Who doesn’t love nice, homemade face mask? It’s total self care heaven, am I right? And the bonus, soft, clean, vibrant skin, is pretty awesome too! Did I mention that it can be so easy to do? While you can make face masks out of tons of different ingredients, the simplest option is to get your hands on some clay. Just add water and you’re ready to go. Couldn’t be easier, right?
But there are tons of clays out there! How do you know which ones are the best for your skin? What should you look out for? Suddenly an easy self care treat begins to feel more complicated…
But fear not! I have you covered. Let’s talk about the top 3 clays for a homemade face mask, what they have to offer and what skin types they adore. Check it out:
Why not 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?” This would cut out the whole choosing the right clay for your skin type issue, that’s for sure.
Once upon a time I would have seconded that idea. I was actually obsessed with a mineral clay firming mask I would buy at the drug store on the regular. It felt like I was treating myself and my skin to a delightful treat… until one day, I looked at the ingredients.
Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty guys. Sure, there was clay hiding in there… among a sea of questionable ingredients and fragrances. And I couldn’t un-see it. My once adored face mask was ruined because those ingredients were just too icky to put on my skin.
How did I know they were so icky? Thanks to the EWG’s Skin Deep Database I was able to look up all of the ingredients that sounded like gibberish and see what was what. They make it so easy and break it down for you, including what studies have been done on each ingredient and whether or not it’s a health concern.
When I decided to check into the ingredients of my personal favourite mask I found that decadent mask that I was putting on my face (on a very regularly basis) could potentially cause lung, eye and skin irritation. Basically the exact opposite of what I was going for. It even contained potential carcinogens. G-R-O-S-S.
If you’re in the same boat I once was, I highly encourage that you take a peek at the ingredient list of your go to skin care products too. You might be (unpleasantly) surprised. Your skin really deserves to be treated with kindness, and choosing the right products with healthy ingredients is a huge part of that.
Your skin and what you put on it matters.
While it’s easy to brush it off as unimportant, 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.”
On top of that your skin is your shield. It’s your largest organ, protecting your very important insides from invaders, playing a key role in your immune health. It’s kind of a big deal. And yet 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 super easy way to protect our skin is to cut down on the number of products we use every day. And considering healthier products with smaller ingredients lists is a huge help too.
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 clay options that you can easily get your hands on if you wish to treat yourself to a homemade face mask.
Related: This Chocolate Coffee DIY face Mask Will Give You Gorgeous Glowing Skin
Why a Homemade Face Mask Rocks
A healthy, homemade face mask made with awesome clay is a marvelous way to maintain a lovely complexion and cleanse your skin.
Essentially, clay absorbs your skin’s secretions and has a gentle antiseptic effect. It does this by creating what is known as a “water-poor” environment on your skin, which bacteria really hates. And when bacteria isn’t happy it can’t keep reproducing. So awesome!
On top of all that goodness, clay is super absorbent, cleaning up grease and wiping away bacteria and even viruses that may be hanging out on your skin (source). Oh, and if that wasn’t cool enough, one study showed that using clay face masks on the regular even increases collagen fibers in the skin (source). Which leads to stronger, smoother skin. Love it!
In short, using clay helps you say goodbye to bad bacteria and oil build-up and paves the way towards soft healthy skin! Booyah, right? And, even better, you can keep it simple with as little as 2 ingredients. That’s pretty exciting in my books.
To add to the excitement, you can even combine this self-loving activity with other skin care treatments, like Dry Brushing.
Treating yourself to a clay face mask and putting those cute little feet up feels so marvelous. So let’s make that happen! Here are 3 awesome types of clay, what they bring to the table and the skin types they’re best for.
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. We all have difference sensitivities after all – even healthy options can cause skin irritation in some. Also, be sure to avoid the sensitive areas around the eyes and mouth as well as other sensitive parts of the body. We definitely don’t want to get any clay in those pretty eyes!
1. Bentonite Clay
Also known as Montmorillonite Clay, Bentonite is the product of volcanic ash (so cool!) It has a negative ionic charge (you can watch a demonstration right here). This clay is thick and highly absorbent; it calls to any positively charged ions. Bentonite super efficiently removes build up and dirt. It’s extremely absorbent!
Fair warning, Bentonite pulses slightly as it dries which can be really weird the first time you give it a go. It will also leave you with a red face (temporarily). No need to panic, it’s completely normal. This is because of a temporary increase in circulation. Which is a total bonus, because that helps to give you smooth, glowing skin.
