Clay Face Mask | 15 Best Clay Masks For Clogged Pores And Spots


Instant gratification is a rare thing in skincare. Brightening hero vitamin C takes weeks to start working, while most serums demand a dozen uses before doing a thing. And retinol, of course, only rewards those with truly saintly levels of patience.

But the best clay masks are completely unlike their skincare sisters – a single swipe of one of these deep-clearing formulas will leave skin looking fresh from the facialist, with oxidised oil (aka blackheads) and daily grime firmly a thing of the past.

‘Clay particles are extremely absorbent and will mop up excess sebum on the skin,’ explains Andrea Pfeffer, founder of Pfeffer Sal. ‘Clay is also attracted to impurities and able to draw them out from the skin including, in the case of bentonite clay, heavy metals that our skin is exposed to through air pollution.’ For sensitive or drier skin types, Pfeffer recommends kaolin clay. ‘It’s mildly exfoliating and doesn’t absorb quite as much oil,’ she explains.

It’s true, the best clay face masks out there really don’t mess around when it comes to offering instant results. There’s one thing to bear in mind, though: a clay mask shouldn’t be left on your skin for so long that it completely dries out. If your face starts to feel tight and the mask begins to crack, you’ve gone too far, and could end up with overly dry skin (which kinda negates the whole point).

So whether you’re in need of a deep cleanse or simply fancy an at-home facial, you really can’t go wrong with one of these clay-packed formulas. It’s skin rehab in a jar. (Or bottle. Or tube.)

The 15 Best Clay Face Masks For Clear, Calm Skin


Skin Fixer Clay Mask – £8


Fans of The Ordinary need to get up to speed with Beauty Bay’s skin-positive line, stat. A highlight, this super-affordable clay face mask contains kaolin and bentonite alongside a poly-hydroxy-acid to gently dissolve dead skin cells and ensure the clay can work as well as possible. Fragrance-free and mega-effective, this one’s a clear winner.


Super Pore-Detox Purifying Black Clay Mask

As the name suggests, this mask will purify deeply congested pores within minutes. It’s also boosted with a trio of acids to prevent breakouts and brighten skin. If you’re a Beauty Pie newbie, get to know now.

Clay itself isn’t an expensive skincare ingredient, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to reap its clarifying benefits.If you’re simply after a reliable oil-absorber, turn to The Inkey List’s great big tube of kaolin clay, which has a touch of aloe vera and moisture-grabbing glycerin to boot.

Omorovicza’s Hungarian spa is legendary for its healing waters, which are rich in minerals that ease aches and pains while helping to repair irritated skin. This cult clay mask combines those fabled waters with Hungarian mud (again, packed with minerals) and fulvic acid to bring down inflammation. In short, it’s a true powerhouse for skin that’s playing up.

A great choice for enlarged pores and oily, acne-prone skin, this clay mask contains calming panthenol alongside kaolin and argilla clays.


Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask

Algenist’s creamy clay treatment changes colour with the heat emitted from your skin. But that’s not why you’re buying it (we know, you’re serious about skincare). No, you’re investing for the advanced probiotics inside, which work to balance the bacteria that make up your microbiome, reducing breakouts and inflammation. Once you’re converted (you will be), there’s a matching moisturiser waiting for you, too.


Balancing Pink Clay Mask

This solid face mask couldn’t be easier to use: simply swipe it over cleansed skin while you’re slumped in front of Netflix, then rinse away to reveal just-from-the-facialist skin.

Tata Harper makes two clay-based masks, but this is the better choice for most skin types, as it calms and balances as it decongests. With skin-food probiotics, clarifying willow bark and calming aloe vera, it’s a truly maximalist natural option.


Insta-Masque Purifying and Smoothing Mask

Another simple yet effective saviour, Nuxe’s clay mask blends calming rosewater with white clay. It’s heavy on the moisture-grabbing humectants, so leaves skin feeling softened and well-moisturised.

Esse is one of only a tiny handful of beauty brands in the world to have harnessed the biome-boosting powers of live probiotics. (The more good bacteria your skin has, the more resilient – and therefore glowy – it will be.)Deliciously thick and creamy, this clay mask uses bentonite clay, which not only soaks up excess sebum and blackheads, but neutralises pollution particles too. A dose of kaolin bolsters its deep-cleansing powers, as ylang ylang and chamomile deliver a dreamy scent.


The Clarifying Clay Mask

When Tatcha arrived in the UK earlier this year, beauty obsessives rejoiced. Previously only available via a Stateside Sephora pilgrimage, everyone’s favourite fancy skincare brand is now in easy reach. The best place to start? If you’re prone to congestion, it has to be this light and creamy clay face mask, which boasts Okinawa kucha clay, known for its rich mineral content.


Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

With a dose of oil-absorbing salicylic acid, this clay mask is made with breakout-prone complexions in mind. The detoxifying kaolin and charcoal are tempered by moisture-grabbing squalane, so it won’t throw already temperamental skin off balance.


Brightening Anti-Pollution Mask

Aurelia has a loyal fan base of women with sensitive skin, and once you’ve tried this clay-based mask, you’ll understand exactly why. It contains the brand’s signature strain of probiotics, which works to repopulate the good bacteria on your skin’s microbiome, bringing inflammation and irritation down. Plus, it smells delicious.

Supercharged with salicylic acid and zinc, this clay mask works especially well on those pesky pimples. Apply it all over after cleansing, or use it as an on-the-spot treatment. It might not boast a spa-style scent, but it sure gets the job done.


Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask

Youth To The People


This is a clay mask that takes things one step further. The rich and creamy formula is boosted with niacinamide to balance oil production, as well as salicylic acid to tackle those overly enlarged pores. It’s deeply decongesting, never stripping, and vegan-friendly too.

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