Clay Masks Don't Have To Be Drying


My biggest revelation of the year was the Amika straightening brush, 100%. Shiny, smooth, straight hair in 20 minutes or less? Sign me and all the friends I convinced to buy it up. But I already wrote that story, so a close second for Emily's Top Revelation of 2017 was that clay masks, it turns out, don't have to dry the crap out of your face to work. Shocking! Because you thought that pulsating, cracking, straight-jacket-on-your-face thing meant it was working, right? Me too. And maybe it still does. But if you prefer chilling out in sweatpants to chilling out in a straight jacket (to each their own) this is great news for you. It's also great news if you identify anywhere on the dry-skin spectrum but still exhibit signs of having pores on your face. These masks don't totally dry on the skin, so they don't dry out the skin. Which means they're tough on oil, but nice to skin. Sounds like a dish soap tagline, but you get what I mean.

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask

The intent of this mask is to visibly lift, smooth, brighten, and tighten pores for BABY SKIN. So reads Charlotte's unhinged product copy on the pale pink tube of this mask. And I love it. This mask comes with me on all flights and lives on my skin for at least 30 minutes upon arrival. The fresh, sweet rose scent and light, creamy texture are refreshing for all senses.

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

I can't even talk, much less write, about this mask without getting a little emotional. Imagine perfectly-room-temperature butter spreading on toast. So satisfying. Now imagine that butter is actually Hungarian clay and your face is the toast. As the mask dries, it doesn't crack. Rather, all the minerals from the mud sink deep into your skin, leaving you with only a little residue to rinse off. And the calmest, clearest skin possible.

Eve Lom Rescue Mask

The fan favorite. People live and die by this thing. I'd guess that's because it's the closest to a standard clay mask out of everything on this list. It gets pretty close to dry itself, but it miraculously doesn't dry the skin. Reach for this one during serious breakouts.

Borghese Roma Fango Delicato

Perfect, because my fango (face? I assume because I did not Google) is very delicato (delicate, I'm sure). Aloe vera and chamomile soothe while the Italian mud cleanses your pores of all sins. Until you look like this.

May Lindstrom The Honey Mud

I'm always so amused when I remember May Lindstrom's line isn't fully certified organic. It's because you can't certify literal mud as organic. Interesting, right? Right. Anyway, May's mud can be used as a cleanser (if you're a billionaire) or as a treatment mask (if you're a millionaire), so I do a bit of both (even though I'm a mere thousandaire). After a workout, I apply a layer of the chocolatey goo to my face, leave it on for 20, then rinse it off in the shower as if it were a cleanser. Best of both worlds. Plus it lasts forever if you never work out.

Tammy Fender Restorative Radiance Masque

This one is my favorite. And for north of $200, it better be. As always, I like to point out the "Emotional & Spiritual Benefits" that Tammy always enumerates. Here, they are: Serenely meditative, a widening sense of abundance. And you thought you were just polishing up your face with a concoction of jasmine, kaolin clay, and natural plant AHAs. You were wrong! Things aren't always as they seem.

—Emily Ferber

In other pore cleansing mask news, read here for the seven best to use on oily skin.