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. =)
I love this stuff! I never understood the hype about other clay masks (QH Mint Julep, etc) because they never seemed to work for me. Yeah, they felt cool and tingly going on, but I never saw any kind of difference in my skin. So I supposed I just persisted at it because "it worked for everyone else." Well, in comes this mask. And now I know how clay masks are really supposed to behave and why people love them so much.It's a huge and cheap ($5 at Whole Foods) tub and in essence, it works. It pulsates, stiffens up my face something awful, and yes it does turn you red after you take it off. But that's okay (do it at night and no one will see you and you'll wake up with glowing skin too). I get teeny (but annoying) blackheads and clogged pores on my nose and this gets rid of them. No other way to put it. I put this on whenever my skin feels congested (about 1-2x a week) and just when my skin is due for its weekly cleaning. I will mention though: do NOT let it sit on your face for too long. Anywhere from 10-20 minutes is probably the max it should go. I've left it on for over an hour, and I felt it was more effective after I washed it off after 15min. You may purge a little bit, but it's not a bad thing. In fact, it brings all my pimples to a head so they can be extracted or healed. I think pimples heal faster when they're drained (and then slathered with antibiotic or antiseptic ointment) anyways.
My HG facial mask. I was recommended this mask by another user and I'm totally in love with this stuff. At first I was really scared my skin would be too sensitive for this mask, but it works amazingly well with my skin! I've been using it every other day for almost two weeks and my face is seriously flawless even my mom and sister commented my skin looks better. O.O The mask got all the gunk out of the pores around my nose. I've found that when I use a thin layer on my face the mask works a lot better.
I mixed 1 teaspoon of this with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and it was plenty to cover my entire face with a decent layer. It was crazy how tight this mask got, but it wasn't at all uncomfortable or itchy. I did feel it throbbing a little but only where I had a couple major pimples. When I rinsed, everything did seem to be brought to the surface. My face was a little red for a while afterwards but nothing worse than a mild sunburn. The good part was the next morning. My skin looked glowy and clear and there were no flakes at all. I'm impressed! I've used it for 3 nights in a row now with no problems, only steady improvement. My skin is used to strong treatments though. Be careful not to spill when opening the tub because it's packed all the way to the top.
I call this "Aztec Punishment" because it makes your face throb like crazy and get all red afterwards. That being said, I absolutely love it. My normally oily skin has been a lot more balanced since I began using it. It does have a tendency to make you break out when you first use it, but that's because it brings all the toxins and newly-forming zits up to the surface of your skin. Once that phase is over, you're in the clear. I use it a few times a week. It's the best.
I tried this tonight for the first time with the apple cider vinegar. It spread easily, much better than my only other mask that I have to mix myself (an old Bliss Breakout Busting Seaweed Task mask). The vinegar smell isn't particularly pleasant, but you get used to it.
I watched a tv show that kept me laughing while my mask dried. Some bits and pieces fell off, so that might not have been the best idea.
I felt the pulsing and after being on for about 30 minutes, I REALLY felt the mask start to work, so I left it on until 45 minutes. That's when it started to get painful, so I finally washed it all off and my skin underneath was a dream. It's luminescent and smooth. I read that if you have acne (and I do), that it will actually make your skin worse until it gets better because it's bringing all the toxins to the surface (where they can clear up immediately) and that if you use it for a little while, it will then clear up your skin. So while the quality of my skin looks better, I actually noticed a few more spots afterwards. I plan on updating after future uses, but this really looks like it could be my HG of masks. There's also a link that someone has referenced that has 12 different recipes-- highly recommend taking a look at it.
(if that doesn't work-- http://tinyurl.com/6u87ab).
UPDATE: I've been using the mask for three weeks now and I love it more now than I did before. I've used the mask with ACV, with just plain water, and with a greek yogurt, ACV, and honey mixture. When used with water, the mask doesn't mix well and feels tighter and somehow less effective. The ACV is just really necessary for mixing it, unless you use yogurt or milk or something. The ACV is probably my favorite, but I think I'm going to try and work in the honey. If you use yogurt or milk, the texture becomes mousse-like and it doesn't really burn when it's done drying and it doesn't get too red. My skin looks phenomenal. I see a marked difference in my skin quality, and while the initial applications made my skin break out a little more, it was definitely superficial and my skin has definitely improved.
When using the ACV by itself, be careful not to dry out your skin. I use coconut oil to moisturize afterwards and it keeps my skin soft.
It feels really strong as if it’s sucking/ cleaning my pores but it did not do much on my skin. Too bad... since price was so cheap I wish I liked it more. So far, I prefer Shiseido’s Naturgo clay mask (for the convince and performance) or Ella Bache’s Matte finish solution (at this point, I can’t live without it)
This mask is absolutely amazing. I have tried so many...i am mask maniac .And I do like some others too BUT this ones is really my HG.I have combo skin very clog/prone BUT with dry flaky skin around my mouth. Most of the cleansing mask dries my skin even more. This one..NEVER.I apply on my face ( mix with water ) and stay for 30 minutes after that ones I wash it (hard to wash tough) my skin feel absolutely clean and never dry as I say. I definitely see great results with this mask. The best thing is that is so cheap too…
I am actually doing this mask right now. I love it to an extent. Gets my horribly blackhead-spotted nose clear and my face looks nice after this.
However, hurts like no other. It gets so hard and tight that it makes me claustrophobic and I can't wait to wash it off. When you wash it off it is like washing off dry cement. Horrid! Leaves your face red for a while, definitely don't do this before a date or job interview..for nights in..alone..only. ;-)
With all these cons you would think I hate it, buuttt, for the skin it gives me I will continue to buy. One recommendation, do not use as much as the package says. I use one teaspoon with ACV and it is plenty. Too much and I am certain your face will peel off upon removal.