Masks are all the rage in beauty lately, from sheet masks to charcoal to clay, they’ve all but replaced chemical peels and more harsh treatments for a lot of women, and brought the spa treatment back into the home for a less expensive, and more convenient spa experience (and I mean… you won’t get weird looks watching Netflix while your mask dries at home… or at least if you do, its people you can stick your tongue out at).
I’ve been on a mud mask kick lately to conquer my breakouts (and it’s worked, SO well), and I’ve picked up a few tips online and just through personal experience that have made me feel like I’m maximizing my mud mask experience.
10 Tips To Maximize Your Mud Mask
Tip #1. Don’t rub it in! Try applying your mud mask with a paddle brush to damp skin, (bonus points if you get the brush damp too). By using a brush, you can apply more evenly and without introducing the oils and bacteria on your fingers into your face which can definitely cause blackheads and breakouts to spring up out of your pores like May flowers.
Tip #2. Spread the love. It doesn’t have to just be your face. Think about how often your decolletage is on display? You don’t leave a foundation line on your jaw, so why are you ending skincare there? Apply a mud mask down your neck and chest to reduce the appearance of sun damage, redness, or just to slough off dead or damaged skin. You can even give a little boost to the tightness of your neck and chin!
Tip #3. Spot the problem. Not feeling like a full face mask? Apply it just to problem areas, or combine it with another mask and use each where you need it. Nobody said you had to use the same mask all over. This works great for combination skin.
Tip #4. Heal yourself! Apply it to a bruise (gently) and let it dry down – the massaging of application and removal, the tightening of the clay, and the properties of the clays in the mask – will help enhance blood circulation and speed up the healing process.
Tip #5. Have the hot towel treatment. By laying a warm (but not hot) – semi-wet cloth over your face before removing the mask, you will re-hydrate it and loosen it from your skin. Gentle removal is less harsh on your skin and prevents tugging and stretching that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
Tip #6. Bathe your skin. If you’ve been soaking in a steamy bath, the skin around your pores is softened enough to give the side effect illusion of opening up your pores. Applying the mask at this time can help it suck up the deeper sebum and oil pockets and work even better. Just don’t let the water get too hot or you can dry out your skin!
Tip #7. DON’T dry out. Especially if you have dry skin, letting a mask dry completely until it cracks can actually make it worse. Oily skin can usually handle it a bit better, but leaving the mask on until it dries fully actually lets it start reabsorbing moisture from your skin. Up until that point, it’s just been your skin absorbing some of the moisture and all the benefits from the mask. If you’re worried about dehydrating your skin, the right time to take it off is when it’s tacky to the touch, but doesn’t shift around.
#8. Start going in circles. Remove clay masks in small circular movements. Once the clay has sucked out the grossness from the dark, evil depths of your pores (and helped to balance your oil production) a clay mask can finish off its work as an exfoliator if you use the silica in clay to its best advantage and Very gently scrub your skin with the mask in small circles. This works especially well with masks using Kaolin clay due to the extra high silica content.
#9. Double your efforts with a serum. We all know we can’t apply a drying mask to the sensitive skin around our eyes (think of dark circle zone up to the top of your eyebrows as the no-apply zone), so why not put on that thick eye cream or serum at this time and let it absorb while you lay back and relax? You’re already pampering your skin, let your eyes benefit too while giving yourself a touchable barrier to know where NOT to apply the clay.
#10. Lock in the benefits by applying a light moisturizer immediately after removing the mask to keep the moisture in your skin. The first ~2 minutes are vital.
The recommended practice for using clay and mud masks in your routine is to incorporate them around 2-3 times per week. Any more than that and your skin can become dry or start producing MORE oils to make up for them being stripped away. Much less and you risk blackheads starting to rear their ugly little heads again.
My go-to mask right now is Valentia’s Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask. It’s an amazingly gentle, cruelty-free mask made with vegan friendly and 98% natural ingredients, and it’s got a little something extra: They added hibiscus and cranberry fibers into the mask that work as a bit of extra exfoliation for sloughing off that dead skin both when applying and removing. As the mask dries, the fibers soften and work to refresh your skin as it’s removed. Both types of fibers are also known for their anti-aging properties – never too early to fight it! And it smells fruity and sweet, which definitely adds to the refreshing experience of a mini-spa day at home.
I’ve been in lust with Valentia’s line since I tried their Royal Rose Hydrating Serum, so when they sent me Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, I couldn’t wait to try it. It really did meet every expectation I had, and passed them. I’ve been using it 3 times a week with no side effects, and very clear pores. I have one stubborn blackhead that will only come loose when I ‘open’ my pores, but every other one is sucked into the black-hole universe of the Kaolin clay and disappears as I gently scrub it off.
I tested this mask at some extremes, using it twice in the same day, using it 3 days in a row, and leaving it on overnight with no ill effects or dryness. It’s been gentle enough that with my sensitive but normal-to-oily skin, I have been able to let it dry down entirely without dehydrating my skin. If anything, when combined with a moisturizer, my skin felt more replenished and moisturized. I saw a reduction in breakouts and a significant healing of my pre-existing blemishes when combining this with my current skincare routine (which does contain acne fighting products), but this seemed to speed up their effects. I even used this on a spot of poison ivy when I was going insane with itchiness and couldn’t find calamine lotion. It completely removed the itchiness while it was on, but it didn’t seem to provide any healing beyond relief.
The box states some of their biggest claims, including: “Draws out impurities,” “Improves skin tone,” “Reduces pore size,” and “Firms & strengthens skin.”
Technically it’s not possible to reduce pore size, but the tightening properties of this mask definitely firm up and smooth out the skin immediately surrounding the pores, so they do appear significantly smaller immediately after using it. The benefit seems to stick around 1-2 days depending on physical activity (at least for me,) and humidity.
My skin tone has felt much more even in appearance, with a direct reduction in redness. And my blackhead issues are completely under control once adding this mask to my routine.
The only bad effect I had with this mask was getting it too close to my eye on a part that stings no matter what product is used (including foundations, aloe, etc), so I think that’s on me, not Valentia.
If you’re looking for a good mud mask, especially if you’re working on oil control or looking for a Vegan-Friendly and Cruelty-Free mask, I highly recommend this one. Valentia cares about their customers and select ingredients based on what they KNOW will work, without adding junk and fillers into the mix. Between that creation model, the goddess of healing branding theme, and the high quality of their products, I’m always happy to try the products they send me and share my experiences with you girls.
As an extra bonus, now through May 31st, you can get any of Valentia’s products for 35% off using the code REFRESH35 when you order from Valentia.com, making this $25 mask just $16.25 to try out. Not a bad deal for this many mini-spa treatments!