Clay masks have been around for centuries, being hailed and highly valued for their healing powers and attributes as far back as ancient Mesopotamia—even Cleopatra used clay masks with Dead Sea clay to maintain her famously beautiful skin!
Clay naturally tends to soak up toxins and particulates, allowing it to absorb impurities from your skin and unclog your pores, leaving skin clear and looking fresh.
Clay masks are made with clay (duh!), which contains a wide range of minerals and compounds rich in nutrients, like magnesium, calcium, and iron, depending on the kind of clay. Various types of clay can be used to produce face masks, including clay from sediment, volcanic ash, and soil.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Clay Face Mask?
The Benefits of Using a Clay Mask
Given the skyrocketing popularity of clay masks as a skincare panacea, you may be wondering, are clay face masks really good for your skin?
Well, we’ll list here some of the proven benefits of clay masks and what they can do for your skin.
Clay Masks Clear Your Skin
Being the largest and most exposed organ of the body, the skin picks up a tonne of pollutants and contaminants, like dirt, oil, and dust on the daily, which can build up in your pores. This can cause them to become enlarged and often leads to breakouts and acne, like blackheads and pimples.
Clay masks draw out impurities in your skin while also exfoliating, leaving your skin cleaner, clearer, and refreshed.
Clay Masks Brighten Your Complexion
It’s difficult in your busy daily routine to find enough time to care properly for your skin. But dullness or spots on the skin can often result from neglected skin, leaving you feeling and looking more washed out than you’d like. Clay masks are a great way to combat this dullness.
Using a clay face mask just a couple of times a week for ten minutes can exfoliate away the dead skin cells that make your skin look dull, brightening your face and making you glow.
Clay Masks Boost Blood Circulation
Circulation is one of the most important factors in keeping any part of your body healthy and vital. Adequate blood circulation to your skin can help it look young, fresh and healthy. So how can clay masks help?
Clay face masks, especially those made from one of the most widely used types of clay in face masks — bentonite, help boost circulation under your skin. This allows your skin to heal and rejuvenate itself, enhancing its production of collagen, which increases skin elasticity, making you look younger.
Clay Masks Minimize Your Pores and Smoothe Your Skin
With their exfoliating properties, clay masks don’t simply unclog your pores and clear them out, they actually minimize the appearance of your pores and refine them. The clay clears away the impurities that make your skin rough.
As a result, you’re left with smaller pores and smoother skin that you’ll have to resist the urge to keep touching.
Clay Masks Hydrate Your Skin
While not all types of clay masks are ideal for hydrating skin—some may go the opposite direction and dry your skin out—some masks are great for boosting skin hydration.
Look for masks with glycerine and sodium hyaluronate, which are hydrating compounds that lock water into skin cells and allow your skin to absorb moisture even better, keeping your skin looking fresh and healthy.
Clay Masks Mattify & Detoxify Your Skin
Due to their outstanding properties of absorption, clay face masks draw up excess oil and sebum from your skin, making them a great way to remove that excess shine from your T-zone and leave your face looking smooth and fresh.
The best type of clay for this is kaolin, which is mild to prevent excess dryness, while also soaking up enough excess oil to put your skin in the perfect matte sweet spot.
Clay Masks Manage Skin Microbes
Clay also has anti-microbial properties, which you can take advantage of when using clay masks. The clay in the formulation bonds to the bacteria in your skin and removes dead bacterial cells when you wash the mask off.
Clay Masks Oxygenate Your Skin Cells
As the clay mask unclogs your pores, it gives your skin room to breathe, so to speak. As a result of your open pores, now clear of dead skin cells, your living skin tissue can experience increased contact with oxygen.
This greater exposure to oxygen allows your skin cells to regenerate more quickly, leaving you with healthier, fresher-looking skin.
Clay Masks Regulate Sebum Production
Sebum, the naturally-occurring oil produced by sebaceous glands in our skin, functions to prevent skin from becoming dry. However, in many cases, the body produces excess sebum, resulting in oily skin, which can lead to acne and blemishes.
Because clay masks soak up excess oils, including sebum, they can often help regulate the body’s production of the oil, allowing for naturally less oily skin.
Clay Masks Restore Skin Balance
This is especially applicable if you have combination skin, which means parts of your skin are dry, while other parts are oily at the same time. Using clay face masks can help you balance your skin, particularly if you multi-mask—use different types of clay mask on different skin zones, according to their needs.
Using a hydrating clay mask on dry areas and a mattifying mask on oily areas will help you even out your complexion and leave your skin looking lovely and smooth.
Clay Masks Manage Skin Conditions
Bentonite clay has been found to be effective at managing symptoms of various skin diseases, including psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, and eczema. As anyone with a skin disorder knows, finding products that work well with your skin and don’t aggravate it is basically a godsend. Finding something unmedicated and organic that might actually alleviate symptoms is almost unthinkable.
While clay masks have not been established as a remedy to treat these conditions, a great many people maintain that the masks relieve their symptoms and help them manage their disorders more effectively.
What Are My Options?
There are several types of clay face masks with various benefits, some of which have been mentioned above. To better evaluate which masks are best for your skin, you should know the properties of the various types of clay used in face masks.
This is generally a gentler clay and comes in a variety of colours, including red, brown, pink, yellow, and in its purest form, white. This is one of the most widely used types of clay for face masks, and due to its gentle formulation, it’s particularly effective in clay face masks for acne.
It’s great for light cleansing—especially on sensitive, acne-prone, or dry skin—and does a smashing job of removing toxins without damaging skin. In fact, with prolonged use, kaolin clay face masks even restore skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
You'll be happy to learn that Kaolin Clay is the type of clay that we use in our Wake Face Mask!
French Green Clay
This type of green clay, originating, true to its name, from France is also known as sea clay. Its distinctive green colour comes from a combination of iron oxide and decomposed plant matter.
French green clay is best used in clay face masks for pores, given that it has a deep cleansing formulation, extracting oils and impurities from deep within the skin. However, this mask is not recommended for use on dry skin, as it may cause further dehydration.
This type of clay comes from aged volcanic ash and is great for clay face masks for pores and oily skin. It absorbs dirt and oils, extracting impurities from deep within your pores like a sponge.
It also has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it a great tool to heal breakouts, but if you have sensitive skin, bentonite could definitely irritate it.
A reddish-brown clay from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, this clay is great for sensitive skin and is a wonderful exfoliant. Its subtly coarse texture has made it a favourite with people in the region for centuries, and it’s been used locally for centuries to improve hair as well as skin texture and health.
Rhassoul clay extracts pollutants from deep within your pores while also combatting inflammation and redness. With long-term use, the absorption of its minerals has even been shown to help the skin form a natural barrier, reducing or completely preventing breakouts.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Clay Face Mask? Conclusion
So, are clay face masks really the magical formula they’re claimed to be? It would seem, as long as you select the right type of mask for your skin, that they are!
- Clear pores
- Minimize blemishes and breakouts
- Make your skin fresher, healthier, and younger-looking.
What more do you need?!
If you’re looking for good clay face masks in the UK, look no further. You can’t go wrong with our Wake Skincare Face Mask. This Australian pink clay mask—a type of kaolin clay—is designed to clear skin, reduce blemishes and dullness, and exfoliate your skin while still being gentle on your face.
It’s one of the best clay face masks out there, and we even package it in glass jars to minimize plastic waste!
Our clay mask is paraben-free, sulphate-free, uses responsibly sourced ingredients, and of course it's never tested on animals.
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