Those of us with congested skin love a good clay mask. There's nothing like the refreshingly cleansed feeling that a clay mask gives to oily, clogged skin. We've put an affordable clay mask to the test against a high-end version. Get yourself some popcorn and prepare for a DEATH MATCH!
- Australian Body Care Cleansing Face Mask (€16.50)
This clay mask from Australian Body Care is creamy and enriched with Macadamia Nut Oil. The Australian Body Care range is based around one key ingredient - tea tree oil. I love this range. The body products are really effective antibacterials, particularly for teenagers who suffer with dreaded backne. Teen boys in particular will like this range - the tea tree is great for their skin in body products but the scent won't put them off!
Generally, I'm not a big fan of applying tea tree oil to the face. It's quite astringent and the antibacterial properties only help with individual spots if the oil can reach the site of infection, which is generally quite deep below the surface. However, a tea tree mask applied for around ten minutes won't hurt. If you have very sensitive skin, TeaTree Oil can be irritating, so use with caution!
Though this mask does leave skin feeling clean and refreshed, the consistency is quite thin. Generally with mud masks, generous application gets the best results. I found it difficult to apply this generously - it has a runny consistency that I'm not at all in love with. It's also worth noting that the only exfoliating ingredient, Papaya extract, is extremely gentle. If your skin is very oily or congested, this won't be enough to get through dead surface skin cells. So my skin felt clean after this mask, but not resurfaced or glowing, and it skin felt a little tight after removing this, which I don't like.
- NUDE Purify Deep Cleansing Mask (€46)
This mask from NUDE is significantly more expensive than the Australian Bodycare equivalent. It's certainly not always the case that the pricier option is the better one, but this product is streets ahead of every other clay mask I've encountered.
The consistency is really thick and moussey, so a little goes a long way. It doesn't apply streakily and gets to work immediately, efficiently absorbing sebum. Like all products from Nude, it's enriched with Omega oils and is free of mineral oil, silicone, and other nonsense ingredients.
It's also worth noting that this is enriched with Shea Butter. This can cause breakouts in oily skin, but in a mask like this, it won't do that. Applied for ten minutes, the Shea Butter in here will counteract the drying quality that clay can have without clogging pores. It prevents that unpleasant tautness after removal that's associated with clay masks.
I'm also generally opposed to manual exfoliation, except in very oily skin and when the exfoliating particles are so fine as to prevent breaking capillaries in the skin. This mask contains very finely milled buriti seeds which gently exfoliate as you rinse off the mask, leaving skin refreshed, resurfaced, clean and glowy.
This mask is expensive, but it will genuinely help with overly oily, congested skin. NUDE wins this one hands down!
Have you tried either of these? Are you a clay mask aficionado - what are your favourites?