Mask your situation
Ever wonder how clay masks became, well, a thing to do? What made our ancestors say, “Look at this mud! How about I fling it at my face to get pretty?”
I don’t know what precipitated the first clay masks (and I’m not particularly motivated to ask Google), but I’m glad they’re around today because there’s no better tool to decongest skin, minimize pores, and put oil in check.
“Why, there are so many,” you say, “Which ones are the best for my specific condition?” Well, let’s talk about that.
When you have Mr. Chow taste but Mr. Chicken money
May I recommend Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay? The 100% calcium bentonite mask suctions pores like a vacuum attachment. Averaging about $5 a pop, expect to put in a little extra manual labor. The mask is packaged in powder form and needs to be mixed with water or apple cider vinegar. I typically mix ½ tablespoon of the powder and an equal amount of apple cider vinegar. Redness will occur post-mask but fades within 30 minutes.
When you want the best that money can buy
There’s always GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment. It exfoliates, brightens, increases cellular turnover (i.e. reduces fine lines)—it’s perfect, okay? Just know that the mask is sold in a kids meal jar with a super-sized price, so use wisely.
When you want to be able to pronounce the mask’s ingredients
Turn to Lerosett’s Facial Mask For Problem Skin. It’s made with rasul clay and water and—that’s it. No preservatives, thickening emulsions, or anything you can’t find in nature.
When acne pops up
Treat it with sulfur masks like Proactiv’s Refining Mask or DDF’s Therapeutic Mask. Both dissolve blemishes like the Wicked Witch of the West trapped in a downpour. I use the masks sometimes as an overnight spot treatment too.
When you’re looking for an overall gem
Try Skinceutical’s Clarifying Clay Masque. Unlike most clay masks, it sets “wet”—meaning my face doesn’t lock into one position while masking and I’m able to carry on with my drink without feeling like the Tin Man* attempting to guzzle oil through a straw. The mask brightens a bit as well in addition to unclogging pores.
*It appears as though I have “The Wizard of Oz” on my mind