Friday, 27 May 2016

Masks - Clay/Mud/Charcoal etc


Clay masks - the easiest way to give your skin a deeper clean without being harsh or spending a fortune. The market is FULL of them but as I have said previously (on numerous occasions), if you are on a tight budget, this is where you can save money.
Cattier are a French brand that make really affordable and really good clay masks - which is great if you live in France but not so great if you don't. They're available in every pharmacy and literally cost a few euros. You can buy them in pink, white, green and yellow clay, and you can buy them ready-made or as a base powder clay that you just add your chosen liquid to. Simple.


In the mid-ranged pricing arena you can find Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask which has been a bestseller for years - and with good reason. Easy to use, light, not too much tingle, and leaves the skin soft, not dried out. Excellent.
Origins Clear Improvement has more 'oompf' and is perhaps better for an oilier skin. Another good choice, particularly if you're oilier.
Pixi's Glow Mud Mask is another easy option for all skin types and is in an aloe vera base making it softer than some, while still having a deep cleansing effect.

If you just love products and don't mind being a little more spendy, there are endless options. Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask is mud, volcanic ash, seaweed and charcoal and works a treat. It's not so good with anything other than a really dark facecloth though - be warned. This is proper, black, goop - 'scaring the kids' territory.



The luxury end, unsurprisingly, makes beautiful products that do the job but are also a pleasure to use. Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask contains pure Hungarian Black Moor Mud that is loaded with calcium and magnesium that very gently cleans the pores with no tightness or drying. Skin is soft and clean afterwards.


May Lindstrom's The Problem Solver is based with Fuller's Earth, a stronger clay, and Red Moroccan Rhassoul Clay and comes in its original powder form, to which you add equal parts liquid, make a mousse and apply, ideally leaving it on for 45 minutes or until its dry. Brilliant.

If you fancy being a bit of a kitchen sink chemist, you could also buy yourself some powdered clay in its most basic form and make your own. It's what beauty students have been doing all over the globe for years. Not as easy as squeezing a tube or opening a ready made pot, but always an option. In the UK, Baldwins have been supplying clay powders to the industry for years, and you should find similar stores local to you wherever you live with a simple google search.

Masks mentioned:
Cattier - I'm not linking to Cattier's website because I think it's corrupted. My screen started opening all sorts of games/spam when I clicked on it - just keep your eyes open in case!
Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask
Origins Clear Improvement
Pixi Glow Mud Mask
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask
May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
G Baldwin & Co

Happy to answer specific other brand questions in the comments. :)

71 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline I've been always wanting to try Cattier but it is not sold in US. Would it be possible to include it maybe in next Cult Beauty Box....?!?! :)

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  2. Brilliant! Thanks so much Caroline! Have a super bank holiday with your family xx

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  3. what about Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay?

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    1. i second this question!!

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    3. I was wondering about Caroline's thoughts on this, too. I love the pulsating feeling it gives, but wondering if it's too strong? Also, many people mix it with apple cider vinegar.. thoughts on putting this on your face?

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  4. Thanks for this! How do you rate the Una Brennan masks from Boots? Hope you have a nice bank holiday x

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  5. I love the pixi mask. It feels like it's doing a hydration mask at the same time.

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  6. Thank you! Two questions from me.
    1. I'm curious about what makes certain masks sting my skin: Una Brennan and Superdrug aloe vera mud mask are two examples. What should I avoid?

    2. Do you recommend the Sanctuary charcoal mask?
    Thanks!

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  7. Hi Caroline!! Which mask would you recommend for oily skin with rosacea? Thanks.

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    1. I second this question! It's not an easy combination of skin issues to deal with... Thanks for a great blog Caroline!

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  8. Love cattier masks! I'm lazy and buy the ready made tubes. Ps did you mean to say if you live in France? Because I'm nowhere near Paris but they are definitely easy to find in the south west ;)

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  9. Nice post! is Cattier not easy to buy in UK or elsewhere? I go in France often, so not a problem for me...but just wondering..
    :-)

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  10. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Charlotte Tilbury's Goddess Clay Mask! Thank you!

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  11. Hi Caroline, I've just discovered you're blog and been reading as much as I can for the past couple days. I'm trying to create my routine but would love some suggestions.
    -I'm 23
    -skin is combination I guess? but I think it's actually just dry and dehydrated but I do have black heads and skin sometimes feels congested, mostly my forehead.
    - have been having a lot of redness recently. I think I have beginning stages of rosacea but also skin may be sensitized from bad products choices (oops, but that's why I'm here!)
    So routine: oil cleanse, 2nd cleanse, acid tone (going to get FAB radiance pads), serum, and moisturizer/oil. But what serum?? I have some acne scars. Should I get something like good genes? And what moisturizer? An oil? And should I use the serum in the morning too? Same moisturizer? Different moisturizer? I would love to reduce the acne scars, have something anti aging to stay plump, and to be good for redness and sensitivity. Any more natural products would be great but I'll also consider chemical ones, especially for the serum. I feel like this is so long but thank you so much if you get a chance to read this!!

