our everyday life

Directions for a Clay Face Mask

by Kimberly Johnson, studioD

If you constantly battle the oil slick on your face, a clay mask may be your new best friend. These age-old beauty treatments absorb excess oil from inside the pores, which means that it won’t come out on your face. As beneficial as clay masks are, many people use them incorrectly by allowing them to dry for far too long. This can cause excessive dryness and make breakouts worse.

Fill a sink half full of hot water and place a towel over your head. Lean your face over the sink for three to five minutes to steam your face and soften the oily buildup, which allows the clay to draw it out of your pores better. Drain the water out of the sink.

Open a clay mask treatment and apply 1 to 2 teaspoons to your fingers.

Spread the clay over your face in a light layer until you can no longer see the skin underneath. Avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes, and leave a 1/2-inch gap around your mouth. If you have combination skin, do not apply the mask to dry skin areas.

Wait 15 minutes to allow the clay to begin drying. Look at the mask in a mirror to ensure that it has completely changed to a lighter color -- but no longer.

Touch the mask to ensure that none of it comes off on your finger but that it still feels slightly tacky. If any of the mask comes off, let it dry for another one to two minutes.

Splash water all over your face to soften the clay. Continue splashing your face with water while massaging your skin using circular motions to help dissolve the clay. Use a soft washcloth to remove the mask, if necessary.

Pat your skin dry gently using a soft, dry towel.

Apply a light layer of oil-free moisturizer to your face to restore moisture to the skin.

Repeat the clay mask treatment two to three times per week.

Items you will need
  •  Towel
  •  Washcloth
  •  Oil-free moisturizer


  • Instead of steaming your face before applying the mask, lay a warm washcloth over it for five minutes.
  • Red clay masks are best for women who want to tone and tighten their skin.
  • If your face is extremely oily, opt for a clay mask that is labeled “oil-absorbing”.


  • Do not use a clay mask if you have dry or sensitive skin, as the clay will cause more dryness.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images