How To Apply A Clay Mask – The Right Way

How Do Clay Masks Work?

If you are inclined to problem skin, such acne or over oiliness, clay masks are a must-have. Not only do clay masks provide you with a deep pore cleanse, they’re fun and easy to use, and give you a sense of ‘spa’ and self-pampering in the comforts of your home.

Because clay is natural, it is suitable for most skin types and ages. In our past blog: “6 Jobs Your Skin Is Doing For You And Why You Should Protect It!”, we explain how the skin works like a sponge, and  why it’s important to choose your face products selectively, sticking to natural products where possible.

The biggest misconception around the clay face mask is that you can apply one all over your face, have a glass of wine while you wait for it to dry to a hardened shell, and rinse. Clay is a powerful and magical natural resource that should be used correctly if you would like to attain its maximum effect on your skin.

You should never let a clay mask dry fully. In the diagram below, clay’s process of cleansing, detoxifying, and nourishing is explained.

How Do Clay Masks Work?

how clay works on your skin

View further information on our ingredients: clays and botanicals.

Phase 1

There’s the damp phase where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals from the skin.

Phase 2

Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. At the same time the clay acts like a magnet to draw out deep-rooted impurities from your skin.

Phase 3

Next, it’s important to time the third and final phase of the clay mask right. When the clay starts to dry it draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, along with the impurities. Leaving the mask on too long, allowing it to crack and dry completely, will cause dehydration and irritation. Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you’re just smothering your freshly cleansed skin.

The best way to use a clay mask to receive the optimal benefits it has to offer, is to apply a thin layer evenly onto cleansed face and neck, avoiding eyes. Let it sit on your skin and do its work for 10 – 15 minutes, until slightly dry. If necessary, keep the mask moist by sprinkling extra water on your face as the clay is active when wet. When 10 -15 minutes have passed, rinse off the clay mask thoroughly, but gently with warm water.

How often should you use a clay mask? Dermatologists recommend a frequency of once to two times a week. Those who rush through the clay mask’s process, might find that they need to use clay face masks more frequently, whereas if it is done the right way you only need to use it about once or twice a week as recommended.

So the next time you use a clay mask, don’t wait for it to reach the flaky stage before you start rinsing. Do the touch test: When you start to see it drying (which usually means it gets lighter in colour) but it still feels a bit sticky, it’s time to wash it off—so it doesn’t suck the life out of your skin.

Skin Clays – Clay Face Masks To Try This Week

Hydrating Rose Clay Face Mask with Rosehip Powder, Aloe and Rose Oil

Skin Clays - Rose Clay Face Mask

Delicately formulated for sensitive and mature skin, this smooth Rose Clay with its gentle toning action hydrates and firms your skin, restoring your youthful elasticity.

Healing African Clay Face Mask with Buchu, Cape Chamomile and Aloe

Skin Clays - Healing African Clay Face MaskSourced in South Africa, the Healing Bentonite Clay range has been specially formulated for acne and problem skin. Its deep cleansing action and high concentration of minerals, decongests and heals your skin, restoring your natural smoothness.


6 Jobs Your Skin Is Doing For You And Why You Should Protect It!

Beautiful Skin

Your skin, the largest organ, of your body has a very important role to play. It serves as your body’s first defensive barrier and protects you against environmental hazards.  However, your skin performs a host of more sophisticated functions, all of which are designed to help keep your body working fluidly.

“The skin of an average adult has a surface area of over 21 square feet and accounts for 6% to 10% of your body weight, edging out the liver, your body’s second-largest organ, which accounts for approximately 2.5% of your body weight.” – National Geographic Science

Here’s a list of your skin’s top 6 jobs, and suggestions of how you can take better care of it:

1. Natural Guard

Your skin acts as a natural guard that provides a protective barrier against harmful environmental invaders like germs and UV radiation.  The skin’s acid mantle in particular plays a very important role in preventing bacteria from attacking our skin and causing infection. The skin’s ability to “tan” (increased melanin production) is a system designed to protect us from UV radiation.


Firstly it’s important to cleanse daily, to wash away dirt, excess oil, and makeup (from facial skin). Use a Gentle cleanser, and scrub or mask 1-2 times a week (we recommend Skin Clays Hydrating Rose Clay Face Mask or Skin Clays Healing African Clay Face Exfoliant).  Secondly, it’s important to moisturize daily to prevent dry skin, which can compromise the skin’s acid mantle and natural barrier guarding function. Lastly, a broad spectrum sunscreen is critical to preventing premature skin aging due to overexposure to UV radiation.

2. Raincoat (Barrier to Water)

Healthy skin cells need water, yet if the surface of our skin (and the walls of our skin cells themselves) did not have built in “waterproofing”, all the water in our skin would evaporate and cause our skin cells to die.  How does the skin waterproof itself? The outermost layer of skin (called the stratum corneum) is made up of keratin, which bonds with oils rather than water. Thus the outermost layer of the skin needs a healthy balance of oil levels to protect itself.

Woman in rain

After bathing, the waterproofing effect of your skin is somewhat compromised, especially when soaps or other cleansers are used.  Because of this, your skin can feel tight when it begins to dry.  Moisturise with Skin Clays Balancing Beige Clay Skin Cream straight after your shower or bath to lock in the moisture your skin needs. Balancing Beige Clay Skin Cream is an excellent everyday moisturiser because it assists in restoring the natural oil levels of your skin, while detoxifying the skin. This means you are left with wonderfully soft skin, that’s not over oily. 

3. Sponge (Absorbs)

While the outermost layer of skin is designed to repel water, it can also selectively absorb oily substances that are small enough to penetrate in between the cells.  Technically speaking, the keratin creates a semi-porous membrane.  This is why patches of some medications work as a delivery system.

moisturizing face

To keep your skin (and body) healthy, make sure that you’re using products that have nutritious, safe ingredients you want your skin to absorb, and nothing that you do not want to absorb.  Choose natural and organic products which have plant-based antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients (Skin Clays Healing African Clay Balm contains baobab and buchu -both are natural anti-inflammatories).  Apply treatment products and moisturizers after cleansing, applying a warm towel or using a toner.  This will swell the outermost layer of the skin slightly, therefore increasing the rate of absorption.

4. Manufacturing Plant (Synthesizes Chemicals)

Your skin is constantly processing complex chemical reactions to keep cells regenerating, repairing damage and even converting sunlight into Vitamin D.


Choose skin care products with active ingredients that stimulate skin cell renewal, like anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, in order to keep your skin’s cell regeneration active. Again, the Skin Clays Healing African Clay range comes highly recommended.

5. Thermostat (Body Temperature Regulator)

When you’re hot, your skin is able to cool your entire body by producing sweat and assisting with increasing your body’s blood flow, which also assists in heat loss through the skin. In contrast, when we are cold, the diameter of our blood vessels decreases, which reduces blood flow, retaining heat in the body.

Sweat on skin

Drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost during the day – especially when you’re active, or when it’s a hot day. 

6. Switchboard (Transfers Information)

Nerves in the skin respond to different stimuli, including touch, pain, pressure and temperature by passing along information to the central nervous system. Your skin is therefore an alarm to danger when your body is at risk.

Back scrub massage

Tap into the power of touch with massage, which can increase the “feel good” hormones in our bodies, boost our immunity, blood circulation, and reduce stress! Pamper yourself with Skin Clays Detoxifying Green Clay Body Scrub, not only does the scrub have a lovely rejuvenating scent, by using body scrub, you can stimulate blood flow underneath the skin and promote healthy cell growth.