A woman wearing a clay mask

Here’s How Clay Masks Can Help Unclog & Clear Pores

Clay masks do much more than just clean your face. Here's how they can unblock pores, fight toxins, and improve overall skin health.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Clay masks have been used for hundreds of years by people from different cultures all over the world. Today, their popularity continues to rise, with millions of consumers reporting fantastic improvements in their skin after regular usage.

If you’re wanting to learn a bit more about clay masks, what they do, their advantages, and whether they can unclog and clear pores, you’re in the right place.

Everything you need to know about clay masks

Made from types of clay such as bentonite and kaolin, clay masks have many beneficial effects on the skin.

Usually intended to be used by people with naturally oily skin, clay masks are a powerful drying agent that works to absorb excess oil and moisture from the face. Controlling the amount of oil (Sebum) that your skin produces is essential in the fight against breakouts as if left unchecked, the oil can block pores and cause irritation. Using a host of minerals along with ingredients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, clay masks can reduce the size of pores, remove troublesome dead skin cells, and thoroughly exfoliate the face.

Additionally, clay masks may be able to free the skin from environmental toxins such as lead and Mercury, which we can inadvertently pick up during the day. Pretty amazing, right?

How to apply a clay mask properly

Applying a clay mask is pretty simple, but we think simplicity has beauty.

Follow these simple guidelines below to treat your face with a lovely clay mask.

Wash your face

Make sure the facial skin is clean before doing anything else. Use a gentle cleanser to prime the skin for further treatment. This will also help the clay mask remain in place.

Apply the clay mask

Squeeze a penny-sized amount of the clay mask into your hand and spread it evenly across the entire face. Be sure to work upwards from the neck to the jawline, and above.

Be patient

Now, do nothing. Easier said than done, we know! The clay mask needs about 15 minutes to fully dry and work its magic, so put on an episode of your favorite show or have a nice glass of wine while you wait.

Rinse off

The time has come! Gentle rinse off the clay mask with a cleanser and tap the face with a towel until dry. Your face should be clean, radiant, and youthful!

Are there any disadvantages to clay masks?

Overall, clay masks are a fantastic product that almost everyone can benefit from using. However, nothing is perfect.

Since clay masks are strong drying agents, they are ideal for people with naturally oily skin, as they will help absorb the excess moisture and bring the face back to a more balanced state. It, therefore, goes without saying that clay masks may not be the best idea for people with already dry skin to use. The last thing dry skin needs is to become dryer! This can lead to discomfort, irritation, cracking, flaking, and breakouts.

Take note of your own personal skin type and make an educated decision for yourself.

In conclusion

Clay masks are a worldwide favorite for millions of people, and they have stood the test of time throughout history.

Not only do they clean and exfoliate the skin, but they can also prevent breakouts, clear pores, inject healthy vitamins and minerals, and protect against environmental toxins. This little mask really does have bang for its buck.

We’d recommend clay masks be in everyone’s regular skincare routine for their obvious benefits, but beware of their powerful drying qualities and avoid using them on already dry or overly sensitive skin.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.