After a recent excursion to Martha’s Vineyard, a friend with an impeccable eye for beauty trends told me that she observed beachgoers slathering themselves in clay from the brightly colored Gay Head Cliffs. (Side note: These steep ridges are attached to one of the few nude beaches left in the U.S.). While incorporating clay into beauty rituals is not a new phenomenon—Cleopatra is said to have used it to preserve her complexion—it made me think of the many options that don’t require a ferry or a flight to this Massachusetts island in order to receive the benefits of the natural substance.
Two of my favorites: The Ageless Clarity White Clay Treatment Mask from Nuance Salma Hayek contains kaolin (a soft white clay), lemon extract, and camphor to detoxify, exfoliate, and soothe sensitive skin. And Clayspray, a brand that recently arrived Stateside from Spain and includes a range of white- and red-clay emulsions for your face infused with super-moisturizing macromolecular hydrogel. My go-to for toning down T-zone shine and eliminating impurities: Clayspray Mattifying Red Clay, a blend of collagen-boosting silica, healing magnesium, and circulation-improving iron. Plus, its airtight container ensures this formula never dries up. While I’m all for breaking the mold and taking on a beauty adventure, I’ll go for one of these at-home options over stripping down to my birthday suit outdoors any day.