How do I know which clay is right for me – Redmond, Bentonite, Rhassoul? Where can I get it? How often should I use it?
We get asked a lot of questions about clay masks, so we decided to put together a special Skincare Saturday post. The Purely Primal Skincare Guide focuses primarily on the following single-ingredient options: Bentonite, Rhassoul, French Green, and Aztec Indian Healing Clay, which is a Bentonite clay.
Not sure what is right for you?
While a large chunk of the Skin & Body Care Section of the Purely Primal Skincare Guide is devoted to healing masks, you can learn a lot about these skin-care powerhouses by simply following your instinct and giving one a try! There may be one that’s uniquely perfect for you, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them. Here’s a few of Liz’s recommendations:
– Bentonite Clay (normal, oily, or acne-prone skin)
– Rhassoul Clay (normal to dry skin)
– French Green Clay (oily or acne-prone skin)
Where can you get it?
I ordered Aztec Indian Healing Clay, a Bentonite clay, from Amazon. You can find it here, or another, slightly more gentle Bentonite from Redmond Clay here. These are fairly inexpensive, and will last a long time. Primal Life Organics and Mountain Rose Herbs have an assortment of clay options available as well – some blended clays, some solo-type.
Now, let’s get started…
How do you use clay?
Clay is extremely easy to use, and with most clays, you’ll find the directions on the label.
Remove makeup prior to using clay for best results.
From the Aztec label: “Mix clay with equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and/or water. Stir the mixture well to a smooth paste. Apply ¼ to ½ inches to the face or other area. Let it dry for 5-10 minutes for delicate skin and 15-20 minutes for normal skin.”
I prefer apple cider vinegar to water. Learn more about the many benefits of apple cider vinegar here.
Note: it’s not necessary to apply 1/2 or even 1/4 inch of clay – that’s far too much to deal with! Simply coat your skin with a layer of clay. You won’t lose any of the clay’s effectiveness.
How much should you make?
A little goes a long way. I usually mix 1 tbsp of clay with enough liquid – whether ACV, water or a homemade toner (be creative!) – to form a paste. Some clays “take” water differently than others (for example, Fuller’s Earth Clay, a less-commonly used clay, will require less liquid than others to form a paste) but a good rule of thumb is equal parts clay to liquid.
The consistency of your clay should be slightly thick, but easily spreadable. If you make too much, simply store any excess in the fridge for up to a week. That way you won’t have to mess with mixing it again the next time you go to use it. It’s always best to blend and store in a glass jar or bowl, and to use a wooden spoon or your fingers to mix.
Spread across your skin with your fingers. Once the clay starts to harden, it will form a hard-to-remove layer on your skin as shown below.
Cute mask, eh?
Don’t forget to pull your hair back! You will feel your face pulsate!
As the mask starts to dry, you will start to feel your skin tighten. That’s normal.
Remove clay by washing with warm water and a washcloth (be gentle). A slight redness is normal after you remove the mask, as circulation has increased at the surface of your skin. That’s a good thing! This will disappear within a half hour. Once the redness fades, it will leave your face feeling soft and smooth. Clay is packed full of minerals and will help detoxify while nourishing your skin.
If you have acne-prone skin, clay masks are a must-have.
How often should you use clay masks?
It’s generally recommended to use clay masks once a week. For trouble skin, however, you may use it more often. I have been using it every 3-4 days. If used too frequently, it may cause dryness and irritation. If that starts to happen, then cut back on usage. It depends on your skin-type and your needs. If you prefer a more frequent deep pore cleansing (like I do), then you should use it more often. Experiment to find out what works best for you. You know your skin better than anyone else.
Are there any additional uses for clay masks?
Yes! Healing clay has been around for a long, long time. It’s very versatile.
You may use it as a spot-treatment. If you feel a pimple coming on just dab a little on before bedtime. It’s also excellent for bug bites, cuts, and burns. Some folks even choose to take it internally, which we’ll discuss in a future post!
What’s another fun use for clay? Hair care! Stay tuned to the blog for an upcoming post from Liz on clay hair care!
Have you ever experimented with healing clay masks? How often do you use them? How have they helped? Head over to the Facebook page and let us know!
Want to learn more about clay? Mountain Rose Herbs has a ton of information available.
Thanks for reading – here’s to another great week of skincare adventures!