Friday, April 15, 2016

Finding a Great Clay Mask

There are many masks out on the market that claim to be clay or cleansing masks, but they actually have very little of this essential ingredient in them. And that’s a shame because you purchase what you think is a clay mask, get little or no results, then think all masks must be ineffective. Knowing the different names for clay types and where those important ingredients are in the ingredient list are two of the main points you want to know when looking for a good clay mask.

There are several names for clay you will see in a mask ingredient list: kaolin, bentonite, French clay, China clay, and green clay are the clay types most commonly used in a clay mask. Sometimes mud is a term used in a clay-based mask as well. Knowing these names is important when searching for an effective mask. I have actually seen masks marketed as “clay” that had little to almost no actual clay in them.

Another important point when looking for a mask is knowing how much clay is in the product. You want to make sure clay is one of the first ingredients on the list. A high percentage of clay(s) above all else is what will make any mask you use effective.

Since ingredients are listed by weight, a mask with a large concentration of clay will have one to several clays listed among the first on the list. For instance the clay masks from Yonka have clay (different types) as the first 3 out of 4 ingredients. And the ingredient list isnt very long, so you know that these masks have a high-percentage of clay in them. Yonka isnt the only manufacturer of quality clay products, but knowing how much clay is in any product youre going to use is of the utmost importance.

Products found in a salon are usually far superior to grocery or department store varieties. Check with your aesthetician (if you have one), and keep an eye on the ingredient list. Not all clay masks are created equal, but if you search for one with clay as some of the first few ingredients, youll be on the right track. Still, you may have to experiment before you come up with one that works for you. With that said, you may very well find a good clay mask in a retail store. Make the ingredient list a top priority no matter where you purchase your mask.
How can you tell if your clay mask is effective? 

Before applying the mask, take a good look at your pores. Then after the mask is rinsed off, do the same check. If you don’t notice a significant reduction in the amount of debris in your pores, especially around the nose area or wherever you have the most congestion, the mask is not doing its job. Check the ingredients and make sure it is predominately clay. If not, find a new mask that has a higher concentration of clay. (By debris and congestion I essentially mean blackheads; open pores, which are easily cleaned out by a good clay mask.)
Another alternative you might have heard of or even used yourself is making your own mask with dry clay powder. Found at most health food stores, the powder is mixed with water and sometimes essential oils for a DIY home treatment. I don’t, however, recommend using this type of homemade mask on your skin. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, clay with no other ingredients is just too intense and too concentrated and can cause even non-sensitive skin to get red and irritated. I recommend finding a good, manufactured mask that has a high percentage of clay in it, and use this as your cleansing home treatment. 

Use a clay mask at least once a week to deep clean your pores, more often if you have problem skin. Clay, above all else, will really keep your pores cleaned out and your skin looking healthy. Please read some of the other articles I have written on the importance of using clay in your weekly routine (found under the category clay masks). Here are a few I highly recommend: