Get Clean Using Dirt: The Best Clay Beauty Products
Sometimes life’s basic tenets just go out the window. For example, there is bacteria we’re actually supposed to be ingesting. Such is the way with clay. Mud, from the ground, actually has great cleansing properties. Weird, huh?
Put into layman’s terms (aka the only terms I can properly explain in) clay acts as a dirt magnet. Like attracts like, so applying mud in a targeted way sucks out the impurities already on the skin. Then it can be rinsed away, taking all your bad skin-stuff with it. Magic.
Clay cleansing products are a weird aspect of the beauty world, too, because not only are there seemingly five million of them, but they range in price from the dirt (get it) cheap to the truly luxe. Here is a run-down of some of the best at every price point.
A pricey but gorgeous offering is the Kypris Deep Forest Clay Mask. This is anything but a simple kaolin formulation – it boasts clarifying properties alongside brightening, exfoliating and softening. Put simply: it does it all. It’s also really comfortable and easy to use – the spread ability and drying time are on point, and removal is not a nightmare. Top marks. (Well, you’d hope so!)
A great option for those with more pressing skin issues is the Murad Blemish Control InstaMatte Oil-Control Mask. It’s a quick three-minuter which draws out oil and helps both heal existing breakouts and prevent future ones. Once a week with this should effectively calm and clarify. Murad also do a wonderful Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser. It helps with body blemishes without drying, improves circulation and smells like heaven. And for those who can’t imagine a clay body wash to be a pleasant experience – this emulsifies into a foam the texture of whipped cream. Truly lovely.
For those wanting a similar clay-lite experience for the face, try the bargainous L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Purity Foam Wash. It’s a minty green creamy formula, which has that same thickening-emulsifying action. It deeply cleans without feeling drying – perfect post workout or in hot, humid weather.
Another gorgeous clay mask is Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay. This doesn’t so much pull gunk out of pores as gently perfect the texture and tone of the face. After it’s dried, gently massage to get some light scrubbing action. It’s a milder sort of mask, which means it can be used little and often to visible refining results.
A total bargain and cult-classic is the Queen Helene Mud Pack Masque. After weeks and months of deliberation, I actually think I prefer this to the infamous Mint Julep, and I’ll tell you why. I think this one has the same acne-fighting, pore tightening and face brightening effect without being so drying. It’s honestly a mask which, when I take off, I notice a change in the mirror. Not bad for a couple of dollars.
And no clay piece could possibly be complete without the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This mask is truly something else. You get a massive tub of powdered clay which, when mixed (by yourself in the manner of a mad scientist) with cider vinegar forms a paste. As it dries on the skin, it feels like it’s vacuuming out all of you pores – or, as the packaging puts it, makes your face “pulsate.” Gentle, it ain’t. However, for times of deeply-pore-clogged strife, nothing else quite compares. I’ll always have it in my arsenal.
Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work attempts to justify and intellectualize the choices one makes in "personal aesthetics," with a healthy dose of stupidity. When not touching makeup, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries."
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