When it comes to face masks for oily, acne-inflamed and even combination skin, there's no better clay than green clay, also known as "bentonite."
Clay masks are soothing and healing to skin, and they help remove excess oil making them excellent for oily skin. Because they can be drying, I don't recommend them for dry skin, unless you add and oil to the ingredient mix. I recommend jojoba oil.
You can pick up a basic green clay in powder form from any health-food store or buy it online for the cheapest price. I recommend Aztec Healing Clay (buy from Amazon). You can even find it in cat litter. I'm serious. I include a very popular cat litter recipe below.
Some tips for these recipes:
- Create a basic mask by taking the powder clay and adding water if you have oily skin, jojoba oil if you have dry skin and milk for combo skin.
- Masks (homemade or otherwise) should stay on for 10-15 minutes. Follow with a cleansing and a thin layer of moisturizer.
- Do not use a metal utensil or bowl when working with bentonite clay. The metal reacts with the clay.
Don't miss my collection of Face Mask Recipes for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin.
1. Basic Clay Mask
I love this basic clay mask because it's simple and allows you to use ingredients you likely already have in the house.
- A basic fuller's earth clay, also known as bentonite or green clay (if skin is sensitive, French green clay is a good option). I like your basic Indian Healing Clay (buy from Amazon).
- 1 tsp honey
- water (oily skin), half and half (combination skin) or jojoba oil (dry skin)
- Optional: your favorite essential oil. See my list of the Best Essential Oils by Skin Type.
I find it's best to mix 2 parts liquid to 1 part clay.
Choose your liquid based on your skin type. If you have oily skin, choose water. Combination skin, choose milk or half and half and if you have dry skin, opt for jojoba oil.
Mix in a bit of honey.
Add more liquid if clay is too dry.
Add a few drops of the essential oil (this step is optional).
Keep mask on for 15 minutes.
Rinse off with a steaming washcloth (I like to steam my washcloths with a couple drops of the essential oils in the microwave, but make sure washcloth is not too hot).
2. French Green Clay Mask With Essential Oils
This mask is lovely, but more complex than other more simple masks because it requires both green clay and kaolin clay, plus several other ingredients. You can buy these items at any health food store or online.
- 1½ tsp French green clay (buy from Amazon)
- ½ tsp kaolin clay (buy from Amazon)
- 1½ tbsp aloe vera gel (buy from Amazon)
- 1 tbsp rosewater (buy from Amazon)
- 2 drops rose essential oil (see The Best Essential Oils for Your Skin Type).
Mix green and kaolin clays together.
Add in the aloe vera gel, rosewater and oils.
Refrigerate mixture for up to four weeks.
3. Purifying Clay Mask for Oily Skin
Not sure if your skin is oily? Find out for sure in my article, How to Tell If You Have Oily Skin.
You can get all of these ingredients in any natural food store or online.
- 1 tbsp green clay
- 1 tsp apricot kernel oil (buy from Amazon)
- 3 drops of palmarosa essential oil (buy from Amazon)
Mix the palmarosa and apricot oils together. Add a few drops of warm water. Mix together and add more water if need be to get a good, spreadable paste. Apply mask. Let dry for 10 minutes. Rinse off with a warm washcloth.
4. Inexpensive Cat Litter Recipe (Yes, I'm Serious)
It may seem crazy, but some cat litter can actually be used as a face mask. Most cat litter is made from pure bezonite clay -- the same ingredient found in clay masks. The difference is the clay in the cat litter comes in larger granuales that could tear at skin.
Also, you must buy the right cat litter that doesn't have scent or any additional ingredients that could harm skin.
So why would you ever use cat litter on your face? Simple: if you want to get great skin benefits without spending a lot of money. Cat litter comes in 15-pound and up bags and costs a few dollars. That jar of 8-ounce clay costs $8 or more.
Get the recipe: Homemade 'Cat Litter' Mask for All Skin Types
5. Clay and Oats Mask for Acne-inflamed Skin
The tea tree essential oil in this mask is great for inflamed skin.
- 1 tbsp bentonite clay
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp ground oats
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil (buy from Amazon)
Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (never metal). Spread onto face. Don't rub as this isn't a scrub and the oats could tear skin. Let mask dry, then wash off with a warm rinse.
6. Deep-Cleansing Clay and Egg White Mask
This mask cleanses and hydrates skin.
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp white bentonite clay
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 drop of your favorite essential oil (see my list of your best bets here)
Blend the ingredients in a bowl and then apply to face. Allow to dry and leave on as long as you like. Wash off with a warm washcloth.