Reviewed by Sameera

The Living Nature Cleansing Clay Peel ($35) is a clay-based mask brought to us by another fascinating natural line out of New Zealand. Liviing Nature's all-natural products are created using botanicals native to New Zealand, over 80% of which are found nowhere else in the world, according to the brand. The uniqueness and relative rarity of its hero ingredients, such as manuka oil and totarol, piqued my interest and prompted me to tear open the box and slather the mask on as soon as I received it in the mail. That’s where some confusion started….

The fact that the product is called a peel is quite confusing, especially when looking at the ingredients list. While the product is filled with beneficial ingredients, including halloysite clay (to absorb toxins and impurities); manuka oil and tea tree oil (both of which provide antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits that are great for acne-prone skin); vitamin E and wheat germ oil (to nourish and protect the skin); and totarol (which provides potent anti-microbial and antioxidant benefits to the skin), there is nothing in the ingredients list that “peels” or provides enzymatic/chemical exfoliation activity. So while I was quite impressed by the ingredients list, I was left a bit confused as to why they would refer to the product as a peel.

Next, I went on the read the directions, which tell you to: “Apply sparingly to the face avoiding eye and lip areas. Leave on the skin until tacky. Support the skin with one hand while using the other to gently rub off mask in an upward motion. Rinse with warm water.”

Ah-ha… so the physical exfoliation provided by rubbing the mask off is why they are referring to it as a “peel.” I’m not a huge fan of masks that you need to rub off, as I try to avoid tugging on my skin for any reason at all. But, for the sake of testing, I decided to follow the directions to the letter.

The masks are packaged in ten individual packets, which was a nice way of ensuring the product retained its freshness and purity (Living Nature doesn’t use any preservatives, so the packaging was essential in preserving the product). Each packet contained a rather large amount of product, which I thought to be a bit of a waste as I was able to cover my entire face, applied sparingly as per the directions, using just half a packet. The mask has a pretty thick consistency and a fresh, herbal scent that I found to be quite soothing. After about five minutes, I felt my face was tacky, and so began rubbing the product off in an upward motion… which didn’t work very well without applying a good amount of pressure. I was able to rub off the mask alright in the T-zone, but the cheeks required too much tugging for my taste.

I rinsed off what was left of the mask and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth my skin felt. After drying my skin, I noticed my pores looked nice and tight, and my skin looked pretty smooth, though a little red from the rubbing. I went to bed without using moisturizer (as I usually do) and found my skin to be a bit dry in the morning, which is unusual for my combo, congested skin. So I might recommend that dry skin types steer clear of this mask, as it is definitely a bit drying. Oily skin types, though, will love it, as it will leave your skin matte for quite a while after use.

For the next few applications, I used more of the mask (all of what was provided in the packet) and let it dry completely, rinsing off with warm water and a washcloth and found that my skin felt just as clean and smooth as if I were to have rubbed it off per the directions, so I’d recommend this as an alternative method for those who are anti-rubbing like me. After using the mask weekly for about five weeks, I noticed an overall glow to my skin and a reduction in congestion in my T-zone, resulting in an overall healthier and smoother-looking complexion. Overall, I thought the Cleansing Clay Peel was a great clay mask that helped remove impurities and clear the pores, and left the skin smooth and glowing. Although at $47 for just ten uses, it’s definitely a bit on the pricey side, which might be worth it considering the bevy of beneficial and rare ingredients.

Ingredients: Aqua, Kaolin (halloysite clay), Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil, Mel (manuka honey), Cetearyl wheatstraw glycosides (&) cetearyl alcohol (wheatstraw extract), Citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract, Zinc oxide, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Sclerotium gum, Citrus grandis (grapefruit) oil, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) oil, Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, Pinus radiata (pine) bark extract, Totarol (totara extract), Limonene*

*Component of natural essential oils