I can't believe I haven't reviewed this product yet! I've been using it several times a week for a few months now, and my skin just loves this stuff. I actually picked this up the same day as the Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask after reading some of the many many glowing reviews on that one (it sadly does nothing for me- for some reason I'm the unlucky one that most user-beloved products don't work for). I get this clay at Vitamin Shoppe- $5 for a one pound tub that will last you forever so you can't beat the price. It's a fine powdery clay that you mix with water or the preferred apple cider vinegar with non-metal utensils and bowl, so it requires some kitchen fun but it's totally worth it.
My skin is sensitive, prone to dryness and blemishes- usually small but persistent little whiteheads in the chin area or elsewhere. They usually don't go away on their own so this is a great intervention! (I can't say how this works on regular pink blemishes, but I imagine it would incinerate any blackheads). This mask helps my skin feel vacuumed out before I start my day (when I have the time). Granted, it will make your face pink where the mask was for about a half hour, plus dry if you are prone to this.( If I leave the mask on for too long it may even leave me with some white flaky patches, but I'm prone to this anyway and washing with honey or green tea remedies this just fine, and I imagine a lotion would too).
When applied correctly this mask will dry and harden like a cement- I mean you won't be able to eat or drink or talk. But I think that must be part of this stuff's power. I usually experiment with the ratio of the clay with Bragg's ACV, using enough of each so that it forms a mousse consistency. I've found that different ratios of each result in different mask experiences and outcomes so this is just something you'll have to experiment to see what works best for you ( I haven't even figured out how to make the best consistencies yet, whenever it happens it's by accident, but if I get it I'll let ya know!). The directions say something like making the mask a quarter inch thick-which is totally ridiculous in my opinion. I find that applying a thin layer allows it to dry best and therefore work it's best- but it should be thick enough that it's not see-through if you know what I mean. In places the mask is thicker, it doesn't dry completely and so I'm guessing it's drawing power is very limited there- these spots can just peel right off, where the ones that dry completely are totally glued on.
So the mask usually is dry by about fifteen/twenty minutes, and as it really solidifies it actually separates on your face, like into puzzle pieces or cracked desert grounds. That's how much it dries and pulls! It literally pulls down my eyelids, so I look absolutely ridiculous with this on (don't let anyone see you or you may laugh together and it'll hurt! haha). You'll see what I mean when you look at yourself in a mirror- like a facelift/mountain troll version of yourself. The first time I tried this I think I was afraid it was going to rip my skin off with it in the sink (it does come off after splashing and then massaging with warm-hot water for a few minutes). The jar even says feel your face pulsate!- and I've noticed it does this best when I'm moving around more to get the blood moving versus just sitting on my couch. Thank god for it's pulling power though because sometimes those whiteheads are totally taken care of with this (not 100% of the time though), leaving just a pink mark behind which is much more ideal than messing with it myself. I'd experiment with the amount of time you leave it on after it hardens though and see what suits you best.
So since I've been using it very often for several months, I can't say it's prevented new breakouts, and therefore isn't a totally perfect product, but I think that problem is hormonal so I guess I can't expect it to work miracles (no topical product has done this for me, only helps or clears marks). However, it does make my skin feel much fresher and cleaned out for that day, so I love it just for that! Have fun experimenting with this, as there's very little reason not to try it for the price! Just experiment when you don't have to leave the house right away or when people can laugh at your crazy face ;-)
Awesome natural clay mask, great price too. Lasts a long time. I have used a couple of jars over the yrs, it lasts & lasts. I mix it with equal parts apple cider vinegar (Braggs brand). Makes my face smooth & feels super clean & refreshed. continued >>
This stuff made my face itch really bad..i used it twice and never again after..idk not for me
In terms of effectiveness, this product was absolutely a 5. I have large pores and after using this mask, I can see immediately after rinsing that they are empty. It pulsates as the clay dries and draws oil and sebum out like a clay vaccum. It can be painful if you leave it on too long and if you have sensitive skin, it is probably not for you, unless you maybe want to use it in spots with blackheads or your T-zone only.
I mix with Bragg's ACV because it is what so many reviewers I trust recommended. I do have friends who use water and report the same results.
My only complaint and the reason that this is *not quite* my HG clay mask is that I wish I could buy it in a tube and not have to mix it. I do understand that given its main ingredient, betonite clay, it sucks the moisture out of anything you mix it with and that its thickening and drying is what makes it so effective. This would probably make it difficult to package effectively in a ready-to-use container. Still, a girl can wish.
This is crazy cheap and you can find it at Amazon, iHerb, Vitacost, any online retailer that sells health and beauty products. I have not seen it in health and beauty stores in my area, at least not yet.
I love this mask! i mix it up with bragg's apple cider vinegar. it does pulsate and leaves my face bright red that goes away after an hour. (dont forget to put some gentle moisturizer afterwards because this mask can dry your face out) i dont know why but this brightens up my face sooo much even my boyfriend compliment me :')
PS: i dont recommend this mixture for those who have dry sensitive skin, may irritate you, but you can replace acv with water and add some honey or natural oil for extra moisture
I've been using this about once a month (not weekly due to dry skin) and it's always a luxury. So I had a steak last week and red meat unfortunately makes me acne prone. Using this mask really helps expedite the termination of acne and makes my skin feel clean and soft. It's a great mask that's very reasonably priced. Here's what I do!
