Whether your skin is oily, bone-dry, or somewhere in between, pretty much everyone is susceptible to blackheads and congested pores. While there are plenty of ingredients that can unclog your pores and reduce their enlarged appearance, clay tends to be the most effective. By using one of the best clay masks for your pores once or twice a week, you can keep prevent too much buildup and keep your skin looking clean and clear.
Clay and charcoal work so well as pore cleansers because of their magnetic abilities. They literally cling to dirt, oil, and other impurities, sucking them out of your pores when you rinse or peel off your mask. There are different kinds of clay, however, and each one is great for different kinds of skin. Bentonite clay, for example, is the most widely used type of clay, because it's great for most skin types since it's so mild. Red clay, on the other hand, is high in iron, so it binds to the impurities in your skin, making it a great option for oily or acne-prone skin types. Clay masks are also great for all-over exfoliating and brightening, and can even be used as face wash for a deeper clean.
Below, find five of the best clay masks for clogged pores out there — including a travel-friendly option, best-selling drugstore pick, and a two-in-one cleanser/mask that'll banish impurities in mere minutes.
1. The Overall Best Clay Mask For Your Pores
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
It's impossible to talk about clay masks without mentioning the cult-favorite Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This powder is made of bentonite clay, which is a mild, but deeply detoxifying form of clay that's great for most skin types. Aztec Secrets clay mask can be used on your face and/or body by mixing the powder with either water or apple cider vinegar. You can also mix it into your bath for an all-over detox — the uses are endless. As for its performance: just ask the over 4,000 reviewers and obsessed beauty editors about how amazing it is. In addition to unclogging pores, it treats all manners of breakouts and leaves skin clear and bright. It's free of additives, fragrances, and animal products — the only thing in this powder is 100 percent natural calcium bentonite clay. This tub contains a whopping 3 pounds of product, which will, no joke, last you years, since a tiny amount goes a long way.
2. Best Drugstore Clay Mask
L'Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Mask
This clay mask from L'Oreal Paris is one of the more affordable options out there. It contains three types of clay, including kaolin and Moroccan lava clay, as well as charcoal, which absorbs impurities from the pores like a magnet. This mask is also incredibly creamy and moisturizing, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft instead of tight and dry. It also works to detoxify impurities all over and leave your complexion looking bright. Whether your skin is oily or dry, it'll be a great weekly treat for your skin.
3. Best Peel-Off Clay Mask
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask With Red Clay
One of the drawbacks of clay masks is how messy the removal process can be — which is the main draw of this First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Purifying Mask With Red Clay. It's a peel-off formula, which comes off your skin easily after drying — that means no more messy sinks. Instead of bentonite or kaolin clay, it contains red clay, which is one of the most detoxifying clays on the market, making First Aid Beauty's mask fantastic for acne-prone skin. Thanks to its high iron content, it clings to impurities, drawing them out of your skin when you peel it off. Rosemary leaf oil also helps to unclog pores and tone skin, leaving it looking clear and feeling refreshed.
4. Best Clay Mask/Cleanser Duo
Garnier SkinActive Pore Purifying 2-in-1 Clay Cleanser/Mask
A mask/cleanser duo, like this one from Garnier SkinActive, is great if you've got oily or acne-prone skin. It contains both charcoal and kaolin clay to deeply cleanse, detoxify, and exfoliate skin. You smear it on, let it sit, then scrub it off, giving yourself a mini facial that will unclog your pores — bonus points if you use it with an at-home facial steamer. Use it as a daily cleanser, and then once or twice as a mask.
5. Best Clay Mask For Travel
Ahava Purifying Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask
Pack this tiny tube of Ahava's Purifying Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask in your carry-on to unclog pores and fight breakouts on your next trip — after all, travel is known to wreak havoc on skin, so bringing along a good detoxifying product is key. It mixes Dead Sea mud, which is intensely rich in minerals, with kaolin clay, a type of white clay that's actually the most gentle of all of the clays. It's the least drying, making Ahava's mask perfect for folks with dry skin and clogged pores. Vitamin B and chamomile are also buzzy ingredients in this formula, which work to soothe and soften your skin. The result is a clay mask that's deep cleansing without being irritating — a godsend for dry, sensitive skin types.
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