Clay mask are great if you have oily and acne prone skin. You slather it on, grab a glass of wine, and wait for it to get flakey and dry. Does that sound about right? Well, it's wrong. Doing it this way can do more harm than good to your skin. We should never let a clay mask dry fully. 

Allowing clay to dry on your face will suck the moisture right out of your skin. Here are 3 phases of a clay mask:

1. The damp phase – this is when the beneficial minerals within the mask work their magic, bathing the skin in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and manganese. In short – a mineral drink for your skin from the outside in.

2. The cooling and exfoliating phase – this is when the mask begins to contract slightly, helping to lift surface dead skin cells, even out skin tone and speed the healing process. Particularly beneficial in the case of breakouts or simply just a few annoying pimples.

3. The dry phase – where the entire mask begins to flake off with even the slightest facial expression! This is when the mask draws moisture from the surface of the skin, leaving it extremely dehydrated – hence the ‘tight’ feeling – and also very irritated. For most people with even mild sensitivity, leaving a mask on too long results in the skin looking red, blotchy and feeling uncomfortable.

So, the next time you use a clay mask, don't wait for it to get dry and hard before you rinse. How long a mask takes to dry depends on a few factors: the environment, how thick you make the mask, and the base you use to mix the mask. So, I will not give a time frame on how long to let the mask stay on before rinsing. Instead, do the touch test: When you see the mask start to dry (it usually gets lighter in color), but it still feels a bit sticky, it's time to wash the mask off.