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Skin

We tried the viral pore-exposing clay mask loved by Kourtney Kardashian – but are we using clay masks all wrong?

April 9th 2021 / Melanie Macleod / 0 comment

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According to a French skincare expert, allowing your clay mask to dry is an absolute no-no

TikTok is currently abuzz with chatter about Caudalie's Instant Detox Mask, £19.80. Users are praising the clay mask for its abilities to clear pores and brighten skin, with skincare TikToker Glamzilla wracking up 2.7 million views on her review of the mask. This isn't the first time there's been a lot of excitement around the mask though. Back in 2019 Kourtney Kardashian (pictured above left) told Harpers Bazaar that it's one of her favourites for keeping her skin breakout free and it became an instant sellout. Beauty retailer Escentual sold out completely within minutes of Kourtney calling it out and every restock since has flown off the virtual shelves too (though it's in stock at the time of writing).

@glamzilla

#stitch with @lookfantastic THE CLAY MASK YOU NEED!!! #makeup #fyp #skincare

♬ original sound - GLAMZILLA

The 99 per cent natural mask which combines eight essential oils and brightening papaya enzymes, along with pink clay and coffee, absorbs toxins, purifies the pores and regenerates the skin, but it's the pore-highlighting action that has had social media going wild. A viral video on beauty retailer Look Fantastic's Instagram shows how the mask sinks into pores, highlighting each and every pore and such is the effect that it comes with a trigger warning for trypophobia, the fear of small holes.


We gave the mask a whirl and were horrified/delighted (delete as appropriate) to see it highlighting our pores, but it turns out that leaving a clay mask to dry could actually be doing more harm than good for our skin. We spoke to Dr Marine Vincent, founder of The French Pharmacy about why allowing a clay mask to dry is a skincare no-no.

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How to use a clay mask

"In order to benefit from the minerals in clay masks it is vital to keep your skin humid," Marine tells us. Only when clay remains humid will it be able to perform its purifying powers. "Allowing clay to dry out will do nothing but dry the skin," Marine continues. So even if you love that cracking feel, don't allow your mask to dry.

"Redness and irritation can occur if clay is allowed to harden on the face," warns Marine. "This could stimulate the sebaceous glands which means the glands will feel attacked and produce more sebum the next day."

That's not to say you should bin all of your clay masks, it's just important to keep it from drying on your face. To keep your clay mask working hard Marine recommends applying it in a thick layer, then using a face mist (she suggests Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray, £13, or Caudalie Grape Water, £11,) and mist over your mask as soon as you can feel it pulling, then leaving it on for the recommended time before washing off.

Buy Caudalie's Instant Detox Mask, £19.80

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