A Lesson on Clay Face Mask Recipes

A Lesson on Clay Face Mask Recipes

For thousands of years, primordial peoples have been using clay for nearly everything.

Houses and bricks made from clay and mud, making pottery – it’s literally the mortar of civilization, excuse the pun.

Over the last few decades, clay has become something of a skin hero, purifying masks dotting expensive counters of many department stores. Ironic really, when you consider clay is free.

Here at the Naked chemist we love getting creative and as your cleanest dirt advocate, were going to hook you up with a few recipes so you can create your own perfect DIY clay mask.

Clay face mask recipes

Getting Started

  1. First, pour the water into a bowl and add the preservative.
  2. Next, sprinkle the clay into the mixture, letting the bulk of it absorb naturally.
  3. Once the clay has absorbed, add the other active ingredients such as hydrosols, essential oils, herbs, and preservatives.
  4. Mix everything together, put your formulas in a container, and you are good to go.

Before you begin, you may want to read the article Homemade Face Masks, this will help you familiarise you with the types of clay used in a face mask.

Drawing face mask for oily skin

Step 1
10ml Witch hazel
50g French green clay
30ml Springwater
1 ml Preservative

Step 2
4ml D Panthenol
2 Drops Rosemary
2 drops Lemon myrtle essential oil

Cleansing face mask

Step 1
10 ml Lavender hydrosol
40 ml Springwater
40 g Kaolin mask
10g Fullers earth clay
1 ml Preservative

Step 2
2 drops Tea tree essential oil
2 drops Manuka essential oil

This is a great mask for someone suffering from a combination or oily skin conditions.

Tea tree and Manuka work in synergy, as antibacterial and antimicrobials, helping to slow down the over-production of oil in the sebaceous glands, keeping bad bacteria and that oily shine at bay.

Nourishing face mask

Step 1
30ml Rose Hydrosol
20ml Springwater
50g Pink clay
1.5 ml Preservative

<Step 2
3ml Apricot kernel oil
3 drops Geranium essential oil
1 Tbsp Aloe vera concentrate

If you have dry, dull, dehydrated skin that lacks luster, then this is the face mask for you. Rose hydrosol and pink clay are perfect for helping to calm a sensitised skin, whilst hydrating Aloe Vera gets to work moisturising parched skin.

Not all homemade face masks are going to turn out the same, so it is important to note that different types of clays absorb different quantities of liquids.

The naked truth

These masks should only be usedat home for personal use, the reason I say this, is because clay is a tricky ingredient to formulate with.

In a commercial setting, clay is sterilised before it is used, because clay carries the risk of introducing bacteria into a formula, which makes sense, especially when you think that you’re using organic material and clay is the perfect environment for organisms and microbes to banquet on.

The bottom line: yes, clay does have many wonderful benefits; however avoid introducing ingredients into the formula that degrade quickly, as this will encourage dangerous microbes and fungi, that aren’t always visible to the naked eye.

If your keen to learn more about the research behind clay used in skincare and its benefits on the skin, the following study is an interesting read.

91 thoughts on “A Lesson on Clay Face Mask Recipes

  1. Tor says:

    Hey. Samantha,

    If I the only ingredients are oils, dry herbs and clay does there need to be a preservative added when sold to the public, in your opinion.

    Cheers,

    Tor

  2. Natanya says:

    Hello Samantha, I just discovered this amazing blog. I am wanting to add kakadu plum powder to my clay mask base( Kaolin ) as well as geranium oil and a preservative as you suggest. Can you suggest what the balance mix of base clay to extra ingredients should be?what % would you recommend of each? Have you ever used Plantaserv D as a preservative? Ingredientsare Glycerin, Water, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, p-Anisic Acid.

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi, Natanya I would be using 70 to 80%. clay maybe around 2% glycerine, sodium hydroxide I would avoid if it is a DIY, and yes I have used this preservative but I still prefer liquid germal plus especially with clay masks.Samantha

  3. Dolorus says:

    Hi ,

    I am making a clay mask from home to sell using french green clay and distilled water is also being used.

    Which preservatives would you recommenced for a long shelf life (6 months to a year) that works well with clay?

  4. Carly says:

    Hi, I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s very educative! But, I’ll love to make powered facial mask for oily /combination skin, and for dry skin without adding preservatives. I want it all to be powder. Do you have a post on that? Thank you😊

  5. Lisa says:

    Hi there, I’m wanting to find as preservative for clay face masks that’s as natural as possible. Do you have any recommendations?

