Good Clay Masks for Blackheads

The right clay mask can soak up oil to make blackheads disappear.

Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

You don't have to scrub your face to remove every trace of oil -- leaving some oil on your skin keeps it soft and smooth. However, too much oil can plug your pores, and when it hits the air -- boom -- a blackhead can appear. To get the blackhead out quickly -- no, this doesn’t mean squeezing it -- use a clay mask that soaks up the oil and soothes your skin.

Kaolin Clay

Kaolin is a clay type that can lift away oil and impurities. If you have oily skin along with your blackheads, look for the red kaolin clay variety, which is a deep cleanser that can lift away impurities like the oil plugs that make up a blackhead. Red kaolin is often combined with sulfur in a face mask because sulfur and kaolin can work together to lift and break up the oil plug. The white, pink or yellow kaolin clay types may be more effective if your skin type is dry or sensitive. Instead of removing oil, these kaolin types have properties that can help to exfoliate dead skin cells inside your blackhead. If you don’t have time to put the kaolin mask over your entire face, use it as an overnight spot treatment instead.

Umbrian Clay

The Umbrian clay variety can help to unclog dirt and oil plugs that lead to blackheads and cause your pores to enlarge. Combine the oil-absorbing properties of Umbrian clay with natural skin soothers such as grape-seed oil or lavender-flower water to tighten your pores and send blackheads on their way. If you have skin that tends to be on the dry or sensitive side, apply a facial moisturizer after rinsing the mask away.

Dead Sea Clay

Using a product that contains the word "dead" may not sound like it will make you pretty, but in the case of Dead Sea clay, it can. This clay type is suited for normal skin types, so if you don’t have oily or dry skin but still have blackheads, Dead Sea clay can be for you. Dead Sea clay is considered good for blackheads because it has more than 26 types of minerals and trace elements that can lift skin impurities such as blackhead oil plugs while also tightening your pores. If you’re making a mask at home, combine Dead Sea and kaolin clay for a pore-cleansing boost.

Make Your Own

Clay masks don’t have to come in the prepared variety that you purchase at the cosmetics store. Armed with your clay knowledge, make your own clay mask to zap blackheads and smooth your skin. To make your own mask at home, mix cool water, milk or an herbal tea -- such as green, white or chamomile tea -- with 2 tablespoons of clay powder, which is available at most health stores. When you mix the two, it should make a paste that you can apply using either your fingers or a clean, 1-inch-wide paintbrush. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes, and then rinse it away with warm water.

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