I received the Medik8 Clay Mask ($50) during the change of seasons from summer to fall, when my sensitive, 46-year-old skin was going absolutely haywire. After a summer mostly free of breakouts, the onset of colder, drier weather was causing redness and painful, eruptions, both surface and cystic. Fun!
So I was ready for a mask that could help calm my skin, but at the same time I was worried that the bentonite (clay) might be too harsh and drying for my already-irritated face. I therefore followed the product recommendations and used it only once a week.
Medik8 Clay Mask has a fresh, flowery smell that I found delightful. It did not smell like clay. It goes on thin and dries quickly. Kaolin is supposed to be a very mild clay, suitable for sensitive skin, which may be why the mask did not inflame or dry out my face as I'd feared it might. Other friendly ingredients include glycerin (counters the drying effects of clay), willow bark (salicylic acid, breaks up the skin debris that clogs pores), chamomile (anti-inflammatory), and several flower extracts.
The Medik8 Clay Mask rehydrates when you rinse it off (rather than cracking and flaking) and leaves the skin feeling smooth. I noticed an immediate shrinking of the pores after using the mask.
Other than the short-term pore shrinkage, I was not able to track any anti-aging results with the Medik8 Clay Mask, but that's not surprising since I was only using the mask once a week for a month. I was also disappointed not to see much effect on the blackheads and breakouts afflicting me -- new pimples continued to appear almost daily during the time I was using it, and old ones took their time healing. The salicylic acid is a good anti-acne ingredient but once a week is probably too infrequent for it to have much effect.
I'm going to hang onto the Medik8 Clay Mask and try it again in the summer, when I need more oil control, and when my skin will be able to handle application more than once a week. Medik8 is a reputable manufacturer, and this facial mask's pleasant scent and gentle tightening effect make it worth another try.