Our Staff Put the 'World's Most Powerful Facial' to the Test—Here Are the Results
This natural cleansing clay may be called Aztec Secret, but we're letting this beauty trick out of the bag.
After years of trying to clear my acne-prone skin, I'm wary when it comes to products claiming to banish blemishes for good. So, when our staff stumbled upon Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay face masks, we were intrigued by its raving reviews. With over 19,000 and counting positive reviews for things like acne, pore size and skin tone, we felt compelled to give it a try.
Clay has been a beloved beauty ingredient for ages. The Healing Clay used in this mask is bentonite clay from Death Valley, CA, and it's sun-dried for up to six months before being packaged. When the dry clay is mixed with liquid (water or apple cider vinegar), it binds with and removes impurities from the skin.
How to Apply It
Making my own face mask was something new for me. I’m used to squeezing green goo out of a tube I bought at the drugstore, covering my face in it, and calling it a day. Not only did this powder formula need to be mixed with liquid, it also couldn't be mixed in (or by) anything metal since it reduces the clay's healing properties.
I grabbed a plastic mixing bowl and spatula and got to work stirring my concoction. The instructions say to mix equal parts powder and water—or for best results, raw apple cider vinegar. This step took some trial and error since the instructions don't specify how much product to use. I found a tablespoon of each to be a good amount. If you do make too much, you can store it in a lidded container so none goes to waste.
If (like me) you opt for apple cider vinegar but can't stand the smell, I recommend breathing out of your mouth because the scent is pretty pungent. The first time I tried the mask I spread it on with my hands, but I quickly discovered that a synthetic brush or makeup sponge is a better applicator.
How It Works
You know that hard, can't-move-your-face feeling that happens with drying face masks? That's the Indian Healing Clay Mask—times 10. The product label says you'll "feel your face pulsate," and I can confidently say that description is apt.
After about 20 minutes the mask is completely dry and feels like it’s pulling my face into the center of itself. It is a very tight feeling, I even noticed the skin around my eyes being stretched downward. The first time I tried it I found it uncomfortable, but the more times I used the mask the more I knew what to expect and I didn’t mind the sensation.
The product does note that your face might turn red after you wash it all off, and that was true for me around my acne-prone areas specifically. Don’t worry though, you won’t be a tomato forever. The redness goes away in about 20 to 30 minutes. The strong formula might dry out your skin, so moisturizing afterward is highly recommended. I use a witch hazel toner with aloe that finishes off the facial nicely.
I conferred with two of our editors to see how they liked the Indian Healing Clay, here’s what they thought about it.
“I really like the clay mask, and continue to use it, because 1. It clears out my pores and balances any oiliness 2. It leaves my skin super smooth and 3. I feel like it creates a fresh start for the week ahead. Plus, it gets extra points for agreeing with my sensitive skin. I would definitely recommend it, but with precaution for those with dry skin.” — Caitlin Sole, Home Editor, BHG.com says.
“My skin is noticeably smoother and less red. But be prepared: The mask tightens on your skin... a lot. It's powerful but once I got used it, I was hooked. While I can't say I'll use it more than once a week, it's earned a coveted spot on my bathroom countertop.” — Sarah Martens, Holiday and Crafts Editor, BHG.com says.
As for me, I can agree I’ll be keeping a stash of Indian Healing Clay among my favorite skincare products. I haven’t noticed any bad breakouts since using it, my skin tone looks more even and smooth, and overall my complexion looks healthier after a couple uses. I’m excited to see more results as I continue to use the mask consistently.