Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How NOT to apply a clay mask

So often I see photos of models with clay masks on their faces, and so often it is applied incorrectly. Granted, these people are posing in a photo shoot and are not really applying the mask for skin care benefits—although some are regular folks posting selfies from their home facials. No matter, you see these photos and most likely think this is how to apply the mask. Please do not follow these as examples of where to apply clay mask.

I have several photos in this post with my comments about whether or not the mask is applied appropriately. Please follow this advice to get the most out of your clay mask application.

Many important places on this models face are not covered with clay. Above her lips and under her nose, around her mouth in general, under her lips, directly under her eyes, and what looks like the sides of her face, although it’s hard to tell in this photo. All of these spots can be problem areas for many people, so by not putting the mask there, youre missing out on the deep cleansing and anti-inflammatory benefits (especially directly under the eyes) of using a clay mask.

This application is somewhat better. Although Id put the mask directly under the eyes and closer to the mouth—so you can’t see the facial skin—along with a bit further under her chin. In this photo, there really isnt clay near her hairline on the sides of her face, so Id definitely apply the mask closer to her hairline.

This is better—closer to her mouth and more on the sides of her face. However, the clay is totally absent directly under her eyes. Also, Id apply a bit more on her forehead close to the hairline.

Here again, the mask is applied to most places on her face, but its missing close up to the lips, eyes, and her whole face hairline area. Also this is starting to dry, so be sure to always keep a clay mask moist on your face—never let it dry! Please read How to use a Clay Mask—Important Instructions (see link below).

This is pretty good—close to the hairline and up to her lips. It looks like the clay wasnt applied under her eyes. Even if you use cucumber slices (or something else), still apply the clay directly under the eyes to get the full anti-inflammatory benefits. Unless you have breakout or problem skin issues, you really don’t need to apply clay on the neck tissue—its totally optional. Usually in my treatment room I will apply an appropriate moisturizer in a thick layer on a clients neck, unless she has breakout there. Breakout always gets clay mask application.

This young lady has done it right! She went all the way under her eyes, which is so important and usually overlooked. (The clay in a mask, having anti-inflammatory properties, helps to reduce puffiness under the eyes.) Although you always want to keep the mask moist, especially under the eyes, apply it like this woman has. She got the clay all the way up to her hairline, all the way up to her lips, and solid around her nose. Good job!

Finally, the mask is applied well here, perhaps too well (going up into her hair)—I’m sure this application is for photographic purposes not an actual person using a mask at home. However, you can see how the mask is drying. A great effect for the photo, tragic for her skin! The cracking you see with the mask is actually what is happening to her skin underneath. Need I repeat this yet again—Do not let clay dry on your skin! It dries your skin out, and you never want to do that.

There are many articles about the use of clay masks. Here are just a few you can read through to understand the outstanding benefits of using this essential tool for healthy skin: