Lately, it seems like every beauty insider I know has an Australian pink clay mask stocked in their beauty cabinet—and it's not just because of its on-trend hue. Instead, Australian pink clay has become popular for good reason. It brightens skin, appears to shrink pores, and gives that glowing complexion we all want.
But where has this ingredient been hiding? Has Australia been keeping secrets from the rest of the world? As many Australian beauty professionals assured me, this is not the case at all—the ingredient is a relatively new phenomenon Down Under, too. But what a phenomenon it is. I was first introduced to it thanks to Australian brand Alya Skin, and quickly fell in love.
As per the instructions, I spread the mask evenly across my face and then sat back and relaxed for 10 minutes. In that time, the mask had hardened, and I was certain that I was going to have my head in the sink scrubbing clay off my skin until I was red and raw, as I've had to do with similar clay masks. But to my delight, the clay came off almost instantly—it took under a minute to wash the mask off entirely. But better than that was the way in which it didn't leave my sensitive skin inflamed in any way. The morning after using it, I woke up and my skin looked great: bright, healthy, and without redness. It felt like magic.
Although, spoiler, according to Dr. Lily Talakoub of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, it wasn’t actually magic that improved my skin, just the naturally occurring properties from the clay. “Clay masks calm and brighten dehydrated and tired-looking skin,” she tells me. “Pink clay masks specifically are anti-inflammatory; clay- or cream-based masks are great because they hold moisture and other important properties like aloe, serums, peptides. Plus, the masks hold these properties on your skin longer than just a moisturizer would.” Dr. Talakoub also explains that this type of clay is able to penetrate deeper levels of skin than other types of masks.
And the magic of natural Australian products doesn’t stop with this face mask. (You can check out a full list of our favorite Australian beauty brands here.) The team behind Alya Skin is in the midst of developing four new products, all made from Australian ingredients. However, the brand warns that the development process is lengthy: “Before we launch a product, we really want to make sure we’ve had it in the hands of as many people as possible, testing the product and giving us honest feedback.”
In the meantime, though, enjoy using the original Australian pink clay mask, and your skin will thank you.