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The Fascinating History of Clay Masks

The range of face masks found in beauty aisles is incredibly vast and ever-growing — think bubble masks, sheet masks, sleep masks, and more — but there’s one tried-and-true face mask type that will truly never die: the legendary clay mask. Once considered too drying for some, it’s making a comeback thanks to innovative technology and science-proven perks, both of which you can find in the new Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial. Read on to learn what gives it such incredible staying power.

The history of clay masks

Clay goes way back: The use of clay on skin dates back to over 5,000 years ago in India, where, according to ancient Ayurvedic tradition, clay was used as face and body masks as a skin treatment, and was later used during Indian religious rituals and weddings. It was popular in ancient Egypt, too; you’ve probably also heard of Cleopatra, who used clay on her face to draw out impurities. Over time, it became a staple in Roman and Greek bathhouses, and eventually made its way into people’s medicine cabinets.

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Fast forward to the 20th century. Cult-favorite clay mask products were being used nationwide to help absorb excess oil and minimize the appearance of pores. In the 90s, beauty fans began taking things into their own hands with a DIY approach  — they would mix apple cider vinegar with clay and other ingredients to help clear their skin, switching up the ingredients based on their current skin concerns. 

Recently, kaolin clay has come to the forefront; it’s a type of white clay that’s more gentle than other forms of clay, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and can help lightly exfoliate the skin, too. Now, we’re gearing up for a new type of clay mask that’s unlike anything you’ve seen: hyaluronic clay. (More on that in a minute.)

What do clay masks do for your skin?

There’s a reason that clay masks have been used for thousands of years: They can seriously clear out pores, brighten your complexion, and sop up extra oil. To start, research has found that clay can help absorb secretions from your pores, minimizing excessive oil on the skin — which makes them especially helpful for those with oilier complexions. Secondly, many clay masks also have antibacterial properties, which explains why studies have shown that they can help reduce blackheads and acne, which can be caused by C. Acne bacteria. They can also help dry out any pimples to help them heal faster, too.  

That being said, they aren’t ideal for every skin type out there — clay masks can strip your skin of moisture and its natural oils, so they aren’t the best option for those with dry skin. Additionally, some might be tempted to leave clay masks on for way too long, resulting in too dry skin and a layer of clay that’s difficult to remove.  

Meet the new clay for skin

Gone are the days of using a clay mask, washing it off, and then running to your facial cream to add moisture back into your dry, tight skin. Hyaluronic clay is a new, exclusive-to-Glow ingredient that’s a mix of kaolin clay infused with high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, and it’s the star of our new Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial. This type of clay is created through a high-speed shear mixing process to allow for complete dispersion of HA in clay — so you get the purifying benefits of clay with the hydrating perks of HA.

The kaolin clay used in this formula is great for sensitive and dry skin types because, unlike other forms of clay, this one replenishes hydration within the skin, making it ideal for any and all skin situations.

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Hyaluronic clay is as much a moisturizing treatment as your average HA serum; HA alone could evaporate from the skin more quickly, thus making it less effective and not delivering the max amount of hydration. As hyaluronic clay, however, the HA and clay have a symbiotic relationship — basically, HA will dehydrate or dissipate on the skin more quickly, while white clay tends to dry out on the skin if left on there too long. But neither of these things will happen when the two are combined, offering a longer-lasting moisture treatment. 

Another major benefit is the weight of the HA within the clay. With a higher molecular weight, the HA sticks closer to the skin’s surface for immediate plumping and firming — as we’ve covered — meaning super moisturized, revitalized skin once you rinse. 

The bottom line: If you’ve been avoiding clay masks for fear of dry, dehydrated skin, it might be time to try out hyaluronic clay. Marrying the best of both skin worlds, hyaluronic clay will help clear skin, minimize pores, and rehydrate the skin, all in a single, five-minute clay mask. 

Read more about clearing your pores:


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial


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