Sunday, August 3, 2014

What is a clay mask and why use one?

What is a clay mask?

A clay mask is a deep-cleansing treatment for your pores. It is usually a mixture of different clays in an emollient or creamy base. The mask has a thick consistency and may be brown, green, white, or even blue. Clay is stimulating, helping to improve blood circulation yet calming to the outer skin (especially redness caused by breakout or capillary issues). Foremost is clay’s deep cleansing abilities. It is good for all skin types and can even be used on irritated skin. Clay is a contact healer and was used by Native Americans as a poultice (a clay “pack”) on wounds to stop bleeding and speed healing. Using a clay mask is another important step in keeping your skin clean, clear, and healthy.

Why use a clay mask?

A clay mask will help keep the skin clear and the pores cleaned out, which is of paramount importance. Clay helps lift debris and impurities from the pores with its strong drawing ability. Clay has a stimulating effect on the circulation. This brings in oxygen and nutrients from the blood to feed and nourish skin cells.
As mentioned above, clay also has a calming effect. Used on skin that is broken out or couperose (broken capillaries making the skin appear red), it can help to temporarily alleviate the redness, leaving the skin looking radiant. After using a clay mask, your face should be very clean, and the surface should be clear with a healthy glow.

I’ve read skin care books that discourage the use of clay masks. I suppose this is because the authors haven’t come across good masks that are truly effective. But effective clay masks do exist, and they are an essential step in your skin care routine, especially if you have clogged pores or problem skin.

I highly recommend reading the following articles to get you on the right path when using clay: