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Enjoying Spa Quality Clay Facials at Home

March 12, 2009
This article is copyright © 2004-2007 by Natural Sourcing, LLC (www.fromnaturewithlove.com) and is reprinted with permission.

Clays have been used for centuries as a natural agent to help beautify the skin. Clays have the ability to absorb excess oils, dirt and harmful toxins from the skin. Powdered clay is used as the basis for the facial masks and body masks offered by spas. The benefits are enhanced when powdered herbs and nutritives are included in the facial mask recipe. Applying facial masks in a gentle circular motion exfoliates, cleans and invigorates the skin while improving blood circulation. Home facial products such as Burt’s Bees Healthy Treatment Pore Refining Mask, for instance, contain powdered clay and herbs. If you would like to enjoy the benefits of clay facials on a regular basis, products like these can become expensive. It, however, is easy and affordable to make clay facials at home by using a few simple ingredients.

Clays come from various regions of the world but some are preferred in skin care for their unique properties. The mineral content and physical structure of each clay determines the effect it has on the skin. Most clays have the ability to absorb toxins and excess oils from the skin but they differ in their level of absorption. Regular use of clay facials will remove dead skin cells, improve circulation to the skin, remove debris from the pores and bring about a smooth, healthy glow.

Clays that are suitable for dry, sensitive or normal skin are Pink Kaolin, White Kaolin, Yellow Kaolin, and Rose. Clays that are suitable for oily skin are Bentonite, French Green, Green Illite, Red Kaolin, Blue Montmorillonite, Red Montmorillonite, Moroccan Red, and Multani Mitti (Indian Fullers Earth). Clays that are suitable for all skin types are Dead Sea, Rhassoul and Sea clays.

When purchasing clays, be sure to purchase clays that are cosmetic or medicinal grade. Technical grade clays often have dangerously high content levels of lead and should be avoided. Cosmetic clays, herbs, nutritives and jars can be purchased through From Nature With Love: www.fromnaturewithlove.com.

Clays are frequently used in facials, but they can also be added to handmade body powders and soaps. Cosmetic clays come in beautiful hues including pink, deep red, light sage green, yellow, white, gray and blue. This array of colors also makes them a popular choice for use as a natural colorant in bath salts and other handcrafted beauty products.

The following facial mask recipe is easy to make and can be customized to suit specific skin types and personal preferences.

Clay Facial Mask Recipe

  • 2-3 oz. cosmetic clay
  • 1-2 oz. powdered herbs or nutritives
  • water or hydrosol
  • 1-2 drops essential oil added at the time of application (optional)
Choose cosmetic clays and herbs that are suitable for your skin type. Citrus peel powder adds astringency, rose petal powder adds fragrance, yellow sandalwood powder helps dry skin and neem powder helps acne. Other nourishing ingredients include milk powder, honey powder and oatmeal. Mix the powdered ingredients to make 4 oz. of dry clay facial and store in a 4 oz. jar. Clay facial masks should not be stored pre-mixed with water or any other wetting agent. To use, add approximately 1/2 oz. of the dry clay facial blend to a small bowl. Mix enough warm water, milk, yogurt or hydrosol to make a paste. If desired, add 1-2 drops of essential oil such as lavender, geranium or sandalwood. Apply to the skin in a gentle, circular motion, and allow the mask to dry for about 15-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water. If the skin feels tight, a light oil such as camelina can be applied. Experiment with other wetting agents. Strawberry puree will act like an alpha-hydroxy. Cucumber puree cools the skin, yogurt cools and softens the skin, and milk removes dead skin cells and softens the skin.

FromNatureWithLove.com offers the cosmetic clays, herbs, nutritives, and packaging supplies described within this article. For more information, please visit www.fromnaturewithlove.com.

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