Women are looking for more natural ways to care for their skin these days. Preservatives, artificial dyes, and lengthy lists of incomprehensible chemicals can all be deterrents when you’re seeking natural skin care. That’s why we love turning to clay - it doesn’t get more natural than mud, after all. Read on to see why we recommend using clay to clear your skin.
Oil and Acne
For women with oily skin, a clay mask applied twice a week can soak up all of the excess oil and leave the skin looking, and feeling, much healthier. In addition to deep-cleaning the pores and removing excess oil, clays have natural anti-bacterial properties. All of these features combined can help eliminate acne problems far better than even prescription remedies. Try using a papaya facial mask, which uses both papain enzymes to dissolve fat, cleanse and soften and smooth skin and kaolin clay to cleanse pores, refine skin structure and revitalize cell renewal.
Natural clays are highly absorbent – particularly bentonite clay and rhassoul clay, which both soak up impurities and toxins. When applied to the skin, they work their way down into all of the pores and crevices and remove debris, toxins, oil, dirt and dead skin. They can deep-clean and exfoliate without any need to scrub or rub the delicate skin of the face, which can stretch and damage it.
Substitute a clay mask for one of your twice-weekly exfoliating days, and continue to use a gentle scrub (like Real Purity's Daily Facial Scrub) for the other day. For the rest of the body, try scrubbing with coffee grounds mixed with a little olive oil on the same days that you deep-clean your face with a clay mask. The entire body will end up exfoliated and refreshed.
Another feature of clay masks (especially ones with French green clay and rhassoul clay) is that they feed the skin and improves blood circulation. These clays are an excellent source of a wide variety of minerals and micronutrients that are often missing from modern diets. Supplying these nutrients directly to the skin can improve its tone and health.
What Kind of Clay?
There are many different types of clay used in clay masks. Some masks contain mixtures of different clays; others stick with a single type of clay. Bentonite clay is noted for its healing and anti-bacterial properties. It is also very absorbent and is good at pulling toxins out of the skin. French green clay is particularly good at toning and firming the skin. Fuller's earth can absorb large quantities of oil and may also help lighten sun spots. Rhassoul clay is very rich in nourishing minerals. Kaolin clay (one of our personal favorites) is particularly gentle on sensitive skin.
Whichever clay you decide to try mixing and/or applying, remember to keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t let it dry completely, or you’ll go past replenishment and have a drying effect on your skin
- Once it’s applied, simply wait 5-10 minutes before wiping it away with water – the mask will supply your skin with enough nourishment without a need for additional formulas
- Apply only once to twice a week; this will deep-clean skin while supplying ongoing nourishment