The best clay masks for a radiant complexion in under 20 minutes

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In fact, they’ve been around for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic skin treatments; even Queen Cleopatra used them in ancient Egyptian times! Since then, they’ve been developed and tested with various clay types now available with a host of benefits. Clay masks are rich in nutrients that can offer many benefits when absorbed into the skin. They also exfoliate by absorbing impurities and excess oil, which assists in clearing acne. Clay masks are suitable for various skin types, making them a great option to have at home or give as a gift since anyone can use them and experience skin-glowing benefits. Get your cucumber slices ready and give one of these skin-loving masks a try.

Top Picks

Best bentonite mask: Aztec Secret Clay Mask

Credit: Amazon

We love this deep cleansing clay mask because it’s suitable not only for your face, but also for your body and hair.

Amp up your complexion and remove impurities from any trouble areas, including your neck or back, with this fantastic mask. It’s also an excellent pampering option for a foot soak or a body wrap.Aztec’s Secret Indian healing clay mask is made from 100% natural calcium bentonite clay. The fast-acting mask only requires five to ten minutes on your skin to work its magic. Although you may notice slight redness on your skin, this will disappear within 30 minutes after washing it off, leaving you with a silky smooth complexion.

Pros

  • Suitable as a face, body, or hair mask
  • Deep-cleanses by drawing out impurities at a deeper level
  • Can be used to soothe insect bites
  • 100% natural clay product

Cons

  • The skin might be slightly red for a few minutes after application

Best for sensitive skin: Cetaphil Dermacontrol Clay Mask

Credit: Amazon

Cetaphil Dermacontrol has a range of products designed for sensitive skin specifically.

This luxurious clay mask is made with a combination of deeply absorbent bentonite clay and the gentler Amazonian kaolin clay.Get the perfect combination of deep impurity and surface oil removal and gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells without irritating sensitive areas. While some clay masks can leave sensitive skin types feeling very dry, this formula includes apple fruit extract to maintain hydration and cucumber seed extract to brighten skin tone.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free formula won’t irritate the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • Specifically designed for sensitive skin types
  • Purifies with clay and nourishes with fruit extracts

Cons

  • Contains some artificial ingredients, although sensitive on the skin

Best foaming mask: Elizavecca Clay Mask

Credit: Amazon

If you want to add some fun to your skincare routine, this is definitely the option for you.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Bubble Clay Mask will have you giggling with tickles as the mask begins to softly foam and bubble after application. The combination of bentonite and kaolin clay with green tea extract, charcoal powder, and lavender extract gives your skin exactly what it needs.The creamy solution is activated upon contact with air, oil or water and starts to form tiny bubbles. The tub comes with an application stick which should be used to apply the product on your face and can then be spread with your fingers. Sticking your fingers straight into the tub may cause the solution to start foaming. 

Pros

  • The most fun clay mask you’ve ever tried
  • Applicator included
  • Kaolin and bentonite clay combination for deep cleansing
  • Effectively removes pore-clogging impurities

Cons

  • The tickling sensation of the bubbles may feel uncomfortable

Best variety pack: Freeman Clay Mask

Credit: Amazon

If you’re not ready to enter the world of clay masks, this pack gives you a great chance to try something new while still having your familiar gel and peel-off masks handy.

The set includes four different masks, each in a six-ounce tube. The Dead Sea minerals anti-stress mask contains both bentonite and kaolin clay and the Dead Sea minerals to replenish and rebalance your skin.The avocado and oatmeal clay mask also contains both clay types to purify your skin, leaving it silky smooth, and soft. The non-clay masks in the set include a charcoal and black sugar gel mask and scrub for all skin types, and a cooling cucumber peel-off mask for normal and combination skin.

Pros

  • Four different masks included
  • Anti-aging and detoxifying skin benefits
  • Hydrates, moisturizes and brightens skin tone
  • The set includes masks for all skin types

Cons

  • Some of the masks contain fragrances that can irritate highly sensitive skin types

Best for all skin types: Gleamin Clay Mask

Credit: Amazon

This no-mix, ready to apply formula comes with an application brush, so all you need to do is open the tube and start your beauty treatment.

The vegan turmeric and Vitamin C clay mask is an incredible treatment to help reduce the appearance of dark spots, scarring and hyperpigmentation.The formula also contains aloe vera, which adds an extra element of moisturizing and anti-aging benefits and acne and infection reduction. The combination of yellow clay, turmeric, Vitamin C and aloe provides an ideal purifying and tone-enhancing formula for a radiant and smooth complexion.

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Assists in clearing acne and reducing the appearance of scars
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • No premixing required

Cons

  • Recommended for use on the face only

Clay masks buying guide

With their exfoliating, nourishing and cleansing properties, clay masks can be used for various reasons and are suitable for multiple skin types. In this guide, we’ll uncover different types of clay masks and the benefits of using them. We’ll also give you the lowdown on how to apply your mask for the best results.

What are the benefits of clay masks?

Draws out impurities

We are exposed to thousands of bacteria and germs and dust and air pollution every day. These stick to the natural oils on the skin and makeup, causing pores to get blocked and grow bigger. Clay masks draw out these impurities since they are formulated with natural minerals. While the clay draws out impurities, the skin also absorbs beneficial nutrients from the clay which nourishing the skin.

Gentle cleanser 

Harsh skin products can leave the sensitive skin on your face feeling dry, itchy, rough and uncomfortable. Since clay masks are natural, they remove the dirt from your skin in a gentler way. While clay masks are not a replacement for daily cleansing and moisturizing, they can clean at a deeper level than just a regular face wash. 

