No matter the scientific advancements in skin care, cosmetic clay is still a powerful skin cleansing agent, providing additional benefits depending on its mineral content. Besides its cleaning and detoxifying effect, clay allows our skin to absorb active ingredients faster.
For this reason, combining the type of clay your skin needs with the right active ingredients can significantly improve your complexion and alleviate many skin problems. Here’s the 101 on homemade clay facial masks so you can choose the best ingredients to suit your skin type and problems.
- ? Cosmetic Clay Benefits: Cosmetic clay remains a powerful skin cleanser even with scientific advancements in skincare. It helps in detoxifying and allows faster absorption of active ingredients.
- ? Types of Clay: Clays vary in mineral content and effects on the skin. It’s essential to use the right type for specific skin needs. The best cosmetic clays are pure and sun-dried.
- ? Active Ingredients for Different Skin Types:
- Oily/combination/acne-prone skin: Fruit juices, floral waters, aloe vera gel, egg whites, yogurt, organic cold-pressed oils.
- Normal/dry skin: Avocado, banana, whole milk, egg yolks, floral waters, organic cold-pressed oils.
- Sensitive/irritated skin: Honey, aloe vera gel, mango, floral waters, organic cold-pressed oils.
- ? Clay Mask Formulation: Cosmetic clay can be mixed with liquids and oils. A basic clay mask can be made with water, but adding oils can offer benefits.
- ❗ Considerations: Understand the properties of natural ingredients before adding them to a clay facial mask to ensure they are suitable for the specific skin type.
Types of clay
Based on their mineral content and other factors, the various types of clay have different absorbency levels and effects on the skin. Just like using the right clay for your skin type can give you amazing results, using the wrong one can leave your skin irritated and/or excessively dry.
Also, be sure to look for a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer. The best cosmetic clays are pure (they don’t have other ingredients) and are naturally dried in the sun.
Oily, combination and/or acne-prone skin
– Fruit juices (eg. cucumber, lemon, tomato, apple… etc.) are mildly acidic and promote cell renewal through chemical peeling. It is also very effective in reducing the appearance of white spots, black spots, acne scars (as well as other scars), and pigmentation spots
– Floral waters (hydrosols) of rosemary (unclogs and reduces the dimension of open pores), lavender (soothing, healing, mild antiseptic), peppermint (refreshing, astringent, soothing – be sure to avoid eye area), witch hazel (purifying, astringent, circulatory – also great to treat rosacea)
– Aloe Vera gel can help oily and acne skin as it soothes irritations, speeds up healing of skin lesions like pimples, acts as a mild antibacterial and antifungal, and simultaneously hydrates the skin, supporting collagen synthesis. Aloe Vera gel benefits all skin types
– Egg whites draw the oils out of the skin and improve its tonus
– Yogurt (plain, unsweetened) mildly exfoliates your skin as it contains lactic acid. It also contains zinc, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, calcium, and B vitamins to strengthen and support your epidermis
– Organic, cold-pressed oils such as grape seed oil – easily absorbed by the skin, contains antioxidants protecting against free radicals, hydrates and promotes regeneration of skin cells; neem oil – helps fight acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems through its strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties and promotes skin renewal, jojoba oil – quickly penetrates the skin without leaving a greasy feeling, good affinity with the skin, as it has a structure similar to the human sebum, improves elasticity and regulates sebum production
– Pureed avocado and banana mixed with cosmetic clay make a moisturizing facial mask that will feed your skin and make it glow
– Whole milk (because you actually need the fat) is both hydrating and gently promotes the renewal of skin cells since it contains lactic acid
– Egg yolks are one of nature’s wonders for internal and external use. They are rich in protein, fats, zinc, and vitamins A, B2, and B3, all of which are needed by the skin
– Floral waters (hydrosols) such as orange blossom water – moisturize and promote skin tonus and regeneration; lemon balm water – smoothing effect, soothes irritations, and reduces fine wrinkles; linden blossom – brightens dull skin, unclogs pores, soothes irritations
– Organic, cold-pressed oils like olive oil – protect against free radicals, deeply moisturize the skin, soothe minor irritations and skin redness; almond oil – nourishes and hydrates, promotes skin regeneration, and helps restore the skin’s natural protective barrier, and softens the skin, avocado oil – protects the skin against transdermal water loss, softens rough, scaly skin, speeds up healing of minor skin lesions, soothes itchy skin, argan oil – promotes skin regeneration, slows down the skin’s aging process, protects the skin against dehydration, improves skin tonus
– Honey is a natural moisturizer and anti-inflammatory with mild antiseptic properties, perfect for all skin types but especially useful to relieve irritated/itchy skin
– Aloe Vera gel also works for all skin types, but it has a calming effect on sensitive skin while also moisturizing it
– Mango (make sure you remove all the peels since they can irritate the skin) is rich in vitamin A, brightens dull skin and aids in moisturizing dry/flaky skin, B vitamins that slow down skin aging and prevent free radicals, AHAs – natural fruit acids promoting skin cell renewal, potassium which increases skin hydration and vitamin C is known to increase the skin’s collagen production and restore its elasticity
– Floral waters (hydrosols) with a soothing effect like chamomille, cornflower (also useful for under-eye circles) and linden blossom water
– Organic, cold-pressed oils such as apricot kernel oil – reduce redness and irritations, moisturize and forms a protective film on the skin to prevent water loss; marigold oil – soothes and speeds up healing of irritated skin, mild astringent and decongestant (unclogs pores), camellia sinensis oil – rich in antioxidants it prevents premature skin aging, mildly reduces age and pigmentation spots, softens the skin and protects against external factor that can damage the skin
You can combine cosmetic clay with both liquids and oils, but don’t use too much oil (about 10% is enough) since the mixture might become too greasy to adhere to the skin. A basic clay mask can also be made by mixing the clay with plain water, although dry and sensitive skin types might need a moisturizing ingredient to prevent excessive dryness, as clay can draw out too much oil from the skin. If you choose to add an oily ingredient to your clay mask, the clay will draw out the bad oils from your skin but also help your skin absorb the good oil you included in your mask (more effectively than by applying the pure oil on the skin).
You can use many other natural ingredients to make your perfect clay facial mask. However, I recommend you learn their properties before you use them to be sure they suit your skin type and/or problems and won’t do more damage than good.