How Often Should You Use A Clay Face Mask?

A clay mask is something I just recently introduced into my skincare routine, and I have to tell you I'm loving it ever since! Before, applying a facial mask was something I thought men shouldn’t do (I know, weird right). As time went by I started to love it so much I began to wonder how often should you even use a clay face mask?

I learned the hard way that, despite its benefits, you shouldn’t go overboard with it and use it too often. Although it does draw oil and impurities from the skin, it can completely dry out your skin if misused. In order to avoid this, remember that less is more and that you should not use a clay face mask more than two times per week (in most cases one day a week is more than enough!).

BUT…

The most important factor in determining how frequently you should apply a clay mask is your SKIN TYPE. Different skin types will deal with the “stress” of using a clay face mask differently, so you need to be mindful of this fact to achieve maximum results. If you neglect this fact, you might not be quite satisfied with the outcome.

Your skin can fall under the category of oily/acne-prone, normal, combination, dry or mature. 

How Do Clay Masks Draw Out Impurities?

Clay masks have been used in cosmetics as face cleansers ever since the ancient times. There are various types of clay such as bentonite, French green clay, red, pink, Fuller’s Earth clay, Rhassoul clay, white kaolin clay, etc.

Probably the most famous sorts of clay are kaolin and bentonite. They also come in a range of colors. This is because clays, in general, are derived from silico-aluminum sedimentary rocks, and their coloration is dependent on the types of trace metals present and other ingredients.

Clay is hugely beneficial because it stimulates surface circulation. Not only do clay’s abundant minerals nourish the skin, but it also absorbs oil and toxins which in turn tightens and cleanses the face. Clay is also non-toxic and not a known allergen. You can choose between buying commercial clay face masks and making your own homemade one.

However, because commercial clay masks contain additional substances which may harm your skin, I would advise you to make your own because then you know exactly what goes in it.  What’s more, pure clay is affordable while the price of these masks in stores can be expensive! So, you will probably save a few cents.  

As for the time, you should let it sit on your face anywhere from 10 to 50 minutes. My recommendation is to remove it before it completely dries out because of its rapid effect. On average, it should last up to 15 minutes.

Can You Use Two Face Masks In One Day?

This is a tricky one, and the answer is both yes and no. Allow me to elaborate…

I recommend using two face masks in one day only if you have combination skin.

Use one type of clay mask to address the “T-zone” (your forehead, nose and sometimes the chin) and another one on your cheeks. Why?

Because the skin on your T-zone will usually be more oily and rugged, while the skin on your cheeks will look normal and healthy; so, essentially, it’s like having two skin types on your face at once, and those different skin types require a different skin care product.

Should You Cleanse Your Skin Before Using A Clay Face Mask?

Oops… at first, I didn’t know about this, and I would sometimes apply my face mask without cleansing my skin thinking “it’s the clay mask’s job to do that for me.”

But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense because otherwise, you’d just be placing the mask on top of all sorts of dirt, debris, and bacteria.

Note that I am not talking about an intense scrub (or using an exfoliator); all you need is a few gentle strokes with a gentle cleanser, just to remove the excess oil, dirt, and traces of makeup. You can also steam your face to open up the pores and allow the mask to do its job better.

I say you can, but if you want to experience the full benefits of this skin treatment, you should steam your skin first.

How Many Times A Week Should I Use A Face Mask?

I already said that how often you use a clay face mask will depend on your skin type:

•    Oily/Acne Prone Skin – oily skin is a bit tougher and can “take a beating” so you are free to use a facial mask two to three times per week (you really shouldn’t go over three times per week, and I get good results even from using it once a week).

•    Normal Skin Type – even if you have perfect complexion and flawless skin, a clay face mask will still be beneficial, and you should use it two to three times per month.

•    Dry/Mature Skin Type – dry skin is a bit more sensitive, so I would not recommend using the mask more than once a week.

•    Combination Skin Type – I already said that, if you have combination skin type, you should use two different face masks but make sure you use them no more than once a week.

How Often You Should Use A Clay Face Mask – Different Skin Types

As I said at the beginning of the article, how many times a week/month you use a facial clay mask will depend on your skin type. These are the most common skin types:

Oily/ Acne-Prone Skin

If you have oily skin and struggle with zits and acne scars, a clay face mask should be incorporated into your skincare routine. But you shouldn’t use it more than three times per week; I use it only once every week and see great results.

