How Clay Masks Actually Detox the Skin

For a long time, I thought facemasks were more stylish than substantive: Fun, kitschy, selfie-ready accessories, not serious skincare tools. This attitude was reinforced through the fact that most masks I used didn’t ever produce results; in fact, I usually ended up with itchy skin post-use, largely because they were loaded with fragrance.


It wasn’t until I used my first bentonite clay mask that my opinion on masking drastically changed. This simple, all-natural mask – dirt-like, prepared only with water, applied to my face cautiously – felt different. Within just seconds of sitting on my face, I began to feel a tightening sensation, minus the usual chemical stinging. Once it dried, I rinsed it off, exposing skin that just looked… clear.


I learned at that moment that clay-based masks could be a super potent means to clear out congestion and quite literally detox the skin.


The science behind clay masks is pretty amazing. Above all else, clay is a super absorbent substance; when it comes to your skin, it acts like a vacuum for excess oil production. (This is why clay masks are often recommended to treat oily, acne-prone skin.) What’s more, many varieties of clay possess a negative electric charge, making them act almost like a magnet for positively charged skin toxins – attaching to them and pulling them out. Lastly, some types of clay – such as French green clay, found in our Hibiscus Mask – help to draw blood to the surface of the skin, enhancing circulation.


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It’s for all these reasons that I consider clay masks to be wonderful, affordable, and useful enhancements to your skincare routine. The one thing to keep in mind is that they can be intense. I absolutely recommend that sensitive skin types test a small patch on their face before slathering on a mask and, furthermore, that they consider mixing clay with a hydrating or soothing ingredient, such as honey, oil, or aloe. It’s also easy to get addicted to the gratifying results of clay masking, but you don’t need to mask more than once a week. Otherwise, you risk aggravating and drying out your skin, which unfortunately means no more magic clay masks for you.


I personally apply one every Sunday night because I work hard for my weekend toxins. And you know what? Sometimes I even take a selfie when I do it.

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