Are you experiencing skin problems like acne or planning to create a skincare regimen to avoid future issues? Why not try out one of the oldest forms of skincare: clay masks. A clay mask can clean up your pores and help make your skin brighter and more vibrant.
After looking through numerous brands, we combined our 10 favorite clay masks that are loved and highly recommended by the beauty community. We also have some buying tips reviewed by a board-certified dermatologist at the end to help you find out which clay mask can nourish and moisturize your skin the most. Tree to Tub's Ginseng Green Tea Purifying Clay Mask was our favorite with its vegan formula and powerful ingredients. Read on for more!
Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
A clay mask is made from various types of clays combined with other natural ingredients to nourish and supply your skin with the best nutrients. Here's why we think you should invest in one.
A clay mask can enhance the health of all skin types. Thanks to various natural ingredients, clay masks can safely nourish your skin without causing irritation or redness. In fact, some clay masks can heal infections and reduce skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis without having side effects.
Kaolin, an ingredient found in many clay masks, is a natural antibacterial. It can reduce the number of bacteria on the skin. This is particularly helpful in treating acne. It also leaves the skin clean without being harsh. Clay masks can be soothing for red and inflamed skin as well.
Furthermore, a clay mask has great anti-aging effects. It replenishes oxygen to your skin, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also accelerates blood circulation, thus improving your skin's complexion. Your skin will look healthy, vibrant, and youthful as a result.
Additionally, a clay mask helps minimize the appearance of your pores. Having large pores is a concern of many. Pores often become enlarged when they are clogged with excess sebum, bacteria, and dirt.
Not to worry, using a clay mask regularly will absorb all the excess impurities, thus reducing the appearance of your pores. You should also pay attention to cleansing your pores, which can, in turn, reduce swelling, acne, blackheads, and other skin issues.
Clay masks are great for those with oily or acne-prone skin. They are great at absorbing oil and removing dirt and sebum from the pores. They can make a huge difference in treating whiteheads and blackheads. You can use a clay mask one to three times a week depending on how oily your skin is at baseline. Overusing a clay mask can result in dry skin.
Furthermore, a clay mask can soften your skin significantly. In most clay masks, there is an important beauty nutrient called silica. Silica is responsible for producing connective tissues such as muscles, tendons, collagen, skin and bones. When supplied with enough silica, your skin will be much more elastic, soft, and healthy.
A clay mask can help cleanse and reduce pores while brightening your skin. However, choosing a suitable clay mask is not easy. In this buying guide, we hope to help you with different types of clay masks for different skin types and what ingredients would best help you achieve your desired outcome.
In total, there are 12 different clays used in cosmetic products. Some of the more common clays include White Kaolin, Bentonite, French green, Rhassoul, red, pink, yellow, and purple clay. Be careful, though, because not all clays are suitable for every skin type.
Kaolin clay is rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium and can help remove the skin's impurities. Additionally, kaolin clay can balance the oil levels in your skin and suck up extra sebum. Because of its ability to treat acne and absorb moisture and oil, kaolin clay is especially recommended for oily and acne-prone skin. It's also thought of to be the gentlest of the clays.
Many acne medications cannot be used during pregnancy, but kaolin masks are an effective and safe way to treat acne during pregnancy. They can help treat both inflammatory acne and whiteheads and blackheads.
Even if you have oily skin, you should not do a clay mask daily. I recommend doing a clay mask one to three times a week. You can use clay masks in combination with other topical acne medications, like retinoids or AHAs, but you may want to alternate the days you use the mask with the other drying medications.
With strong absorption properties, bentonite and French green clay are two great options for oily skin. Containing important ingredients such as phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium, they can deeply cleanse your skin and remove impurities from dust and contaminants.
Furthermore, green clay and bentonite clay can absorb excess oil more so than kaolin, leaving your skin dry and smooth afterward. However, be careful not to over-apply those two clays since this may cause an allergic reaction.
Avoid bentonite clay if you have dry skin. This is a super absorber and can leave dry skin looking and feeling dry and chapped. Use a moisturizer after using a bentonite clay mask to restore hydration after mask use, even if your skin tends to be oily.
Pink or rose clay is a combination of white and red clay or a type of kaolin clay called kaolinite. It has gentle oil-absorbing properties and provides exfoliation, It's best for combination, sensitive, or dry skin. There aren't many studies on the clay, but there are claims that pink clay can also brighten, refine, and moisturize the skin.
