Sunday, May 01, 2011

Beauty Scoop: Kaolin Clay Masks

Clay masks. What girl doesn’t love them? They can be the perfect way to pamper stressed-out skin at the end of the day, and they are a must have in any home spa.

Kaolin clay is used in many masks because it is the mildest of all clays used in beauty products and considered suitable for all skin types. Kaolin clay exfoliates, cleanses and increases circulation. It also draws out the impurities from skin without removing natural oils.

Sounds fantastic, right? It’s no wonder we’re drawn to them. So where can you get your hands on the best Kaolin Clay masks on the market?

Start at the Drugstore 

Drugstore Kaolin Clay masks tend to be less concentrated, gentler, and can be used more often. Still, I wouldn’t recommend more than twice a week to avoid drying out your skin. St. Ives Mineral Clay Firming Mask dries in about five minutes, so I love to apply it before I get in the shower in the morning to help with oil control. If I’m going to use it more than once a week, I’ll apply it only the T-zone. This one also tightens as it dries on the face, but not as vigorously as the Michael Todd mask (a much pricier alternative).

I’ve never had any redness with this product and I’ve been using it for about five years, may be even more. Unfortunately, I used up the remainder of my tube a week ago and forgot to jot down the ingredients before tossing it. However, I know all of St. Ives products are formulated without parabens and phthalates, which is pretty rare for an inexpensive drugstore brand.

Bottom Line: Gentle enough for regular use. Tightens and firms skin. Drugstore, yes; but no parabens & phthalates! If you aren’t ready to spend big bucks on a luxury mask, chances are you’ll be happy with St. Ives.

I’ve seen quite a few Youtubers post positive reviews of this mask so I thought I’d give it a try. It comes in a huge 8oz tube which I thought that was pretty cool. The description on the bottle says that it helps dry up pimples, rinse away blackheads, and shrink enlarged pores. I have only been able to find this at Walgreens.

This mask goes on thick and creamy. It actually tingled and stung for the first few seconds so I was relieved when that subsided. I was nervous I might have had a reaction. Like it says in the title, it smells like mint. It tightened and dried like the other clay masks, but it wasn’t tight to the point where I couldn’t move my face.

It washed off easily, turning back into its creamy consistency under the hot water. Overall, my skin felt clean and smooth, and not as dry as the other two masks. But when I was looking at the ingredients, it did list Methylparaben, which I am not a fan of. But hey, I can’t expect everyone to jump on the paraben-free bandwagon.

Bottom Line: Less than $3.00 for 8 oz tube. Skin doesn’t feel as tight and dry after, but it definitely feels like it’s been deep cleaned. NOT paraben-free. I like it, but I think I like St. Ives better (this could my paraben bias talking).

Do you have a favorite face mask? Send me the link on Twitter @danielle0090.