Which Clay Mask is Right for You?

How to Choose the Best Face Mask for Your Skin

There are so many face mask products on the market today and with the recent popularity in natural ingredients, a large number of clay-based masks have won special attention. There seems to be a mask for just about every concern: anti-acne, detoxing, brightening, exfoliating, hydrating. But buyer beware: not all clays are equal, and some seem to be downright ineffective for the claims they make!

Understanding which clay mask is right for you can be overwhelming. To help clear up the confusion around clay in skincare, we’ve put together a guide comparing different clays, and showing how Canadian Glacial Clay is a powerful and unique face mask ingredient that gives real results.

Canadian Glacial Clay Mask

Best clay mask for your skin

Glacial Clay is harvested off the pristine coast of the Canadian North Pacific. It is a delicate and fluid clay that glides onto your skin and draws impurities as it dries. The NENA Clay Mask is made from 99% Glacial Clay,which has been clinically tested to reduce skin surface sebum up to 95% of after one application, and to reduce pore size, especially in dilated pores—all with visible results.

Canadian Glacial Clay has more than 60 minerals from a combination of glacial ice and ocean waters, which means it is a powerful “magnet” for toxins. Great for acne-prone skin, Glacial Clay is also known for leaving the skin supple because it does not dehydrate the skin. This makes a Glacial Clay mask ideal for mature and even sensitive skin types.

Clay-based Masks

Kaolin and Bentonite are among the most common ingredients for clay masks. Highly abundant all over the world makes them inexpensive and easy to access. Found in places like China, Pakistan, and the US,  Kaolin is considered a “neutral” clay, meaning it does not effectively draw impurities from your skin (its “neutrality” makes it a great filler for toothpaste and paper!) .

On the other hand, Bentonite has a strong capacity for moisture absorption, which can sometimes lead to a dry or tight feeling after use as natural oils are leeched from the skin. Some “French Clays” and Aztec clays are types of Bentonite clay that have been given a different (less scientific-sounding) name. Not all Bentonite clays have the same effect, but many Bentonite-based products can cause irritation, and are not recommended for sensitive skin types.

which clay mask is right for you

Mud Masks

Mud masks often contain Kaolin and/or Bentonite clay as well as concentrated mineral salts from evaporated water sources in dry climate areas. Due to harsh mineral salts and other ingredients, these products can often come with a higher EWG rating of 3 or 4, compared to NENA products, which have a rating of 1.

Charcoal Masks

Activated charcoal is a popular detoxifying skin treatment that is not technically a clay. It is a manufactured product that became popular in skincare in part thanks to its reputation as an ingestible (it’s the same substance used to treat poisonings or an overdose).

While activated charcoal is said to absorb toxins, it also absorbs water molecules and can dehydrate the skin. The black residue that lingers on the skin after a charcoal mask often requires rubbing and a cleanser.

Summing It Up

Most clay, mud and charcoal masks today contain between 15% and 25% clay (or primary “earthy” ingredient), while the remaining portion is combination of other ingredients and preservatives. The skincare claims made by many mask companies are often not the result of the natural clay ingredient, but rather thanks to the cocktail of other ingredients on the list.

Clay Mask Comparison Chart - Which Clay Mask is Right for You?

When considering clay products, it is important to consider how each ingredient may impact your skin, and the results you are trying to achieve.

The NENA Clay Mask is made with 99% Canadian Glacial Clay (“Sea Silt”) and less than 1% preservative—clear proof of the high-concentration skincare line and its Earth-To-Skin motto!

We believe that the best and most effective clay mask shouldn’t require you to compromise your quality standards, your budget, and especially not your beautiful skin!