I have been down the road of terrible looking skin before. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to skip the horrible skin in high school and was graced with a flawless complexion—until around my 21st birthday that is.
Then, my face took a hard turn into Pimple Town, taking my soft, supple complexion with it. I’m not sure if it would’ve been more frustrating having a face full of zits right before my 21st birthday or having it in high school while everyone else had this problem.
Even though I spent the better part of a year fussing with my face and trying to find the best product that would work, it wasn’t until I discovered the amazing wonders of clay masks that my face started looking better.
Don’t be fooled though! Not all clay masks will work with your skin type. In order to find out which ones will fair in your favor, use this guide.
Benefits of Using Clay
Some of you might turn up your nose and ask what the difference is between using clay and using a chemical-ridden mask designed for the same purpose. Here’s why you should use clay over other products.
1. They’re all natural
While some people really don’t care if they use natural skincare products or not, those of you who do will find that clay can perform many of the same functions that high end name brand products can. Another bonus of clay being all natural is that people with sensitive can use most kinds with no irritation.
2. You can tailor them to your specific skin type
You can’t really put three different products in a bowl, mix them together and know that they’ll work safely on your face. With clay masks, you can do that. You can mix however many different types of clay together in order to use something for each ailment you want to mend.
3. They’re cheap
In comparison to higher end face masks and skincare products, clay masks are really cheap. In fact, they’re cheap in comparison to nearly anything. You usually buy the clay in bulk, powdered form at anywhere from $8-$20 for a pound. When you only use a tablespoon per mask, you’re not paying much at all.
Different Clays and What Skin Types Should Use Them
1. French Green Clay
This clay is named for its origin and color. It is full of volcanic matter, minerals and decomposed plant matters (great for you even if it sounds strange). This is a very cleansing clay that pulls oils and toxins from deep within your pores to clear them out and prevent blockage. This is the clay that saved my face from destruction!
A word of caution: Due to the detoxifying and oil absorbing properties, using this clay more than three times a week may result in mild irritation, including dryness and redness.
Best suited for: oily, acne prone or combination skin (only on the oily zones)
2. Bentonite Clay
You may have heard of this clay before since it’s widely known for its ability to attract dirt, oil, impurities, and suck out all the gunk that’s clogging your pores. You can find this mainly in the western United States, but the Indian Bentonite Clay is even more powerful/beneficial.
A word of caution: Again, since this mask is extremely powerful at sucking out impurities, using it more than twice a week may result in irritation.
Best suited for: oily and acne prone skin although drier skin types can use this as a monthly maintenance mask as long as it’s followed by a great moisturizer.
3. White Kaolin Clay
You may also have heard of this clay being called China Clay since it was discovered on Mount Kaolin in China and later brought to Europe during the 18th century. This clay is unique in its ability to regulate your skin’s oil production. It not only sucks out impurities and oil, but helps to keep your oil production in check.
Best suited for: all skin types. That’s right. Even children and people with aged skin can safely use this clay mask as often as necessary.
4. Moroccan Red Clay
Also known as Rhoussal Clay, it is ridiculously rich in mineral content that not only works to detoxify your skin, but also helps to heal imperfections as well. This one is great for smoothing, tightening and reducing redness in your skin.
A word of caution: Using only this clay mask more than twice a week may result in mild irritation.
Best suited for: oily, acne prone and aged skin.
5. Fuller’s Earth
If you’ve been trying out the natural skincare for some time now, you may have come across this type of clay. This vitamin rich clay can be used to unclog pores, reduce oil production, aid in the healing of acne scars and even balance your skin’s pH level.
Best suited for: Although all skin types can use this beneficial clay, I suggest those with oily, acne prone and combination skin use it regularly for the best benefits.
How to Mix Your Clay Mask
Not all clay masks are used in the same way. Depending on your skin type, you should make them with different ingredients in order to reap the most rewards. These are the best ways to make clay masks depending on your skin type.
Oily Skin: Oily skin would benefit most from mixing each mask of your choosing with apple cider vinegar. There are immense facial benefits for apple cider vinegar, but the most relevant is that it helps to balance your pH levels and reduce over production of oil.
Acne Prone Skin: This skin type would also benefit greatly by mixing clays with apple cider vinegar, but I also recommend adding a few drops of tea tree oil to this mixture for its antibacterial and acne fighting properties.
Combination Skin: This skin type should only mix masks with distilled water. I suggest this because anything else may be too moisturizing or too drying for your combination skin. Distilled water should be used so the clay doesn’t only absorb chemicals from your tap water instead of from your face.
Dry Skin: Dry skin types have the hardest time with clay masks because they can be drying at times even though they’re beneficial. Depending on the severity of your dryness, I recommend mixing your clays with beneficial oils instead of with water.
Aged Skin: I like to treat aged skin like dry skin. Using oils or just distilled water when mixing your clay masks will provide maximum benefits while reducing the side effects.
Say goodbye to all of your skincare woes! Clay masks have been used for centuries to give women the glowing, beautiful complexion they so desire. There’s a reason they’ve remained popular, so give them a try! Let us know how they work out for you.