Yellow clay is just slightly more absorbent than its white kaolin cousin, but also offers better circulation when used on the skin, meaning that it helps to brighten tone. In addition, yellow clay can exfoliate dead cells and restore the skin surface layer and is most suitable for those with combination or dry and sensitive skin types.
Red clay gets its color from a high concentration of iron oxide. Like all clays, it helps to absorb excess sebum in the skin but has the added benefit of brightening skin tone. It also helps tone down redness and reduce irritation. In general, it works for all skin types.
Various clay masks can bring tremendous benefits to your skin, including cream, sheet, and powder masks. Based on your preferences, you should choose the type of mask accordingly.
The formula of clay-based cream masks is usually on the light side and therefore doesn't exfoliate the skin as much as the powder type. Those who have dry or sensitive skin should consider the cream type for a gentle fix.
Cream masks can also target specific skin concerns like acne or wrinkles. For acne, look for cream masks with salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids as ingredients. Due to their moisturizing content, they can also help with anti-aging by reducing the appearance of existing wrinkles. Some cream masks even act as leave-on treatments, which allow your skin to soak up as much hydration and benefits as possible.
Use a cream-based mask if you have dry skin or a history of eczema. You can get the benefits of the clay mask without over-drying your skin in this formulation. The cream base is less drying than sheet or powder masks.
If you have dry skin you should only do a clay mask one or two times a week to prevent removing hydration. Use a moisturizer with humectants like hyaluronic acid or emollients after using a clay mask if you have dry skin.
Applying cream or powder clay on your skin may be messy. But don't worry; a sheet mask will solve your issue immediately. The sheet mask is often cut in a way that fits perfectly on your face, allowing nutrients to penetrate in all layers deeply. After letting the mask sit for 10 to 15 minutes, your skin will become much softer and refreshed.
Another benefit to sheet masks is that they tend to have specialized effects. There are specific sheet masks that reduce acne, promote anti-aging benefits, or soothe inflamed skin. This makes it easier to target your specific issue and to get results fast.
Because this type of mask is more gentle than others, you can also use it more frequently, too! The daily use of sheet masks makes it possible for you to see results much faster.
My patients with blackheads and whiteheads (known as comedonal acne) love using sheet masks to help strip the pores. Sheet masks can give an immediate improvement in the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads.
Dry clay powder is probably the most powerful out of all types of clay masks. Sheet masks and cream masks, if left on the shelf, may lose potency. However, powdered clay mask still retains its effectiveness. Even without preservatives, they're stored in a pure form, making powder masks last longer than other skincare masks.
Furthermore, clay powder allows for customization. You can add flower, fruit or herbal extracts with some oil ingredients like jojoba for better relaxing effects.
Although clay masks can have significant benefits for your skin, it's important to look out for ingredients that could potentially irritate your skin.
If you have dry or particularly sensitive skin, it's best to avoid clay masks that include glycolic acid. It can be especially harsh on sensitive skin, so it's best to find an alternative. If you experience any unwanted effects, use a cool compress and gentle skincare to soothe your face.
Polyethylene glycol is another product to avoid, as it can strip your skin of its natural oils. It's typically used in products as a thickener but can cause severe irritation to your skin especially if it's broken or damaged.
Similarly, though studies on parabens are inconclusive, these preservatives may sensitize the skin and make it more vulnerable to UV rays. Avoiding alcohol and synthetic fragrances may be a good idea, too. They can result in your skin becoming red and inflamed.
Click to purchase
Tree to Tub
Ginseng Green Tea Purifying Clay Mask
Best for Nourishing Sensitive Skin
Detox and Rebalance Clay Mask
Best for Exfoliating and Reducing Acne Scars
Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Best for Deeply Cleansing Your Skin
Peter Thomas Roth
Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask
Best for Clearing Acne and Reducing Pores
Pure-Clay Mask with Yuzu Lemon
Best for Reducing Skin Inflammation
European Clay Powder
Best for Revitalizing Aging Skin
Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder
Best for Evening Skin Tone
Generation Clay Ultra Violet Britening Purple Clay Mask
Best for Absorbing Oil
Feeling Beautiful Mask Variety Collection
Best for Strengthening and Smoothing Skin
Bare Essentials Living
Moroccan Red Clay Mud Mask
Best for Brightening Dull Skin
This mask will cleanse and restore your skin while drawing out the deepest impurities, including stubborn blackheads. Even better, this product is 100 percent vegan, gluten-free, and contains no parabens. It's dermatologist-approved as safe and gentle for all types of skin, particularly sensitive skin and those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Green tea extract is perfect for sensitive skin because it helps reduce redness and irritation. This mask is also infused with aloe vera, another soothing ingredient for those with sensitive skin. Many reviewers said it reduced pores and softened skin. They saw their skin improve, even during cold or dry weather.
