Clay Mask: You have probably heard of this ancient beauty routine. It has been rumored that the great Cleopatra herself used clay masks weekly to keep her skin clean, and youthful-looking. Clay masks have been around for thousands of years for a reason: they work. In this post, we will explore the secrets of natural clay facial masks.
What is clay?
Clay is a natural element that is extracted from the earth. When sold for cosmetics, in particular, it can be sold pre-mixed or in a powdered form that can be mixed and applied as a mask.
Where does Clay come from?
As previously mentioned, clay is extracted from the earth. However, every clay has it’s own origin and has a variety of mineral contents. We will briefly discuss the origins of the clays that most common in South Africa:
Also known as white china clay, is a versatile ingredient used in cosmetics all over the world. Kaolin is very high in the mineral kaolinite and was originally mined from a mountain in China called Kaoling. Hence the name, Kaolin.
Bentonite clay is one of the most widely used clays for natural facial masks. It has a brownish-green tint and comes in a fine powdered for most commonly. Bentonite is the main ingredient in the infamous “Aztec Healing Clay” that can be found all over the internet. It was first discovered in large amounts in Wyoming, near Fort Benton (After which it was named “Bentonite”)
This clay is used for natural facial masks, foot masks, poultices, clay baths and much more.
Zeolite clay is one of the lesser-known clays in Sout Africa. However, it is one of the best (in our humble opinion). It has amazing detoxifying properties, so much so, that it is used in air, soil, and water purification plants. It was even used to minimize the damage of nuclear fallout after the Chernobyl explosion.
Zeolite was once thought to be a very rare compound, however, it has since been found all over the world where volcanic eruptions have occurred. Therefore, it is mined all over the world.
What is a Clay Mask / Mud Mask good for?
Clay is a versatile ingredient. Therefore, you can use clay to your advantage no matter what skin type you are.
For Oily Skin:
Bentonite clay is ideal for oily skin types. This clay absorbs the excess oil and cleans your pores. Additionally, clays are very good carriers for other natural goodies. Therefore, you can mix in other natural ingredients to help with your oily skin. Some of these ingredients include:
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
Always remember to moisturize, EVEN IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN!
For Dry Skin:
As mentioned above, clays are amazing carriers. Therefore, mixing in additional natural minerals can help you keep that dry, flaky skin at bay. Some of the natural ingredients that work best for dry skin include:
- Egg Yolks
- Jojoba Oil
- Coconut Oil
As always, follow up a mask with a moisturizer.
Other Benefits of a Clay Mask:
The abovementioned categories are broad. Clay can be used to combat specific problem areas to give you some relief. Some of the things clay can be used for include:
- Red/Inflamed Skin
- Bug bites
Once you get to know your natural ingredients, you will realize that the opportunities are endless. You can tailor-make any recipe to give you some relief from your skin issues.
Should you use a clay mask every day?
It depends. Clay is a very strong ingredient and can cause dry skin. However, it is up to you to do your research and see what will work for your personal skincare routine.
When you are mixing clay masks with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients (Like Jojoba oil, coconut oil, etc. ) then using a clay mask every day won’t do any harm. The clay stays moist and continues to do its job no matter how long you leave it on or how often you use it.
However, if you are making use of a mud mask for oily skin, and only adding water, or water replacements that are not oil (Like milk, egg white, aloe vera), the clay mask can dry out and start absorbing an excessive amount of moisture from your skin. This means that your skin will start to dry out completely, to a point where it will be damaging to your skin.
Therefore, it is recommended that you only used clay masks 2 – 3 times a week (unless it is a moisturizing mask).
If you are looking to explore the world of natural face masks, you can browse our Recipe guide to see which ingredients you can use to formulate a facial mask to suit your needs.