The Wonderful Properties of Clay
Clay has been used for centuries for its amazing properties: it is used to clean, detoxify, remineralize and regenerate the body inside-out. In the middle east, clay has always been used for washing and nourishing the hair, and it is still used to make natural soap, as a natural disinfectant for cleaning, as a detox drink, as a skin purifying and nourishing mask, as an anti-cellulite scrub…and in many other ways! It is truly a wonderful product of the earth, which once again proves how nature abounds with clean, super-effective remedies.
TIPS FOR MAKING AND APPLYING YOUR MASK
1) Do not let it dry fully
You should not get to the point where your mask gets pale, dry and crumbly on your face. We want our clay to draw out toxins and dirt, but if it dries too much it will only suck out all the water it can from your face, without giving off its minerals and beneficial properties. Make sure you always put on a very thick layer of clay and keep it on for a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 15-20 minutes, depending on what clay you are using and on your skin type. When the time is up, you should feel a bit of that tightening feeling on your face, but the clay should still look wet on top. this way, the skin will absorb all of the mask’s nutrients. Obviously, never re-use clay a second time, as it will have collected all of your skin’s toxins.
2) Add hydrating and healthy ingredients for your skin
this includes oils, essential oils, infused oils, honey and gels like aloe and linseed. See below for suggestions on what to add. If you soaked or cooked organic rice or oats (and I mean organic) in water, use the starchy water to add to your mask and to wash your face at the end. It has incredible smoothing and illuminating properties.
3) Always start from a clean face
Before putting on your mask, clean your face well. I suggest you swab your face with cotton imbibed with chamomile, rosewater, or starchy rice water to avoid using chemical cleansers.
4) No straight acidic ingredients
Lemon juice or vinegar have great astringent properties, but they can interfere with the action of the mask. Instead, use powders like rose hip or powdered vitamin C, or pomegranate, lemon or orange essential oils.
5) Avoid metal
Use a wooden or ceramic bowl and spoon. Metal reacts with the minerals in the clay, so always avoid it when preparing your mask.
Basic Purifying Clay Mask
Basic formula that can be changed according to your skin type
1 tbsp powdered clay (choose the kind of clay according to your skin type and needs)
1 tsp Chamomile, Lemon & vanilla infused oil (or other oil of choice)
1 tsp Honey (skip if vegan)
Herbal infusion of choice, enough to make a thick paste (you can drink the leftovers!)
5 drops essential oil of choice
Add the clay to a ceramic or wooden bowl and using a ceramic or wooden spoon, and add a couple tablespoons of liquid. Let it stand for some 10 minutes – the clay will start absorbing the water on its own. Mix the clay vigorously, and, if needed, add enough liquid to make a thick paste. It should not be runny, as you should be able to ‘plaster’ it on your face in a thick layer. At this point you can add the honey, oil and essential oil if using.
Put it on your clean face, and leave it on for 8-10 minutes if using Rhassoul or bentonite, 15 minutes if using green clay or kaolin with normal skin, 20 minutes if using kaolin with oily skin.
Wash it off without rubbing your face harshly – rinse it off delicately with warm water, and finish off with starchy rice water, with a tonic or flower water. Put on a delicate moisturizer to finish the job properly.
Italian Green Clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It literally "drinks" oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin by bringing fresh blood to damaged skin cells, revitalizing the complexion, and tightening pores.
Use it daily on trouble spots, or weekly as part of a complete facial mask.
Facial masks: To make a facial mask from powdered clay, combine 1/2 to 1 table spoon (tbsp) of the powder with 1–2 tbsp of water and apply to the skin; rinse with warm water after 10 minutes. You may add a few drops of aloe vera gel to the clay mixture. Oily skin: mix 1 tbsp of powdered clay with 5 drops of jojoba oil. Deodorizing foot treatment.
Clay must be kept dry. It should never be mixed with metal spoons or stored in metal containers; the only materials that should be used in preparation or storage are wooden spoons or glass stirrers, and either glass or ceramic containers. It is thought that the clay loses its beneficial qualities through contact with metal.