The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay website lists a whole host of ancient VIPs who used clay masks, including Cleopatra and Pliney the Elder. Pliney the Elder?! Well, I have got to try this. The clay in this mask comes from Death Valley, Calif. They have a ridiculous, non-informative graphic on the website that is supposed to illustrate how the mask pulls toxins from the skin and into the mask. The clay comes in a powder and you mix in an equal proportion of apple cider vinegar to create the mask. The tub says you can mix it with water, but I would advise against it. The time I mixed it with water it turned out clumpy and I had a hard time spreading it on my face.
This is the only product I have purchased recently that I am ambivalent about. On one hand, it does feel like it’s actually pulling things out of your skin. My pores appear to be cleaner after I have used it. On the other, it brings stuff to the surface that was maybe best left uncovered, and I do notice that my face feels a little more broken out the next day. However, most of the bumps are whiteheads close to the surface that are easy enough to pop (responsibly!) and clean. I don’t feel my face “pulsate” as the site claims, but it does feel tight on my skin. It definitely feels like a heavy duty mask, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it more than once a week. Also, it’s time consuming, messy and smelly. Prepare for your loved ones, roommates, neighbors, whomever to keep their distance while you have this on, because you will smell like a foot. I keep it on for about half an hour, although sometimes it makes my face feel claustrophobic and I take it off after 15 minutes. I usually try to peel off as much mask as I can before rinsing my face because the clay will clog your sink. This is the time-consuming and messy part. Mask bits get all over the bathroom counter and it takes a lot longer to remove than a typical clay mask from a tube.
It’s relatively inexpensive. I purchased my one pound tub from Whole Foods for $8. You only need 1-2 tablespoons at a time, so after using this about 5 times I am not even 25% through with the tub. The website lists several recipe mix-ins to try. I have put in a drop of Tea Tree Oil. I don’t know if it did anything besides make the mask smell slightly less offensive. And I think next time I use it I might try the honey mix-in.
It’s worth a try, I think. I surmise that the people who would see the best results are those who have fairly clear skin with the exception of large pores or blackheads they want cleared out.