Make the most out of your mask.
Judging by our Instagram feeds, detoxifying clay and charcoal masks are all the rage. Thanks to social media, we’ve seen Khloe Kardashian pose in one. We know it’s a travel essential for Shay Mitchell, while Vanessa Hudgens, a GlamGlow brand ambassador, loves its Supermud product. These type of products help protect skin from pollutants, which contributes to aging.
But are you getting the bang for the buck? More importantly, are you getting the best possible benefits (read: pore decongestion!) from the product? If you’re applying a clay mask, only to rinse it off a few minutes later, you may not be drawing out all the pollutants and impurities that you can.
“Clay masks are designed to help exfoliate the skin but they only do that if you let them dry,” said Ryan Christopher, an aesthetician and Cosmedix Global Education Director, “Once fully dry, the clay will adhere to dead skin, oil and blackheads, so when you rub off the clay with a face cloth, it takes all of that debris with it! If you don’t let the clay dry, then you are essential putting mud on your skin and missing the exfoliation factor!”
It may take more time, but make sure that grayish layer gets nice and dry before you wipe it off with a damp cloth. To prevent a harsh reaction or over-exfoliation, look for products with natural ingredients with no harsh additives.
Editors’ pick: Cosmedix, one of Australia’s best-selling skin-care brands used by celebs like Tracee Ellis Ross, offers a Detox Mask ($54) that is so gentle and light that you can leave it on for hours without noticing or feeling a negative impact. It leaves skin feeling super clean, and if your skin is agitated or breaking out, the formula also leaves your skin feeling calm.
Another tried-and-true recommendation: The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask ($28). You can feel this 100 percent vegetarian mask work! It may not be zapping all the germs and gunk off skin, but it sure will feel like it. For those with oily skin, it may help reduce oil production as well.
Be honest: How long do you keep your masks on?