After about a year or so (probably so, since I don’t even remember when I bought this), I’m about to finish my jar of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. By far, this is the best mask I have ever used, the cheapest, though probably not the easiest to use (not that it’s complicated to use, but you do need a non-metallic bowl, water and/or apple cider vinegar, and a spoon, whereas Korean face mask sheets are the open-and-use sort).
The clay is actually calcium bentonite, which, according to the product website, has been used for ages as a beauty product:
Clays have been used for centuries to beautify and refresh when used as a facial mask.
Cleopatra used clay from the Nile river and the Arabian desert over 1800 years ago, as part of her beauty ritual.
German and Roman spas have been using clay packs and treatments in the spas they built 4,000 years ago. Many of these spas still exist and use clay even today.
Pliney the Elder devoted an entire chapter of his Natural History” to the many uses of clay for pimples, black heads and skin tightening.
Many famous naturopaths, such as Kuhn, Just and Kneipp have contributed to the revival of the uses of clay through their natural treatments for arthritus and skin ailgments.
The use of clay with apple cider vinegar can be dated back to the southern French priest of the16th century, Kneipp, and his natural treatments using clay packs and poultices. (Source)
Some of the purported beautifying benefits of calcium bentonite are:
- Treats Acne
- Purifies the Pores
- Detoxifies the Skin
- Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells
- Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Firms and Tones Up The Face
- Softens Up The skin
- Fades Away Scars and Age Spots
- Gives the Skin Brightness
As mentioned, you’ll need a non-metallic bowl to put the clay in, add water and stir until it forms a paste thick enough to be spread over your face. Apple cider vinegar and other ingredients can be used as well, but I just use plain old water. Leave it on your face for a couple minutes and it will eventually harden. As it does that, you’ll feel it tightening over your skin – fair warning to those with sensitive skin or with very low tolerance for pain. But I don’t really mind it at all, it’s actually kind of nice to feel your skin taut! According to the product’s website, this mask forms a negative charge which helps to lift pimples and blackheads (which have a positive charge) into the clay bed, helping to heal and nourish the skin. (I have never really liked my science subjects, so I’ll just take their word for it.)
To remove, simply wash it off. I wouldn’t recommend using a washcloth as it might be too abrasive. You’ll see that your skin is red and it will feel really tight, but it will go away in a couple minutes. Some apply a soothing face mask sheet afterwards or moisturizer; I spritz some rosewater mist. I do this at night, once or twice a week, and my skin looks really fresh and taut in the morning.
This is available in Healthy Options. Last I checked – which was over a year ago – I believe it costs around PHP500, which is pretty cheap considering it lasted more than a year for me. I recommend this for anyone who likes home facials/masks and needs deep pore cleansing. Let me know if you have tried it – or alternatively, feel free to share your experience with your favorite mask!