When it comes to managing oily and acne prone skin, beauty experts everywhere agree, clay masks are a must! Rich in beneficial minerals, its absorbent, exfoliating and astringent properties help draw out impurities and tackle the root causes of acne. Read on to find out more.
Do you go through several blotting sheets a day or does your skin feel greasy even an hour after cleansing? Acne breakouts a regular occurrence for you? Well, there’s nothing you really need to be embarrassed about as this is a more common problem than you might think.
With the hot and humid weather here in the tropics, many of us tend to “suffer” from oily skin and with it, a higher tendency for acne breakouts as dead skin cells mix with sebum to clog up our pores. But there is something that you can do about it and that brings us to our topic of the day, Clay!
What Is Clay?
Clay is a soft fine grained mineral substance and is usually categorised by their mineral compositions such as Kaolin, Bentonite, French Green Clay etc. However, as Clay forms naturally, even the same “type” of Clay can differ in structure and composition depending on its source.
Just like fingerprints, it is impossible to find two identical ones and that is why if you are not seeing the results you want with one product, it might be time to give it a change.
Clay has been used for centuries, if not millennia in skincare, primarily for its absorption properties. When applied, it pulls oil and other impurities from the skin leaving it clean and balanced. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using Clay Masks.
01 Restore Balance
One of the root causes of acne outbreaks is the excessive production of oil (or more accurately, sebum). Excessive perspiration caused by the hot and humid tropical climate coupled with hyper active sebum production combine to enlarge your pores turning them into cesspools of excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria.
The natural absorption qualities of Clay helps soak up all that excess oil both on the surface and deep within your pores to help restore a healthy balance to your skin that reduces excessive sebum production and fortifies your skin against external stressors.
02 Shrink Pores
Every cursed pimple begins with a clogged pore and the critical first step in both treating and preventing acne is to remove dead skin cells and clear blockages. Excess sebum isn’t all that Clay draws out of your pores. It draws out a whole host of other impurities such as dead skin cells and the bacteria that feed on it.
The astringent quality of Clay helps to detoxify the skin by sucking up these impurities helping to relieve congestion and allows your pores to shrink back to their normal size. This not only helps prevent acne outbreaks but also results in smoother looking complexion.
03 Minimise Shine
Clay not only draws out excess sebum and other impurities from your pores to the surface of your skin, it’s porous nature also soaks up other impurities already on the surface of your skin much like a sponge.
In its wet state, Clay swells and binds to these impurities and soaks them to its center as it dries, sopping all impurities including dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. This gentle exfoliation not only gets rid of acne-causing contaminants but also helps to reduce surface shine.
04 Clay Masks Are Nutrient Rich
In addition to its skin purifying properties, Clay is formed over centuries through the gradual erosion of mineral rich rocks and is chock full of natural skin healthy minerals such as silica, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, sodium, just to name a few.
Magnesium deficiency in the skin can result in low skin fatty acids that can lead to a loss of elasticity, moisture and tone, and more wrinkles while Silica is crucial in the production of collagen that helps keep your skin plump and firm and elastic.
05 Good For All Skin Types
While those who suffer from oily and acne prone skin will see the biggest benefits from incorporating clay masks into their skincare routine, clay masks can also benefit anyone regardless of skin type and especially if you don’t already use Clay.
There are many types of Clay and what you choose will depend on your skin type and the results you hope to achieve. For instance, oily and acne prone skin might benefit from Bentonite Clay while Kaolinite Clay, which gently unclogs pores and softens skin, might be preferred for dry skin types.
If you are part of the overwhelming majority of people who identify as having combination skin then incorporating clay into your skincare routine is an absolute must. Unlike other astringent skin treatments that can leave your skin feeling parched, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a well balanced and even looking complexion.
Bonus Skincare Hack!
Did you know that you can use your favourite clay masks as spot treatments? Simply dab a small amount on the pimple and leave it overnight to work its magic. Hong Lyeon, Asian Beauty X Founder, recommends applying the Aromatica Tea Tree 53 Blemish Spot followed by the Real Mugwort Clay Mask from Isntree for the best results.
Real Mugwort Clay Mask
Formulated from 6 different types of clay, this gentle exfoliating wash-off mask from Isntree helps remove impurities and clear your pores, minimising the chances of nasty breakouts. Fortified with Ganhwa Medicinal Mugwort and other botanical extracts, this moisturising and soothing wash-off mask protects against environmental stressors and is ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Yoga Kitten Balancing Clay Mask
Get the Purr-fect Balance with the Yoga Kitten Balancing Heartleaf Clay Mask from I Dew Care, a soft clay facial treatment that helps detoxify blemish prone skin. The oil controlling formula contains Heartleaf Extract to clarify and calm skin, Eucalyptus to purify and Betonite and Kaolin to absorb excess oil and refine your skin ideal for preventing acne prone skin!
7 in 1 Total Solution Black Clay Mask
This unique cellulose fibre mask from Barulab is infused with a black clay solution formulated with Activated Charcoal and Volcanic Ash. This sheet mask will lift dirt and excess sebum off your skin and rid your skin of bacteria that can cause skin flare ups. Similar to a clay mask, this unique clay sheet mask will dry into a rigid frame which you then peel off your face. Think pore-pack for your whole face!
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About the writer
Linn Let Min, a girl born in Myanmar but raised in Singapore. She makes it her mission to embark on a new adventure every day and not to waste her youth. Her motto in life would be to "live in the moment, think later".