When you are an oily-skinned queen with a heavy history of acne, you get to know face masks. I’m a fan of masks that help to reduce that pesky oil on my forehead, while also soothing redness and scarring.
Among all the products I’ve tried (and I have tried a lot), one has remained a constant. Luckily the container it comes in is huge, so I haven’t had to restock yet. I know, however, that when the time comes I will definitely place another order.
My go-to is the Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay. Here’s what you need to know: this product is a calcium bentonite clay, and works best when mixed with water and/or a solution of both water and apple cider vinegar. (Note: sensitive skin should be wary of apple cider vinegar, and only small amounts should be used! I’ve been guilty of a burn after getting a little too generous with the ACV, though it eventually went away.)
The main functions of the Indian Healing Clay are to deeply cleanse the face’s pores and remove any impurities. It’s safe to apply over active acne, and might even help to draw out some of the bacterial gunk.
Some people use it daily as an acne spot control, while I tend to use it as more of a facial. I’ll whip up this bad boy and check off my self-care box, feeling like a total boss babe while I do.
Behold my weekly face mask routine, starring this one-of-a-kind Indian Healing Clay mask.
Step 1: Wash the Face
When I wash my face, I use the Shea Moisture African Black Soap, which is made with shea butter. This product was recommended by a prominent Instagrammer in the acne community, and I have loved using it so far. It leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed, and is known to help with restoring moisture, a common issue for acne sufferers.
I also used my Foreo. I received this $139 tool with a Fab, Fit, Fun box, and have loved how effectively it cleans my face, removing excess oils, makeup, and dirt. Plus, it’s super easy to use and has a technology flair, connecting to an app via bluetooth. It has the ability to measure the “age” of your skin based on moisture levels, which is a nice kick in the pants whenever I need the reminder to wear sunscreen.
Pro-tip: Make sure your face is dry before applying the mask.
Step 2: Mix the Face Mask
Next is mixing up the mask. I love using a re-purposed makeup brush, but fingers will do, especially if you have a flair for nostalgia and miss the days of finger painting; imagine your face as a canvas.
I try to get a nice ratio between the powder and water/apple cider vinegar, and mix it into a paste. Not enough liquid will lead to a clumpy mess, while too much will lead to a thin mix that won’t stick to the skin. I rarely get it exactly right on the first pour, but man does it feel good when I do.
Step 3: Apply the Mask
Using the utensil or your fingers, apply the mask evenly over the face or other part of the body that needs a little extra TLC. About a fourth-inch or half-inch will do. Watch out for those eyebrows!
Let it dry. The recommendation with people for sensitive skin is between 5-10 minutes, and 15-20 minutes for non-delicate skin. I usually leave it on closer to the 20 minutes, to make sure I get the biggest bang from my mask. I also credit this to my desire to live a little dangerously, within reason, of course.
While it’s on, you’ll feel a little pulling and a slight tingling, especially if you used the apple cider vinegar. You will definitely be able to tell when it has completely dried on your skin.
During the waiting time, I usually try to get things done or sit down for a while to relax, while avoiding eating or drinking or doing anything that involves stretching my mouth. Yawns are discouraged. Sending pictures to your friends and family as a green-faced monster is highly recommended.
Step 4: Wash the Mask Off
When time is up, use warm water to wash off the face mask. Your skin might be red for up to 30 minutes, but it will go away.
For reference, here’s a right-after selfie, versus an hour later, and then later in the day (with a layer of tinted moisturizer on as well). I’m someone that has initial redness, even with the most gentle cleansers.
Indian Healing Clay really lives up to the hype, and has yielded incredible transformative results from many, many users. I feel like I have a handle on my oily face and large pores when I add the clay into the mix, and I honestly can’t recommend it any higher.