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Recreate a Spa-Like Experience at Home with the Best Clay Masks for Every Skin Type

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We’ve been obsessed with face masks for as long as we can remember—from sheet masks to cream masks, and super satisfying peel-off masks. But to all the masks we’ve loved before: we’re sorry, nothing makes our skin quite as happy as a clay mask. In fact, clay masks are probably one of the first face masks we tried as tweens. Not only do they come in all sorts of fun colors and textures, clay masks have benefits for almost every skin type and they’re so easy to use. Today’s clay masks do more than just draw out icky stuff from your skin, they give back by hydrating, brightening, evening out skin tone, minimizing fine lines, and more. Just walk the skincare aisle and you’ll find endless formulas bumped up with buzzy ingredients (like superfruit antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and nourishing oils) that take clay masks to the next level. Adding a clay mask to your skincare routine is a quick (and fun) way to show your skin a little extra love.

Ready to find your holy grail clay mask? We’ve got a list of our favorite formulas to get you started. But before we dive in, we asked Aziel Rodgers, Licensed Esthetician at The Things We Do in Los Angeles, for a little guidance on different types of clay masks and what they do. “All clay masks help loosen debris from your pores, reduce and balance oil production, and help improve cell turnover,” Rodgers says. But not all clay masks are the same—there are many different types with their own skin-loving benefits. According to Rodgers, “Rhassoul clay is great for calming breakouts and is amazing for very oily, acne-prone skin. Kaolin clay, which is quite popular, can help purify impurities without over-stripping skin. Bentonite clay is another popular one (think Indian Healing Clay) that helps purify the skin.”

Like all skincare products, it’s important to find one that suits your skin’s unique needs (check out our guide on how to know your skin type.) To help, we’ve rounded up the best clay masks we’ve had in our Glam Bags and sorted them based on skin type, so you can easily find a formula that'll get you gorgeous, glowy, and bright.

VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Miracle Mask 5 in 1
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VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Miracle Mask 5 in 1

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Best Multitasking Mask

Sometimes we need a product that truly does it all–that’s where this 5-in-1 mask comes in. It detoxifies with charcoal and kaolin clay, gently exfoliates with papaya enzymes, nourishes and calms thanks to jojoba & peppermint oils, hydrates with shea and cocoa butter, and brightens with turmeric. Apply this all-in-one clay mask, and you just might have the confidence to turn off that Zoom filter.

MAKEUPDROP Super Silver Haze Purifying Face Mask
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MAKEUPDROP Super Silver Haze Purifying Face Mask

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Best for Stressed-Out Skin

Whether you’re experiencing acne, eczema, or rosacea, this anti-inflammatory and antibacterial mask made with white clay and hyaluronic acid will calm your skin and reduce swelling, all while serving up serious hydration. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll especially love the way it cleans out your pores without stripping your skin’s moisture barrier. Bonus: It also delivers 100mg of CBD to soothe your complexion.

“Great mask to clean our pores and fight bacteria,” says one Ipster. “This stuff is great. Goes a long way and is moisturizing and leaves my skin feeling great and my pores feeling like they're breathing,” says another.

GENERATION SKIN Urban Defence Purifying Pink Clay Mask
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GENERATION SKIN Urban Defence Purifying Pink Clay Mask

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Best for Hyperpigmentation

This pretty pink(!) mask is packed with antioxidants to help protect and fortify your skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, while stimulating collagen production and giving your skin a good deep clean with bentonite clay. “This right here is the MVP of clay masks,” says one Ipster. “I love the way this makes my skin feel and look,” says another. Bonus: It’s also packed with aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe your complexion.

SAND & SKY Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask
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SAND & SKY Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask

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Best for Brightening Overall

If you’re looking to brighten dull-looking skin, slather on this miracle-working mask and get ready for your glow-up. This cult-favorite mask uses nourishing aloe and pink Australian clay to fight damage caused by pollution, draw out toxins, absorb oil, and leave you with a more radiant, clearer complexion. “Very good mask to clean out pores and balance oily skin,” says one Ipster. “Great for brightening,” says another. Bonus: The pink hue makes it totally worthy of a #maskselfie.

GEORGETTE KLINGER Collagen and Elastin Mask
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GEORGETTE KLINGER Collagen and Elastin Mask

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Best for Anti-Aging

This firming facial mask will help give you smooth, supple skin thanks to a powerful combination of collagen and elastin. These ingredients help hydrate and heal deep within your skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While some clay masks can be drying, this hydrating formula will leave you with that just-moisturized feeling thanks to a unique blend of olive oil, lavender, and avocado oil. “I’m wary of clay masks because I have dry skin but this was very nourishing,” says one Ipster.

PURLISSE BEAUTY Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask
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PURLISSE BEAUTY Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask

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Best for Fighting Pollution

This facial-in-a-bottle uses white clay to draw out dirt and excess oil, and fight free radical damage that occurs from environmental stressors (like pollution and UV rays). Antioxidant-rich green tea protects your complexion, while ginger and lemon work together to detoxify, brighten, and fight free radicals. This mask also minimizes the appearance of pores and leaves you with a gorgeous glow. “This product makes your skin feel soft and refreshing and beautiful,” says one Ipster.

DR.BOTANICALS Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask
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DR. BOTANICALS Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask

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Best Overnight Mask

This mask gives a whole new meaning to beauty sleep—it treats your skin with antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract (high in vitamin C) that brightens, protects, and helps heal and hydrate your skin’s barrier. Even better? You won’t have to worry about it messing up your sheets. “I was worried that this would transfer to my bedding while I slept but it didn’t! My face had an even tone when I woke up and it was so smooth,” says one Ipster. “I was skeptical but this stuff ROCKS! I used it 3 nights in the first week and saw a reduction in fine lines, tons of plumpness, and no greasy feeling. Even hubby tried it and likes it after shaving at night,” raves another.

