Skinceuticals clay mask

This Clay Mask Treats Basically Every Annoying Skin Condition

From wrinkles to acne to razor bumps.
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For our 26th annual Best Beauty Buys, the InStyle team worked with leading dermatologists, makeup artists, hairstylists, wellness experts, fragrance connoisseurs, and manicurists to find out which products they can't get enough of. Now, the votes are in — and you'll want to get ahold of these 229 beauty game-changers.

Few beauty brands are held to higher esteem than Skinceuticals, the ultra-luxe skincare line known for its Vitamin C serum that consistently ends up at the top of "best of" listicles (ours included). But it also has one little-known secret that deserves just as much admiration: a clarifying clay mask that not only fights acne and red spots, but also reduces the appearance of wrinkles. 

Made with a mixture of fruit extracts, glycolic acid, aloe, and natural earth clays, the Skinceuticals Clay Mask is formulated to soothe skin without drying it — even while it reduces oil and shine. 

Melanie Palm, MD, and board certified dermatologist at Art of Skin MD, says the mask is a necessity in beauty bags everywhere because of its impactful ingredients. The clay absorbs oil, detoxifies skin, and treats inflammation, she says. The glycolic and lactic acids fight off acne and provide a gentle exfoliation that won't leave your skin peeling off — plus, chamomile and aloe soothe any irritation that you might be experiencing and help leave your face feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, rather than tight and aged (like so many other acne treatments). 

Dermatologists agree that the mask is an essential for those who suffer from acne, but it also has a few secret uses thanks to the clay and alpha hydroxy acid ingredients in each batch, says Dr. Jeanine Downie from Image Dermatology

This versatile combination "also helps with razor bumps on the face, under the arms and in the bikini area," Dr. Downie explained. Its anti-aging properties are also noteworthy. 

"The AHAs contained in the formulation help stimulate new collagen growth," Dr. Palm wrote in an email. "Several humectants and skin barrier ingredients contained in the mask, such as glycerin, water, and triglycerides, can help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles temporarily through their hydrating and reparative effect."

It's simple to use: After you cleanse and tone, add a fine layer of the mask to your face or other problem areas and let it set for up to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and repeat the process up to three times a week if you have oily skin, says Dr. Palm.

So basically, this mask will smooth out and diminish red spots anywhere you put it. Not bad for an under-$60 product.

Want to see more of our favorite beauty picks? All 229 of our Best Beauty Buys can be found here — and prices start at just $3.