What Do Clay Masks Actually Do for Your Skin?
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 benefits of clay masks 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 clay masks can help up the ante and ensure a deep clean and help fight breakouts.
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, a NYC-based board-certified dermatologist.
Our Favorite Clay Masks
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 dry hard like some clay masks, making it great for those with both oily and combination skin.
Like clay, charcoal helps draw out dirt and other impurities from your pores. This two-in-one cleanser from Garnier contains both ingredients and leaves skin feeling clean and looking matte. Use it as a daily cleanser or leave it on for five minutes before rinsing to use it as a purifying mask.
This oil-free mask uses kaolin clay to help remove pore-clogging impurities and eliminate excess shine. Use it one to two times per week for five minutes to help keep skin clear, smooth and matte.
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.
This creamy formula contains three types of clay plus charcoal. In addition to drawing out impurities, the mask brightens and smooths, all without drying out skin.
This mask uses Amazonian white clay to draw out impurities and reduce excess oil. It also contains aloe vera to soothe. Follow up with a nourishing moisturizer like the brand’s Ultra Facial Cream.
Photo: Jonet Williamson