In many ways, having oily skin can be a blessing, but it does take effort to keep it under control. On one hand, I like a dewy finish, and research also shows oily skin can stave off wrinkle formation better than dry skin can. But then there are instances when the grease gets to be too much, like when I walk outside on a warm summer day, only to have my eye makeup smudge and smear. Or when I'm all out of blotting powder and papers, and feel like an oil slick.
Regardless of the ups and downs, my PCOS-induced oily skin has made finding the right skincare an absolute must. I've learned I have to avoid ingredients that could upset my skin further—the less "stuff" in a product, the better. Which is why Three Ships Detox Green Tea Antioxidant Clay Mask ($17) is the perfect new addition to my skin-care routine. With its minimal, oily skin-safe ingredients, feel-good formula, and packaging to die for, it's the one product that has left me wow'd the first go-round.
Like I mentioned, I have to be pretty careful about what ingredients I put on my face. Ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and benzoyl peroxide are big no-nos because they can cause extreme drying effects on my skin. (I want my skin to be less oily, yes, but not so dried out I feel like I'm parched.) On the other hand, heavy humectants or emollients (which lock in moisture on the skin barrier) can leave me greasier than before, so they're a no-no, too.
- Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology in New York City
That's why I love this mask, which is made of just three natural star ingredients: kaolin clay, French green clay, and green tea extract. Together, they work together to slurp off the extra oil on my face, without leaving it completely dried out. The formula is simple like that of the Aztec healing clay mask which only has one ingredient, but way more soothing and way less drying. While there hasn't been substantial research on how kaolin clay affects the skin, board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, shares that it's traditionally used to cleanse skin, remove surface oils, and gently clean the area. She also shares how, combined, these individual ingredients can benefit oily textures, like my own.
"[French green clay] has been found to be quite antibacterial in nature, offering some potential benefit not only in cleansing the skin, but also for potentially improving skin condition such as acne, which have influence by the bacteria on our skin," she says. "Topical green tea can be used to calm inflamed skin, and is great for all skin types, typically even the very sensitive."
The added boost of green tea is a game-changer, too. As someone with oily skin that can get pretty red, having an anti-inflammatory ingredient like is a blessing. Its natural infusion of caffeine tapers my puffiness and relieves redness with every use.
Here's how it works: Three Ships Green Tea Antioxidant Clay Mask comes in a powder form. All you have to do is mix a scoop in with some water (I usually use a small bowl) and stir until it firms up into a nice paste. Once you get a nice green goo, you can smear it on and leave it to dry. I like to leave mine on for about 10 minutes, letting it dry on my skin and soak up into my pores. "I recommend at least once weekly use for 10 minutes in order to appreciate results, and continuing to maintain results long-term," says Dr. Nazarian.
It feels nice when it's on, but off? That's the star of the show. It doesn't fully dry out my skin—rather, it leaves a nice, plump feeling, as if my face has been nourished. The texture feels incredibly smooth—and moreover, the redness is tremendously relieved. More impressively, the oils are the perfect balance of hydrated without going overboard.
Yes, having powdered skin care can be a hassle if you're like me, clumsy and prefer to avoid a mess. But when I say this product is worth the effort, it truly, truly is. Like Dr. Nazarian suggests, I use this mask once or twice a week, during my self-care nights when I'm watching my favorite TV show (currently super into Umbrella Academy on Netflix just in case you're curious) or resting with cucumber slices on my eyes. (Yes, they really do help with inflammation.) For $17, it's an oily skin lifesaver that'll turn your greasy days around as soon as you wash it off.
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