We’ve seen a lot of skincare trends come and go in recent years. Some of these have been more effective than others. But with so many products to choose from today, it can be a real challenge to figure out which ones are worth using.
One skincare technique that’s quickly grown in popularity over the past few years is the Aztec clay mask. Maybe you’ve heard about it from a friend or seen it in a shop somewhere.
But what is the Aztec clay mask? What’s it supposed to do? Is it worth trying?
Keep reading to find the answers to those questions and more. Or, take the first step towards creating your own Aztec clay masks at home by checking out these products from the Nourished Essentials store:
- Kaolin clay for a nourishing face mask base
- Organic lavender essential oil to give your masks a touch of calm
- Natural beauty wellness kit for the tools and ingredients that you need to get creating
What is an Aztec clay mask?
Aztec clay masks have a very simple composition. They’re made entirely out of calcium bentonite clay. So when you buy an Aztec face mask kit from the store, you’re just buying branded bentonite clay most of the time.
But you do need to activate that clay to turn it into a functioning face mask. This requires a liquid.
Most people activate their Aztec clay face masks with water. But you can get creative with your choice of liquid to personalize the effects of the mask. For example, if you struggle with acne, you can use apple cider vinegar to activate your clay face masks to enjoy the benefits of its acne-reducing qualities.
Why is it so popular?
That’s a good question. First, let’s make a distinction. An Aztec clay mask is a generic beauty product that anyone can make with the right ingredients. But when many people use this phrase, they’re referring to a branded face mask product called “Aztec Secret: Indian Healing Clay”.
We make this distinction because the branded product’s success has been one of the major driving forces behind the generic clay mask’s increasing popularity.
Aztec Secret: Indian Healing Clay has consistently been one of the first few products on Amazon’s Beauty Best Sellers page. You’ll also find it on the shelves of nearly every store that has a beauty section. The ubiquitous nature of the clay product has brought it to the forefront of the modern beauty industry.
But the popularity of Aztec clay masks is based on more than clever marketing. These products are being used increasingly often because they work, pure and simple. The masks are a great way to reduce acne and deeply cleanse the skin.
They can also be purchased for under $12.00. The mask’s combination of effectiveness and low cost is what’s made it one of the most widely used beauty products in the United States.
What sets it apart from other clay masks?
Consumers today can choose from several different clay mask applications. To understand what makes the Aztec clay mask unique, we need to understand what makes bentonite clay different from the other options on the market.
Let’s start with how it’s made. Bentonite clay is composed of volcanic ash sediments. These sediments spend a long time going through a weathering process and eventually turn into the bentonite clay that you can purchase from the store.
Bentonite clay is known for its swelling properties. When mixed with water, it acts like a sponge. The clay will soak up whatever it comes into contact with. That makes it an ideal substance for removing unwanted things from your skin. Simply apply the mask to your face, let it rest for a while, and it will lift off dirt and grime that’s stuck deep in your pores.
Bentonite clay’s absorption power is the main factor that distinguishes it from other types of cosmetic clays. This is also what makes it the perfect choice for people who have oily skin.
Potential disadvantages of the Aztec clay mask
Aztec clay masks can be a fantastic way to take care of your skin. But they’re not perfect. Some people should probably avoid using them altogether.
Specifically, people with dry skin aren’t a good fit for Aztec clay masks. This is because bentonite clay works by drawing out the toxins and oils from a person’s skin. The process clears out pores and then tightens them shut to keep out dirt. This is an intensive process that can be a bit too much for folks who already have dry skin to begin with.
The problems can be compounded if you try to use an Aztec clay mask during the winter months. That’s because dry skin is more common in winter due to cold and dry air outside, which makes the water in our skin evaporate more quickly than it does in moderate months.
Even if you do have dry skin, you shouldn’t be using Aztec clay masks excessively. Doing so might clear away excess oil from your face. But it could turn your newly healthy skin dry just as quickly.
Other clays you can use
There are several additional clays that you can use in place of the bentonite clay that’s found in Aztec clay masks. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular options.
Brazilian clay is available in several different naturally-occurring colors, including purple, yellow, pink, and red. Each of these colors features an average level of absorption qualities. That means Brazilian clay is a good face mask option for people with all types of skin.
French Green Clay
This clay is similar to bentonite clay in that it’s also known for its absorption power. French green clay has a fine texture and a light green color. Like bentonite clay, French green clay is best for people with oily skin.
Kaolin clay is another option you might consider. It provides similar benefits to what’s offered by bentonite clay. For example, a kaolin clay mask will help to reduce oily skin, clear away acne, and purify the pores.
The difference is that kaolin clay is gentler than bentonite and many other types of clay. This makes it the perfect choice for people with sensitive or easily irritable skin.
How to build a clay mask
Now that you know what you need to know about clay masks, you’re probably ready to use one. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do that.
Gather your ingredients
You’ll need a few things before you can put together your clay mask. Here’s what you should have on hand:
- 2 teaspoons of kaolin clay
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon of water
- A bowl and spoon for mixing
- An applicator brush (just use your fingers if you don’t have one)
We recommend that you use kaolin clay for your face masks instead of bentonite. That’s because kaolin clay provides the same benefits as bentonite but without the downside of being especially harsh on the skin.
You’ll also notice that we included lavender essential oil in our clay face mask recipe. You don’t have to use this if you don’t have any at the moment. But using essential oils in your face masks is a great way to customize the benefits that you get from them.
Lavender essential oil has calming properties that will nourish your skin while preparing you for a peaceful night of sleep. But if you wanted your clay mask to reinvigorate you, then you could use something like peppermint essential oil instead.
Mix them together
Now that you have everything that you need, you’re ready to mix it. Start by combining the kaolin clay and the water in the bowl. Then, slowly mix in the aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil. Continue mixing until a substance with a single consistency is formed.
Apply the mask
Applying the mask is easy enough. Just put some on your brush or your fingers and spread it across your face. You should probably wash your face before doing this. You’ll get the best results if it’s clean and dry before the application process.
You don’t need to wear the clay mask for long. Just five minutes should be enough to get the benefits that you’re after.
When you’re done, wash the face mask off with a warm, wet washcloth. Then clean your face with cold water to close up your pores.
Where can I get what I need to make a clay face mask?
Check out the Nourished Essentials store to find everything that you need to start making clay face masks at home. We sell authentic kaolin clay that will make the perfect base for your mask.
You’ll also find a wide variety of essential oils to choose from. These will help you customize the benefits that you receive from using clay face masks.
We even sell the tools that you need to put all of this together. Visit our shop to learn more about these powerful ingredients.