This triple-action clay formula integrates three types of clay including pink, blue, and kaolin clay to deeply exfoliate facial pores while maintaining moisture and removing excessive oil. Furthermore, the formula can reinvigorate your dull skin and reduce acne scars.
However, some reviewers experienced allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, you should do a patch test or consult with a dermatologist before buying. Meanwhile, others shared that their face felt clean, soft, and fresh after each use. The mask worked great on sensitive, combination, and oily skin.
Aztec Secret's Indian Healing Clay is known for its deep cleansing properties. It draws out all the impurities, including breakouts, blackheads, and dead skin cells from your skin and removes them. This mask also absorbs oil production into the clay bed, resulting in a reduction of blemishes and increased nourishment. Bentonite is anti-inflammatory and helps your skin heal.
This mask is excellent for your face, but it's also multi-use; it can be used on your hair and the rest of your body just as easily. Use it to rid your hair of dead skin cells and oil and it can also strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss! For those with sensitive skin, avoid using this mask for longer than 10 minutes. It also may be smart to test the clay on a patch of skin first.
If you're looking for a mask to clear your skin, Peter Thomas Roth's Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask is a great choice. This mask combines kaolin and bentonite clay to deeply cleanse pores and absorb excess oil. The maximum-strength sulfur helps cleanse and soothe inflamed skin, which reduces acne.
Aloe vera also acts to soothe and hydrate skin! Reviewers say this mask leaves them feeling refreshed and their skin smoother. Some even say they saw results within two weeks! They recommend using this mask three times a week.
This mask is perfect for those looking to soothe their skin and reduce inflammation. Pink clay balances skin tone and soothes irritated skin. Calamine in the mask also helps to reduce redness and inflammation. The sheet mask provides a seal around the face to guarantee you absorb all the beneficial ingredients.
Reviewers say that this mask is great at soothing skin, saying that they saw a reduction in redness immediately. One reviewer even mentioned it helped with a mild allergic reaction they were having. If you're looking for a way to relax and nourish your skin at the same time, this is the perfect option!
This mask uses pure green European clay (montmorillonite) that helps revitalize your skin and slow down the aging process. It does this by assisting new, healthy skin cells grow, reducing visible wrinkles and lines while also evening out skin tone. The mineral silicate also helps to reduce wrinkles.
Many reviewers said that it softened and cleared up their skin very well. It's a great way to detox the skin, too. It's recommended for most skin types and works at drawing out impurities and minimizing pores. Using it can really dry your skin out, so pair this with a few drops of jojoba oil or lavender oil in addition to water if you have dry skin.
Uses white clay to absorb oil and gently draw out impurities
Apple extract smooths skin and evens out skin tone
Some reviewers experienced a burning sensation
Cetaphil's Derma-Control Purifying Clay Mask works to nourish your skin and even your skin tone. Bentonite clay fights against blackheads and minimizes pores, while white clay absorbs oil to prevent breakouts. Apple extract also helps to smooth the skin.
This mask is both hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic, perfect for sensitive skin. Reviewers find that this mask is very effective in evening skin tone and cleansing skin. They report that the mask is high-quality and its results are consistent. This mask is gentle enough for sensitive skin and regular use.
The E.L.F Oil Control Face mask is great for those who struggle with oily skin. The mask soaks up excess oil while tightening pores. The prevention of pore-clogging and reduction of oil prevents breakouts and promotes smooth skin.
Reviewers say that they love how soft their skin is after using this product and that there are fast results. They go on to say that the mask absorbs oil without making their skin too dry! This mask is also paraben- and fragrance-free, so it won't irritate sensitive skin.
Gleamin's Tumeric Vitamin C mask revitalizes your skin and reduces breakouts. The yellow clay reduces the appearance of breakouts and scarring, while aloe vera soothes any inflamed spots. Vitamin C reduces fine lines and protects your skin from harmful UV rays, too. This mask comes with a brush, so you won't have to worry about oil or bacteria from your hands spreading to your face while you apply the mask.
