We have a little confession to make. We hoard facial masks like Gollum hoards the ring in Lord of The Rings. Especially the deep cleansing masks made with clay or earth. Why? Because clay, with its thicker consistency, will draw out the impurities and dirt that are deeply embedded in our pores that the usual cleansing wouldn't be able to reach.

According to a recent newsletter by The World Of Organic Skincare, mud and clay masks are great for balancing out oily skin – a view that is also echoed by Howard Donsky, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and staff dermatologist at Toronto General Hospital. 

According to Dr Donsky, “Clay masks or mud masks are worthwhile.”  However, he also cautioned that masks will make skin feel good and look better only temporarily.  Additionally, the darker brown the clay (mud), the more oil it can absorb. White or rose-colored clays, though, are gentler and work best on sensitive skin.  (Source:  The Doctors Book of Home Remedies)

We've try a wide range of them and here are the ones we felt that worked:

  1.  Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask, US$35 (90g): Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask is a holistic exfoliant and deep purifying cleanser for all skin conditions. The Herbal Extracts in a base of clay is to absorb skin secretions. The appearance of blemishes and blackheads of skin can be reduced, when dead skin cells are also sloughed away.

  2. Origins Clear Improvement, US$33 (100ml): When environmental toxins, dirt and debris get under your skin, its waste-filtering system gets jammed, pores get clogged, skin looks cloudy. Nature's complexion clean-up crew gets to the bottom of skins overcast condition and clears the way for it to act its best. Activated Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, White China Clay absorbs environmental toxins, Lecithin dissolves impurities. Without all that ""stuff"" down there, skin ""breathes a sigh of relief"".

  3.  Decleor Clay and Herbal Cleansing Mask, US$40 (50ml): A cream mask enriched with a cocktail of herbal and plant extracts. A deep skin cleanser, it dissolves all impurities and helps cleanse the skin without dehydrating it, has a natural absorbent power, refines skin texture and clears the complexion. It leaves your skin clean and soft. Your complexion is clear and you feel wonderfully refreshed.

  4.  Borghese Fango Delicato Active Mud for Delicate Dry Skin, US$58 (430ml): Soothes and comforts skin affected by stress, weather or pollutants. Gives devitalized, time-worn skin a new surge of vitality with clear, youthful radiance. Moisturizes skin so dry, fine lines become less noticeable. Helps form and tone body skin, leaving skin looking and feeling refreshed, resilient, and purified.

  5. Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask with Red Clays, US$81 (60g): The powerful absorbent properties of Clay, combined with extracts of Licorice, Wild Daisy and Rose Hips, gently cleanse the surface of the skin in record time, eliminating surface impurities that may dull the skin and absorbing excess sebum. The botanical essential oils of Camomile and Rosemary in the formula have purifying properites, enhancing the effects of the natural plant extracts. In a matter of five minutes at most, skin is cleansed and refreshed. Complexion is brighter, even and matte, and the skin is refined. The skin appears relaxed and smoothed and the face looks rested. Suitable for all skin types.
If you find your skin too itchy and dry after a clay mask application, throw on a hydrating mask like our bestselling Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Mask, US$18 (5 sheets) because just because your skin is oily doesn't necessarily mean it's not dehydrated. So be sure to moisturise your skin properly after using clay mask!

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