If you are serious about cleaning up your skin….you might want to get a little dirty with your skincare. Face masks have been around at least since Cleopatra’s time—over 2,000 years ago—when rumor has it she would use anything from grape masks to salt scrubs to almond oil to masks made of actual gold to improve her skin. It appears that she took what was naturally available around her, learned of their properties and then applied them to suit specific needs. This reminds me a lot of other face masks that have been around for millennia that make use of the earth’s best ingredients: mud, clay and charcoal. Today, we have the convenience of picking up these dirty masks at our local store, and knowing they have been tested to have a safe concoction of ingredients inside. Let’s dive in to what makes these masks so special that Cleopatra might have used them herself.
Mud masks are the more hydrating of the three. Mud inherently has more moisture than clay and charcoal and it helps deliver this moisture into your skin during the chunk of time you typically let a mask work with your skin. Mud masks are also known to cleanse impurities out of the skin and refresh the skin—and given its more gentle nature, you can use it two or three times a week.
Clay masks are the more drying of the three types; this is because the clay naturally absorbs excess oil in your skin. It tightens and lightly exfoliates the skin as well, and due to these properties, it is recommended to use this type of mask less often, say, once a week.
Charcoal masks are amazing for your pores. They draw out bacteria, dirt, micro-particles and similar impurities from the skin. Charcoal is not metabolized by skin, so it absorbs the bad stuff and lets you literally wash it all away.
All three mask types have their specialized benefits, and therefore to get the most impact it is best to know your skin type and know what help you need. In the most general sense, mud masks are great for dry skin, clay masks are great for oily skin, and charcoal masks are great for inflamed pores. If your skin profile is not so straight forward, try out the masks that speak to you and remember that you can apply masks to specific sections of the face instead of all over for targeted relief.