Clay has been used as a beauty product for years because of its benefits. It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and many more – all of them essential for beautiful skin and overall health. Apart from different masks, clay can be used for internal detoxification. Naturally, clay has negative electrical charge, so it reacts with the positive ones in most of the toxins. It absorbs toxins out of the skin/body leaving the cells healthy and nourished. It also provides the cells with oxygen.
However, before making the first clay mask you read about, you should know that there are different types of clay suitable for different types of skin.
The most common one is the green clay, which is also the richest one in minerals. It is suitable for normal or greasy skin (and hair, too). It controls sebum production. A simple mask you can make is green clay mixed with lemon juice or apple vinegar. The acid in lemon/vinegar tightens the pores. Mix 2-3 tbs clay with 2 tbs juice/vinegar or until you get homogeneous paste-like mixture. Apply on face and neck for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water and hydrate. You can also use this mask against acne by adding tea tree extract – it works as a natural antibiotic.
Then we have white or kaolin clay. It is best for dryer or tired skin/hair. Kaolin clay has regenerating effect, making you skin/hair nourished and glowing. It also prevents hair fall.
Red clay suits both normal and dry skin, but it doesn’t have the same absorbing effect like green and kaolin clay. Its colour is due to the iron and copper in it and is good for internal use in cases of iron deficiency anemia.
Grey or bentonite clay is used for nourishing very dry and sensitive skin types, because it has hydrating effect and leaves the skin smooth and glowing.
There are two more types of clay – yellow for normal and greasy skin and blue clay for all types but they are not that common and rich in minerals.
Note: You may add different extracts and oils to your masks, for example rose extract/water, grapefruit or sage oil.
Okay, we’ve listed the differences between types of clay, now it’s time to lay down the basic rules for working with clay.
- Always use wooden, ceramic or glass bowl/cup when making your mask. Never use metal ones, because some of the elements in clay may react with them and thus lose some of the beneficial effects.
- Be careful with sensitive areas – around and under the eyes and around the lips, where the skin is thinner.
- Do not use clay for hair masks if your hair is dyed (except if you want your natural colour back) – it will rinse off the dye faster.
- Do not let the mask dry completely on your face, since it may extract the water from your skin cells. Even if you have a bit greasier skin, you want to just nourish it, not leave it completely dehydrated.
My skin care routine using clay
The mask that I make is with kaolin clay, because my skin is a bit dryer. It is good to make it 2-3 times a week but with me that’s not always the case. I actually find the time to do it 1-2 a month.
- I start by unclogging my pores with steam. In a bowl with hot water I add a spoon with dried chamomile and let the steam do its magic. The chamomile has a soothing effect.
- Then it’s time to get rid of dead skin cells and blackheads with face scrub. The one that use is a product by Bilka, a Bulgarian brand, and I think that the scrub is unfortunately available only in Bulgaria, Russia and the UK (not 100% sure though). It’s with special formula with white grape extract and hyaluronic acid, but basically any face scrub will do.
- And here comes the clay. I mix 1-2 tbs kaolin clay with 1-2 tbs olive oil (you can also use almond oil). You mix until you get a nice olive-green paste, sometimes you may use more than the quantities above it really depends on how well the two mix and how much you want. Sometimes I add several drops of rose water, it has a soothing effect on the skin but it’s optional. I’ve noticed that without it the paste is a bit more dense and dry.
- I apply it on my face and neck, leave it for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it with lukewarm water. You don’t need to hydrate after because the olive oil doesn’t let your skin get dry, your face actually feels very smooth after that. Sometimes, however, I hydrate, depends on how my skin is and when I do I use a Bilka hydrating cream, but again – anything will do.
I hope you found the information here useful and if you have any questions, leave them below! 🙂