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    1. Esther for serums take a look at her reviews for the REN omega 3 serum oil, I think you'd like it (use half a pump, and I prefer it as an evening serum as it's a bit oily). You may not need moist after or just sth light. For a day time serum she was recommending ole henriksen truth serum a while back and I liked it a lot, the caudalie polyphenol one is nice too. Hope that helps for serums x

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    2. Thanks so much Katie! I'll look into those :)

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    3. Caroline put up a nice cheat sheet, divided by age. Maybe that could be of help:)
      http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/02/cheat-sheetfaqs-where-should-i-spend.html

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  12. Hi Caroline!
    What is the best mask for blackheads on the nose? I've seen Caolion Blackhead Steam Pore Pack at Sephora in the US - have you tried it? Or do you have a go-to recommendation for blackheads?

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  13. Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask is the only one I've repurchased multiple times. Teamed with C&P it's such a deep clean

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  14. Thoughts on Clinique anti blemish clay mask? Or their pore refining charcoal mask?

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  15. Hi Caroline, does the colour of the clay make a difference/do anything different? eg. green, grey, black, pink.
    Thankyou very much :)

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    1. Yes, the colours are due to the different mineral composition (they're from the earth, obviously purified etc afterwards to be clean and safe). Different colours indicate how drying/pulling they will be. Drier skins tend to use the green French clay. The Rhassoul clay is less harsh, and great on hair as well... White clay can be very drying, if your skin is sensitive. If you're going to DIY you can counteract this by adding a portion of a good organic veggie oil like almond or avocado to your blend. And if you have a combo skin, put the clay onto the oilier areas first, and leave on longer there than the dry bits (eg cheeks)Techically you could mix yourself different clays for different areas of your skin. and while you're at it, give the oily patches on your back after our long UK winters a treat too...Spring is happening, have fun. Caroline, I'm rambling, it's that time of year.

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  16. Hi Lady H,
    I have rosacea and was wondering if clay masks are a no no for me.

    Thanks in advance!

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  17. This may be a silly question but what liquid would you add to a powdered clay? I got the Argile Verte clay as a gift recently with a bottle of lavender water and I had a reaction to it (very red and flushed skin). I don't think it's the clay as I used clay masks before so I'm guessing it's the lavender water. What else can I add to the powder to make a mask? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Marta, I often buy powdered clay and enjoy using a good quality pure rose water (check no nasties added), I've also used aloe Vera gels and glycerin water before which work nicely.
      Perhaps spot test them to see if they cause irritation.
      At the end of the day though water is fine to add, especially if you follow your clay mask with I nice moisturising / hydrating mask.
      Hope that helps.

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    2. Try mixing it with rose water, it's hydrating and soft on the skin

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    3. Thanks so much! I'll give it a go :)

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    4. I mix them work a good quality honey and they leave my skin feeling nice and hydrated. Hope it helps!

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  18. I love clay/mud masks! I've been using them for years! I've got combination acne prone (hormones) skin. Recently I've been obsessed with The Body Shops Seaweed Oil-Balancing Mask (on my 2nd pot) x x x

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  19. Hi Caroline,

    Would love to hear your thoughts on Caudalie Instant Detox Mask?
    Love the Blog, thanks!

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  20. I was just about to ask this too!

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  21. With the make your own clays, are the different colours for different skin types or do they do different things? Thanks x

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  22. The PTR Irish Mud maak did exactly what you said: scared my niece to death when she saw me with it on !
    Felt so bad but the mask is great !

    Peace, be wild...

    J.

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  23. Thank you for a lovely post Caroline!

    By any chance, are any of the above mentioned good on getting rid of blackheads? Seems to be a huge struggle of mine with my combo/dehydrated skin.

    Has anyone else had luck with getting rid of blackheads?

    Also happy holidays everyone!

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  24. I also wonder about the liquids to add to the powder masks, I have only ever used water

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  25. G Baldwins looks fascinating ! I'm off down the Bakerloo line to check it out. Thank you Caroline. PS the flower waters look good too!

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  26. Cattier seems to have alcohol in it. Do we mind that? Extra drying no?

