Cosmetic clays are becoming hugely popular in many skin care products, and there’s an obvious reason for that! Clay is a natural ingredient that can supply important minerals and many beneficial properties that will work wonders for your skin, and it’s a must-have staple ingredient in DIY natural skin care.
If you’ve been following me for any period of time now, you’ll know that I am a huge clay mask fan, and I certainly have my favourites. There are many types of clays and they are super simple to incorporate into your skincare routine. Because there are so many different kinds of clays, I am only going to cover the five that I use most often, I’ll also provide you with some quick recipes you try a clay mask right away!
The Benefits of Using Clay in Skincare
Cosmetic clays have many benefits, they’re great at cleansing, purifying and detoxifying the skin, they boost circulation and leave your skin smoother and brighter. The topical use of clay can be traced back to early civilisations such as the Ancient Egyptians and Romans for healing, detoxifying and achieving a smooth, healthy glow. When combined with mineral or floral waters, clays can bind to impurities and remove them from the skin as well as exfoliate, absorbing excess oils, removing dead skin cells, improving circulation and invigorating the skin.
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Cosmetic clays are a cost effective, must-have natural skincare solution.
5 of The Most Popular Cosmetic Clays
Each cosmetic clay presents its own beneficial properties, and just like with fingerprints, it’s impossible to find two identical clays. They all come from different geographical locations and sources and each has its own unique mineral composition, how awesome is that?! So depending on your skin type, your skin’s needs, or your own preferences, one clay might be better than another, making it important to understand the unique differences of each one.
Kaolin: is such a versatile go-to clay, it works for all skin types and it is a good choice for those with sensitive skin. It can be used as an exfoliator, cleanser and toner and is always gentle on your skin. For a kaolin and activated charcoal mask you will need: 2 tsp Kaolin clay, 1/2 tsp Activated charcoal, 1/4 tsp Rosehip oil and 1 tsp demineralised water or floral water and follow the steps below.
Bentonite: is the most widely used clay and is suitable for all skin types. It can absorb excess oil, heal, detoxify and tighten skin. It has a strong negative electromagnetic charge, so when activated by water, it acts as a magnet pulling metals and toxins to it, this clay is also a great choice for DIY deodorant bars as it’s effective at odour absorbing. For a bentonite detoxifying mask you will need: 2 tsp Bentonite clay, 1/4 tsp Jojoba oil, 1 drop Lavender essential oil, 1 tsp Aloe vera juice and follow the steps below.
Rhassoul: like any other healing clays, it can nourish the skin, even out skin tone, draw out blackheads and other impurities which in turn will reduce breakouts! It is dense and rich in minerals such as Silica, Magnesium and Calcium and is gentle and softening to the skin. It also helps to firm and revitalise the skin making it ideal for tired, ageing skin. For a revitalising mask you will need: 2 tsp rhassoul clay, 1 tsp rose hydrosol, 1 drop tea tree essential oil and follow the steps below.
Green Clay: is excellent for absorbing excess oils and impurities, it tightens the skin and shrinks the appearance of pores, fights acne and works to prevent future breakouts, it’s also anti-inflammatory making it ideal for healing existing breakouts and problem areas. For an acne fighting green clay and yogurt mask you will need: 2 tsp green clay, 1 tsp, plain yogurt, 1 tsp demineralised water or floral water and follow the steps below.
French Pink Clay: draws toxins and impurities, tightens the skin and shrinks the appearance of pores, creates and overall refreshed appearance. It can also be used to treat acne and other skin ailments; poor blood and/or lymph circulation and sun damaged skin. For a tightening and brightening rose and pink clay mask you will need: 2 tsp Pink french clay, 1 tsp Rose water, 1 tsp Witch hazel, 1 tsp Raw honey, 2 drops Geranium essential oil and follow the steps below.
How To Use Clay in Skincare?
Step 1: Select the type of cosmetic clays you wish to use. Using a wooden or ceramic spoon, dish out about 2 teaspoons of dry clay into a wooden or ceramic mixing bowl.
Step 2: You can also add further dry ingredients (about a quarter teaspoon) to your mix such as an additional clay, exfoliating agents or fruit powders. I love using Manuka honey powder extract for an extra humectant property.
Step 4: Add a single drop of essential oil (optional) ensure you’ve thoroughly researched which essential oils are best suited to your skin type, and avoid all together if your skin is very sensitive. Be extra cautious when using essential oils and make sure you read the safety advice.
Step 5: Choose a liquid of choice, it could be demineralised water, floral hydrosols, aloe vera juice, milk or yoghurt. In this step I also add vegetable glycerin for an extra humectant property. Mix in enough to make a thick paste (usually 1-2 teaspoons). Adjust recipe if it is too thick, or too thin. Once applied, the mask should stay in place and not drip or be runny. This is to ensure that the mask stays out of the eyes and mouth, and prevent it getting all over your clothes and bathroom!
Step 6: Cleanse your skin. Then using a face mask brush, apply a thin even layer to your face and neck, avoiding eyes and hairline. It is important that you don’t leave the mask on for too long. Ensure that you remove the mask before it cracks and dries completely. Leaving it on for too long could cause dehydration and irritation. Allow it to sit on your face for approx 10-15 minutes, if you are in a warm or dry climate and you find it dries very quickly, you can re-hydrate it using a floral water mist, or a quick splash of water.
Step 7: To remove the mask, gently splash water to rehydrate the clay, then remove excess with more water and a face cloth. Follow your mask with your favourite moisturiser, then lock in the moisture with a face oil to prevent your skin drying out.
Now take a look in the mirror at that instantly radiant complexion! This is what is to be expected after removing the mask from your face and for me I notice my pores as significantly less noticeable and clean, not a black head in sight!
➤ Looking for more face mask recipes? Download my FREE Face Mask Recipe ebook below!
Learn how to create more natural face masks in the comfort of your own home! These recipes are perfect for beginners looking to transition to natural and organic skincare. These recipes will target skin problems such as acne, blackheads, sun damage, redness, excess oil and reducing the appearance of pores.
Notes About Using Cosmetic Clays:
• Your skin may be slightly red/pink for a little while after using a clay mask. This is perfectly normal and is caused from increased blood circulation to the surface of the skin. • Dermatologists recommend using a clay face mask once to twice a week. Those with oily skin may need a few times a week, while those with dry skin should stick to once a week, and instead use a hydrating gel mask in between. • A clay mask should be mixed just before use and discarded afterwards. Once clay is mixed with water it is difficult to preserve and so should not be stored for reuse later (unless you use a full spectrum preservative). • It’s important that you do not use any metal utensils or containers as the clay will absorb the metals and becomes less effective. • Always perform a patch test before use to ensure you do not have a reaction the ingredients mentioned above. • As with all products, find a reputable supplier for your natural skin care ingredients.
Do you have a favourite go to clay, or a tried and tested face mask recipe you love? Feel free to share with us below!
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