Is Aztec Clay Mask Good for Oily Skin?

Aztec Clay Mask is one of the most purchased beauty products on Amazon, with over 60,000 (mostly) positive reviews.

It’s hailed as the must-have product for everyone with oily and acne-prone skin, and it’s said that it can even be used as a body and a scalp treatment for those dealing with conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and excessive dandruff.

However, although the Aztec Clay Mask may be a holy grail for some, there are those that have had rather unpleasant experiences with this product.

And as someone who has already tried the mask and belongs to the latter category, I want to talk about why I think that the Aztec Clay Mask isn’t good for oily skin or any skin for that matter.

Therefore, in this article, I will take a deeper dive into this “miracle” treatment, explain its potentially harmful side effects, and suggest five best masks for oily skin.

Is Aztec Clay Mask Good for Oily Skin - The Skincare Culture

NB: If you’re someone with oily/acne-prone skin, you need my new book “The Ingredients Handbook for Acne-Prone Skin“. Download it here.

What is Aztec Clay Mask?

The facial mask is promoted as a miracle treatment that will help pull toxins and impurities from your skin, reduce congestion, help clear acne, and balance out oil production once applied on the face.

According to the Aztec Clay Amazon website, clay has been used in beauty rituals over 4,000 years ago to promote radiance and smooth any textures on the skin.

The company claims this product works so well because the negatively charged molecules of the clay bind with the positively charged molecules of supposed toxins in the skin, which get drawn out once the mask is washed off.

This product comes in a powder form, which you will need to mix at a 1-to-1 ratio with either a toner or purified/bottled water, depending on the texture and sensitivity of your skin and the actual concern you want to address.

What’s Aztec Clay Mask Made Of?

The Aztec Clay Mask is made out of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay.

Bentonite clay is an absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate clay consisting mainly of montmorillonite, which is why it’s also called Montmorillonite clay.

It usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water, and it has recently been taking off as a wellness trend among people looking to “detoxify” their bodies and defend against illnesses.

However, its origins in beauty rituals go way back and are thought to come from centuries ago when civilizations used bentonite as a healing method to promote better health, ward off diseases, and protect their skin from the blazing sun.

What Does Aztec Clay Mask Do For Your Skin?

Bentonite clay is supposed to benefit your body due to the ability to produce an electrical charge when it comes in contact with liquid.

When the clay touches any fluid, it takes on a different charge and binds to any present toxins within the fluid.

Bentonite clay, having negatively-charged molecules, “seeks” toxins in the body to bind with and then effectively remove them.

So this is exactly what the Aztec Clay mask is supposed to do. It is supposed to remove the “toxins” from your skin, remove excess oil, and clear up the pesky congestion that causes acne.

Is Aztec Clay Mask Good for Oily Skin?

Is Aztec Clay Mask Good for Oily Skin - The Skincare Culture

Aztec Clay Mask should work wonders for oily skin, but only in theory.

Many people believe that the clay absorbs excess oil and draws out impurities from the skin; however, these claims are not necessarily correct.

So, let’s start by tackling the first issue: absorbing excess oil.

When a component or an ingredient in skincare products is claimed to have “oil-absorbing” properties, this usually means that it’s drying out your skin.

Our skin needs its natural oil to stay lubricated, balanced, and protected, and if we didn’t have oil to do all these things – our skin would feel dry, stretched, tight, uncomfortable, and it would possibly crack and bleed due to dryness.

Take the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands as an example. These areas are usually dry because they are the only areas of the entire body where we don’t have sebaceous glands (the glands responsible for producing oil.)

Additionally, people who have naturally dry skin, a.k.a. skin that lacks oil, are also familiar with these issues, which is why they tend to use heavy-duty moisturizers to help replenish some of the oil their skin lacks.

So, our natural oil is amazing, and we don’t need to dry it out because it has a beneficial function for the skin.

Now, let’s move on to the second issue: drawing out impurities from the skin.

When a component or an ingredient in skincare products is claimed to be able to “draw out impurities from the skin,” this is false marketing, and the company that promotes this message shouldn’t be trusted because they are lying to you.

The only “toxins” or impurities we have are on the skin’s surface because our skin is the organ that prevents stuff from the external world from entering inside of us.

And you may very well remove these impurities by simply cleansing your skin with water or a gentle cleanser.

You don’t need dehydrating clay to “pull toxins and impurities” from your skin because there aren’t toxins and impurities inside the skin.

The only way our bodies detox is through using the toilet, not through our pores.

And lastly, if you think that clay molecules can actually enter inside the pores and dissolve sebum and dead skin cells that are causing a clog, which leads to breakouts, you are also wrong.