  6. Hiral Ravatia says:

    This is such a nice and informative article. It builds a good perspective on working with clay. I really enjoyed reading it.

  7. Vaishali says:

    Hey hi,
    Just wanted to know if i do not add clay in my mud face pack, would it work without preservatives.
    Thanks

  8. Mary says:

    Hi, i just want to ask what kind of preservative can i use in the tomato clay mask to extend its shelf life?

    The ingredients are:

    – tomato puree from the ripe tomato
    – fullers earth (multani mitti)
    – cucumber pulp
    – mint leaves
    – yogurt

    Thank you very much for answering!

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Mary, there are a whole number of very effective preservatives available now, but for a good long lasting preservative I really love liquid germal plus, I hope this helps – good luck. Samantha

  9. maya says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am looking to to sell my own clay mask but in powdered form. made of bentonite clay, almond meal and variation of fruits exctracts/milk, activated charcoal all in powdered form mixed with a little almond oil.I am now conducting an ongoing shelf life test myself, hoping it could last for about 3-4 months as how i’m planning to market its self-life. Do you reckon i’d still require preservatives as any water ingredients would only be added when customers use/mix the product. Many thanks for your help

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Maya

      All commercial powder products contain preservatives as they are still subject to bacteria and mould, so to be safe i recommend using one, none wants nasty microbes on their skin. Samantha

  10. Savv says:

    Hi there,
    Working on making a dry clay mask and was going to use an essential oil at a 3% dilution with jojoba oil to mix into the clay. (No other ingredients besides the essential oil and clays) Would you have to worry about bacteria growth if there is only a few drops added? Or what if it is just a regular essential oil? Thank you.

  11. Jennifer Champagne says:

    Great article! I have a question about the drawing face mask. In regards to the panthenol, since your measurement is in mls, I’m assuming you are using a liquid form. I have a powdered form so how do I add that to the formula? And how many grams? Thanks:)

  12. valerie blank-jaquith says:

    Hi Samantha! I am a soap maker and sell my soap, I also blend and sell a few anhydrous products, powdered cleansers. Awhile ago I looked into making a honey clay mask but put that aside after learning about the challenges formulators face when preserving clay products. Now I am back at it and hoping you can offer some advice or perhaps consulting services? My plan is to create a product without a water component at all – and including perhaps phenonip as it it is both oil and water soluble. The mask would includes kaolin clay, dead sea salt, honey infused with cottonwood buds, charcoal, white willow bark glycerite, pracaxi or other seed oil, ROE (rosemary extract), mixed tocopherols. The water component to be added by the user at time of application.

    First, would it be safe to offer this blend without a broad spectrum preservative? That would be my first choice 🙂 If not, Can you comment or make suggestions for me, concerns or recommendations moving forward? Other preservatives to consider and complications I might expect? I have been making and using this mask for about a year and love it. Thanks in advance!

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Valerie
      I always use a preservative, I just don;t like nasty micro organisms lurking in my formulas you will get away with it without water but still i feel it is good practise when selling to the public. samantha

    • Jennifer Champagne says:

      Personally, I would say that a preservative, in this formula wouldn’t be necessary. It doesn’t seem like many people are aware of this, but the resin in cottonwood buds acts as a natural preservative. Every year when I collect my cottonwood buds, I make my oil infusions, and I also make a jar of cottonwood bud extract, using everclear for the solvent, as it works best for thick, sticky resins. I’ve used this as a preservative and have never had a problem. I can’t tell you exactly how long the shelf life will be because I’ve used up the products within 6 months. But I do know of a woman who used it to preserve a lotion, then forgot she had the lotion and found it 6 years later – perfectly intact! So I’d say it’s pretty reliable. And I can’t understand why it’s not a well known preservative!

  13. Dewi says:

    Hello Samantha, I want to sell my own clay mask but in powdered. it is only (example) clay, matcha and activated charcoal. all in powdered. Is it okay if I don’t used preservatives? Or if I used preservatives like vitamin E, where I should bought them? the vitamin E is powdered too? thank youu

  14. Teresa says:

    If I add only Thayer’s Witch Hazel, which now contains phenoxyethanol to wet the clay, is that enough of a preservative for longer term storage? Or would I still need to add another chemical preservative in addition? I have no idea how much phenoxyethanol Thayer’s uses, just that it’s enough to keep their witch Hazel safe long-term.

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