Clay Masks: What Are They and How Do They Work

Clay masks may sound a little messy but they’re actually bomb.com at cleaning and clearing your skin. Like a vacuum with major benefits for your face. In fact, having a clay mask on hand to use a few times a week is probably just what your skin needs.

Right now we live in a world where it seems totally normal - even acceptable - to strip your face bare and attack it with whatever social media hack you can find, all in the name of glowing skin. But just like the time Justin Bieber released dental floss: there’s no need. Nobody needs to attack their face. (Especially dry/sensitive skin types.) What we all need is to spend some quality time with a good quality clay mask that treats and replenishes. But first, here’s everything you need to know about them.

How Do Clay Masks Actually Work?
There are lots of different types of clays on the market. The way they work is by soaking up the skin’s natural oils as well as anything clogging the pores. They then bring it all to the surface. Like a gentle (and very satisfying) suction cup. 

Kaolin clay is one of the best clays in the game for this. It’s both gentle and hydrating (great for all skin types!) but also incredibly absorbing of the gunk and oils, without being harsh. Which is what a good skin refresh needs. Bonus: this ingredient can make your pores appear temporarily smaller too.  

Other beneficial ingredients to look for in a clay mask would include vitamin e which is often added to maintain moisture levels but will additionally pack an antioxidant punch and is so good for ageing. Zinc oxide is also a very soothing ingredient, meaning the more likely the mask will suit your skin type. 

What Are Their Benefits?
A good clay mask can help reduce and absorb excess oil which is great at helping to mattify acne/oily skin types and can also kick pore clogging impurities to the curb via a deep and thorough cleanse. Plus, when you pop on a clay mask weekly it can even help prevent mild forms of acne. Which is often something that can happen when your pores are clogged with excess bacteria/dirt/oil in the first place. 

You see, throughout the day your skin is susceptible to dirt, pollution, oil and other impurities building up on it and a good clay mask can help restore your skin’s balance. 

Also you need to be cleaning your face properly because when you don’t, or you don’t use a product like a clay mask that’s when your skin can feel rough and your pores can appear larger than they should be. Hence why clay is a great ingredient as it can refine pore size as well as brighten the skin and prevent it from looking blah and dull. And isn’t that something that everyone wants? (Spoiler: Yes.)

How Often Can You Use A Clay Mask?
Clay masks are bomb for drawing out excess oil/gunk from your skin to keep it bright and healthy, but there’s no need to overuse them. (Please.) If you’re clay masking all the time you’ll strip your skin bare. There’s no need to use a clay mask more than two-three times a week. If you feel the need to do it more often you probably need to take a look at your skin care and whether you are using the right products to help provide balance for your skin type. 

Best Skin Types For Clay Masks
Oily/mild acne prone skin types will benefit the most but every skin type is a great candidate for clay masks. If you’re a sensitive skin type, as always you do need to tread with caution and patch test first. (Although you’re probably used to that.)

The Different Way Clay Masks Can Be Used
There are a bunch of different ways to use clay masks too, so there’s no need to just apply it on your face the conventional way, because multi-masking is now a thing. So if you find you’re generally oily/combo across your T zone then just apply the clay mask to that zone and use a more hydrating formula on the drier areas of your face so you don’t mess with your barrier. 

You can also apply a clay mask to those annoying spots that always like to appear when you have something on. It’ll help calm it right down super quick. Or, if that all sounds too confusing just keep it simple and use a clay mask the conventional way. Two-three times a week. Post cleansing in the AM or PM before your serums, moisturisers and SPF. Honestly, there’s no need to make your skin care routine harder than it needs to be. Let’s just add a clay mask to it and keep things simple.

Want more expert advice from Yads? Head here or find her on Instagram!

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