Monday, 10 October 2016

Clay Masks I'm Loving...

I thought I would show you some of the clay masks that I am enjoying using at the moment, I like alternating between different ones depending on what’s going on with my skin. All of the below are different levels of intensity but all aim to do the same kind of thing – purify and reduce blemishes. If I can, I tend to use these types of masks twice a week and sometimes do a double mask with a hydrating one applied straight after. 

Ren Clearcalm Clarity Restoring Mask - £30.00 (Ren)

I bought this mask after I fell in love with the clearcalm cleanser in this range, it’s designed to purify skin without stripping it, leaving it soft, smooth and blemishes reduced. I like the ingredients in this,  some of which include sulphur, zinc gluconate and salicilin (derived from willow bark). It’s antibacterial and antimicrobial actives target breakouts and Bisabolol from English Chamomile helps inflammation and redness.

The texture is a thick, smooth white clay which applies easily to dry clean skin, it doesn’t really go hard as you would expect from a clay mask, which means it’s easy to wash off. After a 15-minute application the skin is left soft and looks calmer. This mask can also be applied to individual spots as an overnight treatment but I haven’t ever done this, because it doesn’t totally dry I would be a bit dubious about doing it in case you wake up with white marks all over your sheets!. This is a good mask to have in your stash when your skin is perhaps suffering a breakout but also feeling sensitive at the same time. I love it!

Glycerin, Kaolin, Aqua (Water), Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, Colloidal Sulfur, Alcohol Denat., Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Zinc Gluconate, Benzyl Alcohol, Camphor, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Linalool, Leptospermum Scoparium Oil, Thymus Vulgaris(Thyme)Oil, Citral, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Citronellol, Crataegus Oxyacantha Stem Extract, Limonene, Glucose, Geraniol

Una Brennan Salicylic Anti Blemish Pore Purifying Clay Mask - £9.99

This is an excellent budget clay mask which I think is really effective on active breakouts, I tend to apply this only on specific areas which require complete detox. This pulls out toxins and impurities but also helps heal skin in the process.

Without stating the obvious this mask has salicylic acid as the main ingredient which helps unclog congested skin, dead sea mud which is rich in minerals, while vitamins A, D and E with Acacia honey help skin rebalance. I love the combination of the ingredients in this mask and it feels like a good at home facial. For the price you can’t go wrong!

The product itself is a thick charcoal grey clay which is easy to apply, it does harden fast so you have to be quick! I like to put this on individual spots before jumping in the shower as you only need to leave it on for 5 minutes to work. That’s why I love this one, because if I need a quick treatment, this is what I turn to.

Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Silt, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl stearate, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Mel (Honey), Persea gratissima (Avocado) oil, Phenethyl alcohol, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Sweet orange) peel oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter orange) oil, Canaga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Maltodextrin, Caprylyl glycol, PEG-20 stearate, Xanthan gum, Coco-glucoside, Citric acid, Salicylic acid, Glycerin, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) extract, Nasturtium officinale (Watercress) flower/leaf extract, Urtica dioica (Nettle) extract, Sambucus nigra (Elderflower) flower extract, Potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate, Amyl cinnamal, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Cinnamyl alcohol, Geraniol, Hexyl cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Dipropylene glycol

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - £9.49 (Amazon)

I bought this mask after hearing so many people say how amazing it was and for the price I just had to get it! You get a big 1lb tub of green powder which is 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, that’s it, there are no other ingredients in it!

Out of all the masks this is the one that gives the most effective results after one use, but also requires the most faff before even getting it on your face! For this mask you can use either water or cider vinegar to ‘make’ it. I use water as my skin is quite sensitive and I was a bit wary that cider vinegar may be too astringent for me. Apparently cider vinegar helps blend the clay into a mask texture a lot better, but I haven’t tried that yet. I did struggle to make the mixture without clumps but I just used the mixture that was smooth and blended out, and dodged the lumps. I used 1 tablespoon of the clay mixture and 1 tablespoon of water but I gradually added more water till I had created the texture I wanted. I highly recommend applying this mask with a foundation or flat brush as it can get messy!

You must also ensure that you don’t mix the product with metal as that will make the mixture non effective so to speak, as it removes the ‘negative charge’ which is what is formed when a facial or clay poultice is applied to the skin. According to the official website ‘Poisons and toxins stored in the epidermis have a positive charge - Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay lifts the pimple and blackheads into the clay bed to cause accelerated healing and nourishment to the skin with over 50 minerals’. Sounds serious stuff!

Now onto the mask itself, it dries very hard and can get a little uncomfortable after a while. You will notice that your face will start to pulsate! Something I had never experienced before and it made me feel like my face didn’t even belong to me! It was the most bizarre thing but it did feel like it was working! I leave it on for 5-10 mins but you can leave it longer, I don’t like to because of my sensitivity. Considering how this hardens its actually quite easy to remove with just warm water, it does leave skin a little red but that is normal with this mask. The redness will subside after around 30 minutes, so this isn't one to use before you're about to go out!

In regards to the results, they really do speak for themselves. I was expecting my skin to ‘purge’ after this but I actually found that it practically healed the blemishes I had! No other spots appeared but my pores looked more refined and my skin just felt ‘cleaner’. Bloody bargain! Would recommend that this is used once a week/once a fortnight just to prevent open pores, blackheads and blemishes. 

Loreal Pure Clay Detox Mask - £7.99 (Boots)

This is one of 3 masks released recently by Loreal, the idea is to combine 3 powerful pure clays to ‘unmask beautiful skin’. This particular clay mask has kaolin (to absorb sebum), montmorillonite (mineral rich designed to rid imperfections) and Ghassoul (concentrated minerals to help clarify). This one appealed to me the most because I love a good charcoal mud mask and this doesn’t disappoint. It comes in a sturdy glass jar and is filled with a soft whipped clay that applies beautifully to dry skin.

After 10-15 minutes I add some warm water and gently massage and rinse to remove, my skin is left refreshed, soft and smooth. I feel with continued use once a week it would remove congestion and prevent blemishes. Such a good high street find and it has made me want to try the others in the range!

Aqua / Water, Kaolin, Montmorillonite, Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, CI 77499 / Iron, Oxides, Oryza Sativa Starch / Rice Starch, Moroccan Lava Clay, Charcoal Powder, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Xanthan, Gum, Polyglycerin-10, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Linalool, Limonene, Parfum / Fragrance, (F.I.L. B186966/1)

What are your favourite face masks and do you have any clay ones you'd recommend?

Thanks for reading


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