My skin is oily and a bit rugged, and if your skin is the same I would recommend using red kaolin and Fuller's Earth clay because they have the highest oil absorbing power. And if your skin is both oily and sensitive, you should go with pink kaolin clay by mixing red and white kaolin clay for a well-balanced treatment.

Here’s an example mask you can mix up at home for your oily skin:

Aromatherapy Clay/Witch Hazel Mask:

To make:  

  • 1
    Mix 1tbsp. of clay with 1tsp. aloe vera juice, 1tsp. witch hazeland enough water to make a paste
  • 2
    Add 1 drop of essential oil ortea tree
  • 3
    1 drop of essential oil of lavender and 1 drop of essentialoil of peppermint

To use:

apply to clean skin for 15mins. Rinse with warm water and follow with a cool water splash.

Normal Skin Type

Though normal skin is the most favorable and won’t cause any significant problems, applying a clay mask can still be beneficial for you, in that it will cleanse, refine and soften your face. But since they are slightly drying, make sure you use it only twice a month.

Suggested clay mask recipe for a normal skin type:

  • 1
    Two parts magnesium and one part calamine
  • 2
    Mix with rosewater to form a smooth paste
  • 3
    Kaolin may be added if there are blemishes present or congestion under the skin

Dry/Mature Skin

If your skin is dry and sensitive, you need to be extra careful when choosing a clay mask for your face.

One neat trick you can try is applying oil to the skin prior to clay to avoid the adverse drying effect. Apply sweet almond, grapeseed or apricot kernel oil first and then a clay mask over it (without removing the oil).

And if you’re in the mood for pampering yourself (as you would be if in a spa), you could add additional ingredients like milk, honey, powdered oatmeal, crushed herbs or cocoa powder and feel like a king/queen!

Your best choice for sensitive skin would probably be white kaolin clay since it is the mildest variety which gently exfoliates, softens and moisturizes your skin. Still, don’t use it more than twice a week for a maximum of 15 minutes (I would even bring this down to once a week).

One dry skin recipe you can try is Aromatherapy Rejuvenating Mask:

To make: 

  • 1
    Mix 1tsp of facial-quality clay, 1 tsp of instant oatmealor oat flour
  • 2
    1/2 tbsp powdered milk, 1tsp honey, 1tsp avocadoor olive oil and enough water to make a paste
  • 3
    Add one drop of essential oilof frankincense and one drop of essential oil of neroli, lavender oor rose

To use:

Apply to clean skin for 10 mins. Rinse with warm water and follow with a cool-water splash.

Combination Skin

Combination skin, though not the toughest one to deal with, comes with its unique set of challenges since you basically have two skin types present at the same time.

For this reason, you should consider using more than one mask at a time. First, apply your clay mask to the area which needs more treatment (oily T-zone) and let it sit on your skin longer. Then, apply the other mask to the rest of your face (primarily cheeks).

Remove both masks at the same time and do not use it more than once a week.

You might like the following recipe:

Clay Cleanser (for normal, oily or combination skin)

To make:

Mix 4tbsp. of clay, and 1 tbsp. each of powdered lavender and comfrey leaf.

To use:

Mix approximately 1tbsp of the clay-and-herbs mixture with enough water to make a paste. Gently apply to the face and neck with a light massage. Rinse with warm water followed by a cool water splash.

Optional: Add 2 drops of essential oil of geranium, ylang-ylang, or rosewood when you mix the dry blend with water.

The Right Time Of Year For Your Face Mask

Another important thing to consider when deciding how often you should use a clay face mask is the WEATHER/TIME OF THE YEAR.  Regardless of your skin type, in the summer you want to use face masks less often since the sun will already dry your skin out.

If you are buying a mask, look for one with hyaluronic acid or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to hydrate your skin.

In a nutshell, to get the most out of your clay face mask use it from twice a month to twice a week for up to 15 minutes depending on your skin type and adjust your routine depending on the season.


References:

•    Natural Skin Care by Joni Loughran

•    Natural Beauty Basics: Create Your Own Cosmetics and Body Care Products by Dorie Byers

•    Chemical Composition of Everyday Products by John Toedt, Darrell Koza, Kathleen Van Cleef-Toedt

•    Beauty Therapy Fact File by Susan Cressy

•    A Practical Guide to Beauty Therapy for NVQ Level 2 by Janet Simms

•    200 Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Natural Beauty by Shannon Buck

•    https://www.dermveda.com/articles/science-of-facial-masks-and-facial-clay

Image sorce Freepik: image 1, image 2

Igor Marcikic
 

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments down below. All the best, Igor.

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