If you’re reading this, you probably know the bare basics of a skincare routine: cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, and of course—every derm’s favorite—sun protection. But if you’re going to add just one more thing to your routine, we’re here to argue in favor of a good weekly clay mask. Especially life-changing if you have oilier, acne-prone skin, clay masks absorb impurities and clear out your pores. Many clays are also rich in minerals and nutrients that benefit your complexion, regardless of your skin type. And despite what your past experience might have been with clay masks (stiff, tight, and drying seems to be a common theme), there are actually a ton of clay masks that don’t dry out your skin and instead leave it feeling balanced. You just have to find the right one for you. Here, our team’s top picks.
Despite Immunocologie’s Vital Clay Mask‘s promising buzz—rave reviews and a 3,000-person wait list—I didn’t have high hopes because most clay masks I’ve tried have all gone the same way. I’d endure that uncomfortable cracking-while-drying period and then wash it off to find my skin itchy and tight. Luckily, this is nothing like other clay masks. 1) It’s a creamy green paste you don’t have to mix with anything, which is great for lazy people like me. 2) I woke up the next morning hydrated, balanced, and glowing so bright I didn’t touch my highlighter for days. 3) Pores? Can you spell that out because my skin and I have NO CLUE WHAT THEY ARE! The difference this makes in your skin texture and clarity is astounding.” — Koun, Editorial
“I love the idea of clay masks, but as someone with clogged pores and dryness, they tend to suck the life out of my skin. I had pretty much given up on ever being able to take a cute clay mask selfie until I took a chance with Ranavat Botanics’ Eternal Reign Detoxifying Masque—and I’m so glad I did! Manuka honey balances the pore-cleansing effects of French green and bentonite clays so that you never get that itchy, overly tight feeling as it hardens—in fact, the cushiony green gloop never fully dries on your skin. I also appreciate that it includes neem oil (aka the magical cure for every skin ailment) without smelling like neem oil. This mask is 100% becoming part of my self-care Sunday rotation.” — Katie, Editorial
“Silly me, I thought clay masks were only for acne-prone teenagers and oily skin. Turns out, they can actually be amazing for anti-aging, especially when they include antioxidant-rich essential oils that sound like an exotic smoothie like Swedish strawberry and Icelandic bearberry. Scandic Botanica’s Sea & Berry Face Mask is a favorite because of its clean ingredients. (Plus, how pretty is the packaging?) You just mix a little of the fine powder with a few drops of water and apply the paste onto your skin. Wash it off, and your skin looks positively radiant! Also, not a clay mask, but I have to express love for their coconut oil and rosehip lip treatment as well. It’s a winter lip saver!” — Namie, Design
Are you a clay mask lover like we are? Do you have a favorite? Let us know below!