Reviewers say that this mask goes on very smoothly, and many saw results after just the first use! They say that they use this mask to clear breakouts, even skin tone, or to attain an extra glow. Some reviewers do report a burning sensation after applying the mask, so we recommend testing it on a patch of skin first.
With this three-pack of clay powders, you can test out and reap the benefits of an assortment of clays. The Green Sea Clay Powder works to cleanse your skin and minimize pores, which will prevent breakouts; Moroccan, or Red Rhassoul, clay helps detoxify and rejuvenate your skin; bentonite clay detoxifies your skin as well as acts as an exfoliator. All of these masks work to brighten and revitalize your skin!
To use this powder, it is recommended to mix it with water. Then, it can be applied to your skin or hair. You can use these masks as frequently as a weekly basis to care for your skin or hair. Reviewers describe all three of the powders as refreshing and recommend creating a thicker mixture for ease of application.
Despite how good your clay mask is, there may be counter-productive effects if you use it in the wrong way. To avoid this, follow our tips below so you can experience the full benefits of clay masks.
Some of the most common mistakes when using a clay mask are leaving the mask to dry on your skin or using it when your skin is not clean. Therefore, before applying a clay mask, you should thoroughly clean it with a facial cleanser to open the pores, helping your skin absorb nutrients better.
Afterward, you can apply the clay mask, but make sure to avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes, lips, or even ears.
After a few minutes, the clay mask's nutrients will seep through your skin layers, removing impurities. Your mask will gradually dry out, facilitating blood circulation and leaving your skin with a refreshing feel.
However, before your mask completely dries out (meaning when the clay mask changes color), you should wash your face right away. If left for too long, a clay mask can absorb all of your skin's moisture, drying out your face.
On the other hand, you might have difficulty removing the mask later since it's sticking to your face. If you directly scratch down all the remaining clay, your skin could become irritated and even start to burn; be gentle! You should also moisturize your skin with some cream afterwards since a clay mask can dry out your skin.
Did you know you can also make your own clay face masks at home? Check out this super simple French green clay mask recipe by Humblebee & Me.
If you have any lingering questions about clay face masks, don't worry! Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about clay face masks.
Clay masks can be good for acne, especially if excess oil is the cause of the acne. Masks that include pink and bentonite clay are the best for this particular function. Bentonite clay masks are especially good at preventing acne as they are packed with minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. If you use this kind of clay, remember to moisturize after! Bentonite can dry out your skin if used excessively.
Many work to reduce pores, which further prevents acne caused by clogged pores. When pores are reduced, there is less of a chance for bacteria and dead skin cells to build up and cause acne.
Clay masks swell and cling to impurities like excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria. As they dry, the mask will draw these impurities into itself, soaking up anything harmful on your skin.
The clay will soak up any excess oil, which will help clear your pores and prevent acne. Green clay is especially good at this. Removing dead skin cells that have built up on your face will leave your skin both brighter and smoother.
Ridding your skin of bacteria is another way clay masks cleanse your skin and prevent future breakouts. With all of these impurities drawn out, your skin will feel cleansed and refreshed.
Clay masks can expire. The time it takes is reliant upon the form of the mask. For cream masks, if they are unopened they will stay fresh for up to two years. If opened, they can expire as early as six months later, but typically last another one to two years.
Clay masks may dry out faster if they include vitamin C or vitamin E because these nutrients degrade over time. Using an expired face mask may harm your skin, or simply not be effective.
Sheet masks, on the other hand, can last up to three years if unopened. This is because these masks have such a tight seal. Powder masks last much longer when in a pure form. If they are mixed with preservatives, they will usually have the same lifespan as a cream mask.
With the exception of sheet masks, clay masks do exfoliate. Even though most clay masks exfoliate, cream masks with yellow clay are the best choice for this function.
While exfoliating can be very healthy for your skin, be careful not to use clay masks too often for this reason. A few times a week is fine, but to use one every day would cause more harm and irritation to your skin than good.
If you are looking for more skin care or hair care options, check out some suggestions we have for you!
Find more popular face masks on Amazon's best seller list!
No. 1: Tree to Tub | Ginseng Green Tea Purifying Clay Mask
No. 2: Revive Science | Detox and Rebalance Clay Mask
No. 3: Aztec Society | Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
No. 4: Peter Thomas Roth | Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask
No. 5: Earth Therapeutics | Pure-Clay Mask with Yuzu Lemon
View Full Ranking
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