The Benefits of Clay Masks, Plus Our 5 Favorites
With the ability to remove impurities, minimize the appearance of pores and absorb excess oil, clay face masks are a favorite among those with oily and acne-prone skin. In addition to these common benefits, clay masks can be hydrating and soothing as well, so if you have dry or sensitive skin, don’t count them out completely. Here, we’re breaking down three key clay mask benefits and our favorite formulas to use.
Clay Masks Can Help Draw Out Impurities
Daily cleansing can help eliminate pore-clogging impurities like dirt and bacteria, but one of the main clay mask benefits is its oil-absorbing properties for a super dewp clean.
Clay Masks Can Eliminate Excess Shine
“They’re great at absorbing oils and other impurities that can clog pores,” says Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC. He recommends looking for a mask that contains kaolin clay specifically. Kaolin — also known as white clay — works to draw out oils and impurities without being harsh on the skin.
Clay Masks Can Be Calming
“Clay has both skin-calming and oil-absorbing properties, making it useful both for those with sensitive skin, as well as oily or acne-prone skin,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist.
Our Favorite Clay Masks
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask
In addition to kaolin and bentonite clays, this formula contains a hydroxy-acid blend to exfoliate and aloe and chamomile to soothe. The formula is creamy and doesn’t harden like some clay masks, making it great for those with both oily and combination skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask
This oil-free mask uses kaolin clay to help remove pore-clogging impurities and eliminate excess shine. To reap the most clay mask benefits, use this one to two times per week for five minutes.
Vichy Mineral Pore Purifying Clay Mask
If you have dry or dehydrated skin, reach for this mask. It contains ultra-fine white clays to remove impurities and banish shine, while the brand’s proprietary mineralizing thermal water promotes a soft, hydrated complexion.
Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask
This mask uses a mix of bentonite and kaolin clays to draw out impurities and reduce excess oil. It also contains aloe vera to soothe.
Rosen Skincare Earth Mask
This creamy clay mask targets excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria with a blend of Fuller’s earth clay, zinc oxide and niacinamide. It gently exfoliates, making it a great option for textured skin.
Photo: Jonet Williamson