Some would argue that a beauty routine would not be complete without a face mask once a week; a skincare ritual which we would struggle to be without. It is no surprise that many face masks on the market are clay based, promising to truly detox our skin of the impurities we are exposed to throughout our lives but the question is; do they actually work?
The use of clay face masks dates back to around 80 BC in Ancient Egypt where Cleopatra is said to have regularly prepared white clay, milk, honey and olive oil to her skin weekly to keep her complexion looking at its best. Throughout time, as various face mask ingredients have (thankfully) vanished, clay masks have certainly stood the test of time. They still remain one of the most popular today, first and foremost for their overall performance but also for their versatility as they can be personalised to our own skin concerns and easily utilised in multi-masking.
What does Clay actually do?
Clay works as a magnet to cleanse, exfoliate and rid the skin of impurities and excess oils which makes them such an integral part of our skincare routines. Clay masks can help many skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis thanks to their naturally antibacterial properties that give them skin healing qualities that many other masks cannot offer. They also help to oxygenate cells to improve circulation, soften skin and rejuvenate the complexion. They are also particularly useful in balancing sebum production, improving skin tone as well as purifying the skin, making them the perfect all rounder for a multitude of skin types.
Different clays have different properties, so selecting the best clay for your skin type is incredibly important to reap the benefits clay has to offer.
Bentonite Clay: This is one of the most popular clays utilised within skincare and is the clay you’ll commonly find within most spas and beauty salons. Bentonite Clay has a strong electromagnetic charge which makes it incredibly useful when detoxing the skin. It has the ability to draw out impurities from deep within thanks to its ability to hold around 40 times its own weight when mixed with water - acting like a sponge that will keep absorbing excess oils and dirt from the skin. As it does boast this quality, it makes it great for oily skin types or those who are prone to breakouts (in a similar way to Rhassoul Clay that boasts the same benefits). It is less suited to dry or sensitive skin types as it might be too harsh and aggravate the skin further.
French Green Clay: Known for its green hue which comes from plant matter and iron oxide, French Green Clay is often utilised in clay mask to give colour and aid oil absorption. This powerful clay has a porous crystal structure therefore it absorbs the impurities rather than draws them to the surface (like Kaolin Clay). It is perfect for oily or combination skin, as it helps to regulate sebum production, mattify the skin and reduce the appearance of blackheads and enlarged pores.
Kaolin Clay (White Clay): This is one of the mildest clays and is useful in a lot of skincare products due to its fine texture. It is not as powerful as Bentonite, for example, but still has effective detoxifying and exfoliating properties to give a healthier looking complexion. It is a clay that has been proven to have a great long term effective on the skin as well as instant results. Due to its mild nature, it is the perfect clay for sensitive and dry skin types and even though it will still benefit oily skin types, it will not be effective as other clays.
French Pink Clay: French Pink Clay is a combination of white and red clay, therefore has properties that will benefit all skin types. Pink Clay is incredibly hydrating, which is why it works perfectly with dry skin, especially as it also promotes radiance, treats damaged skin and deeply cleanses without irritating sensitive skin. As it contains Kaolin, the long term effects of pink clay are even more impressive than the instant results, as the clay has been known to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin tone, giving you a brighter and more glowing complexion. French Pink Clay is an all-rounder and perfect for when skin is feeling out of sorts.
Top Tips for Clay Masking:
Analyse your skin before masking to select the best clay and products that will suit your skin type. Cleanse before you mask to remove residual dirt so that your mask will work better.
Don’t use tap water, instead opt for spring water, filtered water or hydrosols as chlorine in tap water will dry the skin out.
Don’t use metal utensils to mix your masks.
Don’t let your clay mask dry out, continually spritz with hydrosols or lay a warm, damp cloth over the top for a few seconds to rehydrate.
If you find your masks dry out too much, try a cream, oil or honey base.
Always follow with your serums, oils or moisturisers.
Don’t over mask, especially when it comes to clay masks. Once a week is enough for dry, mature and sensitive skin types whereas oily skin types might benefit from using once or twice a week.
Do you want to try a clay mask for yourself? Why not try our Moroccan Rose Clay Mask, an antioxidant rich French Pink Clay Mask which is designed to detox, firm, tone and brighten all skin types? Head over to skincare page to find out more.
Stay beautiful xxx