Due to budget and time limitations, I have been putting off writing this Sand and Sky review for a long time. However, now’s finally the time! I’m super excited about this, and I hope you’ll learn something from my review of Sand and Sky.
For years, I have been hearing wonderful things about Sand and Sky and how two Aussie twin sisters brought Australian pink clay into the limelight. And, their most popular product, the pink clay mask, has been on my wishlist for years now.
Before we get started, I want to clarify that the products used for this review (the Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask and Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliator) were not gifted and I paid for them out of my own pocket.
If you’d like to skip to a specific section of this review, please use this quick guide:
- What is Sand and Sky?
- Is Sand and Sky Cruelty-Free?
- What Are the Benefits of Australian Pink Clay?
- What do Dermatologists Think of Sand and Sky?
- Where Can You Buy Sand and Sky Products?
- Sand and Sky Pink Clay Mask Review
- Sand and Sky Exfoliating Treatment Review
- Review Conclusion: Does Sand and Sky Really Work?
What is Sand and Sky?
Sand and Sky is a cruelty-free Australian skincare company founded by twin sisters Emily and Sarah Hamilton. The two entrepreneurial Aussie sisters were the first to pioneer the idea of using Australian pink clay as a mask ingredient in 2017. According to them, it took more than a year of research and testing before they arrived at the final formula that they were satisfied with.
When the finished Sand and Sky products first hit the shelves in 2017, they were sold out almost immediately. Thousands of people joined waiting lists in order to get their hands on some, and Sand and Sky quickly gained a cult-like following among skincare enthusiasts.
After the massive success of their finalized formula, Australian pink clay became a common ingredient in skincare. And, other brands have followed in their footsteps. Brands such as the Instagram-famous Alya. Alya, however, has come under scrutiny for replicating perhaps too many details from Sand and Sky’s repertoire.
Now that we know a little more about the back story, let’s examine an important detail close to my heart: their cruelty-free status.
Is Sand and Sky Cruelty-Free?
Yes, Sand and Sky is 100% cruelty-free and it passes all criteria of the cruelty-free test with flying colors:
- Sand and Sky does not test finished products or ingredients on animals;
- Suppliers and other third parties of Sand and Sky do not test on animals;
- Sand and Sky products are not sold in mainland China;
- Sand and Sky is PETA-certified (page 65).
If you’re like me, you always like to support products that do not cause harm to animals. A certain furry friend of mine here also respected my decision to go vegan and cruelty-free:
What Are the Benefits of Australian Pink Clay?
Australian pink clay is a potent ingredient unique to the Australian shorelines. The only comparable ingredient is French pink clay, but in reality, the two are totally different in their chemical and mineral composition.
Australian pink clay has numerous beneficial effects on the human skin, such as:
- Absorbs impurities, toxins, and dirt from the skin;
- Refines and shrinks pores;
- Brightens skin complexion (by retaining natural fatty acids in the skin);
- Reduces inflammation in the skin.
To read more about the ingredients and plentiful benefits of Australian pink clay, read this in-depth article from Well and Good. They examined the topic in greater detail than I ever could.
What do Dermatologists Think of Sand and Sky?
Whenever I’m evaluating a skincare product, I dive head-first into quotes and comments from dermatologists. I search frantically for any kind of positive or negative mentions of brands and products, and I did the same for Sand and Sky.
After all, dermatologists are the ones who are medically trained experts (unlike many of the YouTube skincare influencers we view daily). I trust their testimonials and opinions above anyone else’s.
So – what did I find?
These are the two most trustworthy testimonials I found regarding the Sand and Sky product line. Both of the two dermatologists here happened to be US-based.
Dermatologist Lily Talakoub works at the McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center in Virginia. When asked about the Sand and Sky Pink Clay Face Mask in a Well and Good interview, she had the following to say. “This is an amazing mask. It can calm red and sensitive skin, help with dryness and irritation, unclog your pores, and soften your skin.”
Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner works as the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. While he did not mention Sand and Sky’s masks specifically, he did talk about Australian pink clay masks and their benefits in a theFashionSpot interview. He said, “clay masks are effective for various issues such as excess oil, acne, anti-aging. They’re super absorbent and they are rich in minerals that soothe inflammatory skin. And, they promote healthy skin cell functioning”.
Well – I was convinced! These testimonials were enough for me to pull the trigger and order myself some Sand and Sky goodies. What I ended up purchasing was the 2-in-1 “Perfect Skin Kit” that contained two of their two most popular products:
Where Can You Buy Sand and Sky Products?
Due to international restrictions surrounding shipping at the time of writing this review, I could not order my products directly from Sand and Sky. That is why I ended up buying my kit from Amazon. The prices were identical between Amazon and Sand and Sky.
Generally speaking, I prefer to order products directly from companies that produce them. Not only does it feel better to support the companies directly without a middle-man such as Amazon, but doing so also gives me the chance to review the shipping and customer support of brands. For this Sand and Sky review, though, I will not be covering those topics as I ended up having to go with Amazon.
In reality, though, you can buy Sand and Sky from many other online beauty stores. Personally, I would recommend these two options, though:
- Official Sand and Sky store (free shipping, 30-day return & refund policy)
- Amazon’s Sand and Sky sellers
Sand and Sky appears to be the best option as long as they ship to your location. Their refund and return policy plus free shipping make the overall price lower than Amazon’s, and if you have any issues with the products it’s always better to contact the company directly, rather than an Amazon re-seller.
