A skincare staple as old as dirt, clay masks have been used throughout the centuries for their skin smoothing benefits. Even pigs (some of the most intelligent creatures on this planet) use mud on their skin for their health and well-being.
In this article, we’ll discuss different kinds of clay masks, the benefits of clay masks, what types of skin should use clay masks, how to use clay masks, which clay masks you should use, and what ingredients to avoid in clay masks.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Clay masks work to help cleanse your skin, balance your natural oils, and unclog your pores.
Good to Know: There are two main types of clay used in clay masks: kaolin clay and bentonite clay.
Recommended Products: Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.
How Clay Masks Work and Why They're Worth Using
A clay mask should be used as a supplement to your daily skin care routine to help keep your skin looking its absolute best by drawing out impurities on a deeper level. When clay is wet and applied to your skin, it swells and binds to the dirt, oil and dead skin cells that can clog your pores. As it dries, it draws these impurities to itself, thereby offering your skin a deep cleanse.
Although your cleanser and facial scrubs work to cleanse your skin and pores at the surface, clay masks can help detoxify your skin beyond your daily cleanse.
What Do Clay Masks Do for Skin: 10 Benefits of Clay Masks
Here are 10 Benefits of Clay Masks you should know about:
- Clay masks cleanse the skin – Although you should definitely cleanse your skin before using any kind of mask, a clay mask will give you a deeper clean than your regular facial cleanser.
- Clay masks balance oils – Clay masks are known for their ability to almost instantly draw out and balance the oils in skin, creating the appearance of a brighter, smoother complexion.
- Clay masks unclog pores – Sebum, dead skin cells, and other impurities can clog your pores, and a clay mask will help clear out your pores and unclog them.
- Clay masks detoxify the skin – Clay masks expand when they hit the skin, absorbing toxins in your skin. When you wash it off, the mask basically pulls the toxins out with it.
- Clay masks smooth the skin – Clay masks act as a sort of skin polisher, leaving even difficult skin smooth and even.
- Clay masks exfoliate – One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy is to exfoliate regularly by helping you rid of the dead skin cells that lie at the surface.
- Clay masks leave a natural glow – When that top layer of dull, dead skin is sloughed off, it reveals fresher, glowing skin.
- Clay masks prepare the skin for moisturizer – Moisturizer is an incredibly important part of skin care, but it’s only effective if it can properly absorb into your skin. Removing the gunk from the surface of your skin will allow your face cream to work properly.
- Clay masks help maintain great skin – When your skin is properly cleansed and exfoliated, the rest of your skincare products are more effective. This results in healthier, happier skin.
- Clay masks are a great treat – Skin care doesn’t always have to be about improving the look of your skin— it can be self-care, too! Giving yourself a little at-home spa day is simple with a clay mask.
What Skin Types Should Use Clay Masks?
One of the best parts of clay masks is that they benefit just about every skin type! Here are some of the skin types that should consider using clay masks:
- Clay masks are great for oily skin – Clay masks help balance the oils in skin and unclog pores.
- Clay masks are great for dry skin – Because clay masks help exfoliate, they will remove the dry, dead skin that builds up on the surface.
- Clay masks are great for dull skin – If you suffer from dull, lifeless skin, a good clay mask is sometimes all you need. It helps to slough off the dead skin cells that dull the surface of your skin.
- Clay masks are great for skin that clogs easily – Whether you dry skin, oil skin, or a little of both, you might still find that your pores easily clog, resulting in blackheads and breakouts. Clay masks work to draw out those impurities, thereby helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
- Clay masks are great for skin that sweats a lot – Whether it’s these ongoing heat waves or all the hours you put in at the gym, sweating can be really rough on the skin. A clay mask can draw out all the impurities and help detoxify skin that sweats often.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay, which is used in many clay masks as well as other cosmetics, comes from Fort Benton, Wyoming – thus its name! Derived from volcanic ash, it contains all kinds of beneficial minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium and is great for clearing the skin of excess oil and dirt.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
To understand the benefits of bentonite clay, think of it as a kind of magnet—once you put it on the skin, it basically sticks to the “bad stuff” and pulls it out as you wash it off. It is incredible for unclogging pores and detoxifying the skin, leaving skin looking more luminous. Bentonite clay also helps balance the natural oils in your skin, which creates the appearance of a brighter, smoother complexion.
