a softer and more nourished skin texture. White kaolin is the most soothing and gentlest of these clays, whilst red kaolin is best for intensive dirt removal and circulation enhancement.
White kaolin clay is a gentle and soothing type of clay that is perfect for highly inflamed and irritated skin that is reactive to more aggressive formulas. It can be used as a light exfoliant and is perfect for women who have sensitive oily skin, admittedly one of the most challenging skin types to find suitable products for.
Clay masks are suitable for all skin types because they naturally purify and detoxify the skin without excessively drying it.
Oilier skin types benefit from more frequent application of clay masks because the clay soaks up excess oil and impurities and cleanses the pores of grease-causing sebum. Because clay is so absorbent, it removes the buildup of toxins and dirt that can irritate skin and ramp up oil production.
Despite their absorbent properties, women with dry skin should not be deterred from using clay masks. In addition to purifying the skin, clay also imparts valuable minerals and nutrients onto the surface of the skin and has a wealth of nourishing benefits.
Sodium hyaluronate- and glycerin-infused clay masks are particularly beneficial for women who battle with dry skin. By maintaining a regular moisturizing routine, clay will not exacerbate dryness, but will rather leave you with a more vibrant skin tone.
• Acne-Prone Skin: Moroccan Clay, White Kaolin Clay
• Oily Skin: Bentonite Clay, French Green Clay, White Kaolin Clay, Fuller’s Earth Clay, Moroccan Red Clay
• Sensitive Skin: French Green Clay, Rhassoul Clay, White Kaolin Clay
• Normal/ Combination Skin: Bentonite Clay, Kaolin Clay, Fuller’s Earth, French Green Clay
• Dry Skin: Fuller’s Earth, Kaolin Clay, Moroccan Red Clay, Rhassoul Clay
• Mature Skin: Rhassoul Clay
• Pigmentation: Fuller’s Earth Clay
Mud and clay have similar origins and are often touted for their nourishing and healing effects. It’s no surprise that the two get confused and used interchangeably. There are a few salient differences between the two, however.
Linguistically speaking, mud is a much more expansive and inclusive term and can include a variety of soil- and earth-based compounds. Many mud masks include clay compounds. Mud, if you will, is the family that clay is grouped within.
Mud is generally more moisture-rich than clay and provides a more hydrating experience by improving blood circulation. Mud masks improve skin hydration and elasticity and create a highly radiant skin texture because they are water based.
Mud masks repair skin tissue and infuse the skin with gentle hydration and are therefore perfect for days when skin looks dull and tight. Mud masks have been touted as having more significant nourishing properties and because they are less drying they are more appropriate for everyday use.
Mud masks may be a more effective daily alternative for women with sensitive, mature and dry skin but have less potent absorption and exfoliating properties.
Clay masks are intrinsically more drying than mud masks. This should not serve as a deterrent, as all of our advice above has proven, but should provide insight into the key difference between the two.
Clay masks absorb impurities and soak up oils from pores, whereas mud masks replenish moisture and boost circulation. Clay has been considered more effective at managing breakouts and improving the appearance of pores.
We certainly advise incorporating mud masks into your skin care routine but not at the exclusion of clay masks. Both can be used to sustain supple and glowing skin. The most effective skin care plan will include the use of clay and mud masks and a nutrient-rich moisturizer.
If our exposé above has revealed anything, beauty alchemy can be achieved with the use of a clay mask. Convert those clogged pores into refreshed and radiant skin – it sounds magic, doesn’t it?
A large piece of ensuring that you get the most benefits from your clay mask is to nail its application. While it sounds mystical, many experts advise avoiding metal bowls or tools when mixing or blending your clay mask. Wood, glass, and plastic are better suited to clay, as they do not negatively impact the structure or properties of the mask.
Clay masks can be applied liberally but to achieve the most concentrated and strategic results we recommend applying it more specifically to the T-zone area. This facial region consists of the forehead, nose, and chin. This portion of the face is most susceptible to grease and sebum buildup. An application on the cheeks will keep your skin supple and clarified.
Whether you are multi masking or using them alone, don’t use clay masks daily. They are effective when used 1-2 times a week. Using clay face masks more often can lead to irritated skin, while less than that might not give good results.
Ensure your face is properly cleansed and free of makeup before applying your clay mask. You want to pat your skin with warm water to relax your pores and make them more amenable to your mask, making it easier for the clay to absorb impurities.
Now here comes the revelatory bit: you should avoid letting the mask completely harden. Beauty experts warn that letting the mask dry to the point where it is flaking off could cause more harm than good and lead to excessive drying and eventual skin irritation.
