I Thought All Mud Masks Were Too Drying—Until I Tried This One

Updated 04/19/19

As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!

I am a skincare fanatic—I cherish my cleansers, moisturizers, eye creams, and serums like my biological children. I research facials in my free time and use masks every few days like clockwork. I've fallen for every variety from sheet to gel masks and cream to fizzy, bubbling formulas. I've tried Hanacure, Biologique Recherche's Masque Vivant, and just about every other cult-favorite pick on the market. But I've never really been able to get behind clay masks. I understand they have value—they purify, unclog pores, and exfoliate your skin—but they've always been a bit too harsh my dry, sometimes sensitive complexion. Until recently, I'd pretty much written them off entirely.

Then, I had a meeting with Borghese, a brand known for its Italian heritage and luxury products. It recently completely revamped its formulas and began offering masks for the entire spectrum of skin concerns. I opted for the Fango Riparativo Calming Mud Mask, a product meant to heal dry, chapped skin while also purifying and helping to minimize pores. It's a super gentle, hydrating formula with all the same benefits as a usual clay mask. In it, allantoin calms and helps reduce redness, while safflower oil softens, smooths, and enhances your skin's elasticity. Then, lemon extract works as an astringent to balance everything off (preventing breakouts and keeping pores clear and clean). A blend of lavender extract—known for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties—and mineral-rich Tuscan clay enhances cell turnover. Pretty much this mask is everything I've ever wanted, all in one compact jar.

Borghese Fango Riparativo Calming Mud Mask
Borghese Fango Riparativo Calming Mud Mask $48
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I smoothed the cooling formula on my skin and relaxed on my couch while it absorbed into my skin. It never dried up, caked over, or created that uncomfortable, dry feeling most clay masks result in. It stretched over my skin while I drank coffee, talked on the phone, and watched TV. My skin felt like it plumped upon contact. Then, when I washed it off with warm water, I couldn't believe how hydrated and bouncy my skin felt—but still really clean. Apparently, that's all thanks to the brand's proprietary complex, Acqua di Vita, which is made up of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. Those three ingredients are skincare powerhouses, each one working to replenish and hold moisture, repair skin elasticity, and fight free radicals respectively. 

Usually, when I wash off a clay mask, my face feels tight, hot, and sometimes even pulsates. This time, it was soothed, de-puffed, and not a speck of redness was visible on my usually irritated cheeks. I applied even more hyaluronic acid (my favorite is SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, $83) and a super-thick replenishing moisturizer (I've been using Chuda's Hydrating Healing Cream, $80). My skin practically sighed with relief. I couldn't believe how good my skin felt—soft, soothed, hydrated, even, and properly balanced. I applied a full face of makeup on top since it was Saturday night and I had a birthday party to attend, and realized my skin hadn't looked this good in months. If you're like me and think you can't benefit from a clay mask, think again. This is the one to try. 

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