Kaolin Face Mask
Kaolin Face Mask from The Inkey List is one of the few oil-absorbing masks that’s not waylaid by problematic ingredients like fragrances, mint, and menthol. In fact, there’s really nothing to fault and much to extol about this fragrance-free mask. It’s surprisingly gentle yet still does a respectable job handling excess oil.
Dispensed from an opaque squeeze tube, this cream-white mask has a souffle-like texture that’s wonderfully easy to apply--no dragging or balling up, and only a thin layer is needed.
You’re directed to leave the mask on for 10 minutes, and then rinse. Rinsing is almost as easy as applying, which is something we can’t say for many clay masks! Even better, excess oil is absorbed and washed away without leaving skin feeling tight or drawn.
The only drawback is that the emollients and plant oil this contains keep Kaolin Face Mask from being as absorbent as someone with very oily skin needs. In that sense, the mask falls short; however, if you don’t have this skin type, it’s a non-issue and doesn’t impact our rating.
- Souffle-like cream texture is easy to apply.
- Takes minimal effort to rinse.
- Won’t leave skin feeling tight or parched.
- Fragrance free.
- Not as absorbent as those with very oily skin will need.
A natural, deep-cleaning face mask using high-grade clay to help absorb excess oil. THE INKEY LIST’s kaolin clay is gentle, so it’s perfect for all skin types as a deep clean once to twice per week. Oily skin? This kaolin can be used more often as needed without drying the skin.
The Inkey List is the creation of Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, respectively the former branding and product developers of the widespread UK-based drugstore chain Boots, which has its own namesake skin care line. As with a number of up-and-coming “indie” brands, the media coverage centers on their inexpensive products with minimalist formulas that tend to focus on a single star ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or retinol.
If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.
Though the formulas are somewhat basic, The Inkey List gets its packaging spot-on – all products are in opaque containers, with no jars or clear containers to be found. Fragrance isn’t on this brand’s radar, either--at least not in terms of adding it to their products (which will make your skin very happy).
We’d like to see more complex formulas, but then again such formulas cost more to make, and The Inkey List is mostly a bargain brand. We wrote “mostly” because in some cases, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, The Inkey List costs just as much as some other brands offering the same type of products (like leave-on exfoliants) in larger sizes.
Even with the predominantly one-note ingredient theme, the brand typically includes beneficial ingredients in efficacious amounts and skips irritants, with the exception of a couple a products that contain witch hazel water and drying denatured alcohol.
That aside, the brand offers a good selection of effective products, something we’re always glad to see. The Inkey List is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Sephora; you can learn more about the brand here: https://www.sephora.com/brand/the-inkey-list.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.