Besides having clear skin, it's everyone's dream to have less visible pores, but things like oily skin, pollution, and an unhealthy lifestyle can get in the way of this goal. In fact, dermatologists will tell you that making your pores smaller is not possible—however, making them less visible is. How, you ask? By having an even skin tone and making sure they're clear and not congested, of course.
This is where clay masks come in. Before K-beauty made sheet masks immensely popular, clay masks were already around to help treat acne and clear pores from gunk and debris. For centuries, mineral-rich clay masks have been proven efficient at deep-cleansing the pores and brightening the complexion (just ask Cleopatra). Now, there are more types of clay masks on the market than we can count, all with different ingredients and textures to target specific skin concerns.
When used once or twice a week after cleansing, clay masks can remove the build-up of oil and dirt on your skin. And while there are other products in your skincare routine that can do the same thing, clay masks have their own way of doing so with their somehow magnetic ability to suck out the impurities from your pores and achieve an overall clearing effect. For the best ones to add to your routine, keep scrolling!
Best Clay Masks to Shop
1. L'Oréal Anti-Pores Pure Clay Mask
This product is infused with morocco clay and rosemary extract, which control sebum production, reset and moisten skin, and mattify the T-zone. Just like what you'd expect from a good clay mask, it helps absorb the impurities and unclogs congested pores. And though this controls oil, it won't dry your skin out and instead leave it comfortably shine-free.
L'OREAL PARIS Anti-Pores Pure Clay Mask, P449, Lazada
2. The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask
This clay mask from The Inkey List effectively targets impurities and absorbs your skin's excess oil. While it does help reduce sebum production, it claims to be non-drying and gentle enough to be used twice a week. In fact, aside from kaolin clay, it also has aloe leaf juice to soothe the skin, making it suitable for those with dry, sensitive, and mature skin.
THE INKEY LIST Kaolin Clay Mask, P495, Beauty Bar
3. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
This all-natural mask restores the skin's glow and refines large pores using naturally-derived BHA and enzymes. Its BHA or beta hydroxy acid content comes in the form of willow bark extract, which clears clogged pores and targets blackheads. Meanwhile, the pomegranate enzymes and pink clay provide further gentle chemical exfoliation to treat uneven skin tone and texture.
TATA HARPER Resurfacing Mask, P3715, Sephora.ph
4. Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Spot Treatment Cambrian Clay Mask
The main ingredient of this product, Cambrian blue clay, originates from Siberian lakes, and it's said to help balance the skin's overall pH and address other skin issues such as blemishes and tired-looking skin. It's a worthy option if you're looking for something all-natural yet gentle, since it uses plant-based ingredients to effectively detoxify and target impurities deep down the surface.
HERBIVORE BOTANICALS Blue Clay Spot Treatment Cambrian Clay Mask, P1124, Sephora.ph
5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
Charcoal in general is commonly found in clay masks because it acts like a magnet that attracts deep-seated dirt in our pores and brings them to the surface. This clay mask from Origins, for one, uses bamboo charcoal to achieve this, and it also has white China clay that absorbs environmental toxins as well as lecithin that gets rid of other skin impurities. What's more, it's formulated without parabens and is amazing for oily and acne-prone skin.
ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores, P1250, Lazada
6. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2x
Thanks to volcanic cluster spheres from Jeju Island, this mask absorbs excess sebum, tightens pores, exfoliates, and cleanses—all in one step! It also contains walnut shell powder and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) to remove dead skin cells while giving a brightening effect on the skin. After each use, it leaves your skin with a refreshing cooling sensation.
INNISFREE Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2x, P560, SM Mall of Asia
7. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
This has a blend of six different AHAs and BHAs to control and treat blemishes, unclog pores, and exfoliate your skin. In combination with kaolin that helps control sebum production, it also uses activated charcoal to lift impurities out of your pores. With all these benefits, you can definitely expect to glow after each masking sesh!
GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment, P3300, Beautymnl
8. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask
This mask claims to be the "world's most powerful facial." It does deep cleansing and is popular for treating acne-prone skin. It comes in a powdery formula, which you have to mix with apple cider vinegar—or, if you are sensitive to the smell, you can substitute it with water. Don't be scared once you apply and you feel your skin slightly pulsating, because that's how you know the mask's ingredients have activated.
AZTEC SECRET Indian Healing Clay Mask, P595, Healthy Options
9. Pixi Glow Mud Mask
This mud mask combines kaolin and sea salt to fight blemishes, brighten the complexion, and control oil at the same. It also has ginseng and aloe vera that are both good for calming and moisturizing to avoid that tight, uncomfortable feeling after masking. Overall, it's a non-drying and revitalizing treatment that you'll go back to every time you need a cleanse.
PIXI Glow Mud Mask, P1538, Sephora.ph
10. Lush Cup O' Coffee
Combined with kaolin clay that deeply cleanses and ground coffee for exfoliation, this clay mask will buff away unwanted dryness and flakes, giving you a smoother complexion after a few minutes of scrubbing. The intoxicating scent of coffee and cocoa will make the 15 minutes of waiting time worth it. In fact, this could even be enough for your daily dose of caffeine—consider good skin as bonus!
LUSH Cup O' Coffee, price unavailable, Edsa Shangri-La