I don't write reviews often, but I had to for this one. I've been using this for several months now, and it's absolutely amazing. I have dry acne prone skin, and while it seems like a clay mask would dry it out even further, it's a GREAT exfoliator, so my night creams are so much more effective after I use this. It really does tingle and pulsate when it dries, I didn't believe the claim until I tried it, but it's the strongest tightening you will ever feel with a mask. It's not a 'pleasant' feeling, but it is really cool to feel for yourself that it's sucking out dirt and oil from your skin. I use this once a week, I used to use it twice a week but I find I don't need it as often anymore. It's great if you feel like you have some traces of makeup left on your skin because it really gets everything out. I've noticed a huge improvement in my acne since I've been using it. Your face does get very red afterwards, but you can tell its from the blood rushing to where it's pulled the skin tightly. I never really got much benefit from Biore pore strips, but this blows them out of the water. Please, please try it, it's so cheap and you get sooooo much for the money. Just remember that it works best with apple cider vinger-the REAL kind, from a health food store, like the Braggs brand, that's raw, unfiltered, and has the 'mother' in it.
I, also, do not understand the rave reviews on this products. I was tempted to purchase it years ago, when I was working the health food store circuit, but as a college student, I had no money. Good thing I didn't skip bus fare or food for buying this. I purchased it last week, along with the raw apple cider vinegar, and was so excited to try it. What a mess. What a stink. What a waste of time. I'm not sure what vulgar procedures my skin has gone through that other peoples' have not, but I did not have the incredible tingling, stinging, pore-sucking experience everyone else writes about. The mask dried. I removed it. And other than having eyebrows that needed extra cleaning, my skin was no better & no worse. It was not monumental. I have used far better masks, with far less prep & clean-up, that yield far better results.
I couldn't get past the "initial breakout" or "purging period."
I used it months ago and swore "NEVER AGAIN" but it was just sitting there collecting dust in my bathroom closet and one day, I thought, "well I'll just use it as a spot treatment on blemishes." I tried it - mixed a tiny bit with some water, dabbed it on a couple of blemishes and left it on over night. In the morning, nothing. They didn't shrink or look less red or anything.
OK, so now I'm thinking too much, I really want to give this mask another go, can't remember what happened that was so bad the first time - "I mean I know I broke out, but was it really that bad? Maybe it wasn't actually brought on by the mask.. look at all these rave reviews, everyone LOVES it! Maybe there's just a little purge and then voila! Perfect skin! Come on, give it another go!"
So, I mixed it with water. I know most people mix it with ACV, and a lot of people swear it's necessary for its effectiveness and its consistency, however I KNOW my skin does not like ACV. Even a little bit in an otherwise very soothing toner has irritated my skin. No way, man, not for me. Anyhow, I didn't have any problems with the consistency - just added a little clay at a time to a couple tablespoons of water. The bigger issue was finding a non-metal mixing tool.
I put the mask on and left it for about 20 minutes. I agree that this is a very strong mask, the tightening feels like it's pulling your face right off - it's awesome.
Then, a clean rag wetted with warm water and a few good swipes takes the mask off. And for the record, clay masks are a little messy, no big deal.
My skin was a little red for a little while - I wasn't worried about it. It felt clean. I slabbed on a bit of facial oil and went to work.
The redness went away, by the way.. in, I don't know, 20 minutes, I'd say.
At work, nothing special. No one told me I was glowing. I looked in the mirror a few times to see if little bumps were gone or of anything gross was sitting on the surface waiting for me to just wipe it away (reviews I'd read lead me to believe something like this might actually happen). Nothing. Wait, actually a little something - looks like maybe some new little bumps? Ugh, let's wait and see. So that night I did my usual routine and I was off to bed.
In the morning, my skin usually looks its best - calmed and hydrated and nourished. Oh, no. Not this morning. Little closed comedones sprinkled all over my skin and forehead and to either side of my nose. Pink marks that look like pimples under the skin waiting to come to the surface dot my cheeks, the tip of my nose and some more just for fun all over my chin and forehead. We're talking seriously blotchy-bumpy-inflamed face. The worst my skin has ever looked, ever.
So I freaked out, started looking for something about this kind of nasty reaction to this mask and couldn't find anything. A few people casually mention that "the first couple times of use did cause a little breakout BUT.." or something along those lines, but for me, there IS no "BUT." Something that causes irritation like that does not get another chance. I don't understand what my skin would be purging - if my skin needs to purge something, it's going to do so ON ITS OWN. Our bodies have many amazing ways of ridding themselves of toxins and impurities on their own. Sorry, not a believer in this stuff. I'm sure it does work wonders for some, but be cautious. It's been 4 days and my skin has still not calmed.
So I have had this product for almost 3 months. I do a mask using equal part Apple Cider Vinegar, and I do a mask once every week. My process of doing the mask include a deep exfoliation with an exfoliating sponge (bought at TJ MAXX) with Biore deep pore cleansing scrub. Then I hold my face over a steaming pot of water for 5 minutes (not to close though). This is to help open my pores. Then I put on the mask and leave it on till it is completely dry.
Washing of the mask can be difficult because it really sticks to the skin. I find it easier to just run your face under water and rub it away once the mask becomes wet clay again.
