In our book, nothing beats a classic clay mask. Benefits abound: They’re often natural, they offer quick results, they feel great on the skin, and they’re practically made for easy at-home use. And honestly, they’re just so satisfying to use. What other skincare product can you actually see working—drying out to unclog and detox pores in a matter of minutes?
So we agree then: Clay masks are awesome. But they aren’t all created equal. Sure, the formulas will differ, as some gently exfoliate while others refine and a select few firm and plump the skin, but the differences run deeper than that. The type of clay and even where the clay was sourced can make a huge difference in a clay mask’s efficacy, and there are a lot of products on the market to sift through for these differences. So we did the hard work for you and compiled a list of the all-time best clay masks.
You know, just so you can find your skincare soul mate a little sooner. Keep reading to see the nine best clay masks on the market.
Upon discovery of this mask, our editorial director's world was rocked. (You can read all about her Italian beauty experience.) The clay is sourced from Umbria, Italy (otherwise known as the "Green Heart of Italy"), and incredibly mineral-rich, which is how it so thoroughly cleanses and purifies the skin. Sandalwood oil, chamomile flower, and lavender water are also included to calm and soothe your complexion. Just trust us when we say it's so good.
Fans of this mask include some serious A-listers (think Gigi Hadid). It's probably because of the megawatt glow and velvety softness that result from a quick rendezvous with this formula. Spanish clay, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, and peptides work together to detoxify, nourish, and plump the skin. Take it from the queen herself, Charlotte Tilbury: "It has fail-proof results, dramatically purifying the skin, creating a smooth, clear, youthfully dewy surface, revealing new baby skin."
If you're looking for a back-to-basics formula without too many bells and whistles, then this one is for you. It's a mix of pure clay and charcoal to draw out impurities, dirt, and oil. Oh, and it's $10, so you can stock up as often as you like.
This pick contains Manicouagan clay, which is a type of clay sourced from a very distinct location: It's extracted from the site of a 215-million-year-old asteroid crash in Québec. Asteroid or not, we love this one because it detoxifies, clarifies, exfoliates, and hydrates all at once. Seriously, just take a look at the ingredients list, which includes willow bark and tea-tree extract, grapeseed and olive oil, and AHA fruit enzymes.
This mask targets "redness, inflammation, and acne." Thanks to its long list of minerals—magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron included—it sucks up extra dirt, oil, and debris from pores. Plus, it smells lovely, like a blend of rose and clementine.
Purification is the name of this game. This Kiehl's favorite is formulated with ingredients sourced from the mouth of the Amazon river, meaning it's intensely mineral rich. Apply to draw out surface debris, refine tone and texture, and unveil smoother, brighter skin.
When pores are clogged with oil, dirt, and debris, they appear much bigger and darker. This K-beauty favorite absorbs all of it, straight out of the pores, to minimize their appearance. Since it does a number on oil, you can also count on it for a more controlled, matte look to your skin.
Even if you rarely use clay masks, you've likely heard of this buzzy product. It's popular because it works like an IRL Instagram filter. It targets everything from blemishes to redness to scars, razor bumps, and even ingrown hair. And take it from us—after you wash it off, your skin will feel incredibly smooth, thanks to a blend of six exfoliating acids.
Dr. Barbara Sturm is an aesthetic medicine specialist: She's applied her knowledge of molecular science to create a line of safe, effective skincare products, and this mask is no exception. Aloe vera, vitamin E, and chamomile rest on a base of white kaolin clay (also known as china clay). The result is a deep-cleansing clay mask that's somehow super hydrating. Totally worth the hefty price tag, if you ask us.