First of all, thank you so much to all of you who suggested using this with apple cider vinegar! I was using it with water and it was clumpy and didn't work as well, but the vinegar mixes well with this and enhances the effects. Excellent, HG mask. Unlike others, there are no additives, which usually irritate my skin or cause some sort of reaction. This is green powdered clay, pure and simple, and for its product type the price is great! Huge jar for like 5 or 10 dollars. I try to use it once a week to clean out pores and give my skin a glow. IMPORTANT: I would recommend using this at night before bed! It turns my face pink (temporarily) as though I just did an at-home peel. Not painful at all, it just gets the blood flowing at the surface. If you're worried about breaking out after (as with many masks that can draw out impurities) you can try putting on a layer of benzol peroxide or salicylic acid (sorry, I'm butchering the spelling) or whatever acne treatment you like all over your face after. I use bp and I don't break out after using the mask. I totally love it!
I like using this with ACV...I have combination and sometimes dry skin and this mask has never dried out my skin and most clay based masks do. I use it once or twice a week for 20 minutes and it really cleans my skin out (blackheads), shrinks my pores and the pulsing is crazy weird, but good. My skin is red after I take it off, but the redness goes away in an hour. I have acne (along my jawline) and it helps with it...doesn't take it away =( It is really cheap and you get a ton, but the container is a little messy...that would be my only complaint about this. Otherwise it is great...great price and product.
I have extremely oily skin and I'm continuously searching for products to keep my skin acne free. I work in cosmetics, more specifically a skin care line, and this is the best clay mask on the market! It is super cheap at $7 and the jar will last forever. I mix it with apple cider vinegar and leave it on for 20 min. It will leave your skin red after removal but it goes away after 30 min. It pulls your skin very tight and the pulsating that you will feel is the mask helping the blood circulation in your face. I have never gotten compliments on my skin until I started using this product.
I really like this mask! I use this with AC vinegar. I can really feel this mask cleaning out my pores and taking out all of the impurities! I usually use this after like really hot days so I can clean the oil and like dirt out of my pores or w/e's there. It's cheap, but it works amazingly! It makes your pores smaller, too.
This is amazing. I have very oily skin and very large pores which is a bad combination. Before using this stuff I could never really clean out the blackheads on my nose, no matter what I used. Even after professional extractions and steam facials and pore strips. I used this every day for a week and it's drastically, although not completely, cleared out my pores. Amazing stuff, works better than anything I've used before.I have tried it with water but the apple cider vinegar works much better.
It will make your face feel tight, it is a bit messy, it is hard to get off and your face will pulsate but it is seriously worth it.
This stuff is great for my somewhat oily and extremely acne-prone skin. My pores and frequently filled with disgusting dark sebum and this mask gets rid of much of it.
I actually dont buy the aztec secret brand anymore, because I can get calcium bentonite (which is the same as aztec secret) in bulk at my helath food store. I store it in my old aztec secret container. I feel my health food stuff is a bit more 'pulsating'-inducing and soother than the original Aztec Secret, but it's not a major difference. I think aztec secret is cheaper, though.
Oh, and unlike so many reviewers here, I do *not* use this stuff with acv. I can't stand the smell of acv. Instead I mix it with herbal tea and/or water and an essential oil of my choice. Right now, I have on a mask of the clay, a few drops of lemon essential oil, and water.
This product is one of the best face mask I've ever used but it doesn't clear up my pimples as fast as I thought it would. I mixed it with ACV and the powder is very messy, once hardened very hard to take off, and left my skin beat red. I usually like to sleep with my face mask on over night to clear up pimples but I can't with this one because it gets to flaky and cracks off makes a mess in my bed. I do like the products, I will continue to use it, I just hope with continued use it will clear up my skin.
Let me just start off by saying...my skin is super acne-prone. I've tied everything and this works the best! I use it almost everyday and my skin is so much better. Also my skin is more sensitive and this product works really well. I suggest you apply a thinner layer with Apple cider vinegar if you use it everyday. I also think its better to use it at night, moisturize, and apply benzo peroxide. The smell isn't the best but acne-free skin is worth it.
I bought this stuff at the Vitamin Shoppe for about $7 and it's great. This is my first time using a clay mask. I was so impressed with it that I convinced my 15 year old son to try it (he also has acne) and he loved it also. Cleans out the pores making them appear smaller and makes your skin so smooth and soft. The jar is also pretty big and should last a while. I also love that you have to mix it fresh yourself. I used a teaspoon with some apple cider vinegar and water, mixed then apply. I kept it on for about 30 minutes (until dry) and then washed off. The first time I used it I washed it off in the sink but the second time I used it, I washed it off in the shower which turned out to be a better place to wash it off. Quite simple. I highly recommend it.
Update: I used this in my hair and left it in for about 1-1/2 hours (I was watching TV--LOL) and then I rinsed it out in the shower, shampooed with African Black soap and followed with a 50/50 ACV and water rinse. My hair came out so soft. I think I'll do this at least twice a month.
Added: I read that lavender essential oil is good for acne-prone skin. So, I mixed 2 drops in my mask and it felt cool. Sort of like menthol. Also, improves the smell (ACV is quite strong smelling). I shall be doing this again. :)
After slugging it out with the DDF Sulfur Therapeutic mask for a year with very mediocre results (despite all the glowing reviews I guess my skin was deadened to the effect of sulfur) I decided to try this out. I bought it at Whole Foods, and it was less than $10 for a giant tub. I had a spare bottle of apple cider vinegar at home, and as recommended I used them in conjunction. I like that it's up to you to make a "fresh" mask everytime you want.
Simply put, this simple mask is AMAZING. It blows everything else I've tried (DDF Sulfur, sea salt mask, honey mask, aspirin mask), clear right out of the water. I had some pretty bad breakouts before finding this mask, and now they are all gone. My skin is pretty tough, and in the beginning I used it once a night and left it on for an hour each time around. Skin gets a bit red and sensitive after, but nothing a little moisturizer can't fix. I do feel the pulse slightly which I find pretty cool, but after a while I think your skin gets used to it. On bad spots I sometimes even spot treatment overnight, and it always reduces the severity of the breakout.
Slight disclaimer - do not try to talk or change your facial expression at all with this mask on. It is a tough mask that hardens like thin concrete, and it will hurt your face to move or talk. Just prepare to read a book with it on, or do something relaxing and let it do its work. Also, it smells awful used with apple cider vinegar. I'll stomach that any day, though.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, please try this mask. You'll love it!
UPDATE (6/15/09): Still obsessed with this mask. Use it when I have a breakout or clogged pores, and it is always makes me skin super soft and calms down any irritation. I found the BEST WAY to mix it. Have a small scooper constantly inside the jar (tsp sized). And then, put your ACV into a clean pump bottle. When you need to use it, scoop a bit onto your palm in a small "bowl" shape. Simply take your pump and use as many pumps as you need to turn the powder into sludge. This way you don't need a new container, don't need to rinse anything, you never get the ACV bottle dirty with powder, nor do you ever risk pouring too much ACV into the powder! Just wash your hands after and voila!! Soooo easy and convenient to use now. =)