Even though masks are natural, it is always best to check the ingredients since some manufacturers may add chemicals to improve the consistency of the product. If you have dry skin, you will want to opt for a clay mask that matches your skin type and ensure that you moisturize well after removing the mask.

Refines pores

Pores often get a bad rap for looking big, getting clogged or causing breakouts but let’s face it (excuse the pun), these little openings on your skin are essential to help your body stay cool when it’s hot and release oils to keep your skin hydrated. 

You cannot change the size of your pores, but you can refine their appearance by looking after your skin. A clay mask draws out impurities and removes oils, dirt and dead skin cells. This makes the pores appear more refined, giving your skin a smoother appearance.

Brightens

Although most things in life don’t come with the quick fix we often hope for, clay masks can give you brighter skin in as little as 10 minutes. Dull skin usually occurs as a result of accumulated dead skin cells. These cells and stubborn dirt need more than a smooth facial gel wash. They require light facial scrubbing or exfoliation. Clay masks provide a gentle way to exfoliate. This can benefit people with acne-prone skin who do not want to scrub or apply any abrasive actions against sensitive areas. Even those who don’t have acne can get an instant glowing boost by exfoliating with a clay mask and enhancing blood circulation.

Mattifying effect

If you have oily skin that results in too much shine and requires some powder application throughout the day, a clay mask once a week can help solve this problem. The clay absorbs excess oil, which helps control shine.

Helps acne-prone skin

Besides the benefits of gentle exfoliation mentioned above, clay masks also have antibacterial and antifungal properties. This helps prevent acne breakouts reducing clogged pores, infections and swelling.

Restores balance

As with most skincare products, masks come in formulas for both dry, acne-prone, oily and normal skin types. You can even use two different masks for an oily t-zone and other dryer areas. With your skin being exposed to so many pollutants, makeup and makeup removers, harsh soaps, chemicals and bacteria every day, the natural nourishing minerals in the mask will help restore balance to your skin. 

What are the most effective types of clay masks?

Bentonite 

Bentonite clay masks are derived from natural volcanic ash and traditionally used for purification and healing. Also called healing clay, it is high in silica and aluminum, making it ideal for all skin types and, therefore, one of the most popular clay masks. These negatively charged ions attract impurities from pores, which allows a deeper pore cleanse than just a surface wash. It also helps soften the skin, which is beneficial for removing dead skin cells improving the appearance of dark acne scars and uneven tone.

Best for: Oily skin types since it is incredibly absorbent

Kaolin clay

Kaolin clay is generally white or can sometimes be found in pink and green clays or powders. This is one of the gentlest clay masks that remove impurities, soften, and soothe irritated and aggravated skin. This mask absorbs impurities without causing redness and irritation. It assists in getting rid of blackheads which helps to lessen the appearance of pores. It is a good option for long-term use and can be beneficial to restore skin elasticity.

Best for: Dry and sensitive skin types and routine long-term use

French green clay

French green clay (also called montmorillonite) gets its green color from added plant matter and oxides. It is incredibly mineral-rich and is sometimes combined with moisturizing oils. As with other clay masks, it exfoliates at a deep level by drawing out impurities and removing dead skin cells, which helps tighten pores, boosts circulation, smooths, and tones the skin.

Best for: Oily and combination skin types; however, it can also be used on dry skin types

Rhassoul

Rhassoul clay is a reddish-brown and slightly grainy clay from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. It is also mineral-rich, which effectively draws out toxins, yet it does not excessively dehydrate the skin. This clay can be used in small amounts daily since it is fairly gentle and can help improve the texture of rough-looking skin.

Best for: Sensitive and mature skin types

How to apply a clay mask

Applying a clay mask is pretty simple. However, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure you get the benefits of using the mask.

  1. The mask won’t be effective if your skin is full of makeup or oil, so cleanse your face properly with a mild foam or gel cleanser and then rinse with warm water. Dry your face as excess water on your skin may interfere with the process of drawing out impurities.
  1. Prepare your mask if needed according to the packaging instructions. Use plastic, ceramic, or silicone tools when mixing the product as using metal utensils can interfere with the mineral ionic charge, which will inhibit its ability to draw out impurities.
  1. Make sure that your hands and tools are clean before mixing and applying. Apply the clay around your face. Be sure to cover the jawline but avoid the area directly under your eyes and brows. Massage it in a circular motion to ensure it penetrates well.
  1. The clay will start to tighten on your skin as it dries. Don’t wait until it is completely dry and flakes off, as this will dry out your skin excessively. It should still be just a little bit sticky when you remove it. If you experience a burning sensation, wash it off instantly with warm water.
  1. Apply warm water to soften, loosen, and remove the mask. You can use gentle circular motions to rinse it all off, stimulating blood flow.
  1. Once the mask is entirely removed, end the treatment with a good moisturizer or your usual moisturizing routine.

People also asked

Q: Are mud and clay masks the same?

A: They are not the same, although both are beneficial to add to your skincare routine. Clay masks focus on drawing out oils and impurities due to their rich mineral composition. They assist in brightening skin tone, calming inflammation and reducing acne. On the other hand, mud masks are more beneficial for general cleansing and nourishing.

Q: How often should I use a clay mask?

A: Some clay masks are more absorbent than others, so the recommended intervals will depend on the clay type and your skin type. Oily skin types could use clay masks up to three times per week, whereas once per week may be sufficient for dry skin to prevent stripping the skin of its natural hydrating oils. Masks can be used more often if a gentle and hydrating clay type is used.

Q: What time is best to apply the clay mask?

A: A great time to use a clay mask is after showering in the evening since your skin will be soft and clean – ideal for reaping the benefits of the mask application. 

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