I've had oily, temperamental skin for as long as I can remember, and there's not a grease-sopping mask or treatment I haven't tried. (A career in beauty has bolstered this endeavour.) From kaolin-based formulas to charcoal-infused pastes to French green clay creations, clarifying masks can be a saving grace for calming breakouts and balancing oily skin. However, none have been more luxurious than Tatcha's Clarifying Clay Mask. The product features an all-star roster of Japanese-sourced ingredients that include volcanic ash, konjac, and Okinawan kucha clay to exfoliate and absorb excess oil within five minutes. Impressive claims, to be sure — but would I expect anything less from Tatcha, the GOAT when it comes to luxury skincare? Ahead, keep reading as the powerhouse product faces off against my oily, breakout-prone complexion.
As you can see in the swatch above, the mask is pistachio green straight out of the jar. However, once applied and rubbed into skin, it turns into a murky reddish-brown — call it a reverse Statue of Liberty effect. As per the instructions, I cleansed my skin and applied a thin layer of the mask all over my face, avoiding the eye area. Within seconds, I noticed a warming sensation that felt soothing and distinctly spa-like. Having tried myriad clay masks before, I was expecting a dry, tightening feel or tingling sensation. Not this one. It truly felt like a luxurious facial. I also appreciated that it only needed a few minutes to do its thing. Many masks and treatments recommend leaving on for 10 to 20 minutes, which is fine! But I'm impatient.
After leaving it on for three minutes, I rinsed the mask off with cool water and patted my face dry. I was surprised and delighted that my skin didn't feel parched but rather balanced and refreshed. From there, I applied serum and moisturiser, marvelling at how smooth and refined my texture-prone skin felt after just one use. It was also a 10/10 sensorial experience: The scent was slightly herbal and invigorating, and the fine, gritty texture offered mild physical exfoliation but nothing too intense.
Tatcha's The Deep Cleanse and The Water Cream are two all-time faves for maintaining a clear, balanced complexion, and this latest addition is a definite upgrade to the brand's oily-skinned array of products (aka anything with the minty, blue-green packaging). The only negative thing I have to say about the mask is the price: At $105 for a 1.7 ounce jar, the stuff is not cheap. However, take it from someone who's tried every oil-absorbing mask under the sun: This one feels insanely luxurious from start to finish, and it left my skin looking visibly brighter and more even. It can sometimes feel like a struggle of constantly using oil-blotting sheets and powder to curb a greasy T-zone, but now that I have this mask in my rotation, I have one thing to say: Bring it on.