Ingredient 101: Clay

Raise your hand if clay masks remind you of the tingly blue masks that you used as a teenager. We actually cringe a little when we think back to the tightening and cleansing masks that made us feel like our skin was on fire and cracked when we tried to laugh or smile. Thank goodness today’s clay masks are much more gentle on the skin, while being even more effective.

Natural clay has been used as a beauty treatment for centuries, even Cleopatra was a fan. Its main appeal is its amazing ability to soak up excess oil, cleanse and purify the skin, but it also scores serious points for its nourishing and stimulating properties (read: making your skin all gorgeous and glowy). And there’s a clay mask out there for every skin type and every skincare need. Read on for five great clay masks and choose your favorite!

1. Exuviance Purifying Clay Mask – This mask contains cleansing kaolin clay that also absorbs oils, as well as a hydrating mix of polyhdroxy acids and lactobionic acids, and antioxidants to protect the skin. Add that to gently exfoliating papaya extract and green tea and you’ve got a great weekly treat for that will soften, purify and minimize breakouts.

2. Murad Clarifying Mask – We all know how great clay is for treating acne, but Murad has taken it one step further with this mask. A blend of rare earth clays, kaolin and bentonite deep cleanses the skin and draws out pimple-causing impurities. Then the sulfur gets to work, treating existing breakouts right away. This mask is meant to be used as a regular treatment for acne-prone skin, but its fast-acting ingredients make it great for reducing breakouts before a big event.

3. Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask – Dr. Hauschka products are known for treating more than one symptom at a time and this mask is no exception. It contains loess clay and Indian cress extract to cleanse the skin and clear out blackheads, while nasturtium and witch hazel close pores, calm the skin and encourage exfoliation and cell renewal. This is a great mask for normal skin that just needs a little boost.

4. Eve Lom Rescue Mask – You can never go wrong with an award-winning mask that also happens to be a celebrity favorite. Celebrity skin therapist Eve Lom created the aptly named Rescue Mask, a clay-based mask that works on all skin types and will soothe, hydrate and de-puff stressed out skin. Kaolin cleanses the skin, glycerin and honey provide a hydrating boost and camphor cools and soothes.  This is the perfect post-party mask, but it works great on jet-lagged skin, too.

5. Lierac Radiance Mask – This mask does exactly what the name says. Kaolin clay is blended with super-hydrating shea butter, antioxidant-rich orange juice and collagen-boosting wheat protein. The real magic happens thanks to poppy extract, which instantly perks up the skin. Keep this mask around for a night when you know the cameras will be flashing.

 

Aseya Atiq

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