Keep in mind that if you purchase bentonite clay with the intention of using it on your skin, you’ll need to combine it with at least one other ingredient, such as apple cider vinegar. Since that’s slightly laborious, we’ve included bentonite clay as a main ingredient in our Prince Charcoal detox mask!
What is Kaolin Clay?
Kaolin clay can be found around the world from Pakistan to France to Tanzania, to the tiny town of Sandersville, Georgia. Known as china clay, it was used thousands of years ago in the manufacture of porcelain. Today, it’s used as an effective ingredient in skin masks.
A clay mineral composed mostly of silica, kaolin clay is not quite as strong in terms of absorption as bentonite clay. However, it still offers may great benefits when used on the skin.
Benefits of Kaolin Clay
One of the most popular benefits of kaolin clay is its ability to exfoliate the skin, helping to remove build up from the surface of the skin.
It also absorbs oil. Although its absorption powers aren’t quite as strong as bentonite clay, kaolin is still a great oil absorber! It’s also great at unclogging pores, resulting in smoother skin. It can also help calm the skin and even out skin tone. We’ve also included kaolin clay in our clay mask.
What Ingredients to Avoid in Clay Masks
As always, avoid harsh synthetic and chemical ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and artificial fragrances when shopping for a clay mask. Our Prince Charcoal detox mask is clean, non-toxic, and naturally scented with ylang-ylang flower oil.
How to Use a Clay Mask
Here’s how to use a clay mask to maximize its effectiveness:
1. Cleanse the skin. Putting a clay mask on a dirty face is like mopping the floor before you’ve swept, so cleanse the skin with a gentle natural facial cleanser.
2. Apply your clay mask. Now that your skin is clean, apply a mask like our Prince Charcoal detox mask. Using a small amount, smooth the mask over the skin with your fingers, avoiding the immediate eye area and spreading it evenly over the skin. A thin, but opaque layer is the ideal amount. Allow it to sit on your face for 8-10 minutes.
If you prefer, you can use a brush or a mask applicator to make sure you apply evenly.
Once it’s dry, simply rinse off with warm water. Unlike a lot of clay masks, ours dries, but doesn’t feel hard on the skin and is easy to rinse off. Because it includes many other moisturizing and skin nourishing ingredients, like aloe vera, squalane and rosehip oil, you won’t get that “I can’t move my face!” feeling with Prince Charcoal.
We recommend using a clay mask about one to three times a week, depending on your skincare needs. It’s especially great to use before you go out, as it will give your skin a glow and will create a smoother canvas for applying makeup.
3. Hydrate your skin - A clay mask will help prep your skin to allow it to absorb moisture, so be sure to follow up with a good serum and moisturizer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Clay Masks
Do clay masks work?
Yes! Nothing is better for getting all the dirt, oil, and impurities from your skin.
What are clay masks good for?
Clay masks are great for getting out all the dirt and oil that regular cleansing just can’t. They offer a deeper cleanse and help unclog your pores.
Clay masks are also great for balancing oils, smoothing the skin, giving skin a glow, and preparing the skin for moisturizer or make-up.
Are clay masks safe?
Yes, clay masks are completely safe for the skin. That said, everyone’s skin is a little different, so a patch test is always a good idea before you use any new skincare product all over your face.
Clay mask vs. charcoal face mask?
Generally speaking, clay masks are for removing impurities, smoothing out skin and combating temporary skin discomfort.
Charcoal masks not only draw out impurities, but they also help remove toxins. Prince Charcoal detox mask makes use of both clay and charcoal for an amazing deep, detoxifying cleanse.
That’s the 411 on clay masks! Time to up your skincare and self care game with a time-tested beauty product. Treat yourself with a clay mask at least once a week, and your skin (and quite possibly your anxiety levels) will thank you.