It's been a while since I wrote a product review! I finally got my shipments in, and I'm ready to get back into regular Health and Beauty/Skin Care posts! There was an obsession with the Maya a few months back, but it's the Aztec that I'm writing about today. After all, they're the ones with secret healing clay! I've read so many things about this clay mask that I really had to try it out when I got the chance. There are several recipes for this clay (I'll get to that later), but I wanted to try it out with straight water to test the pure quality of the product! Because while using tea, vinegar, and other liquids may boost the effect, those ingredients on their own do a good job. So while I'm going to write about the different things you can do, my review is on the simple water and clay mix.
Aztec Secret's Indian Healing Clay
(4 out of 5)
The "World's most powerful facial" is a pretty bold claim! After all, there are a lot of cleansers, masks, and facial products available all over the world. This mask, however, is one of the oldest facial products in the world. Clay has been used for around 1,800 years now! When something is used continuously for that long, you can't help but think they're on to something. The type found in this mask is Calcium Bentonite Clay, which comes from the weathering of Volcanic Ash. People may wonder why so many face masks are green, and most of the time it's because of using this clay! However, this Indian Healing Clay is 100% Calcium Bentonite. That means it's free of all fragrances, chemicals, and additives which you usually find is cosmetics! Today, this particular brand, makes it by sun-drying the clay for around 6 months at up to 134˚F. It's known for its ability to absorb oils and having a negative electron charge that attracts toxins. You can read more about how the clay "works" on their Official Website. Aztec Secret also makes different cold pressed oils to use for cleansing, along with their clay.
Like I said earlier, there are several recipes for this clay. You can read about the main ones that the company promotes Here. They are basically made with Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Tea, Honey, etc. to add additional benefits. Basically you use equal parts powder and liquid (I did about 1 heaping Tablespoon), so you can try out your own recipes if you're brave enough! You can do this because the clay actually comes as a dry powder that you mix yourself when needed. I couldn't get a hold of raw honey or raw vinegar, and I wanted to try out the clay on its own anyways. (If you tried out the recipes let me know in the comments! If I get a chance to try them out in the future, I'll make sure to edit this and add those results in.) Personally, I had a difficult time mixing it up. It kept clumping and didn't get as smooth as I would have liked, no matter how long I mixed it. I did find that if you add the water first and gradually add the dry clay it's a bit easier. Another thing you need to watch when stirring this up is that you are not supposed to use any metal utensils or bowls. These make the mask less effective, so make sure to use something ceramic, wooden, or plastic. (I used a Soy Sauce Dish and Chopsticks myself.) Once it's mixed up, put about 1/8-1/4 inch thick layer on your face. The more sensitive your skin, the less you will want to apply. If you get it too close to your mouth, eyes, or in your hair make sure to wipe it off while it's still wet. You really don't want it too close to sensitive areas, and it's difficult to wash out of your hair once it's dried. (If you apply it before getting in the shower, don't worry too much about your hairline.)
There's a classic grey-green tint to it, as expected from a clay mask. It also looks and feels a bit like the clay used in Pottery, but a little lighter. The scent is fairly light and unnoticeable, and pretty much smells like dirt if you're honest. Regardless, the clay doesn't feel "dirty" when it's on you. Honestly, I felt really natural having this on my skin, and didn't get grossed out by it. As is starts to dry you can feel it tightening on your skin. This type of clay expands when it's wet, so naturally it gets really tight as it dries. (Hence why you don't want it too close to your eyes or mouth, because it can hurt the delicate skin around those areas.) It's pretty uncomfortable once it starts to dry, because it not only tightens, but you can feel it pulling the oil and toxins out of your skin. That's not the best feeling in the world, yet it's satisfying at the same time because you can feel it working. After a few minutes you feel the pulsating sensation, as advertised. The thicker you apply the mask the stronger it feels. The best way to describe it is feeling your heartbeat on your face. Let it dry for about 5 minutes for sensitive skin, and around 10-15 minutes for normal skin.
The mask flakes and cracks as it dries, making your face look a bit like the Desert or a Lizard. My face didn't feel too cold when I had the mask on. It does feel refreshing in the summer though when the clay cools on your face. It took me a while to rinse off the mask because it was stuck on there pretty good. I splashed my face with warm water a few times, then used a damp rag to wipe off the tougher parts, and ended by splashing colder water on my face.
Because this mask is so powerful people with sensitive skin (like myself) need to be more careful when using it. I don't mean to scare you, but I'm just saying to be smart. You know your skin and it's limits. If your skin gets red easily you don't want to put too much on, and don't leave it on too long either. It's sucking the toxins out of your skin, and that's great! That also means that it's sucking up the moisture, etc. out of your skin as well, that's just how it works! It is adding Vitamins back into your skin as it works, so you need to have something moisturizing and soothing added right after it's rinsed off (especially if you have sensitive or dry skin). slightly No matter what skin type you have this mask is not for every day use. It's very strong, and you need to let your skin rest for a couple days in-between uses. I try to use it no more than once a week because of my skin type. It can make your face red after use. Don't worry too much because it fades in 5-30 minutes at the most. You could just look a little pink, or like a lobster, it depends on how long you leave it on and your skin type. One time I used it and it didn't really turn me pink, another I turned red for a while and my face felt a bit hot. Just make sure you do the mask on nights when you don't have much else to do, not before a hot date.
So what are the benefits of using Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay? I saw faded blackheads, dried out pimples, and noticed that I had softer skin. The effects are better when you have continual use. When my skin is feeling particularly difficult to manage, I'll use this mask to give it a boost! My skin also felt very clean after using it. Which makes sense because it took out a lot of toxins and free radicals. I live in a dry climate and have combination skin, so it did dry out my skin a bit. I had to moisturize a lot to compensate for how much it took out. There are a few things I didn't like about this mask, which is why I gave it a 4 out of 5. I do still recommend trying it out though. It's one of the better masks that I've used recently. I also love that it's natural and doesn't have anything added into it the could prove to be harmful to my skin. While the sheer strength may be tough on sensitive skin, the fact that it's free of all those artificial things makes it great for it as well! Because it's dry it will go a long way! I've used it about 4 times at this point, and I've barely skimmed the surface of the tub. You can buy a 1 Pound tub of this clay for around $5-$8 online! I purchased mine on Amazon, and the company distributes it all over the place as long as you look. So it doesn't cost much and can be used for a long time, making it totally worth purchasing! I hope you can try it out soon and let me know what you thought of it! Personally, I can't wait to see how my skin may improve over time.
(Update! July 28th 2013
I was able to get my hands on some Apple Cider Vinegar and tried it out. I have to say that this product was made for vinegar! When I mixed it up it was instantly smooth and I didn't have any issues with clumps in the mask. It was a much brighter green color and had a texture almost like mousse, so it also applied smoothly. I could feel results faster, and the tingling and the pulsating started right away! The combination really boosted the effects of both products and just made me skin feel really clean. If you can, I recommend using it with Apple Cider Vinegar.)
See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,