Because of the temporary redness effect, I highly recommend that you create this homemade face mask once you’ve settled in for the night. The redness can take a hot minute to fade, so it’s not a good idea to treat yourself to some Bentonite if you’re heading out soon afterwards (I’ve made that mistake before!)
Also, try to avoid using a metal spoon to scoop out and mix your Bentonite clay. Metal will kill the ionic charge, stealing away one pretty nifty quality and making your clay a little less absorbent.
What Skin Types Bentonite’s Good For:
Bentonite clay works wonders for oily or problem skin, but can be used on normal skin as well. If you have really sensitive or dry skin this one might be a little too strong for you.
How To Create a Homemade Face Mask with Bentonite Clay:
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.
If you’re looking for a good option, I personally love Now’s Bentonite Clay Powder
2. White Kaolin Clay
This pretty clay is much more gentle, but definitely still pretty awesome. Found in soils, White Kaolin clay develops from the chemical weathering of rocks in climates that are hot and moist, like those of a tropical rain forest.
White Kaolin is actually known is the gentlest clay option. It will exfoliate and cleanse your pretty skin but it’s not as absorbent as other clay options like Bentonite. This makes it a heck of a lot kinder towards sensitive or dry skin.
What Skin Types White Kaolin’s Good For:
This clay is ideal for normal, sensitive or dry skin. But doesn’t work as wonderfully on oily skin as Bentonite.
How To Create a Homemade Face Mask with White Kaolin Clay:
Mix 1 Tbsp of White Kaolin Clay with 1 Tsp. of water (or more, to desired consistency).
Blend until you get a thick mixture and massage onto your face, neck and/or desired areas (again, be sure to avoid more sensitive areas).
Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes (until dry). Remove with warm water and a face cloth and pat dry.
You can treat yourself to this goodie once or twice a week as part of your skin care routine. But if you want to do it a little more often that’s all right too, since it’s so gentle.
If you’re looking for a good option, I adore A. Vogel’s White Clay
3. French Yellow Clay
(Psst. That’s me! <3)
I personally love to bust out my French Yellow Clay. There’s just something a little extra fun about a clay with a bit more colour (or is that just me?)
This beauty owes its yellow colour to it’s high levels of iron oxides. French Yellow Clay is actually a type of Kaolin that’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.
Think of this as your middle ground, with Bentonite being the most hard core, absorbent option, White Kaolin being the gentlest choice and French Yellow Clay hanging out in the middle.
French Yellow Clay is great for most skin types and straddles the line between absorbent and gentle fairly well. As a mild clay, it’s a great exfoliator, removing dead cells and leaving the skin smooth and radiant. Total win!
What Skin Types French Yellow Clay’s Good For:
This clay is ideal for normal, sensitive and oily skin. The skin care trifecta!
How To Create a Homemade Face Mask with French Yellow Clay:
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.
If you’re searching for a good option, I am a huge fan of BEING Refina Terra French Yellow Complexion Clay
Optional Essential Oils
If you like a little fragrance in your face mask you can easily keep it on the healthy side with topical grade essential oils (I’m a big fan of doTERRA for this purpose). I’d recommend adding 1-3 drops of one of the following oils to add extra goodness to the homemade face mask experience:
Chamomile: Soothes nerves and alleviates skin irritation.
Lavender: Calms the mind, paves the way towards a restful sleep and relieves dry skin.
Related: You’ll Want to Relax for Hours in this DIY Nourishing Coconut Milk Bath
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. This helps to stop your skin from drying out. Clays are absorbent after all, and while they are definitely taking away a lot of gunk and cleaning up your skin they may also absorb your natural skin oils. Which is why moisturizing is so important.
Don’t forget to admire that beautiful glow!
Have you ever made a homemade face mask using a simple clay? Which one’s your favourite? Are you excited to give one of these a try? Let me know in the comments below!
Health and love,
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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I have never made my own clay mask. I have sensitive dry skin (horrible combination right?) — Kaolin? Any other suggestions for me the weird one LOL
I would absolutely recommend White Kaolin Nikki! Do a little test patch before you spread it on your skin, just in case. Clay is natural but some of us might still be sensitive to it. White Kaolin is the most gentle clay option. I hope you adore it! Let me know what you think hun <3
Amazing! Thank you, I have been trying to use less store bought products and this sounds perfect for a little relaxing mommy time!
