When I first began searching for natural acne cures (some 6 or 7 years ago), I read about bentonite clay, a now-popular ingredient in masks of all kinds, at all price points. At the time, however, it was sort of a best-kept-secret kind of remedy. Although the use of clay as a healing staple dates back millennia, it seemed new and exotic to me at the time. In fact, my first tub of clay powder was sourced from the bottom shelf of the beauty aisle at the health food store and came in a rather unglamorous plastic carton.
How times have changed.
Now, clay (bentonite and other varieties of clay, like French green clay and kaolin clay) star in all sorts of pre-made clay masks. While DIY is still a solid option—it’s affordable and the options for customization are endless—it’s worth exploring some of the innovative iterations of the beloved clay mask. Each one targets slightly different skin issues and offers a host of benefits that go beyond pore purifying (which is no small thing itself!).
If you haven’t experimented with clay masks, it’s high time you gave them a whirl, especially if you’re prone to overly oily, acneic skin. Clay masks have the impressive ability to help absorb excess oil and draw impurities (like hardened sebum) from pores. Some devotees even propose that clay absorbs toxins and heavy metals—i.e., those things we can’t see but likely get in the way of our glow (ugh!).
We’ve rounded up a collection of both high-end and très affordable pre-made masks (though some require adding water to be activated). We hope you find the right one for your skin!
Best Natural Pore Clearing Clay Masks For A Blemish-Free Complexion
Created with activated charcoal, fruit enzymes, vitamin C, and probiotics, this clay mask helps clear out your pores while boosting skin cell turnover for a brighter, more even complexion. The combination of probiotics and vitamin C promises to support collagen, too.
This mask features Australian Red Clay, a natural source of antioxidants and nutrients that help smooth, cleanse, and tone skin. Meanwhile, kadaku plum, one of the most potent vehicles of vitamin C brightens a dull complexion.
If you’re prone to blemishes and dry skin, this may be the mask for you. Montmorillonite is a non-drying mineral clay that won’t leave your skin feeling too tight or dehydrated. The mask also features thyme, aspen, vetiver, chamomile, fir, butterfly bush, and hibiscus to help gently exfoliate, brighten, and soften your complexion.
In this French clay-based mask, Atlantic bladderwrack and kelp powders help cleanse skin of environmental toxins while ylang ylang, bergamot and lavender help fight acne bacteria and calm skin.
This deep-skin cleanser summons a blend of kaolin clay, activated bamboo charcoal, white willow bark, chamomile, pineapple and papaya enzyme to work its magic on dirt, excess oil, and bacteria.
This botanical mask not only helps un-clog pores but also refines their appearance, making them less noticeable and giving you a smoother, softer complexion. White Willow Bark combines with natural salicylates, calming rose water, and soothing red sandalwood for a beautiful smelling, restorative mask experience.
In this luxe, innovative mask, a powder blend raw cacao, bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients, and spices only releases its active ingredients once combined with water and applied to your face. Once mixed with water, it turns to a spreadable mouse that helps clean pores, reduce inflammation, and tighten skin.
Designed with acne-prone skin in mind, this detoxifying mask powder may be mixed with a natural ingredient of your choice–like green tea, apple juice, or your favorite soothing face toner.
Do you love clay masks? Which one (or which DIY recipe) is your favorite?
Related: DIY Maca Cacao Clay Mask
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Photo: Respective Brands