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/ Source: TODAY
By Lyn Mettler

At TODAY we take care to recommend items we hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY may get a small share of the revenue.Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

When I was growing up, my mom faithfully used beauty masks. Luckily, she let me join in on the fun. I remember her using products made from a variety of ingredients, like egg whites, but her go-to was a green clay exfoliating mask.

Naturally, as an adult, I started using my own exfoliator about once a week, and for the last several years, my expensive go-to product has been draining my wallet. So when I came across this bestselling $10 Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask on Amazon, I was intrigued. It has more than 16,700 reviews and has earned a 4.4-star rating. Even Mindy Kaling said she loves it.

The "Miracle Worker" Face Mask

This product is made of natural calcium bentonite clay. While promoted as a facial mask, it can also be used in other ways, like foot soaks and clay baths, according to the packaging. Some Amazon reviewers even say it’s helped reduce acne.

According to the Aztec Secret website, clay has been used in beauty rituals as far back as 4,000 years ago. The company claims it works because toxins in the skin hold a positive charge, while the clay holds a negative charge to help draw impurities out.

Some reviews on Amazon say the product might cause irritation. The packaging does warn that skin may be red for about 30 minutes afterward, but it should go away. It may be a good idea to try it on a small area of skin first to check for signs of irritation.

It comes as a powder, which you’ll need to mix at a 1-to-1 ratio with apple cider vinegar or water. I bought a cheap bottle of apple cider vinegar at the grocery store for around $1.50. Then, I mixed one tablespoon of powder with one tablespoon of vinegar in a nonmetal bowl. That was the perfect amount for my face.

Plenty of photos show the skin-clearing effect of the mask, including these before-and-after photos from one reviewer, who called the mask a "godsend."Amazon

The instructions say to cake your face with about a one-fourth-inch layer of clay and let it dry. Then, leave it on for up to 20 minutes — 10 minutes for sensitive skin. Simply wash it off with warm water when done (you can do this right before hopping in the shower for convenience). Repeat weekly.

It’s been about a month since I bought the mask, and I’ve been using it once a week. I’m not sure I’ve felt my skin “pulsate,” as the packaging claimed it would. But the clay does create a tightening sensation — just like my mom’s old clay mask — while it deeply cleanses my pores. It certainly feels like it’s working!

After removing the mask, my face feels very smooth, and I make sure to moisturize right after. I plan to continue to use it once a week, replacing my other, more expensive, exfoliator. Since each application uses just a tablespoon of powder, I expect one tub to last many months.

This secret’s officially out!

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