Most of us have tried both clay masks and sheet masks. However, when to use which, which skin type can use these masks, and what is the difference between these two is very unclear. So we dug a little and found that both types of masks are very different from one another and the question of which skin type can use them has more factors to consider. Let’s uncover all the layers to discover the answer!
What is a Clay mask?
Clay mask is exactly what the name suggests. Clay is a fine grained rock or soil that can help you remove the dirt and excess oil. Certain clays are used to address health concerns and that is how it comes in skincare. Clay masks, when used on skin, can act like a sponge. This sponge will absorb all the gunk and excess oil to decongest the pores. There are some commonly used clay in skincare, let’s look at them and their benefits:
1. Bentonite Clay
The reason why it is called Bentonite is because it is mainly found in the town of Fort Benton. It is made up of ashes from volcanoes. It is used both externally and internally due to its richness in minerals. When it comes to skincare, it is used to absorb oil instantly. It is a bit drying, which is why it should be applied for a shorter duration. This clay suits those who have extremely oily skin.
Benefits: Detoxification, Deep cleansing.
Sublime recommends Nature Trail Charcoal Therapy Face Mask. It’s a mix of Bentonite and white clay along with other ingredients like activated Bamboo, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera to soothe and nourish your skin.
2. Red Clay
This is also a drying clay and is used to draw toxins. It has a reddish or orange coloured appearance. Red clay contains silica, iron, and dolomite. This is used in skincare and wellness both due to its ability to draw toxins. Since it dries off your skin just like Bentonite clay, it is safe to be used on oily skin or just the oily T-zone.
Sublime recommends Skyn Organic Company Brazilian Volcanic Red Clay Facial Mask. This one is great for all those who aim for smoother skin. It not just has Red clay but also White and Bentonite clay. Along with clay, they have also mixed in Frankincense oil, Aloe Vera, and Licorice to give you smoother and brighter skin.
3. White Clay
Unlike Red and Bentonite clay, White clay cannot be used internally but is widely used in skincare. It is one of the lightweight clay that is less drying and is much suited for those with sensitive skin. It can be used as a mask or a physical exfoliant if you rub it gently on your skin.
Benefits: Detoxification, Exfoliation
4. Green Clay
This one’s a bit different. It is made from volcano ashes and plants. It is called the French green clay usually. It is extremely mild and can be used by all skin types. It has many minerals in it due to the plant material. It has zinc, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, and iron. If you have a normal skin type then this could be the best match for you.
Benefits: Soothing, Cleansing, Brightening
What is a Sheet mask?
Sheet masks are more of a charged sheet of paper or cotton. They do not have a particular benefit like Clay masks do. A sheet could be charged with different active ingredients which are left to be absorbed by our skin as we keep it on for 15-20 minutes. Depending on the ingredients and its concentration one can decide if it will serve their skin concern. There is a lot that goes in picking the right sheet which can carry the active ingredients and at the same time, not irritate the skin. Certain clothes and sheet materials can irritate the sensitive skin which is why sheet masks cannot be DIY. They are best used by picking from a trustworthy brand. Sheet masks can be extremely nourishing and are sort of an instant treatment to glow your skin. Some of the key benefits that it has to offer and is generally used for are as follows:
Unlike Clay masks, sheet masks tend to nourish since they are drenched in essence or serum in a quantity more than just a couple of drops that may apply daily. Since they do not need to be washed off after application, they are pretty hydrating too.
No matter what are the ingredients in a particular sheet mask, they can always make you glow. This is simply because most of the active ingredients are rich in Antioxidants that fight off free radicals and hence leaves you with that bright and glowing skin.
When must one use a Clay mask and Sheet mask?
Clay masks and sheet masks are best used sparingly. While clay masks are drying for your skin, sheet masks can also potentially damage your barrier if you overuse it. Let’s understand when one must particularly use clay and sheet masks.
Clay masks are particularly used when you have the following skin concerns:
- Clogged pores
- Excessive oil
- Tanned skin
- After a day out in the pollution and dirt
Sheet masks are playful. You can use it for many purposes since there are many types of ingredients according to which sheet masks are named. Since they are used for instant results, they could be best used for the following concerns:
- Dehydrated skin (Sheet masks that contain Hyaluronic acid, Snail Mucin, etc)
- Dull skin (Sheet masks that contain Vitamin C, Berry extracts, Niacinamide, etc)
Learn more about dull skin here.
Who can use the Clay mask and Sheet mask?
Clay masks are best used for oily and acne-prone skin. However those who have combination skin type can also use it. If you have a normal skin type with congested pores then you can use a clay mask but for a shorter duration to ensure that it does not dry out your skin. Over drying of the skin can lead to bacterial growth since it opens your pores further and a damaged skin barrier can allow pathogens to harp on your skin.
When it comes to sheet masks, it can be used by all but it depends on the ingredients present in it. It can be used by all skin types, including the sensitive ones. They are one of the most fun masks to use since there’s a wide array of varieties at our disposal and one can pick any according to their current skin concern.
Clay masks and sheet masks both have a significantly different role to play for our skin’s health. While the clay mask is detoxifying and exfoliating, sheet masks are for those who are looking for a quick shot of hydration and glow. They both cannot be overused to avoid unwanted damage to the skin barrier. All you need to pick the right clay and sheet mask for your skin type and concern can be answered from the above points.
- Divya Salvi