Clays are a natural substance that have been used for their beneficial effects on skin for over 2000 years. Clays may tone, hydrate, calm, soothe and stimulate the skin whilst drawing out impurities. Each clay contains its own variation of minerals and elements specific to the region it is mined from which makes clay so adaptable to a wide range of skin types when applied as a mask, in skincare, cosmetics and soaps. Some clays are silkier than others and they all absorb moisture at differing levels.
Creating your own clay mask recipes to use at home is simple once you know the basic rules
Storage and Handling
If dealing with large amounts, we recommend wearing a mask when mixing dry clays as it is easy to create dust which can be harmful to airways.
Avoid using metal tools and storage containers as this will affect the properties of the clay (think of magnets). Only use glass or plastic!
Dry powders are best stored long term in glass or ceramic containers in a dry place.
Hydrating Clay for Use
IMPORTANT – Once water has been added to a clay recipe it could begin to grow micro-organisms and mould. We recommend making up your dry ingredient mixture for storage and only hydrating the mix immediately before use to avoid the need to add preservatives.
- Absorption Method
Add 100g clay to a glass bowl and pour 100mls water on top. Leave to hydrate for 20-30 minutes checking the bowl for dry areas (just tap the bowl gently until it is all moistened). Pour off excess water and apply mask. OR USE FOLLOWING METHOD:
- Pouch Method
Make a mess free mask using our medium sized plastic pouch. Measure your masks into ‘single use’ portions and add to the pouch, zip and store. When ready to use, open the top, add water (roughly 1 part clay to 2 parts water), zip up the pouch and leave for 10 minutes to absorb. Squeeze the mask in the pouch to mix and cut the entire zip section to use in an easy to use, disposable vessel. No mess!
How Do I Use Clay?
Once hydrated, you need to apply the clay to your skin for it to work its magic (always test a patch of clay on the inside of your elbow first, a red line will form around the patch if you are allergic).
For Face and Body Masks
First, wash your hands to prevent spread of dirt and bacteria on your skin. Then apply the mask and leave on for 10 minutes then rinse well with warm water. End with a toner and moisturise your skin as normal.
For Bath and Foot Soaks
Add either dry clay or hydrated clay slurry to the (not too hot) water and agitate to mix. Soak and allow the clay to do its work. Rinse if necessary.
Our range of clays are extensive and you are sure to find one or two to try. Here are the four most popular clays and their properties:
BENTONITE CLAY (Washed Blue Clay, Calcium Bentonite, Fullers Earth)
Calcium Bentonite is one of the best clays for absorbing oils, impurities and toxins. Great for clogged pores and oily skin, it is said to improve skin tone and soften complexion when used.
Try this Recipe: 2 teaspoons clay, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 Tablespoon Rosewater, 1 drop of Essential Oil
Suits: Oily, Normal and Combination Skin. Mix with white clay for dry and sensitive skin types.
GREEN CLAY (French)
A drawing clay which is very efficient at absorbing impurities as well as detoxifying and adding minerals to skin. May help stimulate circulation and may be healing on sunburn, reactions and wounds. Some slight tingling is to be expected, but if itching excessively, rinse off immediately with warm water.
Try this Recipe: 1 tablespoon clay, 2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar, 1 drop Frankincense
Suits: Normal, Combination, Oily and Acne prone skin
A mild, gentle and balancing clay. May calm, cool and soften the skin. Less drying and suits sensitive and dull, irritated skin. May be of benefit to Rosacea sufferers and could help heal blemishes and inflammation.
Suits: All skin types especially dry, sensitive and mature
An effective cleanser and exfoliant, may help skin rejuvenation and improving elasticity. Use for softer and smoother skin.
Suits: All skin types in particular sensitive, dry or mature
Once you have decided which clays to use, there are a large number of additives you can experiment with.
- Carrier oils such as Calendula, Rosehip and Jojoba will add moisture to your mask, as will Aloe Vera Juice or Gel.
- Essential oils have been used on skin for therapeutic abilities as well as perfume– add Lavender, Chamomile or Rosemary.
- By using Natrasorb Bath powder, you can add wet oil components to your recipes and keep the mixture dry for storage.
- Herbal extracts or petals, salts, vitamins (B6 and E), Glycerine, Milk Powders, Oats...the list goes on.
Of course you can also keep it simple with a recipe of 1 part clay to 2 parts floral water, hydrosol or bottled water.
Clay is a wonderful natural substance used to cleanse and absorb excess oil, draw impurities from the skin, possibly help reduce swelling, exfoliate and could improve skin circulation. The benefits of using clay for skin health is cost effective and should produce results when used regularly.