Trying Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay And 4 Other Masks For Pores

Last Friday, I opened my Facebook and saw a couple of high school batch mates share this post: 

 Why are there lots of people lining up at Healthy Options Glorietta? They wanna get their own Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay! Looks like it sold out fast though. Wonder why they only sold the Aztec like crazy now? 

Healthy Options is the local health store selling anything that goes with words like “organic”, “gluten free”, “vegan”, and anything that will get people shelling out thousands of pesos for health.  But it's not exactly cheap, if you ask me.

So what's the fuss about? Turns out that the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, a long time product of theirs, sold hot recently. Suddenly, people thought it descended from the actual Aztecs themselves. So I was puzzled as to why Healthy Options took so long to market this, as it was already known among the local online skin-care community....


Anyway, back to topic. What do I want for my skin? I want my pores cleaner than the streets of Taiwan. Honestly my acne is only occasional, but my comedones are frequent. Acne builds up from blackheads so I want something for the poets to get rid of it. Apart from washing my brushes and finding the right products, I need to find the mask to remove excess sebum and dirt.

 Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: Although it does the job, my face looked like a tomato and it didn't do much for my skin. Too drying for my own skin.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

The mask of the hour that’s getting all the attention. Its sole ingredient is powdered bentonite clay, which absorbs excess oil. To form the clay mixture, use apple cider vinegar as the solvent for max results. 


  • Very sticky: Taking it off my hair is a hassle I'd rather not have in a relaxing routine. 
  • The aftermath: My face turns super red and my skin goes super dry.
  • Overrated: Not worth the hype we saw on Facebook.


  • Tightens pores: Your face really pulsates when you have the mask on!
  • Organic: Doesn’t have too many ingredients and relies on one (bentonite)
  • DIY Ingredients: you only need apple cider vinegar to make sure
 Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask: Mild and easy to apply, but kind of messy and dried up my skin too much.

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask

Derma E’s charcoal mask hits not just two, but three birds with one stone: removing dirt, absorbing excess oil, and exfoliation. Activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and apricot seed powder are the keys to keep that skin fresh.


  • Price-size ratio: At PHP 820, it’s a pretty small amount…
  • Drying my skin: It does take off the oil, but it takes away the necessary moisture my skin needed.


  • Easy to apply: Doesn’t stick too much on your hands (and hair!) and easy to rinse with water.
  • Dries quickly: Sometimes I wore my glasses even when I just applied it!
  • No odor: The smell is pretty clinical (like Cetaphil or CosRX) so you know it's not going to screw up your skin.
 Earth Kiss Moroccan Clay Pore Refine Mud Mask: Relaxing, but only sold per pack and not exactly for long term use.

Earth Kiss Moroccan Clay Pore Refine Mud Mask

Literally kissed by earth, glacial mud relaxes and cleanses the skin on a stressful night. It also has salicylic acid, which is known for its anti-acne properties.


  • Relaxing feeling: The mask feels cool and refreshing during and after applying, thus living up to the cleansing promise.
  • Sold per pack: If you don’t feel like committing to the mask life, this is only sold for one use!


  • Fragrance: If you’re wary of skin care products with odor, this might be an issue. Although for me, the smell wasn’t too strong.
 The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask: Leafy, minty, and feels refreshing. But most importantly, it does the job.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

Made with bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves, and organic tea oil, this vegan facial clay purifies pores and leaves skin glowing like all impurities are removed.


  • Does the freaking job: As it says on the package! It tightened my pores for sure.
  • Enough substance to get around: You don't need to apply much to make a lot of layers as it thickens while on your face.
  • The aftermath feel: The mix of green tea leaves and charcoal feels so good on the skin!


  • Strong fragrance: I doubt products with strong scents because they don't always end up good. I got used to it, anyway.
  • Expensive: Possibly the most expensive at PHP 1,195.

Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask

Sourced from the volcanic ashes on Jeju Island, the volcanic capsules does 6 jobs at a time: shrinks pores, controls sebum, exfoliates, cleanses, brightens tones, and cools.


  • Easy to apply: Not so sticky and feels like cream or lotion when you touch it!
  • Enough substance to get around: Even the thinnest layer gives a good effect.
  • The aftermath feel: Tightened pores and clean face? Sign me up!
  • Travel-friendly size: If you're the type to 


  • The prize for the size: PHP 600 for a 100 mL bottle? Hmm...

My Verdict

So after trying all of these, I only use The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal mask and Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Clay Mask. I like how both required less layers in applying, and how tight my pores feel after. The Himalayan charcoal mask smelled a bit too strong at first, but I got used to it. And the volcanic mask was just clean and didn’t make much of a mess with my hair or eyebrows.

How about you? What’s your skin type, and what mask(s) do you use?

BeautyAica Duranskin care, guide