Who doesn’t love nice, homemade face mask? Soft, clean, vibrant skin is something we all desire and face masks are a fun way to work towards that. It’s also a great way to treat yourself and relax. With a couple of simple ingredients you can throw something marvelous together with ease! You just need to get your hands on the right clay.
But why wouldn’t you simply buy a pre-formulated face mask?
I totally get what you’re thinking. “Isn’t it easier to buy a face mask formula and save myself the trouble of having to put something together?” Once upon a time I would have seconded that idea. I was obsessed with a mineral clay firming mask I would buy at the drug store. It felt like I was treating myself and my skin to a delightful treat… until one day, I looked at the ingredients.
Sure, there was clay in there… amongst a sea of questionable ingredients and fragrances. If you’re in the same boat I once was, I encourage you to take a peek at the ingredient list. Look them up on EWG’s Skin Deep Database. I found that what I was putting on my face (on a regularly basis) could potentially cause lung, eye and skin irritation (exact opposite of what I was going for) and contained potential carcinogens.
Remember – Your skin and what you put on it matters.
While it’s easy to brush off, we need to remember that it all adds up. According to the EWG “The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. Men use 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients, on average… 12.2 million are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.”
Remember, your skin is your shield. It’s your largest organ, protecting your very important insides from invaders. We aren’t helping when we continuously drown it in possible irritants. Our skin protects us and we should do our best to protect it in return.
Less is more my friends.
One easy way to protect our skin is to cut down on the number of products we use every day. Does that mean that you have to give up self-care activities like clay masks? Heck no! We can easily up the self-care aspect while cutting down on ingredients. There are tons of pure clays that you can get your hands on if you wish to treat yourself to a homemade face mask.
Why a Homemade Face Mask Rocks
A healthy, homemade face mask made with awesome clays is a marvelous way to maintain a lovely complexion and cleanse your skin. “By absorbing the skin’s secretions, they have a refreshing action… (clay) promotes a gentle antiseptic action as it creates a water-poor medium, unfavourable for the development of bacteria. This latter action is reinforced by these minerals’ capacity to absorb dissolved and suspended substances, such as greases, toxins and even bacteria and viruses” (M. I. Carretero, Clay minerals and their beneficial effects upon human health: A review, Appl. Clay Sci., 21, 155-163 (2002).)
Say goodbye to bad bacteria and oil build-up and help pave the way towards soft healthy skin! And keep it simple with as little as 2 ingredients. That’s pretty exciting!
To add to the excitement, you can even combine this self-loving activity with other skin care treatments, like Dry Brushing.
Top 3 Clays for a Homemade Face Mask
When using a new clay, always be sure to do a patch test on your wrist to be sure it does not irritate your skin. Avoid the sensitive areas around the eyes and mouth as well as other sensitive parts of the body.
Also known as Montmorillonite Clay, bentonite is the product of volcanic ash. It has a negative ionic charge (see a demonstration here). This clay is thick and highly absorbent; it calls to any positively charged ions. Bentonite efficiently removes build up and dirt.
Fair warning, bentonite pulses slightly as it dries and will leave you with a red face (temporarily). It’s best to use it once you’ve settled in for the night, as that redness will take a half an hour or so to fade. Do not place a metal spoon in your clay as it will negate the ionic charge, stealing away one pretty nifty quality.
What’s it good for: It works wonders for oily or problem skin, but can be used on normal skin as well.
How to create a mask: Mix 1 Tbsp of Bentonite Clay with 1 Tsp or more of Water, until you get a thick, mud-like consistency. Apply to face and neck, or where desired (avoid sensitive areas). Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, remove with warm water and a face cloth and pat dry. Create this mask once or twice a week as part of your skin care routine.
What to get: I love Now’s Bentonite Clay Powder
White Kaolin Clay
Found in soils, this clay develops from the chemical weathering of rocks in climates that are hot and moist, like those of a tropical rain forest. Known as the mildest clay, it will gently exfoliate and cleanse but is not as absorbent as other clays (meaning that it won’t work as well on oily skin). Kaolin is gentler and much lighter than bentonite clay.
What’s it good for: This clay is ideal for normal, sensitive or dry skin.
How to create a mask: Mix 1 Tbsp of Kaolin Clay with 1 Tsp. of water (or more, to desired consistency). Mix until you get a thick mixture and massage onto your face, neck and/or desired areas (again, be sure to avoid more sensitive parts). Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes (until dry). Remove with warm water and a face cloth and pat dry.
What to get: I love A. Vogel’s White Clay
French Yellow Clay
This beauty owes its yellow colour to high levels of iron oxides. A type of kaolin, it’s sourced from Charente Basin in France. Like White Kaolin, this clay is mild and comes from the soil, but it’s more absorbent than the white clay.
What’s it good for: This clay is ideal for normal, sensitive or oily skin. A mild clay, it exfoliates, removing dead cells and leaving the skin smooth and radiant.
How to create a mask: Mix 1 Tbsp of French Yellow Clay with 1 Tsp. of water (or more, to desired consistency). Mix until it thickens and massage onto your face, neck and/or desired areas (avoiding sensitive areas). Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes (until dry). Remove with warm water and a face cloth and pat dry.
Optional Essential Oils
To add to your homemade face mask experience you can add 1-3 drops of the following oils:
Chamomile: Soothes nerves and alleviates skin irritation.
Lavender: Calms the mind, paves the way towards a restful sleep and relieves dry skin.
Now that you’ve spoiled yourself to a nice clay mask be sure to moisturize that gorgeous skin with a healthy oil, like coconut, jojoba or almond oil. Look at that beautiful glow!
Health and love and happy skin,
Thought of the day: Simplicity and mundane are not one and the same – I can be kind to my body whilst indulging in simple pleasures.
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