Clay masks for the face, why not? Been seeing lots of cracked and grey faces on snapchat lately? Ever wondered why these people like putting clay, the very thing we used to play with as kids in kindergarten, on their skin? That, my friend, is a clay mask. Let me educate you of its powers, and trust me, you will not be disappointed.
A Curious Girl’s Experience
I was just as clueless as anyone before I tried it. With dry skin like mine, why would I ever want to put something on my face to make it dry up to the point of cracking??? But after doing the routine religiously for a few months, I came out a changed woman. I’d do it once a week, at night, and wake up to my skin revitalized and cleared. It works like no other cleanser with much faster results. Also, as the clay mask was on my face, I could really feel its magic at work.
I tried the well-talked about Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay. At first, I was skeptical since the container read “FEEL YOUR FACE PULSATE” in big red letters. Like, is that a bad thing? It also said, for best results, mix it with ‘apple cider vinegar’ to apply it on the skin. UHM…. Acid on my sensitive skin? Really? There were so many reasons for me to deter and pick up another product. But, my curiosity got the best of me and I mixed the two ingredients as stated, and slathered on a generous layer the moment I got home.
THEY WEREN’T KIDDING. THE STUFF IS HELLA STRONG, OK.
I was scared during application because I thought the vinegar concoction would be painful, especially on my pimples. The feeling was bearable, though. After I had fully caked up my face and waited for about 5 mins, some areas started to dry, and my skin felt like it was being pulled slightly. By the 10th minute, the pulsations began. It wasn’t as alarming as I had first thought! It just felt as if I had finished a sprint, but my heart was beating on my face. Also, certain areas stood out: my nose and my forehead. Basically, the areas with the most acne and dirt. LOL. My skin also was warming up and the tugging sensations grew even stronger. Oh and…I couldn’t move my face at all.
Caution: Don’t look yourself in the mirror and watch the struggle, I swear, the experience ain’t pretty!
As it was nearing the end of the routine, that’s when I noticed the cracking, the intense drying and much stronger pulling. Sometimes the pulling gives me a headache, other times I can manage it. The longest I’ve had it on was for 20 minutes, but usually at that time, I start to feel nauseous from the pull. Moral of the story: Don’t leave it on for too long!
Washing it is a pain as it is relieving.
The cold water is very soothing and works to soften the clay to melt away the mask. It takes time to get every piece of clay, but the calming effect of the water is so relaxing that it sort of cancels out that drawback. Be cautious of your drainage too! It tends to clog. Also, let me tell you not to panic when the mask comes off and your face comes out as red as a tomato! Happens to me every time. This is just the after effect of the pulling the dry pieces had done. It’ll go away once you’ve cooled down. After washing off the clay masks entirely, I use my regular cleanser to clean my face, pat my skin dry and double with a hydrating mask to counteract the dryness.
I like using this mask mid menstrual cycle, hormone enraged and stressed. I see the best results then because it’s when my skin is at its worst. After JUST ONE NIGHT of usage, most of my aggressive pimples die down and my rough patches smoothen out. Not to mention do I feel less dirty, and my pore size shrinks to a minimum. Some people say clay masks are more for the oily skin types, but dry skinned girls, like myself, also experience breakouts. I love this mask for that purpose! I counteract the drying part by placing a hydrating mask on afterwards and not leaving the mask on my skin on for too long. It is definitely one to recommend.
7 Proven Benefits of Using Clay Masks
1. Deep Cleansing
A good example of a type of clay mask that prioritizes detoxification is Bentonite Clay, like the Aztec Healing Clay I mentioned earlier. Based on research, this particular clay is known to bind to toxins on a molecular level. Mixing it with a liquid, like water or apple cider vinegar, activates its potential binding power. Since clay masks contain negatively charged molecules and water, together with the toxins, have positively charged molecules, it is only certain that these two molecules would attract and bind to one another. When activated (wet) clay is placed atop skin, more positively charged oxygen radicals, bacteria, dead skin cells and harmful substances like environmental pollutants can better bind to the drying clay, locking them into place. When the clay is washed off, the toxins will follow. This will leave cleaner skin up to the molecular level!
2. Pore Shrinking
Pores flare up if they are full of blackheads, whiteheads, and debris. With the deep cleansing effect of the clay masks, entering pores is nothing to cleaning molecules!! I mean, how deep can you go when you’ve already reached particles not even viewable to the naked eye? A specific type of clay that targets blackheads is called Rhassoul Clay. It is a gentle clay that comes from Morocco which draws out toxins from pores without sacrificing moisture, which is why it’s a great choice for dry and sensitive skin. It is so gentle that using it everyday in soap, and even hair, can still be beneficial. A product to try is the Poppy Austin Rhassoul Clay.
3. Skin Smoothening
As mentioned earlier, dead skin cells and dry skin flakes stick to the wet mask and are cleared from the skin after washing. But clay masks also leave valuable minerals that further help in negating unwanted texture. One important mineral is called silica. It is a trace mineral that is commonly found in various connective tissues in the body. The face has a very sensitive layer of connective tissue that contributes to its suppleness and elasticity. By promoting connective tissue formation on the face, it will come out firmer, with fewer wrinkles and fine lines, and smoothness akin to that of a baby.
French Green Clay is a type of clay that favors exfoliation while boosting blood circulation for that inner flawless glow. You can try it the Frontier Natural Products, French Green Powder.
4. Oil Taming
Oil or sebum is produced to protect the skin’s surface from any external or internal triggers that may potentially harm the skin. It can also be used as a source of Vitamin E to keep the skin firm. However, sebum production could be excessive when these external or internal triggers pressure sebaceous glands to hyper-secrete to compensate for a breach of immunity. With the anti-inflammatory and absorptive powers of clay masks, oil production can be managed to a minimum. Fuller’s Earth Clay is a good example of clay with maximum absorptive capacity. It is so strong that it can also be found in cat litter and automotive products. Best be careful, friends! This product is used and sold in its purest form, 100%, and can also be found under the name Multani Mitti.
5. Acne Healing
This is the reason I’ve experienced first-hand, and agree with all the way! According to a study by Meier L., Clay Jojoba Oil Face masks were found to minimize all forms acne by 50% after 6 months, using the product 2-3 times a week. Girl, if neither I nor science can convince you, best try it out and be amazed yourself! Recently, I haven’t had the time to use the mask regularly, and haven’t been doing so for about 3 months. My skin is already showing signs of acne proliferation and oil build up around my T-zone. I seriously need to put on some clay asks! Bentonite Clay really is the best to fight off acne.
6. Bacteria Killing
When skin is oily and dirty, it acts as a base for bacteria colonization. This may lead to irritation, infection, inflammation and acne. Bacteria, like toxins, bind to the negatively charged clay and is washed off after treatment. Its natural antibacterial properties aren’t only used for maintenance of facial acne. It can also be used for people suffering from eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis to rid the affected areas of pollutants and irritants that could worsen the condition.
7. Multi-Purpose Usage
So, let me just enumerate some of its other uses:
- Hair Masks
- Cat Wee wee catcher (litter box)
- Automotive products
- Treatment for skin conditions
- Spot-dry-clean fabric
And the list goes on and on! No wonder this stuff’s been popular since time in immemorial. Aristotle knows where it’s at!