This Nourishing Clay Mask Clears My Adult Acne Without Drying My Skin Out

Phew.

CLEAN SLATE: Mara Clay Mask Review
Photo: InStyle/ Mara

Like many people, I deal with the adult acne. Random bumps have been popping up on my forehead and jawline since middle school, and I've tried every product and technique in an attempt to clear my skin.

One thing that's worked? Clay masks. That's why they have become a regular in my arsenal to keep bumps at bay. The only downside is that they can sometimes dry the hell out of my skin.

I'd just about accepted that twice a week, when I apply a clay mask, an extra step would always be required to gain some moisture — until I started using MARA's Volcanic Sea Clay Detox Masque.

Unlike other clay formulas that suck out every bit of oil from your skin, this one nourishes my face while also clarifying, exfoliating, and purifying. Plus, it doesn't make my face feel tight for the time I leave it on.

MARA Volcanic Sea Clay Detox Masque review
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To shop: $54, credo.com

The mask contains not one, not two, not even three, but four types of clay to unclog pores: a Mediterranean sea clay, two purifying kaolin clays, and bentonite clay. It also mixes in the brand's signature algae blend and green tea, spirulina, honey, and ashwagandha to revitalize and nourish the skin.

I use the mask three times a week on what I call my "acne-fighting" days. First, I make sure my skin is completely cleansed, and ideally I like to apply it after coming out of the shower so my pores are more open from the warm water. Once the mask is on my skin, I let it set for 15 minutes before gently rinsing it off. After that, I carry on with my regular routine — no extra replenishing step needed.

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Apart from helping keep my skin bump-free and healthy, I really love the subtle, elegant algae scent. The formula also feels smooth to touch and is soft on my skin — unlike with other masks, I always want to keep it on past the 15-minute mark.

So in my humble opinion, all other clay masks can take a seat. This is it.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.

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