CLAYS ARE EXTRACTED FROM THE EARTH and the depth from which they are sourced speaks to their mineral content, color and use. Green clay, for instance, comes from volcanic deposits, while bentonite and montmorillonite are derived from volcanic ash. Clays are wonderful for a number of reasons, including their ability to draw out toxins, exfoliate, purify, soothe, tone and rejuvenate the skin. Clay stimulates blood flow to the surface of the skin and oxygenates any area it is applied to. The oxygenation helps to reduce puffiness and inflammation and stimulates the skin’s cellular turnover. In comparison to facial peels and chemical exfoliators, clay is very gentle and is the most natural option that works wonders on sensitive and reactive skin types due to its cool, energetic nature.
There are 3 main types of clay you can use:
1. Green clay – great for oily, acne-prone skin as it normalizes sebum production and calms inflammation. It is composed of iron oxides and decomposed plant matter, which is where the green color comes from — a truly life-cycling substance. Green clay contains montmorillonite, mineral oxides, magnesium, calcium, potassium, dolomite, silica, manganese, phosphorous, silicon, copper and selenium.
2. Red clay (Rhassoul / Ghassoul) – medium strength, ideal for sensitive, mature skin types with broken capillaries, eczema and rosacea. It is mined deep beneath the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco and contains high percentages of silica, magnesium, potassium and calcium.
3. White clay (Kaolin) – the most gentle of all, perfect for sensitive skin. It is very soothing and softening.
Clays can be used in a variety of recipes: face masks, deodorants, dry hair powders, foot soaks, body powders, toothpastes and much more.
Making a face mask is quick and can be applied once weekly or as a spot treatment. Because of its gentle nature, it can also be applied daily if you have the time. You can add in any ingredients you desire to make a mask tailored to your skin type.
Normal Face Mask
Mix 1 teaspoon of red clay or green clay with a few droplets of water or herbal hydrosol until a creamy consistency develops. Add 1-2 drops of lavender.
Oily Skin Face Mask
Mix 1 teaspoon of green clay with a few droplets of water or herbal hydrosol until creamy. Add a drop of lemon essential oil diluted in a few drops of jojoba oil. You can also add in a bit of Manuka honey for its antibacterial qualities.
Calming Face Mask
Mix 1 teaspoon of white clay with a few droplets of water, herbal hydrosol or rosewater until creamy. Add 1 drop of rose absolute (diluted in jojoba) and 1 drop of blue chamomile essential oil.