You've been doing it wrong all along...when it comes to clay masks removal. (Don't worry, I had been, too.)
In last month's blog post, we looked at the art of the possible - with a few tips, how someone with sensitive skin can also enjoy the skin rejuvenating benefits of a clay mask.
While choosing the right clay mask for your skin is important, knowing the right time and method to wash it off is just as critical to ensure you're maximizing the benefits instead of harming your skin in the process. That's why we're here with this follow-up post :)
Here's what I used to do (and I have sensitive skin, btw): I'd let the cool, creamy clay mask rest on my skin, enjoy the calming scent of the essential oils, maybe play some relaxing tunes in the background, rest my eyes...then I'd start to feel the mask harden, and my skin tighten - until the surface would start to form a crust that'd crack and flake off. Then I'd wash off the mask with a facial sponge using gentle circular motions under lukewarm water.
I'll admit, it was a fairly satisfying feeling to undergo this sensual transformation, and I used to think that skin tightening feeling was proof that the clay was actively drawing toxins out of my skin, my pores were shrinking and that my face muscles were getting a good tone. Boy, was I wrong.
Let me explain. There are three phases to using a clay mask:
Phase 1: Damp phase - when the clay is still moist and your skin is busy absorbing the nutrients, minerals and essences from the mask.
Phase 2: Beginning of dry phase - when the clay is just starting to dry on your face and it's turning to a sticky, pasty consistency. This is when the clay is stimulating blood flow and starts to contract on your skin.
Phase 3: Dry phase - when the clay dried and crusted and you can start to flake it off. Visually, you'll see the dried clay has a lighter colour than the damp patches that remain. At this point, the clay is actually drawing moisture back out of your skin.
You'd want to start washing off the clay before it reaches the dry phase. This is when you still have that pasty consistency on most parts of your cheeks and forehead, and the thinner layers (e.g., your nose, edges of your face) are starting to dry and turn lighter in colour.
To wash it off, you can do what I do, grab a washcloth or a gentle sponge (we recommend this ultra-gentle, 100% natural Pure Natural Konjac Sponge
) to thoroughly remove the clay from your skin. Take care never to use hot water, but lukewarm - because the clay's already done its job to remove excess oil from your skin, using hot water will further strip the sebum and actually dehydrate your skin. For those with super sensitive skin, skip the washcloth or sponge in order to avoid rubbing the clay against your skin as your wash it off - use a splashing motion instead. Because clays are exfoliants, excessive rubbing may cause redness and skin irritation.
Finally, to fully reap the benefits by prolonging the radiance and glow from the purification and nourishment of the clay mask, moisturize your skin immediately as you would during your daily routines (or use our lightweight, hydrating Immortelle Facial Serum