Do Clay Masks Work For Skin That’s Dry Like The Desert? We Asked The Experts

clay mask

As someone who has dealt with the challenges of dry skin for as long as I can remember, my skincare journey has mainly been a constant quest for moisture. So in my skincare pouch, there was always one notable absence–clay masks. I was always against them, seeing that their oil-absorbing properties could spell disaster for already parched skin like mine.

However, in the past month, I tried not just one but two different clay masks. To my surprise, not only did they leave my skin feeling incredibly soft and refreshed, but they also didn’t strip away the moisture I painstakingly managed to retain. And so I thought, could it be that clay masks, once deemed the enemy of dry skin, actually do good for it?

clay mask

I dialled Dr Nishita Ranka, Internationally acclaimed dermatologist, Medical Director & Founder of Dr Nishita’s Clinic for Skin, Hair & Aesthetics and Dr Niti Gaur, MD, and founder of Citrine Clinic, Gurgaon to help dispel some myths and uncover the wonders of this skincare staple. Read on:

Clay Masks For Different Skin Types

Dr. Nishita views the skin as a dynamic ecosystem, where different skin types respond uniquely to treatments. She believes that oily skin benefits from clay masks as they draw out excess sebum and impurities, minimising pore congestion and shine, while combination skin finds balance with clay masks, which regulate oil production without dehydrating. Sensitive skin requires gentle clays like kaolin, ensuring effective cleansing without irritation but dry skin presents a challenge due to the potential moisture loss from clay’s absorptive properties.

clay mask

On the other hand, Dr Niti says, “Many believe that clay masks are too drying for those with dry skin. While some clay masks can indeed strip moisture, there are formulations specifically designed to be gentle and hydrating.”

Clay Masks For Dry Skin

Dr Niti further recommends keeping an eye out for clay masks with key ingredients such as kaolin, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera for individuals with dry skin. These can effectively cleanse while hydrating and nourishing the skin.

Dr Nishita also believes that a thoughtful selection of ingredients can preserve hydration while enjoying the purifying effects of clay. “Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient I recommend, known for its remarkable ability to retain moisture. Glycerin, a powerful humectant, draws moisture to the skin, helping to maintain its softness and resilience. Additionally, incorporating essential oils and ceramides into a clay mask can provide soothing and barrier-strengthening benefits, crucial for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin,” Dr Nishita adds.

Keep In Mind

However beneficial clay masks may be, dry skin types must keep a few things in mind while including them as part of your skincare routine.

  • Limit usage to once a week or less to prevent over-drying.
  • Shorten the duration of mask application compared to recommendations for oily skin.
  • Follow up with a hydrating serum or rich moisturiser to replenish lost moisture post-treatment.

clay mask

Dr Nishita encourages patients to seek clay masks labelled for dry skin. These products often feature mild clays alongside moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin or ceramides. She believes that by prioritising hydration and selecting suitable products, the therapeutic benefits of clay masks can be harnessed effectively, resulting in healthier, more radiant skin.

Dr Niti reminds us that skin care is not one-size-fits-all. She advises us to choose clay masks wisely, listen to the skin’s needs and seek personalised advice from a dermatologist.

So if you’re looking for some good dry-skin-friendly clay masks, here you go:

Benefit The POREfessional Deep Retreat Mask

This was one of the clay masks that made me want to investigate their benefits for dry skin. The Benefit POREfessional Deep Retreat Mask is made of smooth, creamy mineral-rich kaolin clay that helps deep clean pores gently and comfortably. It has a non-stripping, non-drying formula suitable for all skin types. It is infused with essential oils like jojoba seed oil and plum kernel oil, and sphingolipids that are ceramide-like molecules that help preserve skin hydration.

Thank You Farmer Rice Clay Mask

Thank You Farmer is a Korean skincare brand that believes in creating products that focus on pure and honest ingredients. This Rice Clay Mask is a gentle yet effective clay mask that turns into a foam cleanser upon contact with water. It is made with Kaolin clay, glycerin, tocopherol (vitamin E) and vitamin B2 which help in preventing skin moisture loss.

Dot & Key Pink Clay Face Mask

This Dot & Key Glow Revivng Vitamin C Pink Clay Face Mask has a non-drying formula that is suitable for all skin types. It is infused with hyaluronic acid, also known as a water magnet, that acts as a hydrator to retain water, thus deeply hydrating the skin and making it look plump.

Beauty Writer

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