Aztec Secret 100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay is, despite its complicated name, a very simple product: it's essentially a powder face mask that has to be mixed with a liquid before applying to the face. The only ingredient in the mask is green bentonite clay from Death Valley, containing over 50 different minerals and boasting a number of skin benefits: drawing toxins out from the skin thanks to a negative electron charge, nourishing the skin, and of course deep pore cleansing.
Now, you're probably thinking that there must be at least a hundred different clay masks on the market, you've tried a handful and while they worked ok, they're certainly no miracle product. Well, at least this is what I thought - but I've heard some recommendations and it was only $6 for this huge tub, so I gave it a go. And boy, I'm glad I did!
Let me start with the negatives (now that you know that I'm loving it): firstly, the packaging is ugly and super messy, please open it by the sink the first time you try it. Seconly, it being a powder, it requires mixing, which takes additional time - but then it doesn't contain any preservatives and won't go bad for a long time. Thirdly, you won't be able to speak, eat, drink or make any facial expressions while it's on; at least if you don't want to rip your face to pieces. And lastly, it takes a bit time and patience to remove and again, this process is quite messy as well.
Now you're thinking, that's a lot of negatives, no? Why then do I like it so much? Well... because IT WORKS. The Aztec Secret clay deep cleanses the skin fabulously and, if used regularly, keeps breakouts in check. In August/September, I was going through a nasty breakout phase with new whiteheads appearing virtually every day, and I believe this has sped the recovery. At first, I didn't notice much difference, because I believe the clay has brought most of the impurities to the surface; however, once these clogs were removed, my skin healed beautifully without any scarring. The pulsating sensation you feel when the mask is drying on your skin is a bit weird, but I take it as a sign that it's working. My face is quite red for the next 30 minutes or so after washing off, but the redness fades, revealing soft, smooth, glowing skin. It's also fabulous as a spot treatment.
If you're thinking about trying it, the best application method I've found is to place a spoonful in your palm, spritz with some raw apple cider vinegar and/or water to mix into a paste, and paint onto the skin with an old foundation brush. The vinegar is what makes the powder creamy and smooth, but should be diluted if your skin is sensitive. After about 20 minutes, I remove it with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water. The 1lb and 2lb tubs are available from Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe and some Bartell Drugs stores in WA for $6-$8. I really recommend it if you have problem skin like me!
What are your experiences with clay masks? Which mask is your favorite?