I’m so glad you’re excited to give clay masks a go Toni! That’s wonderful <3. I hope that you adore them. Let me know what you think! It truly is such a simple way to spoil your skin, and with only 2 ingredients (clay and water) you really can't get mush simpler! Super win! :)
Perfect timing, my daughter and I are planning a girls spa night while the boys are away. Thanks for the fantastic ideas!!
Oh that sounds so fun! I hope that you have a wonderful girls day together :). Enjoy the clay mask and all of the goodness you have planned ^^. Let me know what you both think!
I didn’t know about all these types of clay and how easy it was to do it at home on your own with just clay!!!! I really want to try the first one- the bubbling etc sounds amazing! You always teach me something new with your posts- love it. <3 Jamie
Bentonite is SO cool! I’m glad you’re excited too. It’s actually the first clay I ever tried (because all of the effects sounding incredible!) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do darling <3. And I am so happy to hear that you always learn something new - that's one of my main goals. ;) Thanks for making my day yet again gorgeous!
The Mindful MD Mom
Ooh! I’ve been meaning to try an at-home diy mask. Excited to try this out!
I’m so excited for you to try it! I’d love to hear how it goes. I hope you adore clay masks as much as I do fun – they really are a wonderful self care treat ^^.
Wow! What an insight in home made clay masks! A lovely and descriptive article! <3 I will definitely give the 3rd mask a go! <3 I love the colour too! Hahahahaha!!! Going to share this, as I truly love it! xxx
I’m so glad you love the colours too Elly! It adds to the magic, right? I hope that you adore it darling. Treating yourself to some decadent self care is always a nice treat. Thank you so much for your kind words <3. Sending tons of love your way!
ooh great stuff, So gonna try this, I do love a mask with essential oils in it.
Essential oils add so much goodness, right? I hope you adore it Paul! It’s such a lovely way to relax. Which essential oils do you like to use? ^^
Really impressed by your blog.Awesome !! Thanks for this helpful page..
Thank you so much Samriddhi! That makes my day. 🙂 I hope you treat yourself to an awesome home spa day sometime soon. Let me know if you like the clay masks! <3
I love your post, totally agree about using homemade masks, I swear by bentonite clay myself.
Isn’t bentonite so cool Daima! I’m happy you found it too. I think that it’s unique properties are simply amazing! Hope you treat yourself to a bentonite mask soon hun <3. A little self care day is the best! ^^
Very informative! I had not heard of these ingredients before!
Oh I’m so excited for you to try out a clay mask! Have you ever treated yourself to one with a different kind of clay? If not, I hope you treat yourself to one. It’s so much fun ^^. Enjoy!
I do love the thought of the french clay but when you say moisturize with an oil, I have tried coconut oil and its just greasy on my face and causes breakout, now I want to fix this problem…any ideas?
I’m so glad you’re excited about the French Clay Kel! I hope you have a blast! Everyone’s skin is different, so what works well as a moisturizer for some might not work so great for others. Do you have a go to moisturizer you already adore? You could definitely use that!
I know of a friend who can’t use coconut oil for a similar reason but swears by olive oil – that may be a good options. But someone else I know can’t use oil based moisturizers at all because her skin is really sensitive to it. So it’s really important that you use whatever you know will work best for your gorgeous skin <3. Let me know what works best for you ^^.
an amazing rrefrence for girls out there. Since I’m a man, clay for me isn’t about face mask, but about.. kind of pomade
I’m happy to hear that you use clay! Even as a man, the health benefits are pretty awesome. We all have skin after all! Clay doesn’t care about your gender identity ;). So if you ever did want to test it out on your face totally go for it! I’d love to hear what you think. But if it isn’t for you that’s awesome too! We all have to build a self care routine that works for us and makes us feel awesome ^^.
I personal did not try any face mask yet. I was wondering in which age i might should consider starting it 🙂 But reading though here make s me consider.
Oh goodness, age doesn’t matter at all Dieter ^^. If you want to give it a go, go for it! We all have skin after all. And we all deserve a little relaxing self care time. I hope that you absolutely adore it! I’d love to hear what you think hun. Hope you treat yourself to some soon!
The only clay I’ve never tried is the yellow clay. I’ll be trying that recipe out soon. I love homemade skin care products. I’m always trying to find new masks to make.
That’s awesome Felice! I actually haven’t tried yellow clay! I’ll have to go get my hands on some. I feel the exact same way. I’m always making masks out of different things – it’s just too much fun! What’s your favourite go to mask? Other than clay, I love to make chocolate coffee masks. It’s extra decadent xD. Hope you treat yourself to one soon <3.