Mankind has been using clays as skin care products since ancient times. Clays are naturally-occurring silicates of the earth, containing minerals, trace elements and nutrients. When used as face and body masks, they help absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins, while simultaneously exfoliating dead skin cells and improving the skin's circulation. They help purify, nourish and tone the skin and leave it feeling youthful and soft.
Red Clay Powder Mask
One of the most popular clays for facial masks is red powder clay, or Rhassoul. Originating from Morocco, the clay has a silky earth texture when refined. Red clay is high in naturally-occurring Dolomite, Silica, Ferric Oxide and mineral oxides, and is oily, mildly absorbent, and effective in skin cleansing and detoxifying. The high iron oxide content, giving the clay its red colour, helps revitalise the skin's appearance and brightness.
Dry, Sensitive and Mature Skin
Red powder clay helps in skin conditions such as rosacea from broken capillaries, sunburn, eczema and psoriasis. The clay helps rebalance dry, flaky, or mature skin, reduce sensitivity and improves the skin's texture and elasticity. Women also use red powder clay masks to reduce bags under the eyes and as moisturiser for normal skin types. As an all over body treatment, people use it two to three times a week to help tone the bust, thighs, stomach and upper arms.
Red Clay Mask and Acne
Moroccan red clay has excellent astringent properties, which makes it suitable for acne-prone skin. It cleanses and exfoliates inflamed skin, detoxifies and improves blood circulation. The red clay reduces congestive pigmentation in problem areas where pimples previously formed, and improves the skin's texture, making it feel soft and fresh.
Recipe for Red Clay Mask
In a glass, pottery or wooden bowl, mix 2 tsp of red powder clay with mineral, plain or distilled water until you obtain a creamy paste. Allow the clay to stand for a few minutes to absorb the moisture. Apply to cleansed face and throat, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water after 15 to 20 minutes, or when the clay dries completely. You may experience a slight redness, which soon disappears. Stop using the mask if a rash appears. Use this mask at least twice a week as part of your complete skin care regimen. For an enhanced experience, mix the red clay with aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar or floral waters. Alternatively, add finely-ground herbs or essential oils such as chamomile, marigold, calendula petals and peppermint leaves, lavender, juniper, rose, geranium and marshmallow root.