This Scarlett Johansson-Approved Clay Mask Improved My Skin Tone in Just 2 Weeks

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren
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While I'm usually weary of celebrity beauty brands, I've developed a special fondness for Scarlett Johansson's skin-care label, The Outset — and not just because I had the opportunity to interview her about it (though that certainly helps). My skin-care journey has been incredibly complex. I've long struggled with persisting issues like irritation, breakouts, and dryness, all problems that Johansson has similarly confronted, too.

"I started having acne as a teenager. I was going through puberty and experiencing that first kind of problem breakout, which I thought would go away with time, but I continued to have acne into my adulthood. I just never thought I would struggle; I had so many resources like great dermatologists and beauty experts and makeup artists," Johansson says of her own skin-care journey. "At the time so much of the messaging was that if you have acne or 'problem skin,' you can make it disappear by stripping it away, and so I was in a cycle of drying out my skin and having these [endless] breakouts."

Through The Outset, Johansson has been able to pour her own beauty lessons into the brand — thus helping it to stand out in a noticeably saturated market. Unlike other celebrity lines, The Outset's product assortment is rooted in a "less is more" approach, with limited skin-care essentials that are thoughtfully formulated and designed to elevate your skin from the inside out.

Of all the incredible products from The Outset (and trust me, there are many), few have revived my skin and helped me to replicate Johansson's minimalistic glow better than The Outset Purifying Blue Clay Mask ($46), which has become a staple in my weekly beauty routine.

From the clay face mask's creamy texture and rich blue coloring to its unique ingredient list, I break down everything to know about this gentle product — including why I'm convinced it's one of the best clay masks money can buy. Keep reading for my full review.


Experts Featured in This Article

Nava Greenfield, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.


About The Outset's Purifying Blue Clay Mask

  • This clay face mask is designed to brighten skin, unclog pores, and deliver a gentle exfoliation that nourishes the skin without stripping it of any natural oils.
  • It's formulated with clean ingredients like kaolin clay, gardenia, and pansy extracts.
  • The product is fragrance free and dermatologist- and allergy-tested.
  • While the clay face mask is made to work for all skin types, it's formulated especially for those with sensitive skin types.

What I Like About The Outset's Purifying Blue Clay Mask

There's a lot to love about this nourishing face mask. For starters, I like that it's made with sensitive skin types in mind — as confirmed by the brand's board-certified dermatologist. "The Outset includes natural calming ingredients including rose hip oil, seed extracts, marula oil, arnica flower extract, and avoids harsh ingredients like fragrances — creating optimal formulations for sensitive skin," explains DNava Greenfield, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.

As someone who typically has to endure a "purge" period before assessing the effectiveness of a new skin-care product, I've been pleasantly surprised by the gentle nature of this mask, which has managed to revive the look of my skin without inspiring any sort of breakouts along the way. The clay mask goes on smooth without clumping up or layering awkwardly onto my skin. It also dries gently, so I don't experience any sort of discomfort during or after using the treatment.

Best of all: it delivers results almost immediately — or, in my case, within just two weeks. After using the product once a week for two weeks straight, I saw a noticeable difference in my skin's tone and texture. Usual dark spots appeared to be less visible, while my skin's overall coloring was brighter and more vibrant — free from its usual dullness. My pores also looked less enlarged, particularly in problem spots where I'd previously struggled with acne scarring.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

How to Use The Outset's Purifying Blue Clay Mask

This clay face mask is easy to use and even easier to incorporate into your weekly beauty regimen. While the product is designed for morning or nighttime use, I like to maintain a stripped-back morning routine, so I prefer to use this clay mask in the evenings. To start, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water, then pat it dry with a towel. From there, I'll apply the mask to my dry skin, starting with my cheeks and then gradually spreading the formula across my face until it feels evenly distributed.

My chin and lower cheeks are my most persistent problem areas, so I like to make sure they're well-coated. Per directions from the brand, I then leave the face mask on for 10 minutes before wiping it off with a washcloth — preferably a dark-colored one to avoid potential discoloration — and then give my skin an extra rinse to ensure all of the product is cleaned from my face. I'll cap off my nighttime skin-care routine with my usual products, like an eye cream or rich moisturizer, and then check back in the morning to see the full results.

After a couple weeks of use, I began to see a visible difference in my skin's texture and vibrancy. Not only did I experience fewer breakouts, but I also noticed that my pores looked less enlarged. Overall, my skin looked much more youthful with a brighter, more evened-out coloring.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

What to Consider Before Trying The Outset's Purifying Blue Clay Mask

This ingredient-rich product is much thicker than other clay masks I've tried, and thus harder to apply on dry skin. I find myself having to apply more of the solution than I might like in order to coat my entire face, and at $46 per bottle, it's hard to rationalize using the mask multiple times per week (as recommended by the brand). While I love this clay mask and would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling with persistent skin issues or dullness, it might work better as an investment skin-care product that you reserve for use just once every week. For a clay mask that you can use more often, I'd recommend shopping out a budget option; check out our guide to the best clay masks for more inspiration.

Where Is The Outset's Purifying Blue Clay Mask Available?

This clay face mask is available to shop at Amazon, Nordstrom ($46), Goop, and QVC.

Rating:
★★★★


Kyley Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, and affiliate strategist with more than four years of experience in the publishing space. She currently works as an assistant editor on PS Shopping and is an expert on all things related to shopping and fashion. She previously worked with Entertainment Tonight as a style commerce writer, and her byline has appeared in publications globally.