I think it really helps with my acne and makes my face feel extra clean.
this product honestly did not help me at all. when I finished using it my face was itchy and red. it also got a bit swollen and my face was in pain for a while. so I would not recommend this to a friend
I only gave it 4 stars because I'm waiting until I have a month into it so I can see the results on my acne... I used it last night for the very first time and yes you feel your face pulsate I left it on for 25 mins, when I washed it off I noticed my face was red like I had a REALLY bad sunburn but it didn't hurt so I figured it was just the blood flow like many people said (it came down about an hour later) Today my pores are visibly smaller and my active acne has dramatically reduced in size, like I said I'm waiting at least a month before giving it 5 stars but so far it does do what it says, I guess I'm just waiting to see more improvement !
i dont have very acne prone skin. but during TOM i get breakout near chin area, and i have tendency to get oily/shiny throught the day. This stuff is great once or twice a week just to rebalance your skin. i use it just before bed as u can look alittle red. once washed i use a cream and go to bed. when i wake up, i have soft, clear skin with even pigmentation skin. my skin looks very clear like i got a natural foundation on, as i dont have no dark patches which asian skin usually gets. i use this with water only. i know ppl use ACV but with water ti does the job! it can feel bit tingly and strange on the face, but then you know its working so its good stuff! also i use a face scrub before using this, so it can really work on bare clean skin!
edit: Ive had this mask for a few months now, and its great. specially when i break out in big red sore spots. the next morning my spots have shrunk. its almost like it drains out the bacteria in your skin! love it!
I really wanted to love this because of all the rave reviews, and its natural which is exactly what I look for in my skin care products. I used this mask mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar (which I love alone as a toner because it balances out the pH in your skin & calms the redness). Well I love the pulsating feeling I get while it's on my skin, it really does feel like it is working. However the day after I've applied it, my skin looks so much worse! I break out so much. And at first I gave it the benefit of the doubt and thought it was drawing impurities out and it would get better, but regardless of how many times I use it, it happens after every time & makes me so self conscious! It does make my skin super smooth, which is a plus, but I don't think it is worth continuing for that alone. I don't think I will continue using it. I always have to use Lush's face mask Cosmetic Warrior (highly recommend) the day after to calm down the effect that the Aztec Clay had on my skin.
I tried this on a whim a couple of years ago and now it's the only mask I use. I have extremely oily, acne, and blackhead prone skin. At first I just used the mask mixed with equal parts of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (the combo of the two is what makes it so amazing). Make sure to use a non-metal bowl and a non-metal utensil to mix it together (the clay and vinegar pull heavy metal toxins from anything metal).
Lately, however, I've added activated charcoal to the mix. I just use two capsules and pull them apart and stir it in with the rest of the mixture. It makes for a pitch black scary looking mask but it seriously extracts all of the dirt, oil, and crud out my pores. I'll leave it on for 10-20 minutes and to take it off I soak a washcloth under hot water and press it on the skin to soften the mask and also open the pores. Then, once the mask is not so tight on my skin I'll start rubbing it off in circular motions to help exfoliate.
Once it's all off, I wash my skin with a mild cleanser and use a good moisturizer along with facial oil such as argan oil or rose hip oil depending on the weather/season. I'm left with completely clean, radiant, and super soft skin. If I do have a pimple or two they'll dry up and be gone in the next few days. Don't be alarmed if your skin is super red where the mask was applied. It happens because the mask increases circulation to the skin where it is applied. It happens to me every time I use it and it takes 30-50 minutes for the redness to completely dissipate. So I wouldn't recommend doing this mask right before you have to go somewhere important.
The only con I can think of is that I havent noticed any reduction in my acne scars. Also, if you have extremely dry skin this might be too much for your skin so definitely spot test it if you still want to try it.
You wouldn't expect it looking at it, but the Aztec clay is pretty awesome. I have oily, ruddy skin with big pores on my cheeks, nose, and chin - pores so big that applying anything opaque on my face (foundation, concealer, this stuff) will suddenly be dotted with pinprick holes. I have only occasional acne problems though, usually on my jawline where I'm resting my chin in my hands or hormonal breakouts. The big issue with me is redness.
I picked this up at Sprouts for about 9 bucks. Since you're only using a teaspoon of it, it will last years. Be careful when opening it because there is only the plastic lid between you and the powder - there is no cardboard circle like some companies do with moisturisers and stuff. Because my skin is not particularly sensitive, I tried it with apple cider vinegar which makes it smell godawful, but it starts fizzing and bubbling and then turns the clay powder into a sort of mousse-textured paste. This is the best form and I think is the easiest to apply. I use it once every three days. Some people with dry or sensitive skin might want to stick to weekly.
Smear it all over your face in a relatively thin layer because any thick areas take a lot longer to dry. A lot of the time there are patches that have not completely dried after 20-30 minutes on my face, but I wash it off at that time anyway, because much longer and my skin will itch like crazy. The process of it drying and tightening on the skin is what makes it "pulsate" and your skin will very likely be quite red after you take it off, as if you got a sunburn. This fades in about 30 minutes after the first time - my first time using it took 45-60 minutes to fade. I noticed that the skin on my neck really doesn't like the clay, so I try to only apply it to my face and the very edge of my jaw.
To take it off, I like to have a washcloth on hand whether I am in the shower or not and wet the cloth, then press it gently to an area of my face to loosen the stuff that has really dried. The clay will soften and then come off pretty easily on the washcloth. It'll leave a bit of a stain, but it comes out in the washer. I work on one area at a time so that I don't do any damage by scrubbing. Make sure to moisturise afterward no matter what kind of skin you have. I attempted to re-try argan oil as a moisuriser after this and it continued to not work out for me very well, so I just use my regular Clinque gel instead.
What I didn't get: any visible pore gunk pushing to the surface, noticeable pore disappearance, breakouts caused by skin purging, or any scar fading.
What I did get: smooth, soft skin that was notably less red after the "sunburn" faded with maybe a slight shrinking in pores, a good time rocking around my house singing Wild Thing with all the wilds replaced by the word swamp, and it seemed like my foundation (Hourglass Immaculate) went on smoother and easier.
Overall I really like this mask and would repurchase.