Oily Skin? Cleansing Clay Will Be Your New BFF!
For literal centuries, clay has been a prized skin care ingredient known for its ability to soothe, smooth, and cleanse skin. It’s also a rockstar in terms of zapping excess oil, which can help large pores appear smaller and skin look fresh – sometimes even matte – versus shiny or greasy. You’re probably well acquainted with clay masks, but what about clay cleansers? With clay as a primary ingredient, these cleansers tell oily skin, rough texture, and big pores to take a seat.
“Clay cleansers offer a gentle way to draw out impurities from the skin while reducing shine by absorbing excess sebum, or oil, from the surface of the skin,” explains Kristina Kitsos, a registered nurse who specializes is aesthetics. “Additionally, clay has been shown to have healing and soothing properties which further improve skin quality. Many types of clay also have antibacterial properties, so clay cleansers can also help keep mild forms of acne at bay.” Along with the above benefits, clay can also serve as a very gentle exfoliant when massaged onto the skin. This can help your overall skin texture look smoother and more even.
So, who should use clay cleansers? They’re perfect for anyone with:
Every clay cleanser comes with its own usage instructions, so when in doubt default to the label. For example, certain products are ideal for everyday use while others are better for every other day. Also, some people find that they’re oilier during the hot months or at certain times during their cycle, which would make clay cleansers a nice “occasional” option. You do you! And remember, if you’re dealing with oily skin, a lightweight moisturizer (this is our fave) is the answer to keeping your skin under control, as the more hydrated your skin is, the less excess oil it produces.
Here are a few of our favorite clay cleansers to try:
This green-tea infused clay cleanser is perf for all, including those with the most sensitive skin. It uses green tea to sweep out gunk and oil from your pores without stripping your skin and making it feel tight. Instead, you get a perfectly balanced, hydrated complexion. The inclusion of neroli extract also makes for a soothing experience.
We’ll never say no to a cute sink moment, and SAND & SKY definitely delivers with this pink-hued clay cleanser. It’s a four-in-one Australian pink clay cleanser and plant-based exfoliant that penetrates and tightens pores while giving impurities the boot. Plus, it has moisturizing properties that’ll help your skin look glow-y.
3. Public Goods Creme Cleanser, $14
If you prefer a creamy feel to your cleanser, try this affordable cleansing clay from Public Goods. Gentle enough for sensitive skin types, it has a milky-creamy texture via kaolin clay and coconut oil. Use it to help nix overzealous oil, tighten your pores, and enjoy a healthy glow.
This luxe clay cleanser meets face mask is a multitasking hero that utilizes Rhassoulclay, activated coconut charcoal, marshmallow root, and bits of cocoa, rose petals, and vanilla. It’s a powder that you add water to, turning it into either an oil-zapping mask or a gentle, exfoliating, rebalancing cleanser. Both help tackle blackheads, refine pores, soften skin, and hydrate. BTW, it’s named after Kahina, a warrior queen.
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5. OSEA Ocean Cleansing Mudd, $48
Earth-minded babes, this one’s for you. OSEA’s cleansing “mud” uses clay, seaweed, oat amino acids, and a whole slew of botanical goodness to clarify your complexion and keep oily skin in check. The addition of tea tree and peppermint also makes for a super refreshing, skin tingling effect that’ll keep you cool even in blazing temps.
Strange Bird is a newcomer to the beauty scene and currently has a simple four-product lineup. One of those products is the Inner Clarity Cleanser, $58, a three-in-one clay-based cleanser that also exfoliates and moonlights as an oil-conquering face mask. Kaolin clay smooths, balances, and nixes impurities while almond and jojoba oils help break up makeup. It also contains the brand’s signature “G” team of ginger, ginseng, and goji berry to hydrate, rejuvenate, and heal.
One thing about clay cleansers is that they don’t “suds” up a lot, but this foaming formula does deliver a sudsy feeling. Skinfix’s Barrier+ Foaming Clay Cleanser, $30, is a mineral-rich concoction of kaolin clay, coconut, aloe, jojoba, and other ingredients that help detoxify, nourish, and gently sweep the day away.
Not quite sure why you’ve got oily skin? Check out this helpful overview on why your skin is oily and how to control it.
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.