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  27. Hi carline, have you tried new Bobbi Brown masks? There are Detox, Boost and nourish. I'm very interested in Detox mask. Can you share your opinion please if you've tried?
    Yukova by Yuliya Oleynykova

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  28. My two absolute favourite clay masks are both by Sanctuary Spa. The 5 minute thermal detox mask is divine and leaves my skin feeling gorgeous, and their Rose clay mask that comes in the 30 day transformation kit & has a serum which goes on under the thermal clay mask. My skin loves this one and it's a real treat.

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  29. Ladies in Spain, we are lucky: Cattier is so easy to find here (even online), and it is sooooo affordable. I've been using the Clarins Purifiante for years and yes, it is excellent. Thank you Caroline, loving this topic!

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    1. Where can I buy it in Spain?

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    2. Hi Ania, Cattier is available in most pharmacies across the country. On line also, at farmaciaonline and planetahuerto.

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  30. Hi Caroline? when in the routine you use a mask? Before or after you acid tone? Thanks!

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  31. Dirty dark pores and blackheads... which one to use? Would love tips from you or your readers :)

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  32. Hi Caroline! Which are your thoughts on Leahlani skincare? More specifically, the Meli Glow Mask and the Bless Balm... Thank you!!

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  33. Hi Caroline, what do you think of the Caudalie clay detoxing mask? Tried it a few times and a bit underwhelmed to be honest. J x

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  34. Thoughts about NIOD's Flavanone Mud?

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  35. Great post as allways!! Any thoughts on the clay and salicilic acid from Una Brennan? I have combination skin... xx

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  36. Thank you so much for this post. Very helpful x

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  37. Queen Helene Mint Julep mask (online or in US) is incredible and super cheap - cheap enough to use on the feet for a pick me up too.

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  38. Great post as allways!! Any thoughts on the clay and salicilic acid from Una Brennan? I have combination skin... xx

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    1. I use this when I'm due on and at risk of hormonal chin spots, its definitely helped and pimples clear before they turn into the massive cysts that I used to get before falling under the spell of Lady Hirons!

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    2. Which of the body shop range do you rate..I'm considering the warming mineral or seaweed clay masks?

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    3. Thank you for your reply!! I use it for exactly the same but only for 2 weeks now! So far so good... :-)

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  39. Hi, just a tip for those of you who want to prepare your own clay mask, be sure to always use plastic or wooden spoons and store your clay in a non-metal container. Both charcoal and clay pull toxins from metals. I have been told that metal reacts with the minerals in the clay and might reverse the effects. Have fun!

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  40. FYI Cattier is also available in Belgium, if anyone is interested :)

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  41. Love Cattier yellow mud mask, great for my dry patches and sensitive skin!

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  42. I never splurged on clay masks until I got a sample of the Omorovicza one and was wowed by how lovely my skin felt afterwards. I am slowly running out and have to decide now if I want to spend that much money on a clay mask. Ah, decisions!

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  43. Apivita makes really afordable mask, including one of pink clay and another of green clay

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  44. Apivita makes really afordable face masks, including two cleansing clay ones, one pink and one green clay. can we expect a review of some of their products?

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  45. Hi Caroline. Just wondering if the Cerave review is coming? I know you try a lot of products, but you did mention this line a while back. Thanks!

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    1. I think it was an instagram post a while back, she included it in a routine for teen skin

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  46. I've been using Borghese Fango for years. I don't know if it's highly regarded in the beauty community, but my skin feels so soft afterwards and my SO and I love doing it together.

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  47. Thank you for your post Caroline! What do you think of using pure Fuller's earth mixed with water as a mask on combination skin?

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  48. Caroline, is there any mask or product that helps fix broken capillaries? I got it from extraction on my nose and it doesn't go away, I'm panicking!

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    1. I sure hope someone will reply to your question as I have the same problem. I have been told that nothing short of laser treatment (if even that) would help. And that's not the answer I want!

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  49. Caroline, could you do a post for dark spots from sun expose and the best brands to eliminate them. tks

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  50. There was a fantastic Estée Lauder dark mud mask in the 70s which came in a lovely pale blue/green pot, wish they would bring that back.

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  51. Sanctuary Spa 5 minute Thermal Detox mask with charcoal is absolutely brilliant. Plus they come in individual packets or a tube so great for travelling. Really noticed a difference in my skin and it heats up to a wonderful temperature.

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  52. Thank you for mentioning the option of making your own mask, Caroline. It can be done, but I've found that it is very difficult for individuals to obtain pure, or cosmetic grade raw materials - especially when it comes to clays. The tip about dark facecloths is definitely to be taken seriously. Nothing will get those mud stains out.
    You've got me curious about the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask... I wonder how it will take (leave skin soft) to my hard water as opposed to ro water?

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