I’ve talked about using chemical peelings gels and physical sugar masks and the final method I currently use to exfoliate my skin is the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. Saved the best till last because this is by far my favourite and the most effective out of the three.
I would say this, along with the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask are right at the top of cult Korean skincare products and I kept coming across this highly raved about clay mask as I was researching for good Korean exfoliators. No surprise then that it’s one of Innisfree’s top best sellers and what they are most identified for.
This Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask comes in a cute little jar with a twist off lid and containing 100ml of product. (It also comes in a big size version of 200ml). I bought this in Korea for 10,400 won equivalent to £5.90/US$9.00.
This claims to be a 6-in-one pore care that:
- Tightens pores
- Removes sebum
- Exfoliates dead skin cells
- Offers deep cleansing
- Enhances skin tone
- Provides cooling effect
I got the ‘Super’ version as it is stronger and works deeper on treating pores and better for those with oily skin, whereas the Original Volcanic Pore Clay Mask controls sebum and is more suitable for less oily, normal/dry skin types. They pretty much have the same function but the Super Volcanic is supposedly slightly thicker and less creamier due to having more volcanic clay and sebum controlling ingredients.
It has won 22 global beauty awards, and is free of mineral oil, artificial fragrance, animal-originated ingredients and imidazolidinyl urea (preservative).
Is recommended to be used within 9 months of opening but has a shelf life expiry date of 3/3/2017 on mine which I purchased October 2015.
What is it?
So this is made of Jeju volcanic clay which is made from minerals released from volcanic explosions. This is found to be effective at removing impurities and sebum in the skin which makes it a good exfoliator for achieving smooth, clear and healthy-looking skin.
Some interesting ingredients include titanium dioxide which appears second on the ingredients list after water. It is a commonly found in physical sunscreens to protect from UVA & UVB rays but in this case it works as a whitening pigment (which is why you sometimes get the white cast when using sunscreens) to help achieve clearer looking skin.
It also contains lactic acid which is a great gentle AHA especially for sensitive skin types. It is water soluble and aids in clearing dead skin by efficiently breaking up the cell bonds.
Zinc oxide is present and is anti-inflammatory so it soothes irritated skins and is used to treat rosacea, eczema, acne and large pores.
Other ingredients include volcanic ash for purifying skin and green tea extract which is a good antioxidant.
I use this once a week, when my skin feels especially oily and dull looking. It has a protective cover under the lid to stop it from drying out and I always ensure to put it back on immediately after use. As the instructions say, I apply after I’ve cleansed my face and applied toner to refine skin texture. Using a spatula (which isn’t provided), I smooth it out over my face while avoiding the delicate lip and eye area. It is quite thick and stiff but it spreads nice enough without having to pull and tug at your skin. I feel a thin layer is all that I need but I may apply it a bit thicker on more oily areas such as my nose and forehead. You’ll notice little bumps in the clay which are actually the super volcanic capsules that burst when you spread it and contain the ingredients to exfoliate and remove the dead skin.
I leave it on for about 10/15 minutes, after which I gently massage it off with lukewarm water and proceed with the rest of my skincare.
I am in looove with this clay mask! I feel lucky enough that I didn’t have to wade through a ton of clay masks to find one that worked for me. This does everything I could want it to do and more. Its such a gem.
I personally feel like it certainly achieved that 6-in-1 claim. After removing the clay mask, my skin has such a clear and radiant appearance. I usually have annoying red thread veins in my cheeks which get triggered by certain things and I’m forever trying to reduce their appearance. This stuff makes it temporarily fade (at least until the next morning) and my skin looks fresh and bright. My skin overall feels tighter (but not excessively dry or dehydrated), plumper and so smooth and soft! It really makes my skin feel the best out of all the exfoliators I use.
It removes the sebum so I don’t feel like a grease ball and works well to reduce the appearance of my nose pores. I wouldn’t say I had particularly large or noticeable pores but when I look close I can see them filled with gunk. After using this, they look visibly reduced and the pores do not contain dirt anymore. I wouldn’t say they make pores disappear because they don’t and I don’t believe any product can truly do that. I feel the problem with pores is that because they are filled with nasty things, they look more obvious. Without it, they are just less obvious and I am happy with that result.
I also don’t mind having the clay mask on for about 15 minutes. For some people it can be uncomfortable because as it starts to dry up it can make the face feel really tight and taut. It becomes harder to talk and make facial expressions. I like it because when it hardens I feel like its getting down to work and really having an effect on my skin. The cooling sensation when you wear it too is really nice and will be very refreshing to apply in the summertime.
When you wash it off it comes off nicely by massaging your face and working it into a lather with water. My face neither feels dry nor oily. The stiffness from the mask drying is completely gone. There is no fragrance to this clay mask either which makes it suitable for people who are sensitive to that. It just has a slight natural smell of clay if you give it a good sniff otherwise it’s not noticeable at all.
There’s really nothing negative I have to say about this product. Its a good amount that will last me a few months at least and at such an affordable price too. I would probably recommend the original version for people who don’t have much of an issue with sebum, blackhead and pores, or who have normal/dry skin because this might just feel too drying and strong for the skin. Definitely make sure not to use more than once a week if you do because over-exfoliating will only irritate and dry out the skin even more.
For me this has become my HG skincare product and I’ll be picking up the larger version when I run out. I also know this is a good product when even my boyfriend comes back for more! It was a required effort to get him to start any sort of skincare regime and although he does do the basic cleanser, tone, moisturizer I had to pester him to try this clay mask. And he actually really liked using it to my surprise! He hasn’t really shown enthusiasm in anything else but just the other week he came out of the bathroom with this clay mask already on! With no nudging from me at all hahaha. What a nice surprise.
I will continue to use this until the day it stops working on me but until then I have no desire to try out other clay masks when this works perfectly.