Upon application the clay mask is damp and infuses the skin with a beneficial exchange of nutrients. When the clay mask dries slightly it begins to absorb oil and impurities, contract the pores, and draw blood to the surface, which improves skin circulation.
After this desirable point the clay begins to crack and harden and actually become detrimental to the skin. It is vital to remove the clay mask before it reaches this hardened point.
Pay close attention to the instructions of your individual clay mask, as most will advise on an ideal application time. Veering on the side of caution we advise skimming a few minutes off of the suggested time, particularly if you have dry or sensitive skin. Oilier skin profiles have more leeway but you should stick to the suggested time nonetheless. Most clay masks cite an application time of 5-20 minutes. Anything longer than this is ill-advised.
To remove your clay mask, use a warm cloth to dab the product off the skin. Do not tug or rub against the clay. Because it is so sturdy when dry, tugging it will create redness and irritation, counteracting the anti-inflammatory properties of the formula.
A gentle, patient hand will be your best defense against this common mistake. Rub the clay off using circular motions to lightly exfoliate and slough away dead skin.
Apply a generous amount of moisturizer but avoid overcompensating if your skin is feeling tight. You want to leave room for your pores to breathe after the removal of the dirt and oils that have been clogging them.
For the thrifty beauties among us, a do-it-yourself clay mask may be your best line of defense against irritated and lackluster skin. Luckily designing a clay mask at home is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon and rewarding way of practicing self-care.
Bentonite clay is one of the cheapest and most accessible bases to experiment with. It is alkaline, soothing, and super absorbent. What a perfect ingredient to play with!
The best part about designing your own clay mask is having complete control over the components. You can be rest assured that everything on your face is organic, healing, and chemical-free.
There are a wealth of ingredients you can incorporate into your DIY clay mask but some have more potent healing benefits. We love yogurt for relaxing and nourishing the skin. Honey has antioxidant properties that foster refreshed and glowing skin while gently calming inflamed skin. Oats have a similar soothing effect on the skin and are particularly effective for sensitive and irritated skin.
Tea tree oil is perfect for ramping up your clay mask and bolstering its acne and oil-fighting properties. Tea tree oil is a beautifully fragrant and fortifying essential oil that will leave your skin feeling immensely invigorated.
Let’s explore some of our super simple DIY clay masks below!
No More Acne Clay Mask
• 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
• 1 tablespoon of oats
• 1 tablespoon of water
• 4 drops of tea tree oil
Mix oats in a blender or food processor until flakey and fine. Make a paste with the bentonite clay, oats, and water. Stir until there is a thick and dense paste.
Add more water if necessary to create the perfect consistency. Add tea tree oil to your preference. If you are experiencing a flare-up of acne or have particularly dry skin, feel free to add a few more drops.
Relaxation Clay Mask
• 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
• 1 tablespoon of yogurt
Mix the two ingredients together for a soothing clay mask. This combination will feel plush and delicate on the face and is a perfect remedy for sensitive skin.
Honeycomb Clay Mask
• 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
• 1 tablespoon of water
• 1 tablespoon of honey
Mix the three ingredients together until you have a dense but flexible clay consistency. The water will dilute the stickiness of the honey, and the bentonite clay will bind the ingredients together.
This DIY clay mask will improve circulation and gently relieve dryness and inflammation.
DIY Clay Mask for Dry Skin
• 1 tablespoon of bentonite or Rhassoul clay
• 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
Jojoba oil can be found at any aromatherapy store and is a perfect solution for dry skin. The pore-cleansing qualities of the clay and the soothing properties of the jojoba oil will merge harmoniously, creating baby soft skin.
Avocado Smash Clay Mask
• 2 tablespoon Rhassoul clay
• 3 tablespoons of rose water
• 1 teaspoon of mashed avocado
This intoxicating floral blend will soothe even the most inflamed skin. The fat from avocados nourishes the skin and infuses it with deep hydration. Rose water calms and heals the skin and improves clarity and skin tone.
This DIY clay mask is perfect for women with dry, normal, or sensitive skin.
White Kaolin Clay Mask
• 2 teaspoons white kaolin clay
• 1 teaspoon of aloe vera juice or oil
• 2-3 drops of geranium essential oil
• 1 teaspoon of water
This fragrant and calming blend is best suited for women with oily and sensitive skin. Aloe vera has remarkable healing properties and calms skin prone to breakouts. White kaolin gently soaks up excess oil without drying the surface of the skin. Water keeps the clay mask cohesive and smooth.
Photos via @simplysona, @constantly_k, @liza_lash, @sayladean