Sand and Sky Pink Clay Mask Review
When the pink clay mask finally arrived at my door I was super stoked. Having researched the opinions of dermatologists I already knew I was in for a treat. And, I finally had the cute pink container in my hand! The same product that had been sold out for so long, and that everyone was raving about.
But, before we get to how the mask felt, let’s first go over the packaging.
What’s in the Box?
This is what’s in the box of Sand and Sky’s pink clay mask:
- Face mask (obviously)
- Small applicator brush (feels solid and the bristles do not fall out even when bent or stressed)
- Leaflet (contains mask instructions mask and its’ health benefits)
That’s basically it! All you need to use the face mask is there in the package. Well, except water – you WILL need water. But, I’m hoping that if you can afford to splurge on products like this, you’ll also have access to water. Anyway…
Using the Pink Clay Mask
Okay, so – how did the mask FEEL?
In short – it’s fantastic.
I have sensitive skin, and at first I was afraid that the mask might cause me to break out. That is because I’ve experienced skin breakouts from masks countless times.
Thankfully, though, the mask did not cause any sort of an adverse reaction on my skin. I felt a very slight tingling sensation in the first minutes of use, but I would not describe it as uncomfortable in the slightest. On the contrary, it felt nice – like high-end facials that I splurge on every now and then.
When I first applied the mask with the applicator brush, it looked grey and had a sort-of wet consistency. But, after a minute, I already saw the clay turning white on my face. Before I knew it, I looked like a Japanese Geisha in full makeup.
During the second half of wearing the mask, I felt a slight feeling of stretching on my skin. It did not catch me by surprise, though, because when clay masks start to solidify, they always cause a sensation like this. From that perspective, Australian pink clay appears to feel somewhat similar to French pink clay. I felt this exact same sensation while wearing French pink clay masks.
After keeping the mask on for 10 minutes, I rinsed it off with lukewarm water. The rinsing process was surprisingly easy. I’ve used clay masks in the past that have been an absolute nightmare to wash off. This was not the case with Sand and Sky’s mask – thank god!
What My Skin Felt Like Afterwards
After rinsing off the mask, my skin felt SO smooth and fresh. I’m not even exaggerating here – I’ve never felt this from a mask. Honestly, it felt more like a $100 facial treatment than a mask. Maybe there was an element of placebo in there as well, though. Before putting on the mask, I had been reading about the wonders of Australian pink clay and all the positive words from dermatologists. It’s entirely possible that I fell in love with the product before even applying it!
In any case, I was totally satisfied with the effects of Sand and Sky’s pink clay mask. I was initially planning on buying just this one box for the purpose of this Sand and Sky review. But, at this point, I’m pretty sure I will end up buying more whenever this one runs out. Thankfully, though, you need to use a very small amount of clay for full face coverage, so I’m thinking the first box will last me at least a good 2-3 months. Especially as my skin can get sensitive, I would probably be afraid to use it more often than 2-3 times per week.
Sand and Sky Exfoliating Treatment Review
Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliator was the second product I tested for this review. Before trying the exfoliator, I had already fallen in love with the pink clay mask, so my expectations were high. Higher than usual!
AND, spoiler alert- my expectations were met! Perhaps even exceeded.
To use the exfoliator, I followed the official instructions and did the following:
- Cleansed my face from makeup (I like to use micellar water)
- Moistened my face with lukewarm water
- Applied the exfoliator by gently massaging it into the skin for 30 seconds
- Rinsed after 5 minutes
The whole process was super simple and I noticed the positive after-effects straight away. My skin felt squeaky clean afterward and my face did not feel irritated at all unlike with some other chemical exfoliators. The pink clay inside the product felt wonderful (a little bit like a physical exfoliator) and I could feel the dirt being scrubbed away during massaging.
Really, really great stuff.
I don’t have as much to say about the exfoliator as I did regarding the pink clay mask. However, if you’re shopping around for a new exfoliator, this is a great option. Despite having sensitive skin, it did not cause me any kind of irritation, and the after-effects were oh-so-good. I’ll be using this in combination with the pink clay masks for the foreseeable future – that’s for sure.
Review Conclusion: Does Sand and Sky Really Work?
In short – yes. Sand and Sky products really do work. The health benefits of Australian pink clay have been highlighted by various dermatologists, and my personal experiences were highly positive. After using the pink clay mask, I noticed a smoothness and shininess to my skin, and I was very satisfied.
I also place a high value on the fact that Sand and Sky products are 100% cruelty-free and vegan. And, last but not least, I also loved the packaging and design of their products. While product design is not a major point of consideration, it’s still a fun little detail that I love to consider in my reviews.
The only real disadvantage of Sand and Sky that I can bring out is the cost. A small 2.1oz (around 60ml) container of the pink clay masks costs $49.99 and it’s not the cheapest face mask out there. But, to me – their top-notch quality, cruelty-free status, and reputation make up for the price tag. And, if you get the “Perfect Skin Kit” as I did, you can save some money and try out the exfoliator as well.
I’ll be buying more of Sand and Sky products when my ones run out, that’s for sure. And, if your budget allows it – I recommend you try their product line out as well. You will be pleasantly surprised by how wonderful clay masks can be.
I guess it’s time to wrap this up. I hope you enjoyed reading this Sand and Sky review as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you have any personal stories or experiences to share, please leave a comment – I love hearing from y’all!