For thousands of years, primordial people have used clay for nearly everything.
Houses and bricks made from clay and mud, making pottery – it’s the mortar of civilisation.
Over the last few decades, clay has become a skin hero.
When you consider clay is free, purifying masks dotting expensive counters of many department stores are ironic.
Here at the NC, we love getting creative.
As your cleanest dirt advocate, we have hooked you up with a few recipes.
To create your very own perfect DIY clay mask.
Clay Face Mask Recipes
Clay masks treat many skin conditions and are really great for combination, oily and acne-prone skin.
They soothe, heal, remove oil build-up, and purify and pull impurities from your pores.
The most basic uses water and clay, but you can get creative by adding herbal extracts and essential oils to target different concerns.
Clay is very absorbing and slightly keratolytic, gently exfoliating and turning over dead cells from the top layer of your skin.
Leaving your skin clear, bright and shine-free.
There are so many clays to choose from, so much so that we dedicated an entire article to the subject, which you can read here about the types of clay used in homemade face masks.
Time to Build Your Base
So you will use the clay as an absorbent for mopping up excess oil for the surface of your skin and to help pull out impurities, and also as the binder within your formula.
Next, you want to add an oil which you can read all about here.
Next, depending on your skin concern, you could add some of your chosen hydrosols, such as rose, witch hazel or lavender.
You can fragrance with essential oils, but do a patch test first.
- First, pour the water or hydrosol into a bowl and add the preservative.
- Next, add your chosen oil.
- Then sprinkle the clay into the mixture, letting the bulk of it absorb naturally.
- Once absorbed, add the other active ingredients, such as essential oils, herbal extract and mix.
- Next, add the all-important preservative to prevent putting microbes all over your face.
- Mix everything, put your formula in a container, and you are ready.
Face Mask for Oily Skin
10ml Witch hazel
50g French green clay
1 ml Preservative
4ml D Panthenol
2 Drops Rosemary
2 drops of Lemon myrtle essential oil
Cleansing Face Mask
10 ml Lavender hydrosol
40 ml Springwater
40 g Kaolin mask
10 g Fullers earth clay
1 ml Preservative
2 drops of Tea tree essential oil
2 drops of Kanuka essential oil
This is a great mask if you suffer from oily skin conditions.
Tea tree and Kanuka work in synergy as antibacterial and antimicrobials, helping to slow down the over-production of oil, keeping harmful bacteria and daily shine at bay.
Soothing Mask for Acne Inflammation
30ml Rose Hydrosol
50g Pink clay
1.5 ml Preservative
3 ml Apricot kernel oil
3 drops of Geranium essential oil
1 Tbsp Aloe vera concentrate
This is your face mask if you have dry, dull, dehydrated skin lacking lustre.
Rose hydrosol and pink clay are perfect for calming, sensitised skin whilst hydrating aloe vera moisturises parched skin.
Not all homemade face masks will turn out the same, so it is important to note that different types of clays absorb different liquid quantities.
Nourishing anti-ageing mask
30 ml Witch Hazel Hydrosol
20 ml Springwater
40 g Kaolin
10 g Manuka honey
1.5 g Preservative
3 Dps Manuka essential oil
Manuka honey is a skin saviour. It brings many benefits to the skin, especially if you are prone to blemishes and breakouts.
It is antimicrobial, anti-viral and antiseptic; you can read more about its healing properties here.
To conclude, The naked truth
This is not a clay mask recipe to sell; it should only be used at home because clay is a tricky ingredient to formulate and keep stable.
In a commercial setting, clay is sterilised before it is used; clay carries the risk of introducing bacteria into a formula that makes sense, especially when you think 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 excellent benefits; however, avoid introducing ingredients into your formula that degrade quickly.
This will encourage dangerous microbes and fungi that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
If you’re keen to learn more about the research behind clay used in skincare, this fascinating study looks at jojoba oil facial masks that effectively treat breakouts and mild acne.