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L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate and Refine, $12.99, drug and mass-market retailers.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate and Refine, $12.99, drug and mass-market retailers.

In the mud: Will this clay mask fully exfoliate your face? Add to ...

The Product

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Exfoliate and Refine, $12.99, drug and mass-market retailers.

The Promise

Unclog pores and exfoliate rough texture with this mask, containing pure and natural clays, and red algae. Skin should be clearer, smoother and more refined in 10 minutes.

How it works

Mineral clays sourced from around the world work together to deliver tailored results. Kaolinite is highly absorbent and rids skin of built-up impurities and excess shine; montmorillonite purifies and rebalances; ghassoul is derived from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and offers detoxifying properties. These clays are bolstered with the addition of red algae, which works to exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth imperfections and tighten pores.

How to use it

Apply an even layer to clean, dry skin avoiding the eye and lip area. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and remove with water using circular motions to exfoliate. Use up to three times per week.

The bottom line

My first experiences with clay masks were iffy, to say the least. I recall getting a facial in my late teens and being left alone for 15 minutes while a clay mask dried and tightened so severely on my face that I felt like I was being suffocated. Let me tell you, having a hysterical teen run out of a treatment room screaming, “I can’t breathe!” is not good for business. Then there was the time I failed to read the instructions on an at-home clay mask – something I (cough) rarely (cough) do – and left it on for too long. By the time I wiped it off my face was so red I looked like I had a third-degree sunburn. So, suffice to say, I’ve steered clear of clay masks for the most part. But this one is leaps and bounds ahead of the masks of my past. The texture is really creamy so when it dries (and it will dry) it doesn’t tighten so much that you feel like the woman in the iron mask. It smells fresh and lovely, and best of all, the results are gorgeous. I’m talking glowing, radiant and smooth skin for days. Clay masks, you’ve come a long way.

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