Clay molecules are too big to enter inside the pore, and they don’t have the ability to dissolve sebum, cellular debris, or other metabolic byproducts from the surrounding skin tissue.

Molecules such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can do this, but not clay.

Does The Aztec Clay Mask Make You Break Out?

The Aztec Clay Mask can make your skin break out, but this isn’t because it has the ability to trigger a purge, as many people claim.

Purge is what occurs when you introduce an active ingredient that works by speeding up cellular turnover, such as salicylic acid or a retinoid.

So what will happen when you start using salicylic acid or a retinoid is your skin will purge the clogs inside the pores to the skin’s surface and turn them into pimples so that they can heal and disappear.

And because all of them will come out on the surface at the same time, instead of popping up as one or two pimples every few days or weeks, it will definitely look scary, but it is actually a good thing because they will eventually heal.

Clay, on the other hand, doesn’t have the ability to increase cellular turnover, so it cannot induce a purge that will eventually go away on its own.

Therefore, if you are breaking out when using clay masks, it could be due to two reasons.

The first reason may be that the clay mask also contains other ingredients such as oils that are clogging your pores and causing you to break out.

Or the second, and the more likely reason is that clay is dehydrating your skin to the point where it’s causing it to overproduce oil to compensate for the dehydration, but unfortunately, this excess oil remains stuck inside the pores, causing them to clog up and become a home for bacteria overgrowth.

Therefore, the Aztec Clay Mask, being extremely drying to the skin, can definitely throw your sebaceous glands into overdrive of producing excess oil that will then be responsible for new breakouts.

Best Face Masks for Oily Skin

Contrary to the popular belief, you don’t need a drying face mask to balance out oily skin.

Instead, you should be looking for hydrating masks that contain lightweight ingredients such as hyaluronic acid that will hydrate the skin without clogging up the pores.

Additionally, since oily skin is prone to enlarged pores, an exfoliating mask that will help dissolve excess oil inside the pores should also be on your radar.

Here are five best face masks for oily skin that won’t dehydrate or break you out:

Eminence Organic Skin Care – Raspberry Pore Refining Masque – $48

Eminence Organic Skin Care – Raspberry Pore Refining Masque - The Skincare Culture

Eminence’s Raspberry Pore Refining Masque firms and invigorates the skin and improves the overall complexion.

The mask contains raspberry juice that nourishes and delivers a dose of antioxidants, while blueberry and blackberry juice extracts work as astringents to tone and tighten enlarged pores.

Lastly, soothing and hydrating honey replenishes moisture, while a unique Biocomplex formula repairs and strengthens the skin barrier and promotes a healthier, clearer look.

PCA Skin – Revitalizing Mask – $64

PCA Skin – Revitalizing Mask

PCA Skin Revitalizing Mask is a gel mask with a slimy texture that applies smoothly on the skin, tingles for a few seconds, washes off easily, and leaves an unmatched glow behind.

It contains a blend of papaya enzymes and humectants that work to gently dissolve and sweep away the superficial layer of dead skin cells as well as hydrate and soften the skin.

Besides that, the mask also contains green tea extract, which is a powerful antioxidant with soothing properties that won’t allow the skin to become irritated as it usually does when in contact with exfoliating enzymes.

Lastly, the mask also contains vitamin E, which has some antioxidant and moisturizing properties and gives an extra hydrating boost.

PCA Skin – Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Mask – $69

PCA Skin – Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Mask – The Skincare Culture

PCA Skin’s Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Mask intensely hydrates and rejuvenates the skin while you sleep.

It contains a blend of hydrating hyaluronic acid, brightening niacinamide, and soothing panthenol that works together to help the skin retain moisture and improve radiance and luminosity.

Renée Rouleau – Triple Berry Smoothing Peel – $88

Renée Rouleau – Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Renée Rouleau’s Triple Smoothing Berry Peel is a product packed with a combination of hydroxy acids that help encourage your skin to shed the dead skin cells and reveal a smooth, glowy, and radiant skin layer from underneath.

The product contains mandelic, lactic, salicylic, tartaric, and malic acids, as well as bromelain (an enzyme derived from pineapple.)

The mask also smells delicious but doesn’t have any added fragrance, and since a little goes a long way, it will definitely last you a while.

iS Clinical – Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque – $90

iS Clinical – Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque – The Skincare Culture

iS CLINICAL’s Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque provides an instant cooling sensation and is the perfect option for oily, irritated, and sensitive skin.

It’s also amazing for soothing inflammation and sunburns and contains a mix of calming and antioxidant ingredients derived from grapes and holistic plants.

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