Worried about pollution, pores or oily skin? This expert says clay is what you need

When it comes to beauty industry ingredients, clay is nothing new.

As well as being used to fashion pots and crockery, the sludgy stuff has been part of skincare regimes for thousands of years, dating back to Roman spas. Roman author Pliny the Elder wrote a whole chapter about the benefits of clay in his The Natural History, including treating blackheads and acne.

It’s quite remarkable, then, that the historic healing substance is helping address some very modern skin concerns.

(iStock/PA)

“Clay acts almost like a magnet, and really draws everything out from underneath the skin,” says Sarah Inomata, skincare expert and international sales executive at boscia, the brand famous for its peel-off Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask, which combines the purifying powers of clay and charcoal.

“The main clay that we use is the calcium montmorillonite clay, sourced in France. It’s also known as bentonite clay and contains 67 different types of minerals – that’s what really digs deep into the pores.”

By leaving the mask on until it dries (about 20 minutes), then peeling it off, it takes with it many of the nasties that get under the skin’s surface on a daily basis – both visible and invisible.

View this post on Instagram

I Know We Love that Cake Face But We Gotta Keep The Skin Nice And Clear #Repost @missfleurr ・・・ Hey guys, NEW VIDEO on my channel reviewing the @boscia Luminizing Black Mask. I've heard so much about it being great for cleaning out your pores 😩😁 Click the link in my bio 😊 #boscia #bosciamask #bosciablackmask #boscialuminizingblackmask #facemask #peeloffmask #wakeupandmakeup #melanin #beauty #fakeupfix #allmodernmakeup#makeupvideosonly #fakeuproom @wakeupandmakeup @fakeupfix @fakeuproom #videoscreative @allmodernmakeup @makeupvideosonly @videoscreative #makeuppalacedream #instamakeupla @wonderfullyglammed #makeuptutorialsx0x @makeuptutorialsx0x #blackgirlmakeup @instamakeupla

A post shared by WOC Inspire Beauty 🖤✨ (@woc_beauty) on

“Extra sweat, pollution… we’re all a little bit more oily, especially in the summertime, and in the city there’s a lot of pollution and smog that accumulates throughout the day.

“So this is something that, if you add it into your regular routine, really does help maintain that skin health, but also helps minimise visible pores.”

But unlike harsh acids or scrubs, clay products are gentle enough to be used even on sensitive skin.

View this post on Instagram

Black never looked so good! Instantly rejuvenate and transform your skin in just 20 minutes with this remarkable “all in one” therapy.✨ A hybrid between a resurfacing and a detoxifying firming treatment, as well as a real oxygen boost, The Black Magic energises your skin cells down to the deepest level. A triple action aimed to smooth the surface, deep clean and minimise pores and promote natural collagen production. The result: A softer, smoother and deeply moisturised skin with an even tone, even structure and diminished fine lines that looks refreshed and radiantly beautiful. Launching soon! 💚 #selfcaresunday #beautifulbalance #seedtoskin #luxuryskincare #skincare #selfritual #homespa #skincareaddiction #borgosantopietro #facial #blackmask #selflove #sundayritual

A post shared by SeedtoSkin by BorgoSantoPietro (@seedtoskin_official) on

“That’s why clays are so popular, especially in a mask format,” Inomata says, “because they’re applied quickly and they’re so powerful, but not in a harsh way.”

She recommends using a clay mask a couple of times a week, then you can ‘top up’ with a clay cleanser for daily use if you have oily skin. “It’s a less potent formula if it’s in a cleanser. So do your mask once or twice a week to get a deep clean, and then use your cleanser every day. You don’t want to ‘over-clay’.”

Feat of clay: 7 purifying products to try now

(Boscia/PA)

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, £27.50, Boots

(Dr Roebuck’s/PA)

Dr Roebuck’s Uluru Purifying Mask, £25, SpaceNK

(Green People/PA)

Green People No. 1 Exfoliating Face Scrub for Men, £13.50

(Face Gym/PA)

Face Gym Brazilian Pink Clay Training Stick, £38.50, Selfridges

(Seed to Skin/PA)

Seed To Skin The Divine Cleanse Dual Detox Marine Clay Cleansing Gel, £78, Liberty

(Men-U/PA)

Men-U 3 Minute D-TOX, £17.45

(Nivea/PA)

Nivea Shower Clay with Ginger & Basil, £1.18 (was £2.39), Superdrug

- Press Association

More on this topic

Monsoon shows why out-wintered stock always get best prices

115 acre farm for sale near Bantry Co Cork

Home delivery: The alternative to a hospital birth

Dig deep: Mind and body benefits of working in your garden

More in this Section

This is why you really should go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day

Ask Audrey: My neighours are sound-proofing their bedroom - does that make them pervs?

How Ireland's only female executioner got the job

Scene and heard: This week's entertainment news


Latest Showbiz

Jason Momoa hopes to raise awareness of recycling by shaving off his beard

Michelle Obama calls Beyonce ‘queen’ in video celebrating singer’s Netflix film

It's a Good Friday line-up for the Late Late

Rylan Clark-Neal joins Zoe Ball to host Strictly’s It Takes Two

More From The Irish Examiner