What's The Difference Between Clay And Charcoal Masks?

The ideal face mask complements your skincare routine and can do anything from expelling impurities from your pores to adding deep hydration. Depending on which type of face mask you use, different ingredients contain various benefits. According to Bioelements, you should plan to use a face mask one to three times a week. Different face masks could be used less or more, depending on what ingredients they contain. Besides unclogging your pores, face masks typically help reduce excess oil and smooth the skin. At minimum, you want to incorporate a face mask at least once a week to clear your skin of any accumulated impurities that may have evaded your prior cleansing.


Two of the face masks that are the usual go-to for skincare lovers are clay and charcoal masks. While different face masks have similar benefits, each ingredient provides its unique additions to you skin. Because charcoal and clay masks are so common, most users may not know the full extent of their differing benefits. Depending on your skin type and needs, you may have to choose between one of these ingredients to get the results you're looking for. Before using either mask, you need to know what the purpose of the face mask is in your skincare routine. The correct choice for you might change depending on the function you're looking for.

What you need to know about charcoal masks

One of the many differences between charcoal and clay masks is their purposes. Charcoal masks help dissolve clogged pores and draw out any impurities. Fleur & Bee explains that due to the properties of charcoal, these face masks can absorb toxins and bacteria that cause acne. If you find that your skin is constantly facing acne breakouts and excess oil, charcoal masks will help balance the situation.


TheMakeup adds that charcoal masks can help remove toxins and pollutants that you may have picked up throughout the day. They also are great for cleaning up leftover makeup, though you should always still wash your face before applying the mask. This type of mask also promotes smooth skin texture by lightly exfoliating, which will help your skin absorb your other skincare products even more efficiently. Though, as charcoal can sometimes be harsh, these masks are ideal for those who don't have sensitive skin or issues like rosacea. If you do have more sensitive skin and still want to try charcoal, it may be wise to do a patch test first.

What you need to know about clay masks

Like charcoal masks, clay masks are readily available on the market. However, this type of mask can help your skin in a different way. Ketch Beauty explains that clay masks can tackle bigger pores and general impurities, and can help detoxify the skin on a larger scale than charcoal, which is typically more targeted (hence why charcoal is best for acne). Removing impurities can help to tighten pores and give you the appearance of healthier skin. Clay masks have the additional benefit of brightening your skin, giving you a less dull appearance.


Clay masks are less abrasive than charcoal masks, making them better suited for more frequent use and for those with drier or more sensitive skin. While they are gentler on the skin, you still want to avoid using them daily, as you don't want to overdo it. Clay masks are great for cleaning the skin, but they also often have added ingredients to boost hydration. When choosing between face masks, determine whether you seek to give your skin a refresh and boost of hydration, or get a specified deep cleaning. While clay masks do work to clean your skin, charcoal masks will reign supreme in drawing out bacteria and oil.