After reading reviews like “Best Mask of 2017” and “I’m literally obsessed with this miracle mask”, to say I was sceptical of this Australian pink clay mask was an understatement. More often than not, a product cannot live up to its hype! But as a true unbiased beauty reviewer, it’s important to have an open mind. So one rainy Friday night, I made a cup of peppermint tea and set to work.

First impressions – ooh pretty packaging, I’m a sucker for anything pink.

Secondly, for the price and size it’s quite expensive! (AUD$69.90 for 60g from the brand website – although you can get 20% off their ‘Besties kit’ which comes down to AUD$111.92 for two). According to the website, the pink clay will absorb any excess oil and promises brighter and detoxified skin after only 10 minutes.

My skin has been feeling quite congested and even oilier than usual, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to try it out. I applied a healthy layer all over my freshly washed face and it applied well. It’s a thick clay that spreads easily. My skin starts to tingle straight away, so I would caution those with sensitive skin as it will likely irritate it (also, with most masks avoid the eye area).

The tingling sensation is quite intense for 20-30 seconds (hard sensation to describe, but a light-mild burning sensation maybe?). I am familiar with AHA peels and my skin normally tolerates them well so I was surprised that I had quite a strong reaction.

After a few minutes, the mask is drying well, and my skin feels calm again. As it dries, try not to move as it will flake off as with most clay masks.

After about 10 minutes the light pink clay has dried white, and I used a warm flannel to gently wipe away the mask. My skin looked immediately cleansed and my pores were definitely tighter. Unfortunately, that tightness soon gave way to feeling very dry and my skin was craving moisture. I had to slather a thick layer of my most moisturising cream – my 10% Urea moisturiser (a god send purchase from my local chemist at $6.99. It is primarily used for those with eczema but stops flaking skin or very dry areas in their tracks. I love to put it on as a base layer if my normally oily skin is suffering in the winter).

Overall, yes – the mask does what it promises. My pores were noticeably clearer and smaller, and my skin was very smooth. However, I would not recommend to anyone with sensitive or dry-normal skin types to use this (or at least not all over their face – perhaps just t-zone). The burning is quite uncomfortable, but does pass quickly (likely caused by the lactic acid present in the formula – this is a fantastic chemical exfoliant that helps to shed any surface dead skin). I would use again (cautiously!) if I needed to get my oil under control, but would definitely not use 2-3x a week as the website suggests. Perhaps once a fortnight for a deep cleanse? I would also follow with a very nourishing moisturiser to avoid that tight, squeaky clean feeling. Also, it’s important to note that this product does contain Vitamin A, which is a powerful anti-aging ingredient but with frequent use can increase your sensitivity to sunburn and I would suggest you wear at least a SPF30+ sunscreen with both UVA and UVB filters everyday if you want to use this mask on an ongoing basis.

My final grade is an 8/10. It’s expensive and uncomfortable, but does give you the noticeable results promised. I didn’t notice a post application increase in breakouts either which is great. The absorption of oil lasted for about 2-3 days, but it almost absorbed too much leaving my skin uncomfortably tight. Perhaps you could leave on for a shorter period of time, or only use in your oiliest regions – namely the t-zone. Also, it’s important to note that it didn’t reduce any redness, so had little impact on calming existing breakouts.

*Update: I applied a thin layer in my t-zone only, and let it dry for 7-8 minutes. I still got the burning sensation but it wasn’t as intense (thinner layer helped I guess!). I definitely saw a reduction in pore size on the sides of my nose and my forehead was ridiculously smooth. Afterwards my skin did feel tight, but not as uncomfortable as before, so I applied plenty of moisturiser and a hydration serum. This morning when I woke up, my skin was still mattified and felt calm and comfortable. My pores were still noticeably smaller pores and my skin had a more refined texture.

This is now my preferred way of applying the mask, and I would repeat purchase seeing as I would get a lot more applications by using only a little at a time. Reviewed score after t-zone only application: 9/10!