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Try These Deep-Cleansing Clay Masks If You Have Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Goodbye congestion, hello clear skin.

Here’s one thing you’ve probably been doing wrong all this time. You should never let a clay mask dry fully, that just means it’s sucking out all the moisture from your skin. Despite how tempting it may be to leave it on while you’re catching up on your Instagram feed, when it starts getting lighter in colour and still a bit sticky, wash it off so you don’t have to deal with uncomfortable tightness.

Clay masks have been used as a skin decongestant and antibiotic for centuries due to their porous and highly absorbent nature, and are a must-have for oily or acne-prone skin. Clay has the ability to draw out toxins from within the body and from the surface of the skin. Various therapeutic clays, especially bentonite clay can effectively bind to heavy metals like mercury, lead and other environmental pollutants and eliminate them from the body’s tissues. Other than drawing out toxins, clay is a natural substance that is rich in beautifying minerals including calcium, silica, iron and potassium, which can strengthen skin and even balance sebum-moisture levels.

Bentonite clay possesses the strongest ability to detoxify the skin, absorb and draw out impurities from the skin. It also keeps bacteria at bay and promote blood circulation to the surface of the skin. On the other hand, kaolin clay is the gentlest, making it great for those with sensitive or irritation-prone skin. Moreover, clay masks have evolved greatly over the years and are no longer as drying, harsh or pungent as they used to be. Natural essential oils, glycerin, antioxidants and shea butter are often added to nourish, soothe and hydrate skin. So there’s really no reason not to get masking and give your skin an intense, deep cleanse.

This Works Evening Detox Clay Mask, $60 for 50ml
Use this mask once or twice a week, for 10 minutes each time, to detoxify and purify skin exposed to urban pollution. The blend of Malachite & Kaolin clay regulates sebum production and draws out the daily build-up of impurities while salicylic acid and multi-fruit acids exfoliate dead skin to improve the rate of cell renewal. Starskin Silkmud Pink French Clay Purifying Liftaway Mud Face Sheet Mask, $16
A clay mask without the messiness, this brilliant mask is easy to apply and less harsh than conventional mud masks with its  ultra-fine gauze that is saturated with Kaolin clay, pink French clay, silk cocoon extract and Bentonite Clay. Ideal for all skin types, it mask cleans out pores, absorbs excess oil and prevents breakouts. Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, $88 for 100ml
A multitasking, three-in-one treatment, it contains mineral-rich Umbrian clay, which is one of the earliest known cosmetic ingredients (dating back to the 6th century). It combats congestion by cleaning out impurities within pores while sandalwood oil has astringent properties that calm the skin. Skin is detoxified without being stripped of moisture, to give you a balanced and healthy-looking complexion. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Exfoliating Mask, $28 for 30ml
A creamy mask with deep pore cleansing properties, it also eliminates comedones and tightens pores for a refined skin texture. Formulated with the efficacious combination of white clay and salicylic acid, dull and congested skin gives way to a clearer, brighten complexion over time. Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Mask, $35 for 60ml
A soothing and skin-softening treatment, the Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask contains French pink clay, rosehip oil and chamomile flowers to calm and nourish skin. French pink clay kickstarts cell renewal and improves skin’s elasticity while rosehip oil, naturally rich in essential fatty acids, repairs damaged tissue and prevents premature aging. Just mix one teaspoon with some water until a thick paste is formed and apply onto clean, dry skin. Rinse off once the mask dries for softer, smoother skin. Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask, $28 for 100ml
Made of natural Eosungcho leaves and walnut shell powder, this pore-purging mask gently buffs away dead skin cells while regulating sebum production for a well-balanced mien. Great as a weekly pore detox, it leaves skin feels smooth and clarified without any uncomfortable tightness. WEI Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask, $55
An ultra-silky clay mask that comes in convenient pods, all you have to do is brush on a thin layer and leave it on for about ten minutes. Power packed Golden Root extract counteracts cell damage, pure China clay purges toxins and impurities and Jujube fruit extract reduces skin inflammation to restore calm and balance to blemished complexions. Suitable for acne-prone skin, it can also be used as a spot treatment to treat angry, red zits. Aromatherapy Associates The Refinery Face Mask, $67
Your go-to solution when you want a quick restorative boost, this mask has a mix of Kaolin clay, sweet almond and jojoba oils to deep cleanse, moisturise and revitalise skin. Essential oil of juniper detoxifies while black pepper, ginger and peppermint boost blood circulation for a healthy complexion.