MUDMASKY® Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask
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MUDMASKY® Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask

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Best for Minimizing Pores

Montmorillonite clay helps shrink pores and stimulate blood flow to boost your glow. Even those with sensitive skin approve of this detoxifying clay mask, thanks to the addition of allantoin, which soothes irritation, reduces redness and flaking. “What a great product! I could really feel the tightening when it was drying but my skin felt so good after,” says one Ipster. “My breakouts appeared smaller and less red the next morning while my skin still felt smooth and hydrated,” says another. All you need is nine minutes and the right mud mask to minimize pores and improve skin tone.

BIORACE Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask
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BIORACE Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask

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Best Exfoliating Mask

If you feel like your cleanser just isn’t cutting it, add this mud mask to your routine to exfoliate and remove product build-up, dirt, and grime. It combines kaolin clay, rice powder, and pearl powder to give your skin the deep clean it craves, plus leave you with a radiant glow. Bonus: It also improves makeup application and helps foundation glide onto your skin smoothly and evenly. “I like the way this mask makes your skin feel refreshed and clean after using it,” says one Ipster. “This mask cleans my pores and removes dead skin to reveal healthy, soft skin,” says another.

PAPA RECIPE Eggplant Clearing Mud Cream Mask
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PAPA RECIPE Eggplant Clearing Mud Cream Mask

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Best for Sensitive Skin

This fragrance-free mask won’t stress out sensitive skin, but it will help clear up breakouts. Eggplant extract and walnut skins give it a grainy texture that easily (and gently) helps slough off dead skin cells, plus kaolin clay draws out dirt and purifies your pores. “Great mask for sensitive skin. Didn’t break me out or cause redness or irritation,” raves one Ipster. “This was an amazing product! I noticed that any blemishes I had cleared up the next day,” says another.

GENERATION SKIN Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay Mask
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GENERATION SKIN Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay Mask

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Best for Nixing Shine

Does your T-zone tend to get oily? Reach for this mud mask to mattify skin and nix shine. The charcoal is like a magnet that zaps product buildup from your pores and blackheads and whiteheads away, while witch hazel absorbs oil and soaks up excess grease. “I love this mask. It immediately starts taking effect as soon as you put it on. It's tingly and feels a little hot, then it gets to your face and feels so relaxing,” says one Ipster. “Made my skin super soft and less oily. Felt really nice,” says another.

SUNDAY RILEY Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
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SUNDAY RILEY Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

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Best for Acne-Prone Skin

Kiss your congested complexion goodbye, thanks to this breakout-busting mask that minimizes pimples and unclogs pores, all thanks to sulfur. Sulfur works overtime to clear up existing acne and stop new blemishes in their tracks. This mask works on all forms of pimples from inflammatory acne to hormonal acne, and even acne skin conditions like rosacea. Ipsters can’t get over the results. “This works wonders for my active acne,” raves one fan. “Actually does help the appearance of acne,” shares another.

BLOOMEFFECTS Dutch Dirt Mask
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BLOOMEFFECTS Dutch Dirt Mask

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Best Vegan Mask

Is dirt the secret to keeping your complexion clear? This mask’s unique Dutch Dirt Tulip complex helps minimize pores and rebalance your complexion, while hyaluronic acid draws in moisture to keep skin hydrated and plump. We especially love that the vegan formula is paraben- and sulfate-free. “Best Mask I have used in YEARS! I am a mask connoisseur and this one is magical! Pores are clean, almost invisible, skin glows,” says one Ipster. “Gritty & muddy, so it exfoliates & cleans your skin like super mud. It’s so potent it tingles as you apply it. Love how soft & smooth my face felt after using it,” says another.

JJ YOUNG Pore Glow Mask
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JJ YOUNG Pore Glow Mask

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Best Cooling & Soothing Mask

Can’t make it to the spa? This cooling mud mask is like a cryo-facial in a bottle, all thanks to menthol-infused kaolin clay, niacinamide, and potent fruit extracts—all which soothe and cool, brighten and tighten, and absorb excess sebum. The result? Your complexion will be fresh and clear. “Loved this mask, and I loved that it was refrigerated. After a humid or sweaty day, this cool mask felt minty fresh and clean. Made my skin lighter and brighter and glowing,” says one Ipster. “THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. Instant effects. My pores are smaller and my life is happier,” raves another. Pro tip: store it in the fridge and slather it on after a workout or on a hot day to really reap the cooling benefits.

IBOM Lemon Verbena Clay Mask
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IBOM Lemon Verbena Clay Mask

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Best-Smelling Mask

Just because pore-clearing clay masks do all the dirty work, doesn’t mean they can’t smell delightful. Lemon verbena brightens skin and purifies pores, and also gives this clay mask an intoxicating scent that’s a major mood booster. “Smells amazing and has amazing results. It does a good job at cleansing impurities and leaving the skin fresh and bright,” says one Ipster. “Love the smell, really good consistency,” says another.

If you love these clay masks, there are tons of new and buzzy skincare products you’ll have fun trying. Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Katrina-Mitzeliotis-headshot
Katrina Mitzeliotis Lanza
Katrina is a freelance writer and on-air correspondent with over a decade of experience covering beauty, fashion, and entertainment. When she isn't freelancing, you can catch her on QVC or chasing after her two-year-old son.
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Article Last Updated July 24, 2023 12:00 AM