Clay Mask vs Exfoliator: What’s The Difference?

If you want to have soft, glowy skin and want to take advantage of these cosmetics, In this article, let’s compare Clay masks vs exfoliators, and get great tips on how to use them!

Clay Masks Benefits

Clay masks are natural ingredients (extracted from volcanic rocks) and will bring enormous benefits to your skin over time, when used continuously. 

It is great for all skin types, and there are different types of clay masks (colors) that target a variety of issues.

Overall, the use of clay masks can control excess sebum, minimize pores, it’s brightening, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, healing, lighten blemishes and make your face more radiant.

Exfoliators Benefits

Skin exfoliation is an important step of your skincare routine, because it will remove dead skin cells, while stimulating the new cells to grow and boosting collagen production.

Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week for deep cleansing, if you want smooth skin, treat spots, improve skin texture, prevent pinpoints and acne. 

Clay Mask vs Eexfoliator: What’s The Difference?

The first difference is on application. You will apply a clay mask after washing your face and leave it there for a few minutes (more or less 20 minutes) while your skin absorbs its nutrients and receive the various benefits before washing it away.

Exfoliator on the other hand is applied right after the soap to enhance the cleansing, and while you are applying it on your face with circular motion you are removing dead cells, without the need to wait.

This will stimulate the skin to renew and create new cells, as well as unclog pores, leaving the skin purified and ready to receive the next treatments. 

Note that both clay masks and exfoliators contain cleansing properties and remove dead skin cells. However, the clay mask will absorb (or suck) the impurities from the skin and ‘deposit their nutrients’ while doing it. 

When To Use clay masks vs exfoliator

Clay masks have more cleansing power than exfoliator, so use it wisely when you feel that you need to detox or a deeper cleansing. Use clay masks as a special treatment to your specific skin concerns, such as dryness, excess of oil, sensitivity, blemishes. 

Use exfoliators as part of your general skincare routine to improve skin texture and complement your cleanser. In terms of results, clay masks will bring better results than exfoliators.

Comparison Table

FeaturesClay Masks Exfoliators
It favors integral cell reproduction, thinning, and whitening of the skin.
Removes Dead Cells
Stimulates blood circulation✅ 
Exfoliates and provides a deeper cleanser at the same time
Provides a lighter exfoliation
Offers an even Deeper cleansing
Is detox 
Cannot be used too often (using too much may irritate the skin)
Is anti-aging
Takes longer to act
Give faster results
Is easier to apply
Minimize Pores
Eliminates bacterial buildup
Acne control, antioxidant, anti-pollution
Softens and softens the skin

How To Use Clay Masks & Exfoliators

Clay masks or exfoliators should be applied after cleansing. Apply one of these products on clean skin and once you are done, you can apply a serum and or a hydrator.

Clay Masks

Apply the clay mask on your face avoiding the eye area, the sides on the base of the nose and the lips. Leave it on your face for 10 to 20 minutes and wash it off.


Apply the exfoliator on clean skin, and gently massage the product throughout the face for a few instants. Some exfoliators can also be used as a facial mask.

Clay Masks vs Exfoliator FAQ

Is Clay Mask An Exfoliator?

Clay masks are exfoliating by default, but the so-called exfoliating clay masks contain larger grains that will replace the need of an actual exfoliator.

Can I Use Both In The Same Routine?

You don’t need to use both exfoliators and clay masks in the same routine, and they are both purifying, cleansers and contain exfoliating power. Alos, using both products at the same time may be too harsh. So, make sure not to use them at the same time.

Even though you don’t need to use both products in the same routine, some people with oily skin may want to do this to test how it will work. 

Do I need To Cleanse The Face before clay masks or exfoliators?

Yes, you need to properly cleanse your face before using clay masks or exfoliators. But make sure that you are using a very gentle facial soap when you use these treatments, this way you won’t irritate your skin. 

What to put on the face after exfoliators and clay masks?

After clay masks and exfoliators, it is best to use a gentle, lightweight moisturizer. If you prefer, you can also try using serums and essential oils, following this sequence:

  1. Cleansing
  2. Exfoliator or Clay mask
  3. Serum
  4. Lightweight moisturizer
  5. Oils

Which Clay Masks Are Best To Exfoliate Skin?

If you want a clay mask with moderate exfoliating power, you can try the green mask. In case you need something stronger, you can look for white clay mask that contains irregular and round grains.

Green clay masks are evening skin tone, removes impurities, and is an anti-aging and antioxidant and great for those with acne prone skin and blackheads. White masks are nourishing, absorb solar irradiation, and are anti-aging.

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