Clay masks are a oil/blemish prone skinned girl’s best friend! GlamGlows….. the mask that was for “professional use in Hollywood” is all the rage nowadays. And by nowadays I meant it’s actually been out for a while and I’ve been debating about trying it since my clay masks in jars usually dry up before I finish up all of it and at $69 I don’t want to waste a single bit of it.
As a combo skinned gal, clay masks are my old friends. I started with Queen Helen’s Mint Julep, which was nice for my teenage skin but no longer cut it after a couple of years (and I KNOW it’s cheap as dirt (or mud) but I can never finish a tube/jar before it dries up in the end). I tried Boscia Clarifying Detox and Boots Botanic Conditioning, both feels nice and absorb oil but too gentle to do anything else. I tried Murad Clarifying, which was excellent for drying up pimples, but a bit too harsh/drying on my cheeks. My stable right now is Origins Charcoal mask, which helps with oil control, draws out impurities and does not leave skin super dry afterward. However, it feels slimey rather than powdery when you rinse it off, and it take some effort/patience/time to get all of it off. While it does pull out impurities, it does not dry up the blemish so your blemish will look inflamed for a bit as it surfaces. So anyways, I don’t mind paying the $69 price if it’s worth every bit of it……
GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment (white)
Application/feel: Originally I just slather it on, but since everyone says you just need a thin layer, I applied as thin of a layer as I can. There are tiny bits of leaves and particles in it, but not enough to interfere with the application. It have no strong scent and dries pretty fast. I smudged it on the back of my hand (middle image on top), and 30 seconds later when I got my camera in a good position it’s already half drying. You can feel a slight tightening/cooling as it dries, and it’s powdery so it rinses off pretty easily. The mask itself dries to a lighter gray and you can see the dots where it draws out oil/impurities. If you apply it too thin and leave it on too long (10+ minutes, depending on how oily your skin is) then areas of the mask will get darker.
Effect: After rinsing off, my skin feel soft and refreshed with no dry feelings afterwards. However, it did nothing for my acne or black/whiteheads. People of all skin type can use this since it’s a good mask for oil control or detox and not too drying like most clay mask. However, you won’t see as much of a difference second day for serious acne or white/blackhead problems compare to Murad Clarifying mask (dries it up) and Origins Charcoal mask (brings it up/out). If you do find Murad too drying or Origin a bit irritating, then this mask is worth a try.
Ingredients: It makes the claim most clay masks make (fights blemish, detox etc) and contains similar ingredients (clay, charcoal etc). The one bonus it have is the blend of acid, which is probably the source of the brightening, reducing discoloration/ingrown hair claim. With that said, I already incorporates a scrub/peel into my weekly skincare routine, so the (very mild) chemical exfoliation from the acid made no difference on my skin. If you don’t or can’t use a scrub/peel, I can see how you might get a bit of brightening/smoothing benefit from it.
GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (black)
Application/feel: This is clay mask with very fine, sand-like, exfoliating granules (well, it is from pumice rock) so the consistency is thicker than Supermud. The color is lighter than the Supermud and it also got bits of leaves in it in addition to the granules. You won’t see the “pore matrix”/ “vaccum” dots/oily spots as much, but there is noticeably more tightening/tingling here than for Supermud. I like the amount of exfoliating particles since lots of tiny granules provides a more thorough/gentle exfoliation than sparse amount of large chunks with jagged edges that can scratch/damage the skin. It also dries pretty fast and rinse off easily. Splashing water and gently removing the mask in circular motion will give you a nice exfoliation.
Effect: It is more drying than the white mask. While my oily/combo skin enjoys it in the summer, it left my cheeks dry/cracked in the winter. I tend to be a little heavy-handed, but you don’t need firm or extended scrubbing to get the benefit of exfoliation. It does help with oil control and flaky skin if you are on the oily/combo side. The only other exfoliating mud mask I’ve tried is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Exfoliating mask. It’s thicker and also have that cooling/tingling/tightening sensation going on. Tarte does have less but larger granules that reminds me of Origins Modern Friction. It is a bit difficult rinsing off, but it did not dry out my skin as much. If you have dry/sensitive skin then maybe Tarte would be a better choice than GlamGlow. My friend over at SwatchStudy have a review of it and pictures if interested.
Ingredients: It’s got clay in it but no charcoal. It also have green tea leaves instead of eucalyptus leaves (in the white one). Instead of a blend of acid for a mild chemical exfoliation, this have volcanic rock granule for stronger physical exfoliation, altho the more intense tingling is definitely due to something in the clay base and not the granules. I think it’s more effective at oil-control and exfoliation than Supermud, but it’s also more intense with the tingling and more drying. I can’t use it when my skin is dehydrated, altho Supermud is fine any time.
Overall: Clay/mud/peel/peel-off masks feel more potent applied after a shower when your pores are open and skin softened. Glamglow is good, but there just isn’t enough difference/benefit for me to justify the price difference between it and Origins Charcoal, which is still my stable. Whether it’s right for you depends on your skin condition as well as skin type. If I use it after not exfoliating or when my face is particularly greasy/icky, I can feel the exfoliating mud/clay masks working. If I use it often and there’s not much problem on my face, I feel less of an effect. If I scrubbed too hard beforehand, or my cheeks are raw from the harsh winter wind, it stings/burns a bit. Right now I’ve got too much exfoliators, but if you don’t like fussy skincare regimen, then the exfoliating mud/clay masks are a good two-in-one as long as you don’t overuse it (usual recommendation is 2-3 times a week).
So, tell me, what is your favorite clay/mud/charcoal mask? =D