1. Get a regular sized silver spoon from your kitchen drawer.
2. Scoop 1 spoon into a small bowl. This will help you avoid the a mess.
3. Pour 1-1.5 spoons of apple vinegar. Water is fine too but the ACV will help soften/exfoliate skin. ACV also mixes better with the clay. Water can make it clumpy so make sure to mix with extra effort.
4. Watch the mixture fizz and mix until consistency is even.
5. Apply a thin even layer with a brush; using your hand is okay too, but won't be as even.
6. Let dry for 10-20 minutes. You will feel your skin pulsating (if your arteries aren't too deep). Your teeth will feel like clamping due to skin tightness.
7. When dried, lay a damp cloth over your face, and ever so gently wipe away with warm water.
8. Apply a good face cream i.e. Cetaphil to restore moisture.
9. Wait around 30 minutes for skin redness to go away. Or just have your beauty sleep!
I have acne-prone, reactive skin with enlarged pores and very oily t-zone.
This mask works really well for me. I have used it at least 4 times now, and have had no reaction to it. It does a great job of cleaning out your pores.
My skin looks squeaky clean after I use this mask. It does leave the skin feeling dry, so a more generous application of your moisturizer after using this mask is required. There is a slight redness after the mask is removed, but it doesn't last long.
This mask is tricky to mix. You really have to work with it so that it won't clump. Be sure to start with liquid first and then add the powder, not vice-versa. If you start with the powder, it will be more prone to clumping.
When adding the powder to the liquid, add a little bit at a time while stirring the mixture the entire time. I use a whisk to mix mine; I find a spoon doesn't work well enough.
Be careful not to make too much. I have a tendency to do that. A tablespoon of liquid should do it; 2 at the most.
I find it best to apply this mask to the face with a brush. You’ll get a more precise application that way. Plus, this mask is messy, and you don't want to get it between your fingers or under your nails.
Be sure to pull your hair back, well out of your face. If it gets into your hair, it's a real pain to get out, and it's gonna hurt if it hardens.
The mask will dry up quickly under your nose and around your mouth (the areas where you breathe from), so it's best to apply the mask to those areas last.
I agree with others that my skin doesn't "pulsate", it just gets really tight. When you can't take it anymore, that when it's time to remove the mask. My threshold is usually 15-20 minutes.
The mask is not easy to remove - plain water won't do, at least not without difficulty. I use a wet cloth or a drenched paper towel. I prefer a paper towel so I can just throw it away when done. Any towels or cloths you get the mask on will stain, but the stains do come out in the wash.
Be sure to wipe your sink clean immediately after using this mask, and to wash your bowl, whisk etc., right away, otherwise the leftover clay will harden.
All in all, I think the mask is great, and I will repurchase it. The only complaints I have is that it's messy, and it clumps easily, but otherwise I am very pleased with it. I especially love that it doesn't cause my acne-prone skin to break out.
Lastly, I have only used the clay with water. I am bit wary of using apple cider vinegar on the skin. While I know it's supposed to be perfectly safe, I worry that its acidity will irritate my skin. Some reviewers have indicated that this mask has broken them out, and I wonder if the apple cider is to blame.
I was expecting to absoloutely love this product. I bought it after reading an interview with Leslie Mann (who has amazing skin!) who said she uses it. It leaves my skin soft I guess but I feel like I would get that with any clay mask. I use it once a week and I don't think it has done anything at all for my skin. I mix it with apple cider vinegar. Also, I don't get the throbbing feeling or anything else that people say they feel with it on...it just gets tight. I will finish the tub but won't buy another one.
I bought this on impulse about 6 months ago. I have been having trouble with my skin since August of last year, and I was desperate! I am really impressed by how well this mask works. For the price, I was not expecting the world from it, but it really helps clear up my skin. It is a very strong mask, so at first, I expected my skin to dry out, but I have never had dryness from it. I do have a little trouble mixing the mask, but that is the only problem that I have with it. When I have a terrible breakout, I use this mask for 15 minutes before I go to bed. By morning, my skin looks A LOT better with viable reduction in the size of the pimples. I also feel like it reduced the itchiness that come with acne. I use it once or twice a month on regular skin months, and once a week when my skin is breaking out badly.
This mask is serious business. I agree with the previous previewer that this is not a mask to relax with! I use it about once a week, mixing it with apple cider vinegar and applying it on clean skin. I leave it on for about 15 minutes, or until I can't take it anymore, lol. It really does feel like it's vacuum-sucking your pores, it is SO WEIRD at first. At after I wash it off (and it doesn't wash off easily, I suggest wearing it before you get into the shower and can wash it off in there) my face is pretty rosy and red. But truly, the next morning, I can always count on my face to look much better. Any areas that were looking congested no longer look that way, my T-zone is less oily, and dry areas look smoother too, which is surprising. And the pores on my nose look smaller. This is so fast-acting, it's one of the few "quick fixes" that actually work. I would never be without this!
And it's cheap, and they give you a large quantity in a jar. I love that it's so simple too, no preservatives or potential irritants. Just pure bentonite clay goodness. I also like the Queen Helene mint julep mask, but I feel like this is an upgrade.