Clay is a fine-grained natural rock or soil containing many minerals. It is formed when the rocks, minerals and volcanic ash are exposed to pressure, water and high temperature during several millions years. Clay has a rich mineral composition which is irreplaceable as food for human skin and organism.
A long term exposure of clay to water gives it a negative ionic charge, thus rendering it the feature of extracting toxic material and metals. Mineral clay ions attract positive charges of bacteria, parasites and pathogens in general, as well as toxic heavy metals.
All that makes the clay a perfect medium for organism detoxification.
How to use clay?
Clay can be used in many ways, I will mention several of them.
1. Clay masks for the face and body
Clay masks have three main functions in beauty rituals:
- They extract toxins and excess grease from the skin, and also clean pores
- They feed the skin with valuable minerals
- They act as a mild peeling which gently removes a layer of dead skin cell
2. Hair masks
Regular hair clay masks nourish the hair and leave it shiny, soft and healthy.
3. Clay soap
Excellent cleaning agent for the face and body. It draws out the toxins and excessive grease, and at the same time it’s very gentle for the skin.
4. Detoxifying baths
By adding 1-12 cups of clay to your bath you can very efficiently detoxify your body.
10-12 cups for one bath is used for chronic diseases, and for maintaining your health and as a preventative measure 1-5 cups is enough.
Bathing in such detoxifying bath should last up to half an hour. Keep the clay dispersed in the water by movements of your legs and arms. If you are using a highly concentrated bath (10-12 cups of clay), shower after bathing.
You can use the same kind of bath only for your feet – add 1-2 cups of clay in the foot bath, stir and soak your feet 20-30 minutes.
During clay baths sometimes the clay turns dark – this is a sure sign the detoxification was successful.
5. Clay compresses
Clay compresses are very useful for painful muscles and joints, menstrual cramps and similar. Clay is mixed with water, with the addition of anti-inflammatory and analgesic essential oils. The mixture is applied to the painful area and covered with a clean gauze. Keep the compress in place for at least 30 minutes.
Types of clay
There are many types of clay and the first distinction is its colour which ranges from white kaolin clay to black clay. The colours in between can be grey, brown, yellow, green, rose, red, violet… All of them are packed with useful minerals such as silica (SiO2), alumina (Al2O3), hematite (Fe2O3), sodium oxide (Na2O), potassium oxide (K2O) and many others. Each type of clay has, of course, a different composition, so you can pick and choose from a great variety of them for your own desires and needs.
I will not describe each clay, only two main ones- maybe this will make your choice easier.
White clay (kaolin) is a very mild and tender clay, and can be used for dry and even sensitive skin. It will not dry out the skin, as some clays do.
Green clay is one of the most popular clays. How often have you seen a picture of a smiling woman, her face covered in green putty? Mainly for greasy and acneic skin, it will clean and detoxify the skin. This clay is the one used for compresses and baths.
Clay face masks
What I love about clay masks is that they combine healing properties of both clay and aromatherapy products – essential oils, vegetable oils and hydrolates.
There are virtually endless combinations and recipes that you can make, taking into account many types of clay, hydrolates, vegetable and essential oils. Each type of skin can be presented with many clay masks suitable for their own needs. So, to make it simple, I will describe only three types of clay masks you can easily do at your home.
The simplest clay mask
If you don’t want to complicate things and just want to use the detoxifying and mineral-nourishing properties of your clay, this is the simplest way to do it.
Mix clay with water until you obtain a nice, pudding-type mixture without any lumps. Don’t use tap water – pure mineral water is your best choice.
A step ahead
Instead of water, your skin can enjoy the wonderful healing properties of hydrolates. So, mix clay with the appropriate hydrolate. The choice is yours: rose hydrolate for dry and thin skin, tea-tree for problematic skin, lavender or German chamomile for sensitive skin, rosemary verbenon for mixed skin…the list goes on.
Clay mask par excellence
Great thing about clay is that it “takes in” all three aromatherapy ingredients, so you can easily use hydrolates, nourishing vegetable oils filled with unsaturated fatty acids and powerful essential oils.
Here are two recipes measured in spoons and drops, for your convenience.
Clay mask for dry, mature skin (quantity for the face, one application)
2 teaspoons of white clay (kaolin)
rose hydrolate – add little by little, while mixing at the same time until the consistency is similar to soft pudding
10 drops of rosehip seed vegetable oil
1-2 drops of essential oil Howood or geranium bourbon
Mix all the ingredients well.
Clay mask for greasy, acneic skin
2 teaspoons of green clay
tea tree hydrolate – add little by little, while mixing at the same time until the consistency is similar to soft pudding
10 drops of hazelnut vegetable oil (optional)
1-2 drops of essential oil tea-tree or spike lavender
Mix all the ingredients well.
The proper way to use clay masks
It is very important you use clay masks properly, otherwise redness and irritation could occur which would put you off the masks, and that would be a shame.
First of all, never make bigger quantities of masks – to use it later on. Always use only freshly made clay masks.
Make sure you mix all the ingredients well, so there are no lumps in the mask.
Apply the mask on your face in an even layer – don’t make it too thin (so the skin is visible underneath the mask) and don’t make it too thick (for then it will take the mask too long to dry).
Let the mask start to dry off on your face, but don’t keep it longer than 15 minutes (the mask is not supposed to dry off completely).
Rinse well with tepid water – make sure you completely remove the clay from your skin (otherwise irritation can occur). Maybe the best way of removing clay is showering it off.
After removing the mask, don’t apply anything on your face for at least two hours (meaning creams, lotions and similar). During those two hours the skin will continue to detoxify. Don’t be surprised if your face becomes greasy during that period – that’s skin clearing out the excessive grease.
It is a good practice to utilise clay masks in the evening, shower and let the skin keep detoxifying during the night.
Using the clay masks regularly will make your skin healthy, glowing, rejuvenated and smooth. But, keep in mind that you can achieve all that only if you use them once or twice a week, every week. Only consistent use will bring results.