Clay Mask Guide: Benefits, Usage & Skin Care

If you have oily, combination or acne-prone skin, chances are that you already use a clay mask- they’re one of our favourites too! A bentonite clay mask is a simple skincare product that lends a whole lot of benefits to your skin - here’s how plus a few tips and tricks for getting the most from them in your skincare routine!

Benefits of Clay Mask Treatment

There’s a bit of a bias when it comes to clay masks - they’re often recommended for oily skin and combination skin over other skin types, and that’s because of how clay masks work on skin. Here’s a breakdown of exactly how a clay mask benefits your skin 

1) Absorb Excess Sebum & Impurities

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your bentonite clay mask sponge up any excess oil as the mask dries - you might notice that they’re especially visible on your nose and forehead, and anywhere you’ve got active acne. While clay isn’t able to permanently affect your skin’s natural oil production, using a clay face mask once a week or before special occasions can help your skin stay matte for longer.

Absorbing excess sebum means that a bentonite clay mask can absorb any external impurities that might be stuck to that sebum - namely, pollution particles and other foreign particles that accumulate on your skin as the day passes. Deep-cleansing your skin of these outside irritants goes a long way to making sure your skin is as healthy as possible - and makes sure it looks as good as possible!

Medik8 Natural Clay Mask

Medik8 Natural Clay Mask

With an indulgent blend of natural ingredients, including white and green clays, the mask works hard to draw out impurities and excess oil from your pores, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalised.

Click Here to Buy Medik8 Natural Clay Mask


2) Instantly Minimises Appearance of Pores

Another reason we love using a clay face mask is that they instantly make pores look smaller. By absorbing all the excess sebum that hangs out in pores, clay masks are one of the only skincare products that can actually do so - however, it’s important to note that while this makes your skin look amazing, this effect is sadly only temporary. This clay mask benefit comes in the handiest before special events, making sure that your skin is a flawless canvas for your makeup!

Our faces - especially those of us with combination and oily skin - naturally produce facial oils to keep our skin feeling soft and conditioned. This means that at some point, our pores are going to naturally fill up again with sebum - while this isn’t a bad thing at all, it is one factor that contributes to how visible our pores are. 

Dr Irena Eris face zone black mud mask product image on white background

Dr Irena Eris Face Zone Black Mud Mask
Formulated with a blend of clays to absorb impurities, this clay mask from Dr Irena Eris is perfect for an at-home spa day!

Click Here to Buy Dr Irena Eris Face Zone Black Mud Mask

3) Helps to Heal Active Acne

Clay masks are great for acne-prone skin because of their ability to sponge up excess sebum and any impurities on your skin. This clay mask benefit effectively dries out any excess pus (a bit gross, but the correct term) from active acne such as pustules and papules, encouraging them to heal without popping and causing trauma to the skin. 

4) Smooths Skin Texture

Another reason to add a clay face mask to your routine is for clay’s ability to smooth your skin - and again, that’s an instant result you’ll see! Of all the clay mask benefits, this is one that can help all skin types.

Some clay masks come with exfoliating granules in their formula for a two-in-one facial scrub and face mask treatment - these supercharge clay’s skin-smoothing power for a face that feels just like a baby’s bum! Just don’t forget to lock hydration in afterwards for a hydrated, dewy glow.

Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask product image on white background

Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask
Purify and refine your skin with this cooling clay mask from Clarins.

Click Here to Buy Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask

How to Use a Clay Mask in Your Skincare Routine

Ideally, your clay facemask should be used right after cleansing - and if you use a chemical or physical exfoliant, we suggest skipping that on days that you use a clay mask. It’s crucial to use your bentonite clay mask early on in your routine, since you’ll be rinsing it off.

Skincare Hack for Using Clay Mask

Applying it over other skincare products is a waste for a couple of reasons - if you apply it over other skincare, those other products could prevent your bentonite clay mask from working as well on your skin as you want to. 

Second, it means that everything you applied before your clay mask will get rinsed off - and that’s literally skincare products down the sink!

Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask

Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask
This facial mask has Kaolin clay which works hard to absorb excess sebum and impurities 

Click Here to Buy Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask

Another tip for using clay masks is to not let them completely dry on your skin. I know, it sounds a little crazy - but this skincare hack might just change how you use clay masks. I know what you’re thinking: letting a clay face mask dry completely is part of what makes using them so satisfying. 

Remember how we said that one of the major benefits of clay mask is to sponge up basically everything, including sebum and impurities? Clay is also very effective at absorbing moisture and hydration in your skin too, which is why clay masks aren’t normally recommended for those with normal to dry skin - they can often leave skin feeling too dry afterwards, rather than smooth and refined. 

The solution? Not letting your clay face mask get bone-dry on your skin. Instead of leaving your clay mask on for 20 minutes, try leaving it for just 10 minutes and see if that makes a difference - remember, even if it doesn’t dry fully, just 10 minutes is enough for your skin to get all the benefits of using a clay mask.

Now that you know why clay masks are a superstar skincare product for so many people, will you give them a try?

If you’re still trying to create a skincare routine - clay mask or no clay mask - try our skin quiz! You’ll get a skin type analysis as well as a unique routine tailored to your skin type and concerns. Give it a shot now and get your beauty affairs in order!

Beauty Affairs Skin Quiz

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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