Clay is renowned for its detoxifying capabilities. In a process called adsorption, it attracts toxins and soaks them up like a sponge, while infusing skin with beneficial minerals. Most clays do share similar properties—they’re all purifying—but different types have specific strengths. For those with oily complexions, Los Angeles esthetician Alexandra Wagner recommends bentonite (a super absorbent swelling clay, composed of aged volcanic ash sediments), which has incredible oil-drawing and deep cleansing abilities. You can buy a giant tub of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, with bentonite clay, for less than $10. Those with sensitive skin should look for more mild varieties, like French pink clay (sometimes called rose clay). Its high concentration of iron oxide and silica makes it great for gently exfoliating, improving circulation, and drawing out impurities without drying out skin. Try: Herbivore Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask or Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay. Find out the best face mask for your specific skin type.
Charcoal is deeply detoxifying (more on that in a minute) and its gritty texture makes it great for physical exfoliation. It’s a literal toxin magnet—attracting, binding to, and pulling out impurities, explains Wagner. A charcoal cleanser, like Joanna Vargas Miracle Bar or Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel, is a great way to remove dirt, pollution, and makeup that accumulates on skin over the course of the day. A weekly face mask with charcoal is a great way to give pores a major deep clean. Try: boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment and Moon Rivers Naturals Activated Charcoal Mask. Congested skin